September 19, 2011
The Economist: Anti-Israeli Sentiment Surges in Egypt.
Israel has diplomatic relations with only three nearby countries. In the space of ten days its ambassadors have been humiliatingly forced out of two of them: Turkey and Egypt. The king of the third, Jordan’s Abdullah, commented without apparent displeasure that Israel was “scared”.
A week after the Turkish démarche, and linked to it in the eyes of many Israeli commentators, a Cairo mob attacked the Israeli embassy, housed on three floors of a high-rise building in the suburb of Giza. Policemen did little as demonstrators with hammers battered down a wall of concrete slabs put in place to protect the building.
Yet Egyptian attitudes to Israel are rarely simple. A bit of anti-Israeli theatre goes down well. But when incidents such as the embassy break-in become an international affair and foreign governments question Egypt’s ability to protect diplomats, whoever they may be, people become edgier.
All the same, anti-Israeli feeling is growing. Some political parties want to close the Suez Canal to the Israeli navy and to block the sale of natural gas to Israel. The new Freedom and Justice Party, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, says the 1979 treaty should be “revised”.
Posted by JD Hull at September 19, 2011 02:57 AM