September 9, 2011

‘Arab Spring’ Updates From AP: ‘Protesters’ Ransack Israeli Embassy in Egypt; Egyptians Have ‘Never’ Supported 1979 Treaty

APblurredTiltedThe folks involved in the storming of Israel’s embassy in Cairo are probably wondering what they have to do to become the press’s pet word for rampaging Muslims (the country is 90% Muslim, and it would be a very safe bet that heavily persecuted Coptic Christians aren’t involved): “militants.”

I guess breaking through the Israeli embassy’s security wall, ransacking offices, and dumping documents doesn’t get you there, at least not with Aya Batrawy of the Associated Press. The ransacking, as well as the vehicle burning which is also taking place (see this photo), don’t even get into AP’s headline (bolds are mine):

Egyptians break into Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo Friday and dumped documents out of the windows as hundreds more demonstrated outside, prompting the ambassador and his family to leave the country. The unrest was a further worsening of already deteriorating ties between Israel and post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt.

Egyptian police made no attempt to intervene during the day as crowds of hundreds tore down an embassy security wall with sledgehammers and their bare hands or after nightfall when about 30 protesters stormed into the Nile-side high-rise building where the embassy is located.

Just before midnight, the group of protesters reached a room on one of the embassy’s lower floors at the top of the building and began dumping Hebrew-language documents from the windows, said an Egyptian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli official confirmed the embassy had been broken into, saying it appeared the group reached a waiting room on the lower floor. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to release the information.

Israel’s ambassador, Yitzhak Levanon, his family and other embassy staff rushed to Cairo airport and left on a military plane for Israel, said airport officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Israeli officials refused to comment on the ambassador’s departure. No one answered the phone at the embassy late Friday.

No kidding?

Batrawy goes on to make an assertion that doesn’t pass the stench test, let alone the smell test:

Calls have grown in Egypt for ending the historic 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a pact that has never had the support of ordinary Egyptians.

Really? For 32 years? I don’t think so, Aya. I think you may be off by about 31 years and 10 months:

Poll: Majority of Egyptians support maintaining Israel peace
Survey by International Peace Institute published by the Wall Street Journal also shows most Egyptians do not support religious-extremist regime.

A poll conducted by The International Peace Institute published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday shows that a majority of Egyptians would like to see a continuation of the peace treaty with Israel.

“Maintaining and advancing peace with Israel has far wider appeal than a rupture in relations,” reads the report on the poll, citing 60 percent of those polled as supporting maintaining the peace treaty with Israel.

There are polls showing sentiments in both directions during the past several months. But Aya Batrawy believes, or wants readers to believe, that’s not the case.

Since we’re looking at a very long time period, this item from 1999 deserves to be in the mix (bolds are mine):

(Egyptian) Sociologist Saadeddin Ibrahim, who opposed the treaty, as well as El-Sadat’s policies, has changed his position 180 degrees. “I vehemently opposed the treaty then because we were told that we had a resounding victory in the 1973 War; so I could not understand why we should make concessions such as accepting the demilitarised zone in Sinai,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim conducted a series of public opinion surveys in Egypt and several Arab countries about the Arab-Israeli conflict. To his surprise, 63 percent of the 2,000 people who were sampled in Egypt opted for an alternative that was very similar to what Sadat did: to have a historical compromise with Israel, based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

Ibrahim initially refused to believe the outcome of the poll and repeated it with a new team of researchers and another sample. To his dismay, the outcome was almost identical to that of the first.

That drove home the point that what he stood for might not be a true reflection of public sentiments.

Given that yours truly was able in about five minutes to disprove Aya Batrawy’s absurd-on-its-face assertion that ordinary Egyptians have never supported the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, I think someone at AP needs answers to the following questions: Is Aya Batrawy taking sides? And if so, why is she working this story?

Cross-posted at


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