69 thoughts on “Obama, Clinton Intervene to Protect Israeli Diplomatic Interests During Egyptian Riots – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Here’s the thing. Barak and Netanyahu asked Obama and Clinton and Pannetta to have the US protect the embassy but they were rebuffed. The only thing the administration did was to ask Egypt to protect the embassy. They’re not doing anything to Turkey either. I think they’re just letting Netanyahu stew in the diplomatic soup Israel has made for itself, whilst displaying arrogance and ingratitude to the US. Netanyahu is in a nasty box, now, without a friend in the world.

  2. Yet look at how Israel protects the Egyptian consulate in Eilat.

    “David Macmill, 24, faces maximum of four years in prison on charges of ‘harming flag of a friendly country’ after pelting Egyptian consulate in Eilat with stones”


    If the situation was reversed how much world condemnation would Israel be subjected to.

    “…..this indicates how much lower Israel’s stature has sunk in the region”

    A sorry state of affairs indeed,Israel’s self confidence is evidently shaken.

    “Egypt arrested four Israeli security guards, four crewmen on board Sea Pearl yacht near Straits of Tiran on Wednesday. Suspicion aroused after guards threw weapons overboard.”


    “This is yet another example of the abject failure of Obama’s Mideast policy. Like Aipac, he doesn’t recognize where the interests of the U.S. and Israel differ. I’d say he doesn’t deserve to win the next election if there were any candidate remotely appealing. But alas, there isn’t.”

    Too true!

    1. Israel has much more to gain from good relations with Egypt than Egypt has to gain from good relations with Israel. Diplomatic relations are not necessarily a 2 way street. When one country needs another country more than the latter needs it, that country (Israel) had better not provoke its neighbor as Israel has Egypt, Turkey, etc.

      1. I don’t think Egypt has less to gain from maintaining good relation with Israel. they get financial aid from the U.S and they sell natural gas to Israel. Israel needs a terror and smuggler free border, something Egypt never really tried to maintain even on better days. Egypt is not doing Israel a favor .there is a mutual interest.
        Still, current events could have prevented if Israel have shown more restraint.

        1. Egypt is not responsible for supporting a regime which oppresses Israeli citizens.

          Israel IS responsible for supporting a (military) regime which oppressed/s Egyptian citizens (together with the US, of course).

        2. they sell natural gas to Israel.

          A sweetheart deal signed by Mubarak at below market rates is a benefit for Egypt?? As for the $2 billion in aid, perhaps some wealthy Gulf States might come forward & replace that largess. No nation should be that dependent on U.S. aid because it can be withdrawn on a whim of a crazy Republican Congressional leader.

          Mutual interest my arse. There should be mutual interest. And if Israel resolved the I-P conflict there would certainly be mutual interest. But as of now, there is tremendous hostility within Egyptian society, not mutual interest.

          1. The gas deal goes far beyond a ‘sweetheart deal’. Tens of millions of dollars went straight to the Little Mubaraks – Jamaal and ‘Alaa.

            The gas was sold at so far below commercial rates that it was cheaper for Israel to give back the Sinai Peninsula and buy the gas from Egypt rather than exploiting the resources itself.

            This amounts, in effect, to Israel outsourcing its management of Sinai to save money. It could be argued that it effectively exercises sovereignty over an area of Egypt that is bigger than Palestine/Israel itself.

            Egypt is forbidden to militarise the Peninsula – the Egyptian junta recently had to ask Barak for permission to send military personnel there in the wake of the very interesting attack on Eilat – when Israeli heroes murdered five Egyptians.

            Israeli citizens are free to go to the Peninsula for holidays and yet Egyptian citizens – under Mubarak at least – needed permits to go there.

            These are just SOME of the reasons that Egypt’s relationship with the State of Israel is, to be kind, an absolute disgrace.

            And on that basis I would argue that Egypt should suspend all relations with Israel and start from scratch at working out a peace agreement. There is no sovereign state on the face of the earth that would accept the kind of humiliation that Egypt has had to swallow from Israel and the US.

            So, we should expect more Egyptian rage like this embassy attack in the future.

            Additionally, I would hope that Libya (of which I am a citizen also) could see its way clear, once a new government is established, to provide Egypt with the aid it needs from our massive wealth. Cairo should tell Washington precisely what it can do with its aid.

            The road to an equitable Middle East will be bumpy for the Israeli ego. I suggest that they go with the flow and come out the other side with a lot more friends.

          2. Omar
            you say the gas is sold below commercial rates, I say it sold at twice as much the price Jordan is getting. the gas deal was signed on 2005. Sinai is Egyptian since 1982 so it doesn’t make sense that it had anything to do with Israel returning Sinai. maybe Israel should cancel the agreement given that Egypt keep requesting to re-open it and the mob like methods they use such as blowing the gas pipe.
            as for reason that Egypt’s relationship with the State of Israel is, to be kind, an absolute disgrace i would add the television shows, the books and researches involved with the protocols of the elders of Zion, the Egyptian’s culture minister statement about burning Israeli books and Zionists plots and the general attitude for cultural normalization with Israel.

    2. Daniel,

      “Yet look at how Israel protects the Egyptian consulate in Eilat.”

      The Egyptians are not oppressing Israelis. Israelis however have been oppressing the Palestinians for decades now with no end in sight. How can you possibly think the two situations are even remotely similar?

      1. It is not, however, oppressing the Palestinians. There is a difference between the two peoples, after all, unless one subscribes to the pan-Arab belief of decades old. Does that mean Egyptians can’t be angry? Of course not. Does that give them the right to storm the consulate of another government and threaten the life and limb of the people inside of it? No.

        And to heed off any potential criticisms, I am against the storming of consulates/embassies/missions in general. If someone had done this to the Libyan, Syrian, Indian, Chinese, ect ect embassy, I’d be against it as well.

        1. Let’s just test that claim. Say Turkey massacres 9 Israelis in cold blood or Egypt invades the Negev & Yr govt doesn’t respond? What then? You’d prob be supporting an angry popular response even participating in protests.

          1. Actually, no, I wouldn’t; diplomatic protocol needs to be upheld. Despite the differences in the situations, I’d be against any ‘angry responses’ that involved destroying property of another sovereign nation within their embassy; I certainly wouldn’t participate in one. And going by some of the news reports, quite a few of the embassy staff was in bodily danger; no ‘angry response’ is justified in hurting them.

        2. It is hard to argue with your sentiments on diplomacy. However, “diplomacy” is more often than not used as a weapon to continue the decades old program of oppression in the Middle East caused by the Israelis and continued with American cover and financial support.

          Diplomacy in the ideal should be sacred, unfortunately the reality is that diplomacy in the 21st Century has turned into a tool of war.

          Where Benjamin do you propose for Egyptian citizens to express their anger with Israeli policies?

          If you keep hitting people in the face at some point they will hit back.

          1. I’m not exactly sure how the Israeli embassy staff and their families were ‘hitting’ the Egyptian people in the face. This isn’t to say that they had no reason to be angry, but where, exactly, does one send their anger at? Would the Chinese have been justified in assaulting the American embassy after their embassy in Belgrade was bombed? Ect ect.

          2. Benjamin says:
            September 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

            Benjamin, building a wall in Cairo is a slap in the face of the Egyptian dignity and building a wall in Palestine is a slap in the face of the human dignity. That ugly wall is your (Israeli) symbolic failure of decades of warmongering.

            Instead of building walls Israelis should have been building bridges. Anti-Israeli emotions are caused by Israeli policies. Duh. Enough with the belligerence already.

  3. Israel kills nine unarmed Turkish nationals on board the Mavi Marmara in international waters. Israel kills five Egyptian border police. Israel assassinates a Palestinian politician in a Dubai hotel using forged EU passports. And the terrible list of extra-judicial killings continues as Israel expands its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to house over 500,000 Israel citizens and evicts Palestinian families from East Jerusalem in defiance of UN resolutions and international condemnation.

    How many more lives are to be taken before the international community of democratic nations decides that these violations of human rights are so unacceptable that the US must stop using its veto in the UN Security Council and thereby colluding in and supporting the actions of one small state that will inevitably lead to regional, and possibly global, war?

    Are 300 million Americans asleep or are many of our elected representatives working for someone, or something, else?

    1. GDriver is a fine example as to why in spite of its many shortcomings Israel still manages to gain some respect and support from many important countries in the world.

      When its detractors speak in such “anti-hasbara 101” tones, the reception mode is automatically moved to silent mode and no one in any way mainstream will take notice of the message, and its sole listeners remain Palestinians and Mondoweiss.

      For example: “Israel assassinates a Palestinian politician in a Dubai hotel using forged EU passports”. has three mistakes in one sentence (no proof yet that it was Israel, he was never a polititian, and not all the passports were EU) the correct sentence, if one wishes to be taken seriously should be something like:
      “Israel allegedly assassinated a Hamas operative in a Dubai hotel who allegedly had kidnapped and killed an Israeli soldier and was allegedly brokering in arms, using forged western passports”
      (Hasbara would say “unknown assassins killed a Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel using forged passports”

      If we speak sensibly then others may actually listen, otherwise one would be justified in suspecting ulterior motives for the anti-Israel feeling (the big anti-S word)

      1. And also, who is the ” international community of democratic nations” that you expect to act? Is this some authoritative body of countries that you just invented? G8? G15? How does one become a member?

        And why exclude China Russia etc? Shouldn’t they have a say in world affairs?

      2. has three mistakes in one sentence

        Not true. Israel certainly assassinated al Mabouh. There is only one error in that statement (he wasn’t a politician) & that’s a far better rate of accuracy than many pro Israel commenters here. Unless of course you can bring definitive proof or even an explicit denial from any leading Israeli leader of complicity. There is no need to use the word ‘allegedly’ at all.

    2. Americans are asleep, dreaming of tough little Israel struggling heroically for its small place in the sun. G*d forbid anyone should wake them!

  4. Playing up the American role as protectors of Israel may be a “grave error” in terms of Middle East diplomacy, but its good in terms of Barack Obama’s re-election.

  5. Could this be the key why Bibi preferred to call?

    “Washington’s $2 billion in annual aid to Egypt will be cut off if Cairo backs out of the peace treaty with Israel, Congresswoman Kay Granger – whose job as chairwoman of the US House appropriations foreign operations subcommittee means she literally writes America’s annual foreign aid bill – told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.”

    Maybe Netanjahu expected the US to have more influence on the Egyptian interim-government?

    I totally agree to “Further, this indicates how much lower Israel’s stature has sunk in the region.”

  6. “Why Israel should not feel confident appealing directly to Egypt in this case, and instead turned to its evident protectors, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is beyond me.”

    Channel 2 in Israel reported that Tantawi refused to take a call from Barak during the incident. So apparently Israel did try to appeal directly to Egypt but those appeals fell on deaf ears. As for US interests, they’ve invested $2 billion a year in aid to Egypt since the peace treaty – why wouldn’t it make sense for them to call and ask for calm? I’m more than a little amazed at your attitude here.

  7. David N., considering I neither own the wall or am Israeli, I find your remark a bit… odd. However, a wall around an embassy isn’t anything out of the ordinary, and in this case, it might’ve been what saved their lives.

    I have no doubt that Israel’s actions don’t endear it to its neighbors, or the world; it is up to ordinary people on how they protest and/or show their anger. However, I tend to draw the line at destruction of property and threatening bodily harm on persons. That’s just me, though.

      1. David N,

        Most Israelis have a very similar approach to as Benjamin does. Israel just went through a very large wave of protests, culminating in a 400000 man demonstration. It all went peacefully – not a single person was arrested for violence. Besides, when was the last time you saw a mob of Israelis storm an embassy, ransacking it?

        1. When was the last time any Arab country killed Israelis and the Israeli gov’t sat back & did nothing about it, and didn’t even protest in words? If that were to happen you’d see embassies in T.A. ransacked regularly.

          1. That’s not an accurate description of what happened after the incident. The Egyptians did protest, Barak and Peres almost immediately apologized, and Israel agreed to a joint investigation.

          2. What’s not accurate? That Israel killed five Egyptian soldiers and invaded Egyptian territory in doing so? That’s not accurate?

            As for protesting, they mounted a feeble protest which led to one of Israel’s less bellicose ministers, NOT the prime minister, expressing regret. Israel at first refused a joint investigation. Later it agreed. This joint investigation will be as successful at getting to the bottom of what really happened as every IDF investigation of wrongdoing.

            Regardless of whatever you claim, Egyptians are pissed as hell & Bibi is remarkably tone deaf as he fiddles out of tune while Rome burns.

  8. “Israel must’ve been petrified that the assault and dumping of documents from embassy windows would expose secret intelligence files to public scrutiny. That’s the only reason I can think that Israel would go to the extraordinary length of calling on big brother to intercede on its behalf.”
    No, Richard, there were a number of Israeli embassy personnel inside – in danger of being lynched – who were eventually saved by the Egyptian commando. That is reason enough to be petrified, though from your wording one can only conclude that you support such assaults on embassies. At least Israeli embassies.
    And though this may be wishful thinking, Obama’s move could potentially serve as leverage over Bibi. Bibi personally thanked him in his speech last night, and this was heard loud and clear by the Israeli public. One can only hope that he’ll stop being so ungrateful.

    1. As Omar echoed above, this should be celebrated as an Egyptian success and perhaps something to be modeled. The Commandos averted an international incident on both sides (hopefully; for the embers are surely still glowing).

    2. one can only conclude that you support such assaults on embassies.

      No, I don’t support the assaults, but given Israeli rejectionism and intransigence I see them as almost inevitable.

      One can only hope that he’ll stop being so ungrateful.

      If this changes Bibi in any way I’ll eat my yarmulke. But I’ll join you in your hopes.

      1. The Jews have always been like a canary in a mine. When the canary dies, you know the whole thing is going to blow up.
        In this case, how long will it take till US embassy or the UK’s will be attacked ?
        Should it change Bibi ? No, the real danger here is to Egypt. Right now, the mob is the ruler of Egypt. The mob decide how to handle Foreign policy.
        This is pure anarchy, sadly another step down for Egypt.

        1. how long will it take till US embassy or the UK’s will be attacked ?

          The UK hasn’t occupied territory not its own for a number of decades so I doubt they’re in any trouble. The U.S. has had embassies assaulted. We do occupy the lands of other countries & might be subject to such assault.

          If you didn’t occupy, you wouldn’t be assaulted abroad.

          No, the mob doesn’t rule Egypt. Something which may turn into democracy rules Egypt. You don’t understand the difference bet. mobs & democracies because you don’t understand democracy, as is true of many Israelis.

          If you don’t like Egypt’s “anarchy” I’d strongly suggest you settle the conflict right now because it ain’t gonna get any less chaotic in the future.

          1. As always you turn to personal attacks in a place I cannot respond. Fine way to “make the world a better place”.
            Anyways, there are at least two errors in your last statement:
            1. It is not me who don’t like Egypt’s anarchy. It is bad for Egypt and for the Egyptians. The Anarchy is creating damage to Egypt.
            2. Settling “the conflict” has nothing to do with the chaos in Egypt. There is always going to be a bully who is going to hate me, just for being, whether I settle one conflict or another. In an atmosphere such as in Egypt, that bully is able to act.

            As for the UK, they have killed many Arabs in Iraq and Afghanistan last decade.

    3. “No, Richard, there were a number of Israeli embassy personnel inside – in danger of being lynched – who were eventually saved by the Egyptian commando”


      The protestors had plenty of time to surge past the foyer and into the building itself and……. they didn’t.

      How odd.

      I wonder what stopped them?
      Maybe they couldn’t find the key?

      Or maybe storming the foyer was the be-all and end-all of their intentions, and “lynching some Israelis” simply wasn’t on their to-do list.

      Sometimes a protest is just a protest, and maybe – juuuuuuust maybe – a protest against the Israeli govt isn’t proof that the crowd wants to start a pogrom against the Jews.

      1. maybe – juuuuuuust maybe – a protest against the Israeli govt isn’t proof that the crowd wants to start a pogrom against the Jews.

        No, really? You mean there are Arabs who don’t thirst for Jewish blood?

        1. No, it means the door of the safe room was made of thick steed that the hammers hammering on it, did not manage to crack it open.

          1. “No, it means the door of the safe room was made of thick steed that the hammers hammering on it, did not manage to crack it open.”

            OK, so you are saying that the protestors overran EVERYTHING but the rooms that lay beyond that steel door i.e. the only place they DIDN’T get to was the “safe room”.

            Of course, if that isn’t the case then your argument is nonsense.

            Which, of course, it is.

  9. The news coming from Israel is that the Israelis tried to get in direct contact with the Egyptian leadership to protest this violation of their embassy, and the Egyptians weren’t returning the call.

    That’s why the Israelis turned to the Americans, which seems like a pretty sensible thing to do……

    Regardless, I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on this “outrage”, since it appears that the Rowdy Crowd made not the slightest attempt to get past the foyer, and the “documents” they threw out of the building consisted of travel brochures and suchlike.

    Or, in short: the Egyptian protestors were trying to make a point, not start a pogrom, and there is simply no comparison between the Tehran hostage drama and this bit o’ street theatre.

  10. FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: “Protesters knocked down a 12-foot concrete wall that had been built last week to protect the [Israeli] embassy, which is near the top floor of a 21-story residential building in the upscale Dokki area [of Cairo].”

    MY COMMENT: In my opinion, Israel putting its embassy on the top floor of a 21-story residential building in Cairo is to a significant degree tantamount to using the residents of that building as human shields.

  11. [Comment deleted–DebkaFile is not a credible or legitimate source for the purposes of linking in this blog. Read the comment rules.]

    1. I apologise for direct linking to them, read the comment rules now and will try my best to avoid similar mistakes in future.
      Of course I totally agree that DebkaFile is not at all a credible or legitimate source.

      But once again, sorry.

  12. and what now debka? any plans for a new story?
    ” And although some Israelis pointed fingers at Islamicization as the cause of the violence, Egyptians noted Saturday that Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, distanced themselves from Friday’s protests and did not attend, while legions of secular-minded soccer fans were at the forefront of the embassy attacks.”

  13. Two thoughts:
    – Israel didn’t ask Egypt to help them get their people out. maybe they thought that there was no one to talk to given that in an event which involves a mob trying to break into an embassy the local law tries to stop it which they didn’t in this case.
    – I find it hard to believe that the Egyptians intention was to preform some sort of citizen’s arrest and the embassy security would have probably taken more Egyptian’s lives which means things could have escalated even more. is it so wrong that the U.S intervened?

  14. Israel “of course, threatens Iran with annihilation semi-regularly”.

    Can you provide any credible source for such a statement?

    1. I’ve linked here numerous times to Israel news stories in which ministers & generals says precisely these things. And they do so relatively regularly. I remember one particular statement made by Ephraim Sneh, I believe. Look it up here. The fact that you refuse to believe that Israel has said these things when anyone following the subject knows & has read them, indicates your level of naivete, unfortunately about what Israel really believes about Iran.

      You might also try this. And remember, if you don’t believe something I write it’s yr responsibility to do some research yrself to discover whether I’m wrong or right. Save us all time by doing some due diligence before challenging me to prove my claim. Believe me, I wouldn’t have made the claim if it weren’t true.

          1. Once again you turn to personal insults. Indeed this is how you “make the world a better place”.
            In your last comment you’ve just proved my point.
            Here is the first time you quote someone who say something resembling your claim and it is dated 2006 from someone who has not been part of the Israeli politics for the last 3 years.
            So one quote 5 years ago from a retired politician is hardly “semi-regularly”.
            As for your google search, you post a full page of videos, I looked at some from there and saw no relation to the claim. To clarify, I looked at part of them not all.

            As for your threat to ban me, I don’t really care.
            I never expected any better from an “democrat” such as you. Ban me if you like, it will be easy, to shut up anyone who does not bow to every word you say. But it will be harder to look in the mirror in the future.

          2. I offered you scores of pages of Google links to headlines of Israeli generals & politicians threatening precisely the mayhem I claimed they threatened. Not videos as you claim. If all you saw were videos then you didn’t review the links nearly well enough.

            When you do this to me by wasting my time I get very angry. But because you’re either a dunce or simply somone who doesn’t know how to follow a link I will give you a selection to choose from:

            Israeli Minister Threatens Iran
            Israeli Threatens Iran over Nuclear Program
            Israel Threatens Iran
            Israel Threatens Military Action Against Iran
            Israel Threatens Iran
            Israel threatens ‘military action’ if Iran refuses to stop nuclear programme

            Now I’m done with this & if you continue harping on this you’ll be moderated. There is not a single source as you claim, but rather scores, if not 100s. Go review them & then come back chastened w. yr tail bet yr legs. Or not, I could care less.

      1. As I thought. You have no source. You are a blithering lying fool, and your need to berate those who do not agree with your simpleton thought process proves the point. No need to to moderate my future comments. There won’t be any. Be gone with you!

        1. Are you a complete ass? I linked to my blog post which provides a link to the Haaretz (I believe) story in which Sneh, a deputy defense minister, is quoted threatening to blog Iran off the face of the map. And you claim this is “no source??” Is there something wrong with you? And you’re damn straight. You’re as banned as banned can be.

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