The New Middle East
In the new Middle East, the radicals seem to be winning.
In this new Middle East, Egypt also seems to be moving closer to Iran, raising serious fears in most Gulf countries. For now, it looks as if the new Middle East, which is taking shape in front of everyone's eyes, belongs to Iran and its pawns.
Hamas has finally won recognition as a legitimate authority and player in the Palestinian arena.
Hamas has every reason to celebrate: the unity deal with Fatah is an admission of the failure of US-led efforts to isolate and undermine the Islamist movement.
Thanks to Egypt's new rulers, Hamas is finally being rewarded for its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.
The Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas will allow the Islamist movement to become part of a new interim unity government that would prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Hamas, according to the accord, would also be permitted to maintain its security and civilian control over 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
Moreover, the agreement does not set conditions for Hamas's participation in the Palestinian government. Hamas is not even required to accept the Oslo Accords, recognize Israel's right to exist or renounce violence, as previously demanded by the Americans and Europeans.
The same mistake that was made in the 2006 parliamentary election is now being repeated once again.
Then, Hamas was allowed to take part in the election unconditionally. The result was that Hamas won the vote, much to the surprise and dismay of the Americans and Europeans.
Ten years earlier, in 1996, Hamas boycotted the same parliamentary vote because, its leaders argued, it was being held under the umbrella of the Oslo Accords, which the Islamist movement does not recognize.
The international community did finally set conditions for dealing with Hamas, but only the day after it had won the election and when it was already too late.
Now Hamas leaders have every right to smile all the way to a unity government with Fatah.
Hamas is not being asked to make any concessions in return for joining a new Palestinian government. As Hamas's Mahmoud Zahar declared, the new government would not conduct peace talks with Israel or recognize the Jewish state.
The release of hundreds of Hamas detainees from Fatah-controlled jails in the West Bank will only boost the Islamist movement's standing in that area. Hamas's chances of scoring another victory in the new elections, which are supposed to take place in a year, now appear to be much higher.
In the eyes of many Palestinians, the unity deal means that Fatah has moved closer to Hamas and not vice versa. Under pressure from Egypt's new rulers, who have displayed more sympathy toward Hamas than the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, Fatah is being forced to accept Hamas as an equal partner in governing the Palestinians.
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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.