Saturday, September 10, 2011

When the many suffer the consequences of the few

Unless you have completely avoided any form of media outlet over the past 24 hours, you have probably heard what is happening in Cairo. Specifically, the dozens of protesters that stormed the Israeli Embassy (eventually swelling to their thousands), causing the evacuation of the Israeli ambassador and a handful of diplomats, and opening up a can of political worms that Egypt just might not be able to wiggle its way out of.

As per usual, there are many accounts for the causes behind what happened. They include: remnants of the former regime paying thugs to stir up violence and aggression in an already tense crowd (re-playing the popular sentiment during the revolution); frustrated protesters who, for the past few weeks have been demonstrating outside of the Israeli Embassy as a result of the attacks in Eilat, finally lost their patience and mob mentality took over; and finally, that forces outside of Egypt are stoking the Middle East fires in a political powerplay to throw the region into further chaos and potentially war. All of these theories include stories to back them up; all of them are lacking in that they do not address the underlying reason for why these attacks were allowed to happen in the first place.

AP News reports that "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."

Further reports indicate that at least 3 Israelis were trapped inside the Embassy while protesters were storming the building, causing Egyptian special forces to rush in to save them. CBC News reports that the protesters beat one of the Israeli's, but no corroborative reports could be found.

Israel has appointed its consul for state affairs to oversee the Embassy while Israel contemplates their next move. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has allegedly been speaking with Leon Panetta, U.S. Defence Secretary, on how they will address the growing tensions in the Middle East. U.S. President Barack Obama expressed "great concern" with the situation unfolding in Cairo, assuring the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. was acting "at all levels" to find a solution to the situation.

Ironically enough, peppered in with the media reports of Egyptians attacking the Israeli Embassy, I was pointed towards this report, from Al-Masri Al-Yawm. The report claims that Israel filed charges against a 24 year old man, David Macmill, who was arrested for stoning the Egyptian Consulate near Eilat, the location notorious for the recent incident involving Israel shooting at Egyptian police in response to an attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists.

The charges levied against Macmill include "a maximum of four years in jail on charges of "harming the flag or symbol of a friendly country" and "attempting to cause damage with malice", according to the indictment served at Beersheba Magistrate's Court."

Can anyone else spot the irony here? The paradox of the two situations?

Egyptian protesters were virtually unhindered in their attempts to break into the Israeli Embassy. Currently politicians are sitting back discussing what we hope will be a diplomatic solution to the problem. Police seem unable to regain control over their country. Does this indicate to the rest of the world that Egypt essentially has no government at the moment?

One man, acting alone, was arrested for throwing stones at the Egyptian Consulate. One man.

Do you think that these two Egyptian protesters, proudly displaying their seizure of documents from inside the Israeli Embassy will ever see the inside of a court room?

Source. AP image. 

At this point, only time will tell. The continued aggression against Israel's Embassy in Egypt will not be left unheeded much longer. What happens then is a guess for anyone to make. Will Egypt be slapped with international sanctions? Will foreign forces enter the country under the auspices of returning the country to a state of order? Will these protests continue unhindered until it really is too late and there is no turning back from a war in the Middle East as the Telegraph would have you believe? Because let's face it; the use of any weapons of mass destruction in this volatile region will spell disastrous affects for millions of people, forced to accept the consequences of the actions of a few testosterone and aggression fueled individuals.

Or will the Egyptian youth be able to regain their revolution, with their ideals, with the hand they are being forced to play.

It's a tense time in Egypt these days.

For more reading on this situation as it unfolds, check the following:

Egyptians break into Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Egypt on alert after Israel embassy stormed in Cairo

Full scale Middle-East war is 'imminent', warns Israeli general

Over 450 injured in Egypt clashes at Israeli Embassy

Israeli PM condemns embassy attack in Egypt

Israel condemns attack on Cairo Embassy 

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