CAIRO - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vented anger at Arab revolts that ousted autocrat leaders, saying the revolutions would result in an Islamist alliance against Israel and the West.
The Arab Spring would turn into an "Islamic, anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-Israeli and anti-democratic wave, Netanyahu told a Knesset session on Wednesday, November 23, reported Haaretz.
A wave of pro-democracy protests swept the Arab world, ousting the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Similar revolts are raging in Syria and Yemen.
Netanyahu blasted Western countries for supporting the popular revolutions in the Arab world.
"In February, when millions of Egyptians thronged to the streets in Cairo, commentators and quite a few Israeli members of the opposition said that we're facing a new era of liberalism and progress, Netanyahu said.
They said I was trying to scare the public and was on the wrong side of history and don't see where things are heading.
"Well things are moving backward, not forward," Netanyahu said, adding that he looks at reality, not just "hopes and wishes."
Israel is worried about the rise of Islamists following the ouster of autocrat leaders in the Arab world.
Moderate Islamist Ennahda party won most votes in last month's elections in Tunisia.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful group, is expected to emerge the biggest winner in the country's parliamentary election, due to start on November 28.
The picture is quite clear. We've been saying it for months. Apparently what we call the Muslim Brotherhood ... will ultimately be the majority in all the (Egyptian) institutions, Israeli cabinet minister Matan Vilnai told Israel's Army Radio station.
He warned of a grave impact on the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt if the Islamists came to power.
But once the regime stabilizes, as we expect it to do, we expect that there will be a grave erosion of this agreement. And we have to prepare for such a situation, Vilnai said.
We are prepared for every scenario.
Netanyahu used the Arab unrest to justify Israel's inaction on the peace talks with the Palestinians.
"I remember many of you urged me to take the opportunity to make hasty concessions, to rush to an agreement," the hawkish Israeli premier said.
"But I will not establish Israel's policy on illusions. There's a huge upheaval here...whoever doesn't see it is burying his head in the sand.
"That didn't stop people from coming to me and suggesting we make all kinds of concessions. I said we insist on foundations of stability and security...all the more so now," he said.
US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians collapsed last year over Israel's refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
Last September, the Palestinians tendered a request to the United Nations for full membership.
The move angered Israel and its chief ally the United States, taking several punitive measures against the Palestinians.
I ask today, who here didn't understand reality? Who here didn't understand history?" Netanyahu said."Israel is facing a period of instability and uncertainty in the region. This is certainly not the time to listen to those who say follow your heart."