In initial statements, Jewish groups congratulated Egyptians on ousting Hosni Mubarak and expressed hope for continued peace with Israel.
“The demonstrations by the people of Egypt against the regime’s authoritarianism and repression, and their demands for greater freedom, political accountability and transparency, have been inspiring to all who cherish democracy and liberty,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement Friday after Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak had relinquished his powers to the army. “The people of Egypt must now channel their passion for change into the more difficult task of building the foundations for a true open, inclusive and stable democracy.”
The statement noted uncertainty about “the new role of the military is and how they will govern” as well as “serious questions about what role the Muslim Brotherhood will play in the transition and beyond, and how this will impact Egypt’s policies, and its relations with the West and the State of Israel.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said it “congratulates and commends the Egyptian people’s courageous and non-violent transformation of their country.” It continued: “We hope that future developments will help institutionalize individual and political freedoms and that the new Egyptian government will continue to maintain the legacy of peaceful coexistence with all its neighbors, including the state of Israel.”
J Street’s President Jeremy Ben-Ami also issued a statement congratulating the Egyptian people, adding “The epic changes underway in the broader Arab world have important implications for Israel, beyond simply its bilateral relationship with Egypt, as well as for the United States. It is now even more imperative to seriously pursue a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert provided the following advice this week to his successor Benjamin Netanyahu in light of events in Egypt: ‘Don’t wait. Move, lead and make history. This is the time. There will not be a better one.’”
Jewish Journal staff contributed to this report.