As long as the "masses" in Egypt and in the entire Arab world continue seeing the images of tyranny and violence from the occupied territories, Israel will not be accepted, even if it is acceptable to a few regimes. Gideon Levy writes in "Haaretz", Three or four days ago, Egypt was still in our hands. The army of pundits, including Israel's top expert on Egypt, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said that "everything is under control," that Cairo is NOT Tunis, and that Mubarak is strong. Ben-Eliezer said that he had spoken on the phone with a senior Egyptian official, and he assured me that "there's nothing to worry about". Now, you can count on Fuad and Hosni soon to become has-beens. On Friday night, everything changed. It turned out that the Israeli intelligence estimates, which were recited ad nauseum by the court analysts (read "court jesters"), were again, shall we say, not the epitome 0f accuracy. The people of Egypt had their say, and had the nerve NOT to fall in line with Israeli wishes. A moment before Mubarak's fate is sealed, the time has come for drawing the Israeli conclusions. What has happened is Not a plague of darkness in Egypt, but the light of the eternal Nile! As the ancient Romans used to say: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, translated as "Thus goes the glory of our world".
Israel has pulled its embassy staff out of Egypt, as the outpouring of public protest against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government shows no sign of remission. Helicopters evacuated the embassy staff to an Egyptian airbase on Friday, from where they were flown back to Tel Aviv. The evacuation came after a group of Egyptian demonstrators passed by the embassy building, according to the daily al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper. Reports also said that the Israeli ambassador himself has fled Egypt after the discovery by Egyptian security of a Mossad spy network in the capital Cairo. On Thursday, an Israeli minister, whose name was withheld, said Egyptian government forces will exercise force to rein in public protests as the country teeters on the brink of a Tunisia-style revolution. Egypt, which is widely regarded as the first Arab nation to seal a peace agreement with Israel three decades ago, remains one of Tel-Aviv's most important allies. Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters on Thursday that Tel Aviv is closely monitoring the still-unfolding crisis in Egypt, and does not see a threat in its ties with the African state. The two sides have cooperated in imposing restrictions on Palestinians living in the impoverished occupied territories.