Saturday, September 10, 2011

Egypt's Protesters Destroying Peace with Israel

Egyptian protesters are squandering their newly found independence as they turn to violence instead of peacefully trying to build a free democracy. On Friday, protesters attacked the Israeli embassy, tearing down a concrete wall and looting the building.

Israeli quickly had to evacuate their personnel, except for the deputy ambassador.  According to reports, police did little to stop the rioting, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu credits the Egyptian authorities with assisting in the evacuation of Israeli citizens.  Netanyahu was quoted saying:

The fact that the Egyptian authorities acted with determination and rescued our people should be noted and we extend them our thanks.... However, Egypt must not ignore the severe injury to the fabric of peace with Israel and such a blatant violation of international norms.

The Egyptian street should be very careful to avoid turning their rage towards the Israeli government, while the Egyptian authorities should do everything in their power to quell such rioting and destructive behavior.  It is in everyone's interest to maintain a robust peace between the two neighboring states.  No one, save the fundamentalist Islamists, will benefit from renewed strife between Egypt and Israel.

While it is unlikely for the relationship to quickly terminate in the near future, this is the second major instance in a month where Egypt's new government has failed to prevent attacks directed at Israel.  This is a worrisome trend, demonstrating not only that the Egyptians do not fully control their territory but also putting unnecessary strain between two of the region's most powerful states.  Peace between Egypt and Israel is essential for continued stability in the Middle East.

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