August 16th, 2013
03:49 PM ET

Barak: World should back new Egypt government

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, just days before the latest outbreak of violence, about Egypt’s government and the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi.

Would it be fair to say that Israel is quietly happy with the change of government, which of course many people regard as a coup, in Egypt? The new government has been much tougher on the border in terms of supplying Hamas.

Yes, you know, I don't think that we are really a major player in this. It’s a dramatic development for the Egyptian people and for the whole Middle East, the Arab peoples. Israel is not the center focal point of this.

You have the border with Gaza and this government has been...better than Morsi’s government?

Yes.  But I think that the whole world should support Sisi. I believe that...

…the new Egyptian government?

I think that you have to support him. If we support him, it probably will embarrass him and it probably won't help him. But Sisi and the liberals, ElBaradei and others, they deserve the support of the free world. To whom else can they turn?

Morsi was elected relatively fairly, but he immediately turned to use the very tools...of [being] slightly and quite democratically elected into turning into a totally totalitarian, Sharia-like extreme Islamist system. And his own people rejected it.

And unfortunately, the contradiction of your policies, your support for decades of the autocrats, the moderate Sunnite autocrats, but the moment that their own people stood against them, which is – which is the real worry of any autocrat – you left them. Because your set of values does not allow. But now here it once again is the people of Egypt standing again. It’s not Israel, not some insurgents from abroad.

I think that they need your support.  They deserve your support.  And that ultimately, you know, the Egyptian people will be silent. The only thing that I would demand from them in exchange for this support is that they will, within a relatively short period, probably a year, will run a fully democratic, open kind of election.

There’s an irony here, which is that Israel and Saudi Arabia are probably the two governments most quietly supportive of this new Egyptian regime.

Yes, we shouldn't push ourselves to the front of these internal Arab dramatic transformations.

Post by:
Topics: Arab Spring • Egypt • Israel • Middle East

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    The true "contradiction of your policies, your support for decades of the autocrats, the moderate Sunnite autocrats, but the moment that their own people stood against them, which is – which is the real worry of any autocrat – you left them." That's the real irony here, not that "Israel & Saudi Arabia is quietly supporting Egypt."

    Fareed always gets it wrong. Fareed's extreme Islamist views once again get in the way. Fareed thinks its to his brothers' (Fareed's brothers are the extreme fundamentalist Muslims) benefit to make this out to be that Israel supports Egypt. The more Muslims believe that Israel is backing up the current government the more hatred he can raise against Israel and the current Egyptian interim government! That's all Fareed Zakaria wants to achieve with this piece!!

    Wake up Fareed Zakaria and CNN! You (America), Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or any other force outside Egypt has no control over the will of the Egyptian people!! The sooner you accept that and butt out the better Egypt will be and the better the world will be. USA stay the hell out of Egypt!! The Egyptian people have made very clear that they want their military and police to be in control of the country!! So if you don't like it then too damn bad!!

    The bitter reality is (that no American wants to understand) that you have no control in Egypt and neither does any other country. If you want to take away the military aid then go ahead. Egypt will find many other countries that support their noble fight against terrorism and will provide them with all the military aid they need. Good luck to you in trying to comprehend what I wrote.

    August 16, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • Mohammed Osman

      Thanks to post 911, the definition of terrorism have evolved. Now, anyone can call anyone a terrorist just because they have a different view of reality. MB had shunned violence and participated in a fair election. The old junta didn't like it and they took two step to paralyse the democratic transformation and to stop power transfer. 1) with financial assistance from the old regime backers they created Tamrod (other liberals joined with a naive view of the situation that they are participating to prevent another percieved autocracy govt) 2) by effectively curtailing the government functioning they made the elected government ineffective. Instead of a coup (where the old players wanted to run the show). This could have done easily by a referendum to actually check if president Morsi lost the legitimacy or the Tamrod's propoganda that 30 million egypitan are against the govt. Egypt lost an opportunity to come out of crises. Any normal person can easily analysis, where the terrorism is coming from. Army killed in thousand in 1 month and injured ten of thousands unarmed civilians. Declared martial law brought the dark police unit back, it is clear who is on the wrong side of history. Don't be naive and sortsignted, once they put MB to rest, they will come harshly on Tamrod and other secular forces that try to curb their empire. It might benefit short term interest of various governments and a subset of egypt population, but in the long run, MB or an offshot of MB will prevail and bring these violators to justice as it is happening now in Bangladesh. Tick tock Tick tock

      August 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Sarah... The US and the rest of the free world including Israel has only two choices in this case, to support Sisi and Egyptian seculars against Morsi the Islamists or, alternatively, to support Morsi and the Islamists against Sisi and Egyptian seculars. Which one of these two optionss would YOU prefer?

      August 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Morsi's supporters and opponents have to get off their high horses and find a way to reconcile. The country is divided and ideologically polarised. Both camps have strong support among Egyptians. If the standoff goes on, it will do more harm to the country. The army has to stop demonising the Brotherhood and Morsi's supporters have to realise that their president will not be re-instated. They have had a taste in power and should prepare themselves for future elections. Micromanagerial skills alone aren't enough to run a country.

        August 19, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  2. Rand Singh Islam

    Egypt is burning, the evil military is killing people in hordes, yet Fareed interviews this demagogue. Where is your morality and humanity, Fareed? Is there any shred of faith left in you that your father Rafiq Zakaria taught you about? How will you answer to God, Fareed? Do you have no concern for God's justice?

    August 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • Sarah

      Egypt is burning because of the terrorists the Muslim Brotherhood!! Don't worry Fareed is very much in touch with his Islamist fundamentalist views. He is very smart in evil! He brought on this Israeli to further spike violence and hatred against the Egyptian military and the Egyptian government by carefully repeatedly saying that Israel is happy about the military take over in Egypt!

      August 17, 2013 at 4:36 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Rand Singh Islam... Did you DISAGREE with something "this demagogue" ( former Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak) said? If so

      August 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  3. James Freedom

    Most of the murdering is being done by rampaging mobs of Moslem Brotherhood members. This is "Kristall Nacht" for Christians in Egypt, similar to 1938 in Hitler's Germany, but only 91 Jews were killed then. Looks like hundreds of Christians are being slaughtered by these bloodthirsty barbarians.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    Israel no doubt welcomes a military-led regime in Egypt, which will more likely honour the Camp David accords. Yet it's up to the Egyptians to decide and vote for their government. Currently the interim government has no legitimacy and is as bad as Morsi's former one.

    August 20, 2013 at 3:23 am | Reply
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