Nothing says “Middle East revolution” like attacking an embassy owned by one of the two Satans. This time the Little Satan was targeted. Next time, us?
Egyptian police made no attempt to intervene during the day as crowds of hundreds tore down an embassy security wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands or after nightfall when about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building where the embassy is located.
Just before midnight, the group of protesters reached a room on one of the embassy’s lower floors at the top of the building and began dumping Hebrew-language documents from the windows, said an Egyptian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media…
The group got into the building through a third-floor window and climbed the stairs to the embassy. They worked for hours to break through three doors to enter the embassy, said the 28-year-old man. They encountered three Israelis and beat one of them.
Several Egyptian military policemen appeared and escorted the Israelis to safety but did not attempt to arrest any of the protesters, who then set about dumping files out the windows, he said.
Embassy staff, including the Israeli ambassador and his family, have left for the airport to be evacuated by military plane. The Israeli foreign ministry’s opened an emergency situation room to deal with the crisis and Ehud Barak phoned Panetta to ask him to use U.S. leverage with Egypt to try to protect the embassy. Netanyahu spoke to Obama too, who promised him he’d do everything he can to resolve the situation — whatever that might mean. Funny coincidence: Earlier today a spokesman for Hamas suggested that the group might have to move its headquarters out of Damascus, which has become far too dangerous due to the protests and regime crackdown, to somewhere more accommodating. Somewhere like … Cairo. If you think Israeli/Egyptian relations are bad now, wait until the provocations really start rolling.
While the Egyptian military junta is busy stroking the local Islamists by looking the other way at an attack on Israeli diplomats, Turkey’s demagoging the UN’s recent report on the IDF’s flotilla raid to boost its own popularity in the region. First Erdogan said he’ll suspend defense ties with Israel until Netanyahu apologizes for the raid; now, in a bit of Nasserite pandering to the Israel-hating Arab Street, he’s vowing to send Turkish warships to escort the next flotilla to Gaza. Give him credit for being opportunistic: With Egypt in limbo, Syria being torn apart, and Iran suddenly nervous about losing its regional client regimes and possibly having to deal with another uprising, there’s a big fat power vacuum in the Middle East and Turkey’s going to try to fill it. Not so long ago that would have been good news — Turkey’s a NATO member, after all, and historically has been more secular than other Muslim states — but with Erdogan and the Islamists now in charge, who knows what those warships will do?
Long story short, if you enjoyed the Arab Spring, wait until you see what’s in store for the Arab Summer.