Washington Backs Islamists as Sinai and Gaza Explode

David Hornik, frontpagemag.com..

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama administration is “deeply concerned” by the Egyptian military regime’s having seized powers so as to prevent a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the country.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said that “We…urge the [military] to relinquish power to civilian-elected authorities….” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “We are particularly concerned by decisions that appear to prolong the military’s hold on power.”

As the report notes, the military regime’s move is aimed at preventing the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi—if he has indeed been elected—from “declaring war without the agreement of the ruling generals.”

In other words, it’s a move aimed at preventing an Egyptian attack on Israel, the total collapse of Israeli-Egyptian peace, and a drastic regional destabilization.

The generals are not acting against the Islamists because they’re wonderful people who love Israel and the West. They are, however, sane pragmatists who do not want Egypt, with its severe economic problems, to be dragged into a ruinous conflict.

And for their efforts, the generals have the Obama administration up in arms and crying foul.

How differently the situation is viewed in Israel is revealed by, for instance, veteran military analyst Alex Fishman, who wrote: “This is no longer the same Egypt. It is no longer the same border, the peace treaty is dying, and we better start to change our way of thinking.”

Fishman was referring to how much the situation has already deteriorated since the fall of Hosni Mubarak—hailed at the time by the likes of Obama and Thomas Friedman—in February last year. He was also referring to a military flare-up over the past few days that has seen scores of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza.

The flare-up began, however, south of Gaza on Monday when terrorists—Gaza-based but of Al Qaeda provenance—tried to breach the fence Israel has been building along its southern, Sinai border with Egypt to keep out terrorists, smugglers, and illegal labor migrants.

And it is since Mubarak’s fall that the situation in Sinai has gone to seed as this tract of land—which figured in the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty as a peacekeeping buffer zone—has been taken over by both Bedouin and international-terror gangs, sometimes working in tandem, as the central regime in Cairo has its hands full trying to quell anarchy closer to home.

The current round of hostilities has also seen Hamas—the Islamist rulers of Gaza—openly taking credit for the rocket fire for the first time in years. That lack of inhibition is widely viewed in Israel as reflecting a surge of confidence over the developments in Egypt, particularly the prospect of Hamas’s parent movement—the Brotherhood—and other Sunni extremists taking over or at least steadily gaining ground there.

Indeed, a year and a half after the start of what some may still be calling the Arab Spring, the view from Israel is not among the more uplifting in the country’s short history.

To the west and south, the direct security threat steadily worsens as arms from Libya—a country where the Western powers succeeded to sow anarchy and a possible Islamist takeover—flow unhindered into Sinai and Gaza.

To the east and north, the ongoing Syrian crisis poses grave risks of the Assad regime’s huge chemical-weapons stockpiles falling into dangerous hands through—again—either anarchy or a Sunni-jihadist takeover.

And in the background Iran—which hopes to capitalize on the Islamist energies of the Arab Spring, which it more accurately calls the “Islamic Awakening”—is succeeding along with the world powers to sustain a transparent sham of “nuclear talks” with, incredibly, yet another “round” having been scheduled for Istanbul in July 3 after this week’s “round” in Moscow yielded absolutely nothing by all accounts.

Israel’s worsening security environment along with stubborn Western failure to understand the regime’s dynamics—a failure that is the flipside of sheer tiredness and cynicism—does not, then, add up to an encouraging picture.

The situation has, though, fostered an enhanced unity that has seen the rise of an almost wall-to-wall, apparently stable governing coalition, and a decline of Israel’s own delusions that not long ago produced such bitter internal dissention.

With Washington backing the belligerent fanatics in Egypt against the moderates, and still, with its allies, playing ineffectual games with Iran, Israel will need all the unity and realism it can muster.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator in Beersheva, Israel. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com.

June 22, 2012 | 11 Comments »

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11 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. Stanley- It is getting very tedious to read the childishly simplistic rants of Rongrand and Laura. Israel is in a difficult and complicated predicament, and Obama is hardly to blame for all their problems. There are all sorts of reasons for the mess we are all in and believe me it cannot be solved by a simple change in government. Does anyone really believe that if the republicans are victorious or if there is a new ultra right wing government in Israel, we would finally have heaven on earth? Or if Israel would kill a million Palestinians, Give or take a couple of thousand , that, in itself would solve the mid east problems. Come on, give me a break!!!!!!

  2. @ stanley:

    Stanley if I am correct Yamit stated you had a diploma in DUMB,

    I am willing to bet your a fag.

    You always attack Laura, does she get under your skin?

    Dumb fag

  3. @ rongrand:

    I know you would like a simple answer but this happens to be a very,very complicated problem with no simple answers. Laura of all people has not the background nor understanding to help you.

  4. @ Laura:

    What would take for American Rabbi’s to remind our Jewish neighbors that being great Americans does not mean you can’t support Israel.

    Not only are they connected to Israel by Heritage, Faith and by G-d, Israel is our only true friend and trusted ally in the ME.

    Rockets rain in Israel from Gaza on a daily basis all while obama embraces Islam and is a friend of the MB.

    If I were Jewish it would not be a hard sell.

  5. @ rongrand:

    I don’t have an answer. If they cannot be persuaded by the facts, what is there left to do? I don’t expect we can ever change the minds of the hard-core liberal democrat Jews.

  6. He embraces Islam and is no friend of Israel.

    Tell me please, how do we convey this to the liberal American Jews who stand by him??

    Laura I was hoping you would offer a suggestion.

  7. @ Laura:

    Laura, how many times have I said and warned.

    Forget what Obama says, watch what he does.

    He embraces Islam and is no friend of Israel.

    Tell me please, how do we convey this to the liberal American Jews who stand by him??