- 19-06-2011, 10:42 #1
Interesting bit of background from Beruit's Daily Star Saudi approval will continue to shape Egypt’s foreign policy By Barak BarfiIn the months since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, his successors have signaled a shift in foreign policy by reaching out to former adversaries.
Egypt’s government has welcomed Iranian diplomats and embraced the Palestinian group Hamas. Many interpret such moves as clear evidence of Egypt’s desire for a diplomacy that is not subordinate to American interests.
But Mubarak never entirely fit his detractors’ portrayal of him as an American lackey. In fact, the former Egyptian president’s need to please his Saudi benefactors, not the United States, was paramount in his thinking.
Although he sometimes supported American policies, Mubarak frequently rebuffed Washington when its positions did not align with his own.
Since the end of the October 1973 war, Arab-Israeli peace has been a cornerstone of America’s Middle East agenda. The United States often looked to Egypt, the most important and influential Arab country, to play a leading role in promoting this goal. And, when it suited him, Mubarak played his part.
When the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat humiliated Mubarak before the U.S. secretary of state and the international media by refusing to sign an annex to an Israeli-Palestinian accord that had been brokered in Cairo, Mubarak told him, “Sign it, you son of a dog!”
On the other hand, when Arab public opinion opposed Palestinian concessions, Mubarak remained aloof from U.S. peace initiatives.
For example, in 1996, he declined President Bill Clinton’s invitation to come to Washington, along with Arafat and the leaders of Israel and Jordan, to settle a bout of Palestinian violence. And when Clinton asked Mubarak to pressure Arafat to facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during negotiations at Camp David in 2000, he refused.
Mubarak had a rocky relationship with Israel, and held America’s closest Middle East ally at arm’s length throughout his presidency. For almost 10 of his 30 years in office, Egypt had no ambassador in Tel Aviv.
Mubarak never made an official state visit to Israel, and he frequently refused the requests of Israeli prime ministers to come to Cairo. When the United States sought to extend the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1994, Mubarak mobilized the Arab world against the initiative, because Israel refused to sign the NPT.
Instead, Mubarak’s relationship with the Saudis usually determined the direction of his foreign policy.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 and threatened to attack Saudi Arabia, Mubarak quickly dispatched troops to defend the kingdom. He was keen to support the Saudis and their Persian Gulf allies, who provided him with a steady flow of aid and an outlet for surplus Egyptian labor.
Though Mubarak’s opposition to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991 happened to align with U.S. policy, he was unwilling to back other American campaigns against Arab leaders.
When President Ronald Reagan’s deputy national security adviser, John Poindexter, asked Mubarak to launch a joint U.S.-Egyptian attack against Libya in 1985, the Egyptian president scolded his visitor, saying, “Look, Admiral, when we decide to attack Libya, it will be our decision and on our timetable.”
Mubarak again refused to acquiesce in Washington’s plans to isolate Libya in the 1990s for its involvement in the downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Instead of ostracizing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Mubarak welcomed him to Cairo.
After the United Nations imposed an international flight ban against Libya in 1992, its land crossings with Egypt proved crucial to sustaining Libya’s economy (and possibly Gadhafi’s political survival).
Libya withstood the sanctions in part by importing food and oil infrastructure supplies through Egypt, and by exporting petroleum and steel with Mubarak’s help.
In fact, Mubarak’s Libya policy was driven largely by economic and security concerns, and it rarely took the interests of the United States into consideration. More than 1 million Egyptians worked in Libya, which was also a large export market.
And Gadhafi was eager to help Mubarak subdue Islamist threats to the Egyptian regime. Unlike neighboring Sudan, which harbored Egyptian radicals, like the Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who were bent on destabilizing the country, Libya turned them over to Mubarak.
While Gadhafi delivered terrorists to Mubarak, the Egyptian president declined American requests to do the same.
After Palestinians seized control of the Italian ship the Achille Lauro in 1985, killing an American, then berthed in Egypt, the U.S. asked Mubarak to extradite the men. But Mubarak refused, saying that Secretary of State George Shultz was “crazy” if he believed that Egypt would betray the Palestinian cause.
Egypt’s new leaders have inherited Mubarak’s dilemma, namely how to realize the country’s aspiration to lead the Arab world without angering its Saudi benefactors. For this reason, the Egyptian-Iranian rapprochement will yield more photo opportunities than tangible results.
On opposite sides of religious and ethnic divides, a close bilateral relationship would seem unlikely under even the best circumstances. And, with Egypt in need of massive financial aid to offset the economic losses caused by its February revolution, its leaders can ill afford to alienate the Saudis, who view Iran, not Israel, as the gravest threat to regional stability.
Egypt is entering a new era. But the radical policy upheavals predicted by analysts will prove to be small tremors. Saudi interests will continue to weigh heavily on Egyptian foreign policy. And that, above all, means preserving the status quo.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 25-06-2011, 10:11 #2
On Salon New mass protests planned in Egypt by Natasha LennardBut it's not exactly a sign of the religious vs. secular "war" that some say is brewing
Tensions between Egypt's opposing political factions are flaring up. A report by the Guardian suggests that a "war" is developing between the nation's Islamist and secular political forces, as the leftist, secular faction "threatened to bring mass pro-democracy protests back to Cairo, with a "million-strong" occupation of Tahrir Square planned for 8 July unless the ruling army generals abandon their current "roadmap" to democracy."
As the Guardian notes:
Campaigners fear the existing post-Mubarak transition program – which would see September's ballot held under an amended version of Egypt's existing constitution and then allow members of parliament to oversee the writing of a new constitution – may cede permanent power to the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious groups, who are expected to dominate the poll.
However, the leftist community calling for actions next month seems more concerned with keeping the revolution strong, rather than focusing on the tensions between Egypt's religious and secular groups.
On a Facebook page titled "The 2nd revolution of anger" followed by 55,000 members, the AFP reports, activists urge that the aims of the original uprising -- the foundation of a new Egypt -- be emphasized:
To all rival political forces debating which should come first, constitution or elections, save your revolution first, save Egypt first. Our revolution is collapsing.
The Egyptian left lost the recent constitutional referendum that prepared the ground for elections in the summer by a 70 point landslide. This is a very conservative country, with the arrival of Junta backed free and fair elections reactionary Islamists may well be the key power block that shape its future. That probably means one with Sharia law as the basis for all law and a passive aggressive attitude to Israel.
Revolutions often fade with the party of the landlords slipping into the divers seat. The Brotherhood and the generals are the rentiers in Egypt.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 26-06-2011, 01:54 #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
I'd rather see the Brotherhood than the generals, I think, for Egypt's sake. The generals have had since 1956 to sort their shit out, and it hasn't worked. The beards might be worth a shot, with the knowledge that the generals are in the background, Turkey-style, if it all gets too hairy."However proletarian and semiliterate he may have been, the English soldier, well nourished with meat and beer, stimulated with gin, and convinced of his own racial superiority to the foreign rabble he had to face, was a magnificent combatant, as anyone who has ever seen hooligans in action at a soccer match can readily imagine."
Prof. Alessandro Barbaro, The Battle
(nicked from Mallinson, The Making of the British Army)
- 26-06-2011, 13:35 #4
The Generals seem to have done a deal with the MB to keep the restive plebs in line. They are doing exactly what Pindi has done with Pakistans much less popular reactionary Islamist parties. In this situation Tantawi is wise to keep his guiding hand somewhat concealed, the armies prestige will be untainted. As with Turkey deep reform won't happen until the army is edged out of power by competent civilians, that may take a long time.
It may be better for Egypt's young progressives if the Brothers vigorously participate in power now rather than later. Whatever government Egypt gets will fail to reach the revolutions expectations. Egypt's structural problems are severe, they'll take decades to fix and further unrest seems likely.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 26-06-2011, 16:16 #5
U.S. fares poorly in first modern polling of Egyptian views By Hannah Allam | McClatchy Newspapers
CAIRO — Egyptians largely reject U.S. involvement in Egypt and appear split on whether to extend the longstanding peace treaty with neighboring Israel. They overwhelmingly support the revolution and are eager to vote without delay, but haven't yet identified a trusted party or politician to steer the nation toward their vision of an Islam-compatible democracy.
That's the portrait emerging of Egypt's millions-strong electorate as the country prepares for the first vote since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, according to survey results released in recent weeks by U.S. polling firms. With no single group garnering more than 15 percent of public support and the majority of voters still undecided, the poll results augur a closely contested parliamentary election this fall.
Until this year, such detailed polling was unheard of here — the government strictly controlled what questions outside pollsters could ask. Anything that might have exposed Mubarak's deep unpopularity and Egyptians' pent-up rage over rampant corruption, police brutality and poverty was strictly off limits.
Now, however, polling firms have a mostly free hand to ask what they will — though they apparently still aren't allowed to probe whether the Egyptian military, which runs the country, should continue receiving billions of dollars in aid from the United States. Surveyors have rushed in to take advantage, some even setting up permanent offices in Cairo. Poll workers are crisscrossing the country, popping up in urban slums and rural villages with questions on once-taboo topics.
The result is an unprecedented look at voter attitudes in the Arab world's most populous country.
"Confidence in the military, confidence in the judicial system, corruption in government — all of that used to be out," said Dalia Mogahed, director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and a member of U.S. President Barack Obama's faith-based partnerships advisory council. "We really have seen an opening and a dramatic improvement that allows us to ask, basically, whatever we want."
Results already are out from three major scientific surveys — the Pew Research Center, Gallup and International Republican Institute — as well as from a rash of informal polls conducted by nonprofit groups, local newspaper websites and blogs.
Even Egypt's interim military rulers have jumped on the poll bandwagon, posting a survey last week on their official Facebook page that asked Egyptians to choose their favorite presidential candidate from a list of leading contenders. Professional pollsters dismissed the military's survey as unscientific and limited only to the estimated one-fifth of Egyptians with Internet access; activists complained that the generals were trying to influence elections.
Egyptian web users, however, appeared eager to participate. As of Saturday, more than 185,000 had "voted," with Nobel laureate and former U.N. atomic energy chief Mohamed ElBaradei in the lead. (None of the scientific polls showed ElBaradei with comparable popular support.)
"We have more than 40 million eligible voters and such polls could never reflect the opinions of people living in the countryside who are sometimes illiterate or have no access to the Internet," complained a skeptical Amr Darrag, a senior officer in the Muslim Brotherhood's new Freedom and Justice Party.
Across the board, the more scientific polls' findings reveal a cautiously hopeful Egypt where citizens are happy Mubarak is gone and half as likely now to seek opportunities in another country. Residents express high support for democracy and civil liberties, but are more concerned with the immediate struggles of finding jobs, improving security and feeding their families.
The results also challenge some widely held notions about Egyptian participation and awareness of the anti-Mubarak uprising. Contrary to the narrative of a "Facebook revolution," for example, the vast majority of Egyptians followed the rebellion through television or word of mouth. Twitter, one poll found, "barely registered."
In a result that startled some secular politicians, Egyptians said they were in favor of religious figures playing an advisory role in a democratic government that's "informed by religious values," according to survey results. But for all the fears over Islamists filling the political void, poll findings showed that the Muslim Brotherhood and other religious groups face stiff competition from moderates and liberals.
"This shows us that the coming government most probably will be a coalition government and not controlled by one trend," said Wael Nawara, a senior member of the liberal Democratic Front Party, who's studied the results to better understand constituents. "But it also tells us we need a presidential government, not a parliamentary one, or we might suffer coalition-government problems and start facing the challenges of instability."
Mogahed said Gallup has polled in Egypt for the past decade, albeit with severe restrictions on questioning. Egypt's poll-monitoring body, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, used to strike 30 or more questions from Gallup surveys, she said, and that was even after the firm self-censored to avoid broaching presidential succession, government corruption and other red lines.
For the latest Gallup poll, "Egypt from Tahrir to Transition," the government agency banned only a couple of questions, including one about whether Egyptians support U.S. military aid, Mogahed said. The matter is an especially prickly one for the typically reclusive generals who, as the interim rulers of Egypt, are forced to respond to the revolutionaries' demand to wean the nation from a longtime reliance on foreign aid. Egypt receives an annual U.S. aid package of up to $2 billion, the second highest after Israel.
The Gallup poll found that 75 percent of Egyptians oppose U.S. aid to political groups, and 68 percent think the United States will try to exert direct influence over Egypt's political future. Two-thirds of Egyptians disagreed that the United States is serious about encouraging democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Gallup, perhaps an indication of public frustration over the U.S. government's perceived muted or belated support for Arab Spring uprisings.
"Our scorecard wasn't too good on the polling. It certainly gives us something to work on," said a diplomat based in the region, referring to the suspicion Egyptian respondents expressed toward the United States.
Some of the savviest Egyptian politicians — including presidential contender and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and advisers to his rival, ElBaradei — have received private briefings on the poll results, presumably to ensure their platforms are in line with voter priorities.
Less seasoned politicians, however, are still unfamiliar with scientific polls and can't grasp how the methodology works in surveying a country as big and diverse as Egypt. Mogahed reassured them that the same approach is used in elections in the United States for more than 300 million people.
Getting politicians to understand and buy into the process is "the hardest thing," she said, adding, "To explain how 1,000 people represent 87 million would require, literally, a class in statistics."
(Special correspondent Mohannad Sabry contributed.)
Last edited by alib; 26-06-2011 at 17:32.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 21-07-2011, 16:37 #6
Egypt: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) said it will call for and participate in a million man march scheduled to take place in Tahrir Square and other major centers of protest on 29 July. The MB said the march will protest the circumvention of the people's will and aggression against the people's sovereignty.
Comment: Recent indications from the Egyptian Army that it intends to oversee Egyptian political reforms indefinitely appear to have prompted the Brothers to take a public stand, essentially in opposition to the military-backed government for the first time.
A key member of a panel drafting guidelines for Egypt's next constitution says most of the group's 50 members object to giving the military a future role in politics. Legal expert Tahany el-Gibali said Wednesday that the principles will have enough guarantees to protect all Egyptians while also safeguarding the civilian character of the state."
Comment: The significance of the two stories above is that they reinforce the assessment that the Egyptian Army staged a coup against Mubarak, its strongest backer. The Army sacrificed Mubarak in order to preserve its dominance of the political system.
In short, Egypt experienced no democratic revolution. The Brotherhood knows it and intends to take advantage of the fracture between the Army and the activists. There will be more violent civil disorders.
See New electoral law unwelcome across Egypt's political spectrum for details.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 09-08-2011, 10:24 #7
On The Moor Next Door Vague Thoughts on Arab Uprisings
...The Egyptian military has acted as more as a replacement for the old regime than a transitional caretaker since the overthrow of Mubarak. Having been a key pillar in the old regime and having quite strong populist credentials the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has continued many of the tactics and methods used by the former government to contain popular “excesses” by taking measures to curb protests, punishing demonstrators and using the urban poor against demonstrators. The SCAF has taken on a strongly bonapartist tendency, inciting the popular classes against the secular protest movements in Tahrir by blaming the “revolutionaries” for the country’s economic slow down and for obstructing a return to normalcy. There is a heavy degree of defensive and even vulgar populism in the SCAF’s treatment of protesters and its other opponents and critics physically and rhetorically. Despite the Mubarak trial and numerous other arrests of high profile regime figures, it is unlikely that what has gone on in Egypt since January 2011 can be called a “revolution” so much as an evolution of the previous regime or even a coup. For those with revolutionary agendas, the military’s significant popular prestige is a major obstacle to meaningful political or economic change at the structural level. The Egyptian situation reveals that although demonstrators in Tahrir were able to put the regime in crisis and force it to cut off some fat, they did not divide the elite so significantly that they were left truly vulnerable to the pressure of activists and civil society groups. The Egyptian uprising came with relatively vague objectives and ran up against a regime with a number of middle man social and political buffers between the deep regime and the masses — the labyrinth of security services and police, the public “civilian” regime figures and so on. This meant that a solid program of action never emerged from “the bottom” and that the core institutions of the old regime have basically remained in place.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 10-08-2011, 11:41 #8
In the WSJ Egypt's Rulers Stoke Xenophobia By Yaroslav Trofimov
CAIRO—In the final days of President Hosni Mubarak's regime, Egypt's state media whipped up a xenophobic frenzy not seen here since the 1950s, blaming the revolution on alien plots and inciting vigilante mobs to assault and detain scores of foreigners.
After a lull, Egypt's new military rulers are increasingly using the same tactic: portraying pro-democracy activists as spies and saboteurs, blaming the country's economic crisis and sectarian strife on foreign infiltrators, and blasting the U.S. for funding agents of change.
As a result, connections with the U.S. and other Western countries have turned toxic just as the largest Arab country is struggling with a rocky transition to democracy.
Dozens of Westerners, including tourists, reporters and Cairo residents, have been rounded up on the streets and delivered to police stations and military checkpoints by mobs of volunteer spy catchers in recent weeks. Almost all were quickly freed, with the exception of Ilan Grapel, an Israeli-American law student who has been incarcerated since June on suspicion of being a Mossad agent dispatched to Cairo to sow unrest.
The military-inspired xenophobia campaign has been amplified by resurgent Islamists, who are traditionally hostile to any infidel influence in the country, and jingoistic reports in parts of the Egyptian media.
"Any relation with the foreigners is dangerous now," says Hafez Abu Saada, chairman of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. "First they've started spreading incitement against foreigners, making people fear them. Now, the conspiracy theories have moved onto anyone in Egypt working with international organizations. This is a strategy to control civil society."
Though the country receives $1.3 billion in military aid from the U.S. every year, Egypt's ruling generals were particularly incensed by the Senate confirmation testimony of the new American ambassador to Cairo, Anne Patterson. She told lawmakers in June that the U.S. had already distributed some $40 million to fund Egypt's democratic transition and civil society.
Egyptian generals have repeatedly condemned as traitors nongovernment organizations that accept American money, and Cairo prosecutors have started an inquiry into these NGOs.
Greeting Ms. Patterson the week of her arrival in Cairo, the July 31 issue of the state-run news magazine October featured on its cover a depiction of the ambassador using blazing U.S. cash to ignite a bundle of dynamite wrapped in an American flag and planted in Tahrir Square, the revolution's ground zero.
The title: "Ambassador From Hell Is Setting Tahrir on Fire."
The acrimony over U.S. pro-democracy funding prompted Washington to recall the U.S. Agency for International Development chief of mission in Cairo, James Bever, who is leaving this month after only 10 months on the job, a U.S. official said.
The continued detention of Mr. Grapel has further aggravated U.S.-Egyptian relations and has been repeatedly raised in meetings with senior Egyptian generals, the U.S. official added. Mr. Grapel and the Israeli government have denied the spying allegations.
In another irritant, the Egyptian military recently said it won't allow Western observers during the parliamentary elections scheduled for November, saying such a presence would violate Egyptian sovereignty.
"In the Egyptian psyche, the West represents occupation, imperialism and colonialism," explains retired Maj. Gen. Ahmed Wahdan, the former chief of operations of the Egyptian army.
Even the more liberal parties vying for power are joining the anti-Western chorus. "America does not want for Egypt to become the largest democratic country in the region," says Al-Sayed al-Badawy, chairman of the secular and liberal Wafd party. "The aim of American funding for Egyptian NGOs is to create chaos and to overthrow Egyptian values and traditions."
The new mood is also affecting the country's economic policies just as Egypt is struggling with the postrevolutionary drop in tourism and foreign investment. In June, Egypt's then finance minister, Samir Radwan, negotiated a $5.2 billion standby loan from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He describes the loan as favorable, with "no conditionality whatsoever" and a maximum interest rate of 2.5%—compared with 4.5% demanded by Qatar.
Yet, news of the plan sparked a nationalist outcry in the media and among political parties. "People were still thinking about the old IMF, the new type of colonialism, and all that hot air," laments Mr. Radwan. By the end of June, the military council vetoed the IMF agreement as contrary to Egypt's national interests.
Mr. Radwan has since lost his job in a cabinet reshuffle that also abolished the investment ministry and put an end to the country's privatization program.
Foreign involvement in the system of crony capitalism under Mr. Mubarak was seen by many Egyptians as unfair, and the country's new rulers must take this into account, explains the new finance minister, Hazem El-Beblawi. "Deep in our hearts we are very clear that no country can live alone," Mr. El-Beblawi says. But, he adds, "the immediate popular feeling is resentment, and sometimes you have to listen to the feelings of the people."
State-run October magazine on its July 31 cover depicted U.S. envoy Anne Patterson stoking unrest and called her 'Ambassador From Hell.'That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 03-09-2011, 10:34 #9
On The Arabist WHAT ISLAMISTS SAY A SECULAR EGYPT WILL LOOK LIKE By Ursula LindseyIn the (extremely unlikely, not to say nearly unimaginable) event that Egypt took a strong turn towards militant secularism, Islamists here have put together a video (linked to by the Muslim Brotherhood's twitter feed) showing what the future of the country will look like.
It all starts when in a new constitution in 2012, Egypt no longer designates Islam as the religion of state and removes the references to Sharia as the main source of its legislation.
o In 2013, the Egyptian parliament outlaws poligamy.
o In 2014, women's rights organizations celebrate a new law that gives women equal inheritance rights.
o In 2015, women are prohibited from wearing the hegab in public buildings.
o In 2017, the first movie theater "specializing in porno films" opens.
o Obviously sexual freedom spreads, and tourism declines due to the spread of sexual harassment (Ed. Note: This is particularly ironic for those of us aware of the current rates of sexual harassment).
I don't know what's funnier about this video: the hysterically ominous music; the fact that women's rights groups are represented by a grinning blonde drinking a beer; or the way it ends up describing Bizarro Egypt, where up is down, left is right and Islam doesn't dominate every aspect of public life (politicians get in trouble for opening their speeches with "in the name of God.")
It just goes to show that playing on feelings of fear and indignation (even if you are ascendant and everyone is actually scared of you) is at the basis of most politics. More about the video's predictions after the jump.
o The Ministry of Higher Education decides all students will learn "Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Baha'ism on an equal footing."
o In 2019, there is the first gay marriage in Egypt.
o In 2020, all religious references are removed from official documents and government buildings.
o In 2022, the call to prayer is prohibited.
o In 2024, Egypt and Israel sign a joint defense agreement, and an Egyptian soldiers raises an Israeli flag over Gaza.
o Street fighting breaks out between the religious and secularists.
In the final portion, titles let viewers know that this is what secularists really plan to do, and that all their claims to the contrary ("we're not against religion, just fundamentalism and extremism;" "we just want freedom and equality") are a lie. The video then features images of secularists like feminist Nawal Es-Saadawy, Coptic business tycoon Naguib Sawiris and intellectual and Islamist critic Sayyid El-Qimni.
The video sums up by detailing the disastrous effects of secularism on the West, represented by some charts about church attendance, children born out of wedlock and -- the strongest proof -- a broken egg shell with "marriage" written across it. I can't really argue with the indictment of materialism and celebrity magazines -- and then it all ends with an image of laughing Israeli officials.
Oddly like some of the fear mongering stuff you hear from the insurgent right in the US, I mean a secular Egypt is about as likely as Sharia takeover in Michigan.That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
- 10-09-2011, 23:14 #10
In The Guardian Israel faces worst crisis with Egypt for 30 years as diplomats flee
Attack on embassy is latest storm to engulf Jewish state as relations with Turkey also deteriorate
Israel is facing its worst crisis with Egypt for 30 years after being forced to airlift diplomats and their families to safety during the storming of its embassy in Cairo by a violent mob.
The siege of the embassy ended, with the 86 Israelis fleeing, only after intervention from the White House following phone calls between the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and US President Barack Obama.
The attack was the latest diplomatic storm to engulf the Jewish state, whose relations with another ally, Turkey, have worsened over the past nine days. Israel is also facing a "diplomatic tsunami" at the UN later this month when a majority of countries are expected to back recognition of a Palestinian state.
The embassy attack, in which a security wall was demolished and a group of protesters reached the door of the embassy's secure area, threatened to cause "serious damage in peaceful relations between our two countries", the prime minister said.
He added that it was a "grave violation of accepted diplomatic practice".
He spent the night with senior officials in a foreign ministry operation room dealing with the crisis. Eighty diplomats and their families were airlifted on an Israeli military plane at 4.40am, but six personnel were trapped inside the building.
"There was one door separating them from the mob," said the official, who described the night as "very dramatic and tense". Eventually the six were rescued by Egyptian commandos following behind-the-scenes intervention by the US.
Obama spoke to Netanyahu during the night, the White House said. He also appealed to Egypt to "honour its international obligations".
David Cameron condemned the attack and urged Egypt to meet its responsibilities under the Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic property and personnel.
Three people died during the overnight protests in Cairo and at least 1,093 were injured, according to Egypt's deputy health minister.
Anti-Israel sentiment in Egypt has been vociferous since the killing of five Egyptian soldiers by Israeli forces in the aftermath of a militant attack last month near the border between the two countries in which eight Israelis died. Thousands of people mobbed the Israeli embassy in Cairo, and Israel was forced to issue a statement regretting the deaths in the hope that it would contain the anti-Israel mood.
Israel has been nervous about the future of its peace treaty with Egypt, signed 30 years ago, since its staunch ally, former president Hosni Mubarak, was forced out of office in an uprising earlier this year. It fears the temporary military government is more attuned to anti-Israel sentiment on the street.
...That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!