9:08 AM, Jul 15, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
The reluctance of Hamas’s “military wing”—a misnomer for the more extreme elements of its extremist leadership—to accept the cease-fire designed by Egypt is, well, logical. Let’s admit it. They do not wish to accept defeat, and the Egyptian terms are a defeat for Hamas.
By attacking Israel, what has Hamas wrought? Considerable damage was done to Gaza by Israeli air power, and Gazans will be picking up the pieces for months if not longer. But Hamas proved unable to kill one single Israeli with its hundreds of rockets, and all its special tricks—tunnels, longer-range rockets, a drone—also failed. Nor could they hit an important Israeli public building, nor do much property damage.
There were a few stated “war aims” for Hamas, and the first was freeing terrorists who were let out of prison in exchange for the kidnapped Gilad Shalit but recently re-arrested by Israel. That’s not in the Egyptian proposal. Second, Hamas also called for opening the passages to Gaza, and the Egyptians have promised to do that. But Hamas knows that it is at the tender mercies of Gen. (now President) Sisi and the Egyptian army, which hates them and the entire Muslim Brotherhood. Once the “international community” turns its attention elsewhere, those open passages will get clogged once again.
There is an alternative assessment, and some on the right in Israel are calling the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire an Israeli defeat and Hamas victory. Two members of Israel’s security cabinet voted against accepting the proposed terms. They argue that Hamas sent millions of Israelis cowering in shelters for days, while escaping punishment and reviving Hamas’s fortunes.
Come on. Israelis have not been cowering in shelters for days; they have been running into them briefly while leading their normal lives, the levels of tension declining steadily as confidence in Iron Dome rose. It has been obvious since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah that in all future wars there would be a home front inside Israel, and there has been in this one—but the damage has been amazingly light. In what wars has Israel not lost a single soul, civilian or military?
Have Hamas’s fortunes been revived? Well, think of the solidarity it has received from the Arab League, and the angry, vociferous protests from Arab governments to Washington. Think of the vast protests in the streets of Arab capitals. Right—they were non-existent. After Friday prayers last week, the usual moment for street rallies and violence as men gathered, there was nothing. Partly due to the real crises in Iraq and Syria and the confrontation with Iran, partly to official Arab distaste for the Muslim Brotherhood, solidarity with Hamas has been feigned and formal. The only real protests have been in Europe, where gangs fueled by anti-Semitism have attacked synagogues and Jews. That is fitting: Jew-haters and would-be Jew-killers are always in sympathy. But when Hamas’s backers are found in European semi-fascist gangs rather than in Cairo and Riyadh and Damascus, Hamas is no winner. The solidarity with Israel from President Hollande, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Cameron, and Prime Minister Harper has been striking (Obama is a separate story, admittedly).
It is true that Hamas has won some sympathy in the Arab and the Palestinian street for fighting the hated Zionist enemy, but that sympathy will evaporate soon because its fight was pathetic. It could not land a blow, while its actions meant suffering for Gazans. I have one fear about this: some in Hamas and other groups may conclude that old-fashioned terrorism—suicide bombers in cafes and buses, for example—is a more effective weapon than war with Israel via rockets. But Israel defeated the last intifada and knows how to deal with this threat as well.
Now Hamas leaders appear to be at odds about accepting the cease-fire, and some want to achieve more. If they reject a proposal Arab League foreign ministers have already approved, they will isolate themselves even more. If they continue to attack Israel they will assure that Israel has further international sympathy for its military responses. Of course things could still sour badly: further Hamas attacks, a lucky hit, an Israeli ground invasion that brings out all the moralists to attack Israel again. But as of this morning, Hamas has lost this war.
10:11 AM, Jun 28, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In spite of a string of worrisome human rights and freedom of expression violations, the Obama administration is holding out hope that Egypt's government lead by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is still headed for democracy.
12:01 PM, Jun 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Maggie Flick of Reuters is reporting that:
Three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed for seven years in Egypt on Monday after a court convicted them of helping a "terrorist organisation" by spreading lies, in a case that has raised questions about the country's respect for media freedom.
Yes, that would raise questions. But:
Egyptian officials have said the case is not linked to freedom of expression and that the journalists raised suspicions by operating without proper accreditation.
3:05 PM, Jun 11, 2014 • By ERIC TRAGER
Two years ago, Islamist political posters plastered Giza's impoverished Omraniya neighborhood. But two weeks ago, as Egyptians went to the polls for the seventh time since the 2011 uprising, a military man's banners monopolized the wall space. "Abdel Fatah al-Sisi knows how to fix the country," shopkeeper Shaaban Hamdy, a Sisi supporter, told me in Cairo last week. Hamdy voted for Mohamed Morsi during the 2012 presidential elections, seeing the Muslim Brotherhood leader as "something new, not the same old [regime]." Yet despite regretting that decision, Hamdy acknowledged that Sisi might not be Egypt's final answer either. "If he fails," Hamdy said, "the people will come again and change him."
But blocked an Iranian information campaign.2:10 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
If Israel believed that exposing an Iranian arms transfer to terrorists in Gaza was a public relations coup that might make the White House think twice about making a deal with the regime in Tehran over its nuclear weapons program, then Jerusalem has fundamentally misread the Obama administration. Perhaps just as ominously, it shows that the government of Israel doesn’t understand the new media environment.
Hosted by Michael Graham4:00 PM, Feb 24, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with editor William Kristol on President Obama's influence with foreign leaders and Ted Cruz's role in the GOP.
Forget chess, Turkey is failing at geopolitical checkers. Nov 4, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 08 • By LEE SMITH
A recent spate of newspaper articles suggests a concerted media campaign targeting Turkey’s foreign intelligence service, the MIT, its director, Hakan Fidan, and almost surely his boss as well, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a piece published by the Wall Street Journal and another by the Washington Times, Fidan is said to be supporting al Qaeda affiliates in Syria fighting against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
3:29 PM, Aug 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The anti-Christian violence in Egypt is "a modern pogrom," David Brog, the executive director of Christians United for Israel, says in a statement.
"Events in Egypt this week highlight yet again the tragedy facing the Christians of the Middle East. Once again, Christians are being targeted for murder. Once again Christian schools, businesses and churches are being attacked. And once again, the world is largely silent," Brog says.
According to the press, Jerusalem goes against the White House and stands with the Egyptian army.7:02 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel, along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is gung-ho for the Egyptian army’s bloody campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood. This, the Journal reports, “has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states.” Yes, concurs, the New York Times, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE support “the Egyptian military and sought to push back against Western entreaties that it temper its actions against the Brotherhood and the ousted government of President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.”
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:23 PM, Aug 20, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith about ongoing crisis in Egypt.
7:11 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss joined This Week on Sunday to discuss Egypt, law and order, and politics:
Who is Maurice Bonamigo?4:46 PM, Aug 15, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Earlier this week, Maurice Bonamigo had strong words for the White House on its Egypt policy. “The Obama administration failed to assess the situation in Egypt,” Bonamigo told Egypt’s flagship English-language media organ, the Egypt Independent. “It did not appreciate the power of the Egyptian people calling for freedom. I am surprised by Obama’s stance.”
Yesterday's confrontation between Egypt's army and the Muslim Brotherhood may only be the beginning.4:01 PM, Aug 15, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
This morning President Obama announced that he is cancelling this year’s joint military exercise with Egypt, Operation Bright Star. It’s a symbolic gesture intended to show that, should the army continue to pursue its present course, the White House may eventually decide to suspend military aid. But cancelling Bright Star also underscores American impotence. The administration reportedly warned Egypt’s military regime against a violent crackdown, an admonition to which, with 638 now confirmed dead after yesterday’s nationwide confrontations with Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the army obviously turned a deaf ear.