‘We’re living on a volcano,’ experts warn

Saturday, January 29, 2011
By Paul Martin

By YAAKOV LAPPIN
28/01/2011
JPost.com

As with Iran in ’79, Islamists could hijack pro-democracy movements; ex-IDF research chief: “We’re on thick ice, but even that melts eventually.”

Israeli security experts are casting an uneasy eye at the civil unrest spreading through the region.

On Thursday, Yemen joined the list of Arab states experiencing unprecedented demonstrations calling for authoritarian leaders to step down, and Egypt braced for more civil unrest.

While no analysts here predict any immediate ramifications for Israel’s national security, some said mass protest movements that begin as pro-democracy uprisings could easily be hijacked by Islamists.

“We need to understand that we are living on a volcano,” said Maj.- Gen. (res.) Ya’acov Amidror, former head of the IDF’s Research and Assessment Directorate.

“Conditions can change from today until tomorrow. We must ask ourselves, what is the worst case scenario,” he said. “We are on thick ice, but even that melts eventually.”

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