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Mubarak Slams U.S. in Phone Call With Israeli Lawmaker


Hosni Mubarak had some choice words for the United States and efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East during a telephone conversation with an Israeli lawmaker just one day before he stepped down as Egypt's president, Reuters reports.

"He had very tough things to say about the United States," said [Binyamin] Ben-Eliezer, a member of the center-left 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. ...

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.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel.  But last week, Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu warned that Egypt may be susceptible to an Iran-style Islamist revolution.

"(Mubarak) was looking for an honorable way out," Ben-Eliezer said.

"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.'"

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