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 Timon Dias
"Arab leaders are a reflection of their people. Arab leaders don't come from Mars or the sun, they emerged from among the people and share the same beliefs... I challenge any Arab citizen who may become a ruler to do anything beyond what current Arab leaders are doing." — Anwar Malek, Algerian author.
If anyone was trying to commit "genocide" during the Gaza War, it was clearly Hamas.
What the protestors in the Netherlands also revealed is that a killed Palestinian is only worth demonstrating for when the blame can be pinned on Israel.
The normalization and common approval of slogans that actually call for the destruction of the entire Jewish State, Israel, contribute to an atmosphere of hatred, violence and anti-Semitism that now seems as acceptable as it is overt.
by Anne Bayefsky
Why couldn't the UN... sponsor a conference on combating global antisemitism?
In theory the UN Charter demands equality of... nations large and small. In reality the UN mass-produces inequality for Jews and the Jewish nation.
The UN has launched a "legal" pogrom against the Jewish state. A "legal" pogrom is a license to kill.
Modern antisemitism targets Israel's exercise of the right of self-defense because self-defense is the essence of sovereignty.
by Vijeta Uniyal
In Europe, displays of ferocity were clearly not a "spontaneous reaction" to the developing situation in Gaza. They were an opportune moment for many to act on their anti-Semitism by dressing it up as a supposedly "genuine concern" for human suffering.
In India, youth groups rallied to show their support for Israel, a fellow democracy under terrorist siege -- a pain known only too well by Indians, who have lost more than 30,000 of their countrymen to terrorism since 1994.
A majority if Indians, whose culture is not tainted by anti-Semitism, can see that Israel not only has the right to defend itself, but an obligation to protect its citizens from terrorism.
The media elites of Europe seem unable to see the threat posed to the West by radical Islamist ideology, which drives countless terrorist outfits, including IS, Hamas and al-Qaida. They also seem unable to distinguish their friends from their foes.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Many Arabs and Muslims identify with the terrorists' anti-Western objectives ideology; they are afraid of being dubbed traitors and U.S. agents for joining non-Muslims in a war that would result in the death of many Muslims, and they are afraid their people would rise up against them.
Many Arab and Muslim leaders view the Islamic State as a by-product of failed U.S. policies, especially the current U.S. Administration's weak-kneed support for Iraq's Nuri al-Maliki. Some of these leaders, such as Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, consider the U.S. to be a major ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi and his regime will never forgive Obama for his support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also, they do not seem to have much confidence in the Obama Administration, which is perceived as weak and incompetent when it comes to combating Islamists.
by Peter Martino
Scottish independence would be a disaster for NATO, putting the UK nuclear deterrent in jeopardy. It would also put into question national borders all over Europe, including Catalonia, Belgium, France's Brittany and Corsica, Italy's South Tyrol -- and Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned in 2008 that Kosovo's independence "would be the beginning of the end for Europe."
Crimea's recent secession from Ukraine was justified with a reference to "the Kosovo precedent," which Putin pointed out, "our Western partners created with their own hands."