Jerusalem – Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak was received in a state visit in Washington last week. However, those who observed the 82-year-old Egyptian President on his first visit to the United States since 2004, said that he appears to be on his last legs.Mr. Mubarak has been struggling in his meetings in Washington. A participant in one meeting said Mr. Mubarak appeared to be in physical pain and unable to understand much of what was being said to him.

“He looks like a zombie,” the participant said.

In 2009, he underwent a battery of medical tests in Paris that identified heart illness, blood ailments and a serious back problem. Moreover, the president was said to have sunk into a depression when his favorite grandson died suddenly in May 2009.

“The doctors told him to take a long vacation abroad, but he felt he could not be outside Egypt for so long,” a Western diplomatic source said. For his part, Mr. Mubarak reassured the Obama administration that he would remain in office in the years to come. He did not rule out running for another term of office in 2011.

On Aug. 19, Mr. Mubarak met President Barack Obama for a review of bilateral relations and Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. An official said Obama urged Mr. Mubarak to recruit Arab support for a peace agreement with Israel that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We are moving in the right direction,” Mr. Mubarak said after the meeting. “The Arab states are ready to help if the Israelis and the Palestinians returned to peace talks.”

Over the last few weeks, the administration has approved a series of Egyptian weapons requests and deliveries, including that of military helicopters and anti-ship missiles. The White House was also expected to approve an Egyptian request for the advanced F-16 Block 52+ multi-role fighters later in 2009.

“Relations between us and the United States are very good relations and strategic relations,” Mr. Mubarak said. “And despite some of the hoops that we had with previous administrations, this did not change the nature of our bilateral relations.”

During his visit, however, Mr. Mubarak appeared to concentrate on promoting his son and heir-apparent, Gamal, an economist and regarded as the No. 2 figure in Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party. In at least one private meeting,


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.