New York, NY, September 13, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) praised President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for their "swift and decisive intervention" to ensure the safety of Israeli civilian personnel under siege in Cairo.
During a protest outside the embassy on September 9 that turned violent, protestors breached a security wall outside the compound and entered the building, ransacking the interior and threatening Israeli personnel. After an Israeli airlift removed 80 members of the embassy staff from Cairo to safety in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Obama's leadership during what he described as "a decisive and fateful moment" for Israel.
"The president's swift and decisive intervention during those tense hours made a critical difference in conveying the seriousness with which the U.S. viewed the rioters' attack on the Embassy and the disturbing message that Egypt's inaction would send," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
"The shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation between President Obama, Secretary Panetta and Israel's leaders not only secured the safe passage of the Israelis, it sent a vital signal that the U.S. stands by Israel with vigor and vigilance as it faces a region in transition and turmoil."
In letters to both President Obama and Secretary Panetta, the League thanked the United States for its efforts to facilitate communications with the Egyptian military leadership after the protestors stormed the embassy.