The sit-in at Tahrir Square in Cairo continues. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's new government has said today that it is preparing for a powerful transfer of authority and reforms, as protests against President Hosni Mubarak continue.
This appears to please the US Administration – which announced yesterday via US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that they were interested in an orderly transition in Egypt. A few days ago, the White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the United States wanted immediate change. Analysts are agreeing that the position apparently has been drawn up – Free Elections are the end of the process and not the beginning.
This pleases Israel as they have been anxiously watching the unfolding of the protests day by day. Israelis are nervous they will loose their quite down south, and prefer to see Mubarak stay as long as he can.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu presented to visiting European Parliamentarians his view that Egypt may choose to suppress their countrymen and threaten all those surround them, like the Iranian republic. Mr. Netanyahu went on to emphasize that Israel wants to maintain its peaceful relations with Egypt.
So what could the changes in Egypt bring that would raise concern in Israel?
The first is what was just mentioned – peace on it's border. Right now there is cooperation and quiet on Israel's southern border and Israel doesn't want that to alter. It has enough to worry about in it's northern border and Gaza.
Mr. Netanyahu's repeated comments about Egypt becoming an 'Iran' regime is the worst case scenario with the country turning to deep Islamic fundamentalism.
Israel has enjoyed the strong arm of Mubarak for thirty years. He kept terrorists from operating within his country, cooperated with Israeli security forces, kept Hamas at bay in Gaza, and has not allowed the massive Sinai Peninsula to become a gun-runners paradise.
Effectually Egypt, as the leader in the Arab worlds diplomatic voice, has lead the march to a more pro-Western society and one that wished to ultimately somewhere down the line integrate Israel into the Arab economic grid.
Now all this is at risk – let alone it's strong influence over the Palestinians in getting them to the peace talks with Israel.
Whoever does succeed Mr. Mubarak will inherit a large, relatively powerful army and massive domestic security forces. How these institutions change will largely rest upon the influences pressed upon that leader and his cabinet. Will they go Nationalistic, will they go fundamental, or will they go for the Status Quo?
We'll be here to keep you abreast of the developments as they unfold.
Middle East Correspondent