ISSN 2330-717X

Suleiman: Israel’s Pick for President

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It should help Egyptian interim strongman Omar Suleiman’s prospects of getting the nod to take over permanently for his mentor, Mubarak, after Egyptians read the glowing things Israeli defense ministry officials reported to U.S. diplomats in this Wikileaks cable, which resulted from Israeli consultations in Cairo in 2009.  Here the defense ministry’s Arab affairs staffer offers his portrait of the Egyptian leadership:

Hacham was full of praise for Soliman, however, and noted that a “hot line” set up between the MOD and Egyptian General Intelligence Service is now in daily use. Hacham said he sometimes speaks to Soliman’s deputy Mohammed Ibrahim several times a day. Hacham noted that the Israelis believe Soliman is likely to serve as at least an interim President if Mubarak dies or is incapacitated. (Note: We defer to Embassy Cairo for analysis of Egyptian succession scenarios, but there is no question that Israel is most comfortable with the prospect of Omar Soliman.)

When you hear Obama, Clinton, Merkel and Sarkozy call for Mubarak to remain and for Suleiman  to play a continuing role as leader of the country, keep in mind that this is also Israel’s preferred position.  And ask yourself whether those leaders, especially Obama, who is under constant pressure from the Israel lobby, follow this policy line because they believe it will good for Egypt, good for U.S. interests, or good for Israel.

And our friends in Egypt should know well that the new “father of the nation” is Israel’s choice.  That should certainly make him theirs as well.  This certainly also guarantees that Suleiman will be just the type of independent leader that Egypt needs in this period of transition, not beholden to any elites or powerful interests either domestic or foreign.

This article was first published at Tikun Olam and is reprinted with the author’s permission

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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