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Israeli Embassy In Cairo Stormed, Lack Of Apology For Killing Egyptian Soldiers Part Of Reason For Action

September 10, 2011

This will shake some up.

Egypt has declared a state of alert after protests on the streets of Cairo, following the storming of the Israeli embassy on Friday night.

Security forces fired tear gas and drove armoured vehicles at protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs. Three people died, officials said.

The protesters broke into the embassy building, entering consular offices and throwing out documents, officials said.

Israel flew its ambassador and nearly all its diplomats back home.

Egypt’s governing military council is meeting later on Saturday to discuss the situation.

The health ministry said that one of the three people who died had suffered a heart attack. More than 1,000 were injured.

Hundreds of protesters remained near the embassy until after dawn, burning tyres in the street and chanting slogans against Egypt’s military rulers.

Riot police were on the streets and live gunshots were heard, says the BBC’s Bethany Bell in Cairo, while the air was thick with tear gas.

A short back story leading up to this action today.

A pair of episodes last month along the Egypt-Israel border — a terrorist attack on Israeli civilians apparently involving movements across the frontier, and the accidental Israeli shooting of three Egyptian soldiers inside their territory during the military response — brought the allies to the brink of a crisis.

Egypt threatened to withdraw its ambassador unless Israel apologized and initiated a joint investigation; Israel announced plans for such an investigation and expressed regret for the deaths but has not apologized.

Since then many Egyptians have clamored for Egypt to expel Israel’s ambassador as a reprimand. When word reached the crowds outside the Israeli Embassy in the early hours of Saturday morning that Israel was evacuating its ambassador, some reacted with satisfaction that the attack on the embassy had succeeded.

10 Comments
  1. September 13, 2011 12:45 AM

    Quickly before bed I comment…..

    There are those elements that want no peace and use bombs at the most inopportune time to botch peace efforts. That has been done for decades. You will note that over and over the leaders of the US, and other major players, will urge Israel to step up and not resort to vengeance and strike the deal, in spite of those elements who seek no peace.

    One cannot have a people ousted from their land and living in the most squalid conditions. (I think the stat is still correct that more live on one acre in Gaza than anywhere else in the world) and not harbor great resentments. The fact that young people today in the occupied lands talk of the lands as if they had actually once lived there as free people (due to the stories of their elders) speaks volumes about the need for a real peace plan for the region. I have always said play to the moderates (in foreign policy,) knowing that there is a growing resentment each generation that passes without a peace plan. Isreal rejects that notion, as Israel know all.

    Denying the realities of the life for those left out has been done for decades, and the results make headlines almost every week.

    To the gay issue.

    I am never pleased when people are denied freedoms and rights. While I expect and will not settle for anything less in America based on our 200 plus years of being a nation and how our legal system has evolved, I am fully cognizant that nations and people advance at their own speed. I am not rationalizing away the anti-gay mindset of others but also understand that their attitudes about environmental law or gay rights is guided and shaped by education, and involvement with larger world communities. Look at the lack of ability in all these nations to start new political parties or think outside the box without being thrown in one.

    Many years ago (1990?)I dated a guy from the UAE and he came from a family of money. The fact he was here at the UW-Madison and had a nice car probably underscores that fact. He and I talked often about his world that I so much wanted to see. Over and over he told me that the lack of education among the larger populations in many areas of the Middle East would upset me. Nothing will change until eyes are lifted to higher ideals that are created from fuller educations. That takes time, and only in a free nation where dictators are not stamping away rights and making for rigidity will that happen. That too often we have not supported the leaders that would shape a better choice for the people is something that we have to deal with. Cheap oil and fear of the Soviet Union is not a way to shape a meaningful foreign policy…can we agree on that at least?

    I do think that one person’s freedom-fighter is another person’s terrorist. That is true today, and it was true when the Zionists created Israel. The Jews were not just invited in while others gave up their olive groves and smiled as they were sent packing. There was a lot of bloodshed and death that was unleashed to form Israel. There is some great late night philosophical musings probably taking place in some college dorm where students tonight are discussing the ethics and morality of the line that started this paragraph.

    While I do not countenance violence, I do understand it in the context of fighting not to allow Israel to bulldoze one’s home, turn off water, cut olive trees, or barricade roads.

    Finally for decades there were many ethically-diverse people who were held under the thumb of communism under the godless rulers of the U.S.S.R.. Those held under the hammer were not ignorant, but just not free.

    We have watched as it has taken time, and some messy problems in a few cases, for these various nations to be carved out, and undertake the creation of government, grapple with media and free press issues, civil rights, and international relations. The process is not nearly complete. (Is it ever complete? No.)

    I welcome the same chaotic and jumbled creation process for the emerging new faces and ideas for the Middle East. I also might add that the broad middle class of Egypt is not radical, and you are likely to be impressed in the years to come with the outcome there.

    BTW, Islam is not the problem.

    If it were Turkey would not be the role model that many use in hope of inspiring others in the region to emulate it.

    Now I need to read a bit and get some sleep.

  2. Patrick permalink
    September 13, 2011 12:02 AM

    It is because the palestinians and other lost muslims have not had leaders who have their best interest at heart that there can be no real peace. Everytime a deal is close a bomb goes off in Tel Aviv or there is some other terrorist attack or someone demands the nature of the deal change. This is not the fault of Israel. Were they to offer 110% of what the thug pupet masters of the palestinians wanted, there would still be no deal because those pupet masters need Israel to be the boogey-man and fall guy for all their errors and sick failings. This is not the fault of Israel, just their circumstance. I’ll certainly concede that Israelis committed acts of terrorism during the foundation of their nation–a nation granted by the U.N. after the death camps of WWII. But that was decades ago, decades and decades. But we could match atrocity for atrocity all night.

    But I do not hinge my defense of Israel on the settlement issue. As I said before, I hang it on the basic human rights which one is far more likely to receive in Israel than in any Islamic country. You are the one who seems to have conflicting moral imperatives here: your ardent support of gay rights (which you so often describe as the right side of history) versus your fixed conviction that a nation which holds true democratic elections, features a critical free press, and extends worldly and progressive rights and recognitions to its citizens and all who would live peacefully within its borders is somehow eternally guilty. When is it right to fire rockets at civilians–even if that is all you have?

    So too much of the Islamic world is controlled by medieval warlords, what does that matter? Is this an unfair characterization of the Islamic rulers who surround Israel? Do they not use Islam as an instrument of control? What have I said that is bigoted? Is every criticism bigotry? When we attack and criticize the Catholic Church in the wake of the priest abuses is that also bigotry? Please explain!

  3. September 12, 2011 9:04 PM

    “Yet you never cease your attacks on a country like Israel because they have committed some “excesses” in their defense of freedom.”.

    I am not sure where to start!

    Do you think the settlement issue is just some excess that folks should shrug their shoulders and forget? The list could go one and one in this regard. You are not connected to reality here if this is what you are pinning your reasoning on.

    You might have noticed that most Islamic nations have had leaders that have not had the best interests of their people at heart….and America has too often been fine with that. There are reasons people throw stones and launch rockets when they have them to use. You would too, and therein lies the truth we can not escape. That is not based on Islam, but the human nature of not wanting to be walked on!!

    If you think it is easy for me to defend the right of Palestine or such, I can say it is easy for you to also defend the excesses of Isreal. Neither of us live there, but I would hope our sense of history and right and wrong would guide our larger views.

    What Isreal did to create their nation was also savage…or have you forgotten?

    Do not lower yourself to Islamic bigotry. You are better, and I suggest far smarter than that.

    Really.

  4. Patrick permalink
    September 12, 2011 8:52 PM

    I’m sure the ignorant Egyptian street is angry at at what they consider to be “ignorant Americans.” I’m sure they throw stones burn things when they think of how ignorant people like me are. Of course they would. What other response would anyone expect? But you should mark that their hatred is ever more directed at homosexuals and lesbians that it is at straight men like myself. Yet you never cease your attacks on a country like Israel because they have committed some “excesses” in their defense of freedom. Meanwhile, how many Matthew Shepards in the “savage islamic world” go unnoticed here on CP while you worry about the status of gay marriage in North Carolina? What an innocent world view.

    My sense is that perhaps you never comment about the sickening lack of basic human rights in the Islamic world because you sense that they will never change, will never accept the basic rights of human beings, will never engage in the sometimes painful but necessary debates which we must have to achieve the promise of real freedom and equality in America. You never speak about it and thus don’t seem to care. Meanwhile, because you fear confrontation you demand that Israel likewise capitulate to avoid conflict with barbarians who never cared about the Palestinians or about land for peace, only the elimination of Israel. People who willingly blame every failure of economics or politics on everyone but themselves need never present their own bold inniative for peace and could never have missed an opportunity in your world view. Your ability to suspend judgement of Islamic culture, not in all its iterations, but as it is in the angry streets of Cairo is a low and false morality.

    In my mind, the Islamic world is–if not by definition savage–at least low and debased until each country recognizes the equality of women, its gay citizens, and the right of each person to practice his or her religion in peace. If there is a place more likely to deny these basic ideals than a muslim, islamic country, I’d be shocked. Israel is so much closer to the ideal than its neighbors in every important respect. But keep that picture of the dudes waiving the palestinian flag and maybe they will have their own state but it would never be one where you and your partner could live an open and happy life. Imagine what they would do if they found you?

  5. CommonCents permalink
    September 11, 2011 9:59 PM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Egypt
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Israel

    Please read. Need I say more?

  6. September 11, 2011 5:14 PM

    You thought those who were angry in Egypt displayed “islamic savagery”?

    Really?

    That they are part of an “ignorant part of a failed civilization”?

    Really?

    Might part of the anger from the Arab Street be correctly aimed at (using your word) “ignorant” Americans?

  7. Patrick permalink
    September 11, 2011 2:53 PM

    The reason the egyptians feel angry that their soldiers were killed in Israel is because they are an ignorant part of a failed civilization. Their government is as bad or worse than ever. Their culture is secerely polluted by religious fanatics. They are brutally repressive towards minorities–especally homosexuals, but you think Israel should–to use your words–bend over and grab the soap (strangely homophobic smear, by the way). Certainly, on this day we can recognize the right of a country to defend itself from islamic savagery.

  8. CommonCents permalink
    September 11, 2011 8:38 AM

    Let’s also remember the innocent victims of terrorism against Israel:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_southern_Israel_attacks
    http://www.adl.org/Israel/israel_attacks.asp

    Is this excessive behavior by terrorists who attack innocent civilians what you really want to defend by constantly attacking Israel for reacting to terrorist attacks?

  9. September 10, 2011 10:33 PM

    Patrick,

    Israel searches for legitimacy for its excessive behavior through legal mechanisms. And let us read again the latest report together and see that is exactly what happened. Legal but excessive was the conclusion. Given that Israel could not work with leaders like Mubarak, or others in the Middle East, (King of Jordon) it now will be harder for them to make policy on their terms. Might I add that it was a serious blunder for Israel to make such a mess with Turkey. You may know that Turkey has stated it will not resume full relations until Israel gives apology for the deaths in the raid. Many think as I have stated that Israel has waited too long to make a real peace deal, and the players in the Middle East are changing, and the new landscape will be less willing to bend over and pick up the soap. There is no doubt about the words we all have heard and read in the past years about why Israel was playing fast and loose with the time they had to make peace. Now the future is here. Egyptians have joined forces to convey a clear message to Israel that its brutality won’t go unpunished in the future. I know it is easy to be here in America and not react or feel about things on the other side of the globe. But this story has interested me and one thing we both can agree on tonight is that the seriousness of the event that killed the Egyptians or the anger of the Egyptian people as a result of the deaths is for real. Question is how will Israel respond to their actions that resulted in the deaths? Clearly what they have done up to now is not working.

    As for our policy with Israel I am quiet honest about not wanting the tail to wag the dog. That is just wrong on every level. I liked how Bush Sr. handled the bastard in charge, and I like how Obama is playing ball too. You might know that many years ago when Bush said that East Jerusalem was occupied territory I applauded. The older Bush was always wiser than his son. By miles.

    And to bring this all-too long comment back to the starting point let us not forget the Bush, Sr also tangled with the ones in Israel that wanted no investigation of the Jerusalem incident in 1990 where Israeli police killed 17 Palestinians.

    Israel searches for legitimacy for its excessive behavior through legal mechanisms.

    Are these the ones you really want to defend?

  10. Patrick permalink
    September 10, 2011 9:58 PM

    Let’s see… Terrorists leave Egypt and attack Israeli civilians (but that is not your headline) and Egyptian soldiers who are doing….in Isreal are killed (and this is not your headline). The NYTimes article suggests that the Egyptians allowed the attack on the embassy, and it also notes the brutality of the eventual Egyptian response. Still, this is about the lack of some apology, not about the degenerate Egyptian society.

    So much for the arab spring, but at least one can still take an opportunity to smear Isreal.

    Meanwhile, a UN comission clears Isreal for its actions during the flotilla incedent.

    And in another post you wonder why jews are leaving Obama. Really?

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