July 23, 2010

Report: Anger among Israeli officials after Israeli ambassador kicked out of Cairo restaurant


Yitzhak Levanon
Israeli Foreign Ministry officials are angry after receiving a report from the Israeli ambassador to Cairo, Yitzhak Levanon, about an attempt to throw him out of a popular restaurant in Maadi late Saturday. According to the Kuwaiti al-Jaridah newspaper, the manager of a famous restaurant in Cairo was surprised to see four "European" people sitting around a table in his restaurant surrounded by some six guards, sparking the attention of all the restaurant visitors.

When he asked one of the guards regarding the identities of the guests, he was told it was the Israeli ambassador to Cairo. The manager then asked the ambassador to leave immediately to avoid "embarrassment." Levanon was accompanied by his wife, and another couple.

The Israeli envoy refused to leave. He also called the police for help. Following the arrival of the police, they told the manager of the restaurant to reverse his decision in order "to avoid problems."

This is the first time that Levanon was thrown out of a shop or restaurant in Cairo. The former ambassador Shalom Cohen, was kicked out of public places seven times during his tenure in the Egyptian capital, most notably in February 2009 after the Israeli massacre in Gaza that left more than 1,440 dead, 5,300 injured and 50,800 homeless, when he was asked by the manager to leave the Opera House, as well as all the artists participating in the event who refused to go on stage until after he left the concert hall.

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