(photo credit: REUTERS)
Increasingly, the world – and not just the Western world – is learning to appreciate the challenges Israel faces in its war against Hamas’s autocratic terrorist regime.
Arabs nations of the region seem increasingly cognizant of the fact that the same reactionary, violent and anti-Semitic version of Islam that fuels Hamas’s aggression against Israel is the driving force behind the sectarian violence in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East, and they are fed up. It is beginning to dawn on them that Hamas’s brutal regime, which rules in accordance with a reactionary form of Islamic law that persecutes women, Christians and homosexuals and glorifies violent death, and holds captive Gaza’s population of 1.8 million, causing them incalculable suffering, is a danger to the wider Arab world.
Across the region Arabs and Muslims have grown disgusted with Islamist terrorists. They see the atrocities and massacres committed in the name of one stream of Islam or another in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere and they are filled with revulsion.
Egyptians, for instance, see Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamist groups operating in Sinai as a serious threat to their national security. Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh, The Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian Affairs correspondent, noted that a broad swath of Egypt’s elite, from former generals to actors to journalists, has publicly criticized Hamas for causing suffering to Gaza’s residents.
Azza Sami, writing in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, actually praised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for attacking Hamas.
“Thank you, Netanyahu, and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas,” she wrote, according to Abu Toameh.
Egyptian TV presenter Amany al-Khayat said on her show, “Hamas is prepared to make all the residents of the Gaza Strip pay a heavy price in order to rid itself of its crisis.
We must not forget that Hamas is the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appears to be in no hurry to end the fighting between Hamas and Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that his appeals to Sisi and to other Arab leaders to impose a cease-fire have fallen on deaf ears.
Frustrated with the Arab nations for “forsaking” the people of Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri declared “there is no official Arab activity to rescue Gaza,” Hamas website Al-Resalah reported. “We feel greatly betrayed by official Arab regimes: We have encountered no official Arab position,” he said.
Zuhri made these statements after the Arab League convened an emergency session on the fighting between Hamas and Israel and criticized the Palestinian political leadership. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa both called on the Palestinians to resolve their political differences.
The regime of Jordan’s King Abdullah II faces threats from the Muslim Brotherhood and potentially from the Islamic State group (ex-ISIS). Although he has publicly condemned Israel’s attacks, Abdullah, who has resisted pressure from Qatar to reopen Hamas offices in Jordan – closed in 1999 – would secretly like to see Hamas weakened because it would lead to the weakening of the Muslim Brotherhood as well.
Since 2005, when Israel, in a painful move aimed at fostering peace, demolished all Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and evacuated all 8,000 of its Israeli residents, there have been no roadblocks in Gaza and no settlements, nor are there Israeli troops on the ground. Instead of dedicating itself to death and destruction, instead of devoting so much of its energy to smuggling into Gaza rockets, ammunition and explosives, Gaza’s Hamas political leadership could have improved the plight of the population after it wrested control of the Strip from Fatah in a bloody coup in 2007.
Arab nations are beginning to realize that not only the Palestinians of Gaza are suffering from the sorts of destructive policies instituted by Hamas, the entire region is, both Muslims and non-Muslims. Will this realization spread and give birth to a Muslim backlash against the violent, reactionary excesses of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic State and other Islamist terrorist groups? Only time will tell.