Anti-Israeli Rage in Egypt – by Stephen Lendman
On August 18, Israel aggressively entered Sinai, killing five Egyptian security force members and injuring seven others.
At issue was allegedly looking for unnamed attackers held responsible for eight same day Israeli deaths.
Filing an official protest, Egypt demanded an “urgent investigation,” explaining reasons and circumstances surrounding the incident. Withdrawing its ambassador from Tel Aviv also was threatened.
Refusing to apologize, Israel claimed militants responsible for killing Israelis came from Gaza through Sinai. No corroborating evidence was cited because there is none.
Israel lied about what has all the earmarks of another false flag to divert public attention from more pressing issues, including unmet social justice demands!
Egypt began its own inquiry.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed the victim, saying the incident “reflects the weakening of Egypt’s hold in the Sinai and the broadening of activities by terror elements.”
Egyptian officials responded angrily. Sinai governor Khaled Fouda rejected Barak’s comments, saying:
“We refute such statements and have increased security patrolling and checkpoints in Sinai.”
The incident also sparked public anger, noticeably in Cairo where protests rallied outside Israel’s embassy and continue. They denounced the attack, demanding authorities expel Israel’s ambassador, and end its 1979 peace treaty, following the 1978 Camp David Accords.
To diffuse tensions, Egypt walled off Israel’s embassy in recent days. It didn’t help. Protesters sprayed the two and a half meter high barrier with comments like:
“The people want the fall of the wall.”
Protests grew louder and angrier. On September 4, an unidentified man told Egyptian radio:
“Why would we protect a state that is killing our people? This is wrong, unfair and irritating.”
Visceral street anger expressed the same sentiment. On September 9, it erupted. New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Heba Afify headlined, “Protest of Thousands in Cairo Turns Violent,” saying:
Demonstrators Friday in Tahrir Square turned violent when “thousands….tore down a protective wall around the Israeli Embassy, while others defaced the headquarters of the Egyptian Interior Ministry,” expressing anger over lack of social justice progress and military junta repression.
Egypt’s state news agency said hundreds were injured and numerous arrests made. In fact, since Mubarak’s February ouster, thousands have been terrorized, tried in military tribunals, and imprisoned.
On Friday, protesters “scaled the walls of the Israeli Embassy,” removing Israel’s flag for the second time in less than a month. The earlier incident replaced it with an Egyptian one.
Using wooden poles and hammers, they tore down the restraining wall while chanting, singing and carrying Egyptian flags. They also broke into offices, tossed documents out windows, and allegedly attacked an employee inside.
Egyptian soldiers and security police finally stopped them, but by 3:00AM Saturday, thousands still battled security forces in streets. “Demonstrators threw rocks and gasoline bombs at the officers, sometimes forcing them to retreat, and the police fired back with tear gas.”
In response, Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, his family, and most embassy staff were flown out of the country for their safety.
Haaretz said an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats and their families.
Later reports said three protesters were killed.
Press TV reported that Egypt’s Information Minister Osama Heikal said Cairo will enforce “all articles of the emergency law to ensure safety.”
Egyptian political analyst Nabil Abdel Fattah said:
“This action shows the state of anger and frustration the young Egyptian revolutionaries feel against Israel, especially after the recent Israeli attacks on the Egyptian borders that led to the killing of Egyptian soldiers.”
Haaretz said an unnamed senior Israeli official denounced the overnight attack, calling it a “grave violation” of diplomatic norms and a “blow to peaceful relations” between both countries.
Netanyahu said Israel won’t compromise its peace treaty with Egypt, adding that regional turmoil shows he’s right to insist on security assurances in any future peace deal.
He also bogusly linked events in Cairo to stalled Middle East peace negotiations, pointing fingers away from who deserves blame. Instead, he insisted Israel must “defend its interests in the region.”
Left unsaid always is its belligerent way of doing it, making enemies, not allies, especially on Arab streets.
On September 10, New York Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, “Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege,” saying:
“With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nation, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor.”
Context was entirely missing from his article, including:
— longstanding below-the-surface Arab street anger over years of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity, as well as 44 years of illegal military occupation;
— Israel’s premeditated May 31, 2010 murder of nine unarmed Turkish nationals aboard the Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship, bringing vital aid to besieged Gaza;
— Israel’s refusal ever to apologize for its most grievous crimes; and
— its collusion with Washington to block long overdue Palestinian statehood within 1967 borders (22% of historic Palestine), East Jerusalem as its capital, and full de jure UN membership.
Israel, in fact, is lucky Arab anger didn’t erupt sooner. So far, it’s on a low boil in Egypt, but it’s only a matter of time before it engulfs the entire region and beyond.
When it does, its Washington paymaster/partner will also be affected, and well it should for much greater cause than just supporting Israel.
Keep that in mind on 9/11’s tenth anniversary. Honor the millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Somalis, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Palestinians, and other global victims of US lawlessness, in partnership with NATO allies and Israel.
Think of them in the aftermath of the duplicitous 9/11 weekend commemorations, especially on what passes for US television.
Understand 9/11 truth, and condemn the criminal class in Washington, complicit Western capitals, and Israel for partnering in a global state terror war for the spoils of imperial triumphs.
Then get mad enough to do something about it!
Anti-Military Protests Across Egypt
Besides anti-Israeli anger, rage against Egypt’s military junta erupted again in cities across Egypt, including a new wave of strikes for better pay and working conditions among other grievances.
Despite Egyptian security forces occupying Tahrir’s central island since August 1, thousands massed in the square. Another demonstration started on Cairo University’s Giza campus.
Protesters also rallied in Cairo’s Shubra neighborhood, carrying banners saying:
“A minimum wage for those who live in cemeteries,” and “A maximum wage for those who live in palaces.”
Farmers joined in as well, marching past Dokki’s agriculture ministry on the Nile’s Western bank, directly across from downtown Cairo in Giza.
In addition, protesters denounced repressive mass arrests and military trials, calling for “purging the judiciary of all of Mubarak’s supporters.”
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling junta, was also condemned, including by protesters chanting “A word in your ear, marshal. The revolution in Tahrir,” and “Tantawi is Mubarack.”
Alexandria demonstrators demanded all members Egypt’s military junta be put on trial, saying “Everything is the same even after the revolution.”
Earlier strikes paralyzed the country. Since Ramadan ended in late August, they erupted again. Workers demand social justice, including better pay and benefits, ending corruption, and Mubarak-era officials purged from top posts in factories and institutions.
Egypt’s state-owned Al-Ahram said striking postal workers reflect “wider disillusionment of many public sector employees with the lack of progress” under the ruling junta.
Other strikes and industrial actions targeted the High Dam Electrical and Industrial Company, as well as auto, chemical, textile, and other workers demanding their rights.
In addition, law students protested against judicial system nepotism in front of Egypt’s Supreme Court, and Beheira Governate residents blocked a highway in Edku, protesting Egypt’s collaborating with Big Oil giant BP.
Beginning September 10, an open-ended textile workers strike was planned in Mahalla, home of Egypt’s largest textile factory. Besides their own grievances, they also want working conditions for all Egyptians improved.
At the 11th hour, negotiations with labor minister Ahmed Borai stopped it. An agreement was reached to accept monthly meal and other incentive increases. Discussions about other grievances were also delayed, pending a meeting of the Holding Company for Cotton, Spinning and Textiles.
At the same time, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet discussed the “deteriorating security situation,” issuing directives relating to new Satellite television state licenses, legal procedures reviewing those issued to stations with programming accused of inciting violence and protests.
In other words, airing views of street protestors and strikers, as well as others calling for democratic reforms won’t be tolerated.
Other directives related to halting and criminalizing politically and economically disrupting strikes, saying Sharaf won’t “negotiate with strikers over any demands until workers halt their workplace actions.”
Nonetheless, as evidenced by continuing street protests, Egyptians know ousting Mubarak changed nothing.
A previous article discussed an Arab spring yet to bloom, saying throughout the region, people want jobs, decent pay, better services, ending corruption and repression, as well as liberating democratic change in a part of the world where poverty, unemployment and despotism reflect daily life for tens of millions repressively.
Access it through the following link:
Another headlined, “Hold the Celebration: Egypt’s Struggle Just Began,” saying everything changed but stayed the same, calling it a common bait and switch scheme.
In this instance, a military junta replaced Mubarak, assuring no possibility of democracy and social justice without sustained heroic pressure forcing it.
Indeed, Egypt’s liberating struggle just began, as it has across the region in Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, other Gulf States, and elsewhere in the region – notably in Occupied Palestine, seeking statehood and full de jure UN membership later this month.
Its 11th hour draws near.
Virtually everywhere, moreover, the struggle for liberation never ends.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.