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.