As they return to Israel, according to a story in Yediot Achronot, diplomats and their families who escaped the siege against the Israeli embassy in Cairo last week are washing their dirty laundry in public concerning their displeasure with their treatment by the foreign ministry: “While the riots raged in Cairo, Jerusalem abandoned us.” They are claiming that they were ignored when they earlier warned about the possibility of a mass takeover of the embassy and that if they’d been listened to, they could’ve managed an orderly closing of the embassy instead of the dangerous military operation that eventually was necessary to extract them from Egypt. They also complain that the MFA treated them dismissively compared to how the Mossad treated its personnel in the embassy. Further, they claim the ambassador, during the rioting, tended only to his own needs and ignored those of his staff.
Some of the complaints sound petulant and petty. For example, there is carping that the Mossad personnel were met at the airport by individual limousines which took each to his or her home, while the diplomatic staff had to make due with a bus that waited for them. There is a bit of justice here: the diplomats were quite upset that they left Cairo with nothing but the clothes on their backs and that all their personal property remained in Cairo (which they never expected to see again). Do I hear echoes of the way Israel treated the Mavi Marmara passengers? All the embassy personnel were given to tide them over was a $100 check to buy basic necessities when they returned.
By the way, this is the first admission by any Israeli media that there were Mossad agents in the embassy during the takeover. In the blog post I wrote earlier, when I discussed the papers which were thrown out of the building by protesters, I imagined the possibility that in their haste personnel might’ve left secret intelligence materials unsecured. It would be interesting to know whether any secrets were compromised during the takeover.