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Mubarak slammed U.S. in phone call with Israeli MK before resignation

Haaretz (Link) - Reuters (February 11, 2011)

Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with an Israeli lawmaker a day before he quit as Egypt�s president.

The legislator, former cabinet minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said on TV Friday that he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realized �it was the end of the Mubarak era.�

�He had very tough things to say about the United States,� said Ben-Eliezer, a member of the Labor Party who has held talks with Mubarak on numerous occasions while serving in various Israeli coalition governments.

�He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: �We see the democracy the United States spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that�s the fate of the Middle East,�� Ben-Eliezer said.

��They may be talking about democracy but they don�t know what they�re talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,�� he quoted Mubarak as saying.

U.S. support for pro-democracy elements in Iran has not led to regime change in the Islamic Republic, and Hamas, a group Washington considers to be a terrorist organization, won a 2006 Palestinian election promoted by the United States.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a coalition government it formed with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed in a power struggle.

Ben-Eliezer said Mubarak expanded in the telephone call on �what he expects will happen in the Middle East after his fall.�

�He contended the snowball (of civil unrest) won�t stop in Egypt and it wouldn�t skip any Arab country in the Middle East and in the Gulf.

�He said �I won�t be surprised if in the future you see more extremism and radical Islam and more disturbances -- dramatic changes and upheavals,� Ben-Eliezer added.

Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel and has backed U.S.-led efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of an Iran-style Islamist revolution in Egypt should Mubarak�s Muslim Brotherhood rivals eventually take over.

�He repeated the sentence, �I have been serving my country, Egypt, for 61 years. Do they want me to run away? I won�t run away. Do they want to throw me out? I won�t leave. If need be, I will be killed here,�� Ben-Eliezer said. �

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