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13 Hours in Cairo

Today on Tablet

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Over the weekend, Israel’s embassy in Cairo—symbol of its most precious and most precarious alliance—was stormed and ransacked by angry thousands. Six Israeli guards could have found themselves at the mob’s hands were it not for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desperate diplomacy, the U.S. ambassador’s persistence, a timely intervention by President Obama—and the doggedness of Israel’s ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon. Today in Tablet Magazine, in his first U.S. interview, Judith Miller talks to Levanon and learns firsthand the details of the most harrowing 13 hours of his life, including the embassy staff’s being spirited away on the same plane that took Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Israel, and Netanyahu’s pledge to a guard named Jonathan to call his family if he was killed.

The Ambassador Speaks

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Maryanne Stroud says:

Regarding the “angry thousands” who supposedly ransacked the Israeli embassy: maybe a fact-check would be in order. In fact about a half dozen young men got into an archive under the Israeli embassy that night. They did NOT get into the embassy. For the past 20+ years the location of the embassy has been extremely problematic. The Mubarak regime liked it near Cairo University to provide the students there with a protest focus other than the government and the Israeli government liked using the other residents of the building, who were extremely inconvenienced by the extreme security (imagine that a friend can’t come by for a cup of coffee without prior security clearance from a neighbour??!!) and the sense that they were being used as human shields. All of this could have been avoided by some consideration and moving the embassy to a less inconvenient place. It isn’t really a high traffic place after all.

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13 Hours in Cairo

Today on Tablet

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