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April 30, 2012 4:22 pm

Former IDF Chief of Staff on Arab Spring: ‘We Didn’t See it Coming’

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Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

NEW YORK—Gabi Ashkenazi, former chief of staff for the Israel Defense Forces, said in New York that the so-called Arab Spring is an “Islamic storm” and that “we didn’t see it coming.”

Israel must “be ready, in the future, for an event we can’t predict,” Ashkenazi said at the first annual Jerusalem Post Conference.

Though former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak “was not a Zionist,” he was “an anchor of stability” in the Middle East, Ashkenazi said. A more beneficial regime change for Israel would come in Syria, according to Ashkenazi, where the toppling of Bashar al-Assad would strip Iran of its only ally in the region—and by consequence, strip Iran-funded Hezbollah of weapons it uses against the Jewish state.

The international community’s response to Assad gives him a “license to kill,” Ashkenazi said.

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, following Ashkenazi’s remarks, said that she in fact did see the Arab Spring coming because “rather than relying on intelligence information, we were listening to what people were saying in Egypt,” specifically that the Muslim Brotherhood was gaining momentum well before the Arab Spring began.

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