The Egyptian Rage Towards Israel – Violence and Hate

Ever since the walls of fear have been shattered inEgypt, a lot of Egyptians found themselves with the sudden courage and the ability to say and do what once they were not able to. Some of it was directed towards the government, some of it is still directed towards the Military Council that is their regime today and others have finally managed to release their rage towards Israel.

In the months that have pasted since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, more and more Egyptians gather to protest… not against their still deteriorating condition, not against the unemployment, not against the lack of free election on the horizon, not even against the lack of tourism since the revolution. No, they are directed rage filled with enormous amounts of hate towards Israel. As all hate goes, this too is irrational. If protestors took pride in the none-violence of the coup, their demonstrations against Israel is the complete opposite. For months now they’ve been burning flags, shouting blasphemous curses, blocking the Israeli Embassy and calling to end the ties with Israel, to Shred the peace treaty and have even gone as far as to threaten the Ambassador (Haim Levanon).Israel’s envoy sent their families home, security has been tightened and there were periods of time where they were not able to leave their homes and go to the Embassy. This, with the added constant threats to the lives and welfare of the delegation, is by definition pure violence and terror.

This has of course escalated over the past week. Ever since the terror attack that originated in Egypt, from its’ soil, and managed to come to fruition, in part, because of Egypt’s inability to stop the incredible growth of terror cells in the Sinai Peninsula, the results of casualties on the Egyptian side have been automatically put on Israel. It’s easy. It’s always done. Just last year when a shark attacked a tourist in El Arish, the Egyptian street was quick to blame the Israeli Mossad for that. A rational explanation for this, as usual, could not be found.

Burning of an Israeli flag, one of many, in Egypt
Burning of Israeli flag, an almost tradition and hobby in Egypt, last week in front of the Israeli Embassy.
Photograph By: AP News Agency

While completely ignoring huge chunks of the truth, and of other incidents (for example, on Wednesday a rocket fired at Israel landed in the Rafah crossing, on the Egyptian side. It hit close to a house and woman was lightly injured. No one walked out on the streets of Egypt because of that), the Egyptians are letting loose of all their inhibitions, in any way possible.

This week they are calling for a million people demonstration. It’s goal: Not democracy, not peace, not dialogue. It’s hate, violence and incitement. It’s bloodshed. It’s a demand to break a peace treaty for the option of war.

The facts as they come more into the light

The following were published yesterday, Wednesday August 24th, in an Egyptian newspapers, Al Masri Al Yom. Usually, I’d avoid talking about supposed leaks and what newspaper write, its’ not always 100 percent accurate. However, since this was on an Egyptian newspaper, it seems worth noting.

Three to five of the terrorists who committed the terror attack against Israel last Thursday were Egyptian citizens. The other (estimated at 15) were terrorists from Gaza. The newspaper refrained from publishing their names, but referred to one of them by his initials – MAA (I hope i managed to figure out what the initial could be translated to) – was named in the article as the head of terror cells in Sinai. Another man, only referred to by his initials – KA – is a fugitive who broke out of Egyptian prison during the revolution. He was imprisoned for terror and jihad activities. According to the article, he was the owner of a weapon and ammunition factory discovered by the Egyptian security forces last month. Together with Bedouins, citizens of Egypt, and members of the Popular Resistance Committee they were in Sinai for weeks, planning the attack.

According to the article, Israel’s military inquiry have presented evidence to the Egyptian government and military to show that if in fact Egyptian soldiers were killed by Israeli fire, it was no deliberately. Radio messages of General Tal Russo, commander of the south fronts of Israel, giving direct orders to soldiers to refrain from shooting at Egyptian soldiers as well as video footage taken by the helicopters in the air  clearly show Israeli soldiers diverting fire from the Egyptian soldiers and jeeps towards open areas and how the terrorists show at both the soldiers and the helicopter. According to the article, it wasn’t until later, at dawn, when Egyptian soldiers first tried to act against the terrorists. At that point, they were caught in the cross-fire. According to the IDF inquiry, they were most likely killed by fire from the helicopter. Two soldiers and an officer were killed by a terrorists who activated his explosive belt and from explosives planted by the terrorists, in the hopes of killing Israeli soldiers on the Egyptian side (in anticipation that they will cross the border and step on them). The joint inquiry between the armies has yet to begin.

In addition, Israeli military inquiry revealed that though it was first believed Staff Sargeant Moshe Naftali, the first non-civilian casaulty of the terror attack, died from the terrorists’ fire, he was actually killed by “friendly fire” during the exchange of gunfire between various  squads and the terrorists.

An existence of hate and distortion

Even under the regime of Hosni Mubarak and even after 30 years of peace, the Egyptians have mostly never left the hatred. The fact that Israel gave them back all of the Sinai Peninsula (except for the Gaza Strip, which Egypt did not want back), more than twice the size of Israel, in exchange for that peace never seemed important. Never mind all the years of stability, the grant they got from the peace which they used to build a railway system with, or the connection it made with the West, that at the end enabled their revolution more than anything. In fact, Israel has won the entire Sinai Peninsula twice throughout history in wars started by Egypt – in 1956, when at the end of the war it gave the Peninsula back to Egypt and warned it that should it ever close the Straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels again it would be considered a casus belli, and in 1967 when Egypt in fact closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli vessels. This time Israel agreed to give back thePeninsulain exchange for peace. The 30 some years that have passed since the peace treaty in 1979, ended the wars and bloodshed with Israel.

But Hosni Mubarak was always going to be remembered as the great commander who humiliated the Israeli army in 1973. Though putting Egypt’s interests at heart and keeping the peace treaty and cooperation with Israel more than alive, Hosni Mubarak never took the time or had the intention to root the hatred towards Israel. In fact, while completely ignoring their own part in what has become to be known as the Nakba (Palestinian’s disaster)  and the fact that Egypt is responsible for the refugee camp on its’ border only being the confined Gaza Strip, even with the growth of population, Egypt has never stopped teaching hatred and distortion of lies. About how there is no Israel its’ all Palestine. About ludicrous excuses regarding “stolen land.” And so on. All the while completely ignoring their own part, their own responsibility for the situations the Palestinian people have been in for over 60 years, among them are:

  1. keeping them in refugee camps
  2. never giving them Egyptian citizenship though they lived on Egyptian soil for over 30 years
  3. the refusal to take responsibility for the Palestinians and the Gaza Strip during the peace treaty though it was a part of Egypt before 1967
  4. and many more

For a people that just overthrew an oppressing regime, they are surprisingly blind towards the lives of Gazans under the extreme Islamic movement Hamas who inflicts that on them. For a nation who just fought to have the chance to assembly, for free speech and free journalism that can also be critical of the government, they are astonishingly shutting their eyes towards the lack of these rights for the Palestinians under their current regimes. They’re allowed to protest and demonstrate… against Israel and its’ allies only. Just to have an example thrown in – Baha Bukhari drew a cartoon displaying Hamas as the only voice allowed. Hamas did not like this and today he is a fugitive and a wanted man inGaza.

The truth remains that in the Arab and Muslim world, though it may be divided sometimes and filled with interests and wars between Sunni and Shiite, one things will always stand strong among them, no matter what the truth or the reality is – the blind passionate hate towards Israel.

The million men protest and the fearful leadership

Whether or not a million people would fill the streets ofCairotomorrow and demand the end of ties with Israel remains to be seen. A demonstration, a violence one filled with incitement and hate, will surely take place, no doubt. And the current government of Egypt is acting out of fear. In today’s reality, what the street has to say, no matter how he says it, it more relevant. This is one of the reasons why Israel chose to not retaliate with full force and even sat back as rockets were fired for over 16 hours on Saturday and Sunday. The peace is mutual interest – no side has the will to truly break it. But when the a hero is the man who violently breaks into the Embassy only to take down the Israeli flag from it and burn it, a government that fears it will be the next Mubarak, is walking on eggshells. Maybe that means signs of democracy of on the horizon for Egypt, maybe its’ more like anarchy.

On May 15th, Egyptian security forces managed to stop all movement to the Sinai Peninsula in order to stop its’ citizens from trying to cross the border and provoke Israeli soldiers, like what happened in Lebanon and Syria on that day (the Nakba day – though originally referring to the Palestinian disaster of the betrayal by Arab states, it is used to incite against Israel more than anything). That night, when violent protestors broke on the streets ofCairo in front of the Israeli Embassy, more than a 100 people were injured by the Egyptian security forces trying to restore order instead of allow chaos and said anarchy.

So while it is able, it often chooses to be careful. Which is why we might once again see demonstration of the none-peaceful kind in front of the Israeli Embassy, and the security forces doing almost nothing to stop this civil disturbance. It’s easy for the demonstrators to follow their initial hatred towards Israel. It’s primal, it crosses generations, it’s the one certain thing they know in all this uncertainty. But easy isn’t always right. As i’ve said, they will unfortunately continue to ignore the terror against Israel, their contribution to the Palestinian’s situation and the extreme regimes who seek to oppress them under yet another Arab dictatorship.

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