But he expressed confidence that whatever government comes to power in Cairo will see its relationships with Israel, the United States and Europe as keys to maintaining economic health in this nation of 80 million mostly poor people.
The United States has poured $2 billion a year into Egypt in military and economic aid since the treaty with Israel was signed in 1979.
Harb, the ElBaradei supporter, said his group thinks the treaty obligates Israel to make more concessions in negotiations with the Palestinians. “We are for sticking by the treaty,” he said, “but we are also seeking a peace based on justice between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Makram-Ebeid, who sits on the protesters’ Council of Trustees of the Revolution, suggested treaty provisions limiting the number of Egyptian soldiers stationed along the Gaza border should be reviewed. But the main difference in Egyptian foreign policy is likely to be a demand for respect, she said, adding that many Egyptians felt humiliated by what she described as servile willingness by Mubarak to do what he was told by Washington.
“No more of the headmaster telling us what to do,” she said.
Makram-Ebeid said she told the same thing, in more diplomatic language, to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a meeting in Cairo two weeks ago.
Clinton had sought to meet with a range of pro-democracy leaders in addition to the military government, but a number of protest leaders refused her invitation. Clinton generated outrage during the protests by suggesting Mubarak should stay in power to oversee a transition to new elections in the fall. Harb, whose group declined to talk with Clinton, said she had turned a blind eye to Mubarak’s repression because keeping him around would have been more comfortable for U.S. policy.
But Mohammed, the April 6 activist, said most of the protest leaders boycotted Clinton not because of her personal stand, and not even because she represented the United States, but because they decided not to be seen with any foreign leaders. “Things are very sensitive right now,” he added.
Correspondent Janine Zacharia in Jerusalem and special correspondent Muhammad Mansour in Cairo contributed to this report.