Egyptians are pissed. After the IDF crossed the Egyptian border killing several Egyptian security forces the other day, Egyptians are demanding justice. They congregated outside the Israeli embassy by the thousands- something that would have been unheard of under Mubarak- and demanded that the Israeli Ambassador leave (he did). An Egyptian man, now being referred to on Twitter as #Flagman, climbed up the embassy walls (that in itself is an incredible feat) and replaced the Israeli flag with an Egyptian flag.
Several years ago I was in Cairo and I saw the Israeli embassy- from afar- because under Mubarak, no one could get near it, let alone hold a protest there.
Here’s a video of the removal of the flag:
Why does this matter? Because this is more evidence that when and if Egypt becomes anything resembling a true democracy, the leadership (and the military) will be accountable to the people and the people have made clear that Israel will no longer be able to do whatever they damn well please without consequence. You can be sure this is both Israel and the United States’ worst nightmare. It is why we really didn’t want Mubarak to fall.
What we see in that video is the logical consequence of decades of horrible U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the chickens are coming home to roost. Egypt will not abrogate the Israel-Egypt peace treaty because it’s not in their interest to do so. But they will demand an end to the Gaza blockade and they will demand justice for the death of the Egyptian soldiers. You can bet that over the coming days and weeks you will see the neoconservatives and the Israel Lobby, aided and abetted by the mainstream media, increase their fear-mongering about Egypt and the Arab Spring. We’ll hear a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists taking over. What you won’t hear a lot about is the fact that Egyptians are simply sick of being the doormat of the U.S. and Israel. I know quite a few Egyptians and they are a proud people- they are proud of their incredible history, their land and they want to once again be a driving force in the Middle East.