Thursday, July 31, 2014

This time not all the Arabs are with Hamas against Israel

The New York Times ran a revealing article about how some Arab states are siding with Israel over Hamas. 

The piece by David Kirkpatrick, who is based in Cairo for the paper, was not-so-subtly skewed against Israel.

I hope I am not being unfair, but as I read the tone of the piece, Kirkpatrick is basically saying – this is not the way it is supposed to be.

And he seems disappointed.

There is a spitball thrown in about Israeli bombings of UNRWA facilities – as if these are just neutral shelters and not rocket-launching sites; and as if all the fatalities are attributable to Israel when the Times itself has reported Hamas's culpability in some cases.
The piece, it strikes me, is also an inferred apology for Secretary of State John Kerry.

But for all my nitpicking here, I am glad to see this coverage. 

Israel is not isolated and – just as in the case of Iran's drive for nuclear weapons – Jerusalem is in sync with Egypt and the Gulf States while Washington is not.

[In fact, on Iran, I'd say that even Ankara is not thrilled.]

Kirkpatrick writes how Israel has the tacit support of Arab states led by Egypt in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have lined up behind Cairo in backing Jerusalem's just military campaign against the Islamic Resistance Movement also known as Hamas.

The Arab Spring, a populist uprising which began in 2010 and empowered political Islam – meaning Islamist forces – unleashed chaos and threatened conservative Arab leaders.

On the whole, the Middle East is worse off today.

The Islamist war in Tunisia continues.

That's true, too, in Algeria.

Libya is a total mess.

Slowly but surely the Islamists are solidifying their position in Morocco though for now violence there is minimal.

You can blame the mess in Syria on the Arab Spring too. And as Syria goes so goes the failed state of Lebanon.

Iraq you can't blame on the Arab Spring. But that's a mess too.


In contrast to previous Palestinian-Israeli fighting in Gaza, Arab leaders are not pressuring Washington to tell Israel to stop.

"That gives the Israelis leeway," Martin Kramer, an expert on Mideast politics and president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, told Kirkpatrick.

Neither the Cairo-led coalition nor Israel want to see Hamas come out of the current fighting as the most "powerful Palestinian player," said Kramer.

I think the same can be said for the Fatah leadership but they are conniving, twisted, and gutless and understandably Kirkpatrick avoided interviewing them. 

Though maybe a follow up article is coming. I just find the Fatah folks so hypocritical. Their ineptitude lost them Gaza after Israel handed it to them on a silver platter when we disengaged.

They gave us a taste of what might happen if the "West Bank" were handed over to the boys from Fatah.


Khaled Elgindy of the Brookings Institution told Kirkpatrick much the same. "There is clearly a convergence of interests of these various regimes with Israel." 

"The Arab states' loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to Benjamin Netanyahu," the ubiquitous Aaron David Miller told Kirkpatrick.

Hamas is, of course, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt overthrew his Muslim Brotherhood predecessor Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. 

While Hosni Mubarak and Morsi led Egypt, Hamas used tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula to smuggle weapons and contraband. Mubarak liked to watch Israelis bleed slowly.

Morsi was greedier.

Under Sisi not only have the tunnels been sealed but the border crossings have been only intermittently open.

A storekeeper in northern Gaza said, "Sisi is worse than Netanyahu, and the Egyptians are conspiring against us more than the Jews. They finished the Brotherhood in Egypt, and now they are going after Hamas," according to Kirkpatrick.

In navigating the new constellation of Mideast alliances, the hapless Kerry has come under well-deserved criticism for turning to Qatar and Turkey to serve as his intermediaries with Hamas instead of Egypt.

 Doha and Ankara are backers of Hamas. Qatar not only funds Hamas its Al Jezzera reports on the war. Though in fairness, Al Jezzera is no more or less anti-Zionist than Sky News and Co. which aren't funded out of the Arabian Gulf (as far as we know).

Meanwhile, an Israeli delegation is now in Cairo and Hamas officials from Qatar are expected to arrive there later Thursday as Egyptian intelligence officials make another effort to bring about a cease-fire, Israeli news media has reported.

I don't think the Saudis, Hashemites, or Egyptians harbor secret Zionist sentiments. Like Mahmoud Abbas and the other "moderates" they subscribe to the phased plan for Israel's destruction.

Be that as it may, there has never been a better time to liquidate the Hamas threat. As I said yesterday, you can't take Hamas out of the Palestinian heart, but you can remove the Hamas bone from the Israeli throat.

Never has there been a better time. 

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