Hamas's New Friend: Egypt
In a bid to appease Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood, the new rulers of Egypt have been hinting that they are considering reopening the border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Reopening the border terminal would be seen as a victory for Hamas, which seized control over the Gaza Strip through a violent coup in the summer of 2007.
Egypt's intention to reopen the border crossing will undoubtedly help Hamas solidify its control over the Gaza Strip, and also embolden Hamas at the expense of its rivals in the Palestinian Authority.
Egypt's new foreign minister, Nabil al-Arabi, has already demanded an end to the five-year siege on the Gaza Strip. Al-Arabi is known as an opponent of the peace treaty between his country and Israel.
Al-Arabi's policy has won praise from Hamas, whose leader, Ismail Haniyeh, rushed to phone him to express his gratitude.
"We praise the positions of the new Foreign Minister of Egypt Nabil al Arabi on the issue of the Gaza siege and his rejection of this unjust policy, as well as his position that damage was caused by the Camp David Accords [between Israel and Egypt]," Haniyeh said in a statement.
"We hope these positions will be translated during his new post, and that they will be a new beginning in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's policy."
Egypt's new policy shows that the new government prefers to appease Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood than support moderate Arabs and Muslims. The recent release from prison of Aboud al-Zumar and his cousin Tareq al-Zumar, the two primary defendants in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, should also be seen in this context. The two were members of Jihad organization, the group that took credit for killing Sadat because he had signed a peace treaty with Israel.
A victory for Hamas is also a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose motto, "Allah is our objective, the prophet is our leader, the Quran is our law, Jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope," should be taken literally and seriously.
The border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has been closed ever since Hamas drove the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza and seized control over the entire area.
Until then, the border crossing was under the control of forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
European monitors who were stationed at the border crossing left after Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Authority leaders have expressed concern over what the "rapprochement" between Hamas and Egypt's new rulers. Palestinian leaders in Ramallah have warned that Egypt's new policies would undermine the "moderates" among the Palestinians, while bolstering Hamas's popularity.
In the past few weeks, the Palestinian Authority leadership dispatched a number of emissaries to Cairo in an attempt to persuade the new rulers of Egypt not to take any step that could help Hamas tighten its grip on the Gaza Strip.
The rapprochement between Hamas and Egypt follows years of tense relations between the Islamist movement and the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Hamas leaders had accused Mubarak's regime of participating in the siege on the Gaza Strip by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed.
If Egypt's new rulers want to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians living there, they need to coordinate the move with the Palestinian Authority. Lifting the siege is a good idea, but only if its goal is to help the Palestinians, and not Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.
Comment on this item
by Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.