What is going on in Egypt was all foreseeable to those of us who did not harbor the romantic view of the Arab Spring, which in many places was just a venting of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel which had been suppressed by dictatorial rulers. Just ask Lara Logan, who was sexually abused in public as the crowd shouted “Jew” and “Israeli.”
In January, when protests broke out and Mubarak still was in power, I predicted a spiraling of the situation such that the Israelis might have no choice but to return to Sinai unless the transition were handled with care. The U.S. precipitously forced Mubarak out with no transition in place, and eight months later, things appear to be heading in the direction of military confrontation, we just don’t know if it is a matter of weeks, months or years away.
When over a million people packed Tahrir Square in February to chant “Onward to Jerusalem,” Obama still spoke of the Arab Spring in glowing terms and The NY Times whitewashed the event. Columnists at The Times fell in love with the “Arab Street,” while that street chanted “death to the Jews” outside a synagogue in Tunisia. When The Times finally woke up, it was too late.
Obama still is asleep as to the dangers, blaming the Arab Spring (incorrectly) for high oil prices while remaining largely silent as to the hostile intentions towards Israel.
Now crowds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have ransacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo as Egyptian troops stood by.
The “Arab Streets” in Egypt and elsewhere are itching for a war with Israel. Add to the Arab Street the Turkish Street, and there is a dangerous coming together of ego-maniacs like Turkish Prime Minister Ergodan who talks of military confrontation with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is no coincidence that the violence in Cairo comes just two days before Erdogan’s visit.
The 1979 Peace Treaty was a great achievement, one which is worth preserving. But the Egyptian Street, egged on by people like Erdogan, wants to throw it aside in favor of war. They might just get what they hope for.
As I predicted at the onset of the Arab Spring, we may yet see an Israeli return to Sinai, not out of choice, but out of necessity. None of this was unexpected, except apparently to the Obama administration and The NY Times.
Update: DEBKAFile provides this account of what happened when the Israeli Embassy was overrun:
… Egyptian security forces delayed for eight hours before tackling the mob smashing into the embassy building and rampaging inside – even after US Ambassador Anne Patterson interceded on behalf of the six Israel security officers barricaded in the embassy’s security room as the rabble battered on its steel door.
She acted to save their lives on direct orders from President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after Ambassador Yitzhak Levanon and 80 members of staff and families had been collected from their homes and lifted out of Egypt by two Israeli military planes.
The Egyptian authorities only tackled the mob when violent groups broke into police headquarters in the
upscale Giza district, stripped the gunroom and shared the weapons among themselves before returning to the street. Before that, the local police stood by and watched them sacking and burning the embassy without moving.
Scared of the rioters, the Egyptian commandos ordered to rescue the six Israelis under threat of lynch, discarded their uniforms and mingled with the crowd. When they reached the locked room, they were unable to open the steel
door. The head of Egyptian unit had to find the Israeli Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen, who was in urgent conference with Israel’s national leaders in the situation room, to obtain the code.
They then dressed the six Israelis like typical Egyptians and hustled them to safety past a throng of 40,000 howling for Israeli blood.
The situation in Egypt is much worse than our mainstream media is letting on.