My reaction to the attack on the Israeli embassy was pretty straight forward: the refusal of SCAF to protect the embassy was unforgivable and a poor attempt to deflect the council’s own shortcomings, but the anger that fueled the attack was certainly provoked in part by the murder of five Egyptian police by Israel – a murder that was symptomatic of the hubristic Israeli foreign policy. Too often Israel acts with impunity. Now that Egypt and Turkey are turning away from Israel (and Palestine is moving away from negotiations) we must refuse to absolve Israel of all responsibility for the animosity thrown its way.
Andrew Exum joins the choir of those that agree:
The recent events in which Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo were shocking. The Egyptian government’s failure to protect the embassy of a government with whom it has full diplomatic relations was unforgivable. And, as the editorial points out, the way in which Arab regimes deflect attention away from their own problems toward Israel is both pathetic and habitual. But does it actually serve any useful purpose to pretend our Israeli friends are just passive by-standers to what is taking place in the Middle East? Sometimes, in their efforts to counter terrorism, Israel is its own worst enemy.
Israel kills nine Turks, refuses to apologize (even backing out of an agreement) and refuses to stop settlement construction on Palestinian land during negotiations, forcing Abbas to try an alternate strategy (the UN vote) and kills five Egyptian policemen, then acts as though the country is under siege because its neighbors are angry:
Without doubt, Islamist-ruled Turkey’s latest “punishment” of Israel will only add to most Israelis’ sense of growing siege and embattlement in a region increasingly driven by extremist Islamist fervor and hatred. Recent events in Egypt and along the Egypt-Israel border have only reinforced this feeling.
Of course, many Israelis will feel as though the region is slowly shifting against them – because it is. But this regional evolution is not due to the rise of political Islam or some latent, inherent hatred of Israel. Each of these events that collectively are pushing Israelis towards a sense of isolation were completely avoidable by a smarter foreign policy. As Exum says, Israel is its own worst enemy.
Photo from The Last Refuge