Tens of thousands of Egyptians protest Israeli embassy; destroy flag and protective barrier

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Yesterday Egyptian protesters in the tens of thousands broke down the concrete barrier protecting the Israeli embassy in Cairo with hammers and their bare hands.  Egyptian activists were repulsed by the wall which reminded them of the apartheid wall in Palestine and felt doubly insulted that a wall was erected to protect Israelis inside of Egypt after Egyptians had just been killed in the weeks prior by the Israeli military.  Though embassy officials said no one made it into the actual embassy, Egyptian activist Gigi Ibrahim was interviewing people outside of the building that had indeed made it into the embassy. 

Many documents were taken and are being posted on the internet now, some can be seen here as well as other pictures from the events as they unfolded yesterday.  The Israeli ambassador, his family and staff fled back to Tel Aviv in a private jet and Obama and Netanyahu spoke immediately to voice mutual concern to each other.  The U.S. which closed it eyes to Operation Cast Lead and the flotilla massacre which resulted in the death of an American citizen had the audacity to remind Egypt of its responsibility under international law to protect the concrete building from activists.  When the missive came from Washington that Israeli property in Egypt is more important than Egyptian lives, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces responded by injuring close to a thousand activists and arresting a few hundred and promising to immediately try them in their draconian court military courts.

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Pictures via occupied Palestine

Egypt’s protesters break into Israeli embassy in Cairo and toss confidential documents
Dozens of protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo on Friday and dumped hundreds of documents out of the windows, Egyptian and Israeli officials said. Hundreds of protesters had been converging on the embassy throughout the afternoon and into the night, tearing down large sections of a security wall outside the 21-story building housing the embassy, according to The Associated Press. Protestors tossed thousands of pages of documents into the jubilant crowd, an AFP journalist saw.

Israel pulls envoy after embassy attack
Israeli diplomats evacuated from Cairo after Egyptian commandos reportedly rescued them as protesters stormed embassy.

Egypt cabinet calls emergency meeting after attack on Israeli embassy
Cairo raises national alertness level in wake of a mass protest outside Israel’s Cairo embassy, which resulted in protesters breaking into the building as well as the evacuation of dozens of Israelis.

Embassy attack a wake-up call for Israel, Marwan Bishara
Israel has clearly not grasped that Turkey and Egypt in 2011 are nothing like they were a decade or even a year ago.

Saudi (and Qatari) media and the storming of the Israeli occupation embassy, As’ad Abukhalil
Saudi and Qatari media were clearly taken aback with what happened in Cairo yesterday.  It was as if the Counter-Revolution was hit in the face.  The unexpected–for them and their fellow Zionist sponsors–happened.  It was supposed to be about Syria on Friday, and only about Syria.  AlJazeera ignored the story for hours, while Al-Arabiyya (the news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law) was reporting on its website that only “tens” of protesters were outside the embassy, and they showed a picture of an empty place with dispersed protesters.  I told an Egyptian protesters of the estimate of “tens” that was promoted in Saudi media, and she was indignant and she told me (after consulting with fellow protesters) that the number was close to 10,000.  Aljazeera and Al-Arabiyya later had to provide extensive live coverage, but Aljazeera’s chief correspondent in Cairo (who I never liked) was so blatantly hostile to the protesters and was clearly doing the propaganda work for the Military Council.  Lebanon’s MTV’s incompetent correspondent in Cairo wondered on the air what the protesters wanted when the “goals of the revolution have been achieved”–kid you not.  Egyptian regime TV was more amusing: it invited a few figures who have a long role of opposition to Israel in order to denounce the storming of the embassy.  And Egyptian liberals (how marginal liberals are in a time of revolution) were quick to reassure the White Man that they “too” are civilized.  As for the Arab cyber-street? It was on fire, almost literally. 

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