Friday, September 09, 2011

Cairo Embassy Protests

Today a protest against the anti-democratic policies of Egypt's SCAF also encompassed the Israeli embassy:
"Organizers of Friday’s demonstrations had said they would call for a list of familiar liberal goals, like retribution against former President Hosni Mubarak and an end to military trials of civilians. But thousands of people marched off from the square to express their anger over disparate recent events, including a recent border incident with Israel and a brawl between soccer fans and the police at a recent match.

"Thousands of hardcore soccer fans — known here as ultras — were for the first time a conspicuous if not dominant force in the protests. They led the attacks on the Interior Ministry and the security building near the Israeli embassy. At the Interior Ministry, groups of political activists were seen attempting to form human barriers to protect the building, urging protesters to retreat to the square and chanting, 'peacefully, peacefully.'

"The Israeli embassy, which has been the site of several previous demonstrations after Israeli armed forces accidentally killed five Egyptian officers while chasing Palestinian militants near the border last month, was an early target on Friday. In response to almost daily protests since the border episode, the Egyptian authorities had built a concrete wall surrounding the embassy, and by early afternoon thousands of protesters — some equipped with hammers — were marching toward the building to try to tear down the wall."

The example of Turkey's forceful anti-Israeli diplomacy certainly increases popular frustration with the SCAF, but I'm wondering about the future. The big issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict right now is the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. What happens if violence develops in the Palestinian Territories during this period? Will this have any impact on domestic developments in Egypt in particular?

UPDATE: Steve Negus has a great post on these events.

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