Sisi: 1, Obama:0

If Netanyahu is as determined as is Sisi, he will succeed against Obama and Kerry, exactly as Sisi has.

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Everyone is aware of the American plan to impose the Muslim Brotherhood on Egypt and any other country that would allow it. The reasons for this American plan were revealed on this stage a half-year ago.
Meanwhile, Abdel Sisi’s regime in Egypt is becoming more entrenched, and the Muslim Brotherhood – the Americans’ favorites – has been declared illegal, they and their many organizations having been declared a “terror organization.” They are forbidden to hold demonstrations and gatherings, or distribute fliers, and the police even become involved in the universities in order to suppress the Brotherhood’s activity.
One may disagree with Sisi’s declaration that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terror organization, but one cannot take issue with the fact that the Egyptian regime is determined to sweep the organization off of the political field, despite the tens of millions of Egyptians who identify with the Brotherhood and its goals.
One may take issue with the behavior of the Egyptian regime and call it “undemocratic,” but one would also have to admit that it, too, is supported by many millions of Egyptians.
One may also condemn the violence that the Egyptian regime uses against those who oppose its actions, but also admit that in the Middle East there are much more violent regimes, for instance Syria and (democratic!) Iraq.
Sisi also knows the American position full well, and especially President Barack Obama’s negative opinion of the actions against the Brotherhood, but Obama doesn’t upset him, and neither does Secretary of State John Kerry. He doesn’t change his goal or retreat from the actions that he has taken against the Brotherhood.
My heart tells me Sisi already is not returning Kerry’s or Obama’s telephone calls when they attempt to convince him to ease the pressure on the Brotherhood, in the same way that he didn’t capitulate to their pleas to restore Mohamed Morsi to the presidency after Sisi deposed him in early July this year.
Moreover, Sisi is not deterred from putting Morsi in the defendant’s cage and accusing him of murder, which could be a death sentence upon Morsi.
If the court imposes harsh sentences on Morsi and the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood – and perhaps even the death sentence – the American government will issue a condemnation and try to bring about a lighter sentence, but I am not at all sure Sisi will be responsive to such, even if they are accompanied by punitive actions such as reduction – or even elimination – of military and civil support.
The Americans will have to decide what they will do about the Egyptian determination: will they totally cut off the connection with Egypt and allow this country to switch over to the Russian camp, or perhaps swallow the frog and continue to support Egypt, mainly in the civil arena, in order not to push Egypt into returning to Moscow. In my opinion Obama and Kerry have capitulated and will continue to capitulate to Sisi and will accept – under protest – his policy.
The events in Egypt prove that Obama and his team of aides are helpless against the determination of Middle Eastern countries. That’s how it is with Iran, with Iraq and with Syria. They can not enter into a confrontation with governments that are determined and firm in their positions, and ultimately Obama accepts the decisions of Middle East regimes, even if he does not agree with them.
What Netanyahu can and must conclude is that it is not at all necessary to come to an agreement with the Palestinians. Kerry can come again and again, can raise a thousand and one ideas, but cannot take away the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel, that was granted to it thousands of years ago, and again in 1920 in the San Remo Conference.
Obama and Kerry cannot assure Israel that a Palestinian state with territorial contiguity would not at some point become another Hamas state like that which arose six-and-a-half years ago in the Gaza Strip, and therefore Israel must relate to their demands exactly as Sisi relates to them.
Giving in does not lead to agreement, but rather to determination. Israel must do what Israeli interests – not American interests – dictate, and in this phase of history Israel’s immediate interest is to bring the Palestinian Authority to an end, and to continue what Hamas began: to establish the Palestinian Emirates on the ruins of the PA, based on the Arab cities in Judea and Samaria. Israel must maintain forever the rural expanse and offer Israeli citizenship to its residents.
A Palestinian terror state with territorial contiguity would be an existential threat to Israel, and therefore Israel should assert its right – it can and must say to Obama and Kerry: No! If Netanyahu is as determined as is Sisi, he will succeed against Obama and Kerry, exactly as Sisi has.
The author is the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a lecturer at the Department of Arabic, Bar-Ilan University.