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Netanyahu Gloats Over Fall of Morsi, Hopes Egypt's New Leaders Restore Frozen Contacts with Israel


Netanyahu sees Morsi fall as sign of political Islam's weakness

BERLIN | Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:36pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) -

In rare remarks on Egypt's government crisis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested that the fall of the president, Mohamed Morsi, demonstrates the weaknesses of political Islamist movements.

"I believe that over the long haul these radical Islamic regimes are going to fail because they don't offer the adequate enfranchisement that you need to develop a country economically, politically and culturally," Netanyahu told the German weekly Welt am Sonntag.

He said he thought radical Islamism was wholly unsuited to dealing with a global economic and information revolution, and "goes right back to medievalism against the whole thrust of modernity, so over time it's bound to fail".

Israel had previously responded more cautiously to Morsi's removal by the Egyptian army on July 3. Netanyahu avoided any comment at the time, though a confidant expressed hope that Egypt's new leaders may restore largely frozen contacts with Israel.

In the interview, Netanyahu reiterated Israel's concern that a U.S.-brokered 1979 peace treaty with Egypt should remain intact, alluding also to a surge of violence in a Sinai border region since Israel's ally Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power in Egypt two years ago.

"Preserving the peace with Egypt through these convulsions is of central importance to us," Netanyahu said.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


Israel reacts positively to Egypt coup

Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:9AM GMT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reacted positively to the military coup in Egypt that toppled the country's first freely-elected President Mohamed Morsi.

Netanyahu, in rare remarks, said the fall of Morsi shows the weakness of political Islamic movements, Reuters reported on Sunday.

In an interview with the German weekly Welt am Sonntag, Netanyahu also called Morsi’s government “radical” in nature and incapable of steering the country “economically, politically and culturally.”

Israel had previously reacted more cautiously to the removal of Morsi by the Egyptian military nearly three weeks ago and Netanyahu did not comment on the issue at that time. However, a confidant expressed hope that new Egyptian leaders may restore mainly frozen contacts with Israel.

The army overthrew Morsi, suspended the constitution, and dissolved the parliament on July 3 and declared the chief justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as interim president the following day.

Dozens of people have since been killed in the wave of violent clashes between supporters of Morsi, his opponents and security forces.

On July 6, Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich urged maintaining friendly relations with Egypt following the ouster of Morsi, saying, “It is really important for Israel to keep Egypt as its friend and to maintain a peaceful border.”


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