Egyptian journalists burned Israeli flags and shouted anti-Israel slogans in Cairo last week on the steps of the Syndicate of Journalists building.
The demonstration was held July 13 by Egyptian journalists to protest the visit to Israel and meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri on July 10.
It was the first such visit in nine years and a basic act of normalization for most countries. But in Egypt, it sparked outrage. Rumors that the two government leaders had enjoyed their time together only added fuel to the fire, so to speak.
Irate journalists were doubly upset that security forces from the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had not allowed their demonstration to get out of hand. Moreover, mention of the protest didn’t even make it to the media until a week had gone by.
Protesters at the time complained bitterly about the “many people who were going to participate” but who had not been allowed to “pass the barriers” because “they lacked press credentials to join the Syndicate event.” All were blocked, they said, by government security forces. Nevertheless, the demonstrators carried on.
“We came … to burn this despicable flag, the flag of the apes and pigs,” said the leader of the irate protesters. “Today we will burn a picture of the one called the ‘Prime Minister of the Zionists’ and that of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, and we will burn the Israeli flag.'”
The group of demonstrators is seen in a brief video of the protest posted on YouTube by Daily News Egypt newspaper, chanting and using a cigarette lighter to set fire to a bed sheet transformed into a crude effigy of an Israeli flag, and a few pictures, each with a big red “X.”
Their anger and frustration is clear, as is their hate, which seems directed nearly as much at their own president as it is at his Jewish northern neighbor.Hana Levi Julian