Three retired members of Israel’s military establishment have told a chat show host that the most important outcome of the coup against Mohamed Morsi is the weakening of the Egyptian army. Speaking to Razi Barkai on Israeli Army Radio, former Air Force head General Reuven Pedatzur, former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and Amos Gilboa, the former Head of Research of the Intelligence Directorate said that this is a benefit of the coup of high strategic interest to Israel.
“Even in its wildest dreams,” said Pedatzur, “Israel could have never anticipated this outcome.” The Egyptian army’s involvement in such an unprecedented manner, he said, means that there will be no change in the balance of power between Israel and the Arabs for a long time. “The last thing on the minds of the army leadership will be strengthening their military capabilities, as the main focus will be on controlling the country.” All three of the show’s guests, including Halutz, concurred with this view.
According to Amos Gilboa, the US should employ its leverage over the Egyptian army by persuading the generals to play the same sort of role played by their Turkish counterparts before Prime Minister Erdogan came to power. “That is the way to ensure that no extremist party rules in Cairo,” he suggested, “and that is in both America’s and Israel’s interest.”