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.
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by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.