The Israeli cabinet is cliché-driven and Jerusalem used the crisis in Egypt to to score propaganda points to the point where the White House was disgusted with Israeli interlocutors, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote Sunday.
Friedman, who visited Cairo following the recent uprising, described the Israeli government as out-of-touch, in-bred and unimaginative. He expressed concern over Israel’s future due to its inability to adjust to changes in the region as it sided with Mubarak until the very last moment.
Instead of listening to what the democracy youth in Tahrir Square were saying, Friedman says, the Israeli government frantically called the White House telling the president he must not abandon Pharaoh – and "used the opportunity to score propaganda points: 'Look at us! Look at us! We told you so! We are the only stable country in the region, because we are the only democracy.'"
Friedman continues: "Israel’s government seemed oblivious to the irony of its message: 'We are your only reliable ally because we are a democracy and whatever you do don’t abandon Mubarak and open the way there for democracy.'"
End of Mubarak era (Photo: AP)
He admits that Israel's concerns are valid – "The peace treaty with Egypt has been the cornerstone of Israeli strategy and economic growth for 30 years", but claims the way Jerusalem was handling itself wasn't not helping.
"When young Egyptians looked around the region and asked: Who is with us in this quest and who is not?, the two big countries they knew were against them were Israel and Saudi Arabia. The children of Egypt were having their liberation moment and the children of Israel decided to side with Pharaoh."
Friedman argues that Israel will ultimately have no choice but "to make peace with 80 million Egyptians" when a democracy is established in Cairo.
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