Egypt Arrests and then Frees
By Micah Halpern
Thursday November 3, 2011
I've Been Thinking:
On Tuesday the Egyptian court found 73 people guilty of defiling and destroying the Israel Embassy in Cairo.
One might think that this was a significant symbol of justice for the new Egypt. But no - all 73 people were given suspended sentences.
The gruesome attacks on the Israeli embassy took place just two months ago, on September 9th and September 10th. It was all caught on tape and available for everyone to see on You Tube. You see the aggressive behavior of hundred and hundreds if not thousands of angry Egyptians as they rip apart the building.
And all the while, the Egyptian army and the Egyptian police stood by and watched. This was an attack on one of the basic rules of diplomacy. A foreign embassy and staff are never to be threatened or touched. They are off limits. Those are the rules.
Those rules explain why the 73 were convicted. But the new Egypt does not care much for these rules - and that explains why the sentences were suspended.
The Egyptian authorities are telling their nation that even if you break the international norm, we are behind you.
Once again, welcome to the new Egypt.
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