Israel’s Only diplomat In Egypt Hiding In US Embassy In Cairo – OpEd


At some point, will it dawn on the Israelis that constructing walls is not the magic solution to all their security problems?

After Israel enraged many Egyptians by killing five border guards on August 18 (a sixth who was shot in the same incident died today), the Israeli government thought it would be prudent to install a 15-foot concrete barrier around its embassy in Cairo.

Bad move. As Issandr El Amrani noted:

The construction of a wall outside the embassy was almost a provocation to people to come and bring it down. The symbolism of a wall was not lost on any one and merely angered people.

After protesters stormed the embassy on Friday night, Egyptian authorities only moved in to protect the Israeli staff after the Obama administration interceded on Israel’s behalf. Even then, it took two hours before U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was able to speak to Supreme Military Council head Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

Haaretz reported:

“There’s no time to waste,” Panetta reportedly told Tantawi in the 1 A.M. call, warning of a tragic outcome that “would have very severe consequences.”

The U.S. source also said that Tantawi failed to answer incoming calls from U.S. officials throughout the evening, finally answering after more than two hours of attempts.

Nominally, Egypt is one of Israel’s only allies in the Middle East, but as Israelis are now acutely aware, there’s a big difference between an alliance with Hosni Mubarak and cordial relations with the Egyptian people.

Israel has now pulled out all its embassy staff and their families leaving behind just one diplomat, its deputy ambassador who has taken refuge at the US embassy.

The flight of the Israelis from Egypt comes just a few days before Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan is about to arrive in Cairo where he will address a meeting of Arab foreign ministers on Tuesday. Some reports say that he might travel from Cairo for a brief visit to Gaza.

Paul Woodward - War in Context

Paul Woodward describes himself by nature if not profession, as a bricoleur. A dictionary of obscure words defines a bricoleur as “someone who continually invents his own strategies for comprehending reality.” Woodward has at various times been an editor, designer, software knowledge architect, and Buddhist monk, while living in England, France, India, and for the last twenty years the United States. He currently lives frugally in the Southern Appalachians with his wife, Monica, two cats and a dog Woodward maintains the popular website/blog, War in Context (, which "from its inception, has been an effort to apply critical intelligence in an arena where political judgment has repeatedly been twisted by blind emotions. It presupposes that a world out of balance will inevitably be a world in conflict."

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