August 1, 2020

Desperately Seeking Relevance

A protester leads a group of Egyptians in anti-Muslim Brotherhood chants, November 30, 2012. (Y. Weeks/VOA)

Jerusalem Post, 25/7 The conflict between Hamas-controlled Gaza and Israel became inevitable after a series of decisions and actions made clear that the movement was not interested in defusing tensions and returning to the cease-fire that had shakily pertained since 2012. These actions included the attempt to infiltrate a terrorist team into Zikim on July 8, the continued firing of rockets after the rejection of the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, the failure to respect the humanitarian … [Read more...]

Qatar / Hamas’s Collateral Damage

jonathan-spyer

PJMedia, 22/7 The fight between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is presented in the global media as a local conflict featuring a well organized state with its army, against a small Islamist organization. This picture is misleading. Hamas is not an isolated or even an entirely independent player. Rather, it is a member of a broader regional alliance, which is seeking to benefit from the current situation. This is the alliance of Muslim Brotherhood forces in the Middle East. Qatar is the main … [Read more...]

Shifting Mideast Sands Reveal New Alliances

Egyptian General Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi

A number of events in recent weeks cast light on the current intersecting lines of conflict in the Middle East. They reflect a region in flux, in which new bonds are being formed, and old ones torn asunder. But amid the confusion, a new topography is emerging. This was the month in which a long-existent split in the Sunni Arab world turned into a gaping fissure. On March 5th, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were withdrawing their ambassadors from the … [Read more...]

Qatari Power – and Irresponsibility – set to continue under new Emir

jonathan-spyer

Jerusalem Post, 29/6. An event of a type exotically rare in the contemporary Arab world took place this week: namely, a bloodless transfer of power. The ruling, ailing Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamid bin-Khalifa al-Thani chose to step down. Power was transferred to his 33 year old son, Tamim bin-Hamid al-Thani. Rumors of the imminent abdication had been rife among Gulf-watchers for some months. Few had expected that it would come so soon. The young and inexperienced Tamim is ascending to power … [Read more...]

War over the Ruins

jonathan-spyer

Jerusalem Post, 8/3. The Syrian civil war bursts its banks This week, 48 Syrian soldiers who were reported as having ‘sought refuge’ in Iraq were ambushed and killed on Iraqi soil. At least 9, and possibly as many as 19 Iraqi soldiers who were reported as being in escort of the convoy of Syrian defectors also died in the ambush. This incident lays bare the extent to which the Syrian civil war has now burst its banks. The expansion follows the lines of local and regional sectarian … [Read more...]