Tacit allies against Hamas find common cause over unruly peninsula.4:51 PM, Nov 7, 2014 • By OREN KESSLER
Last week, Sinai-based extremists targeted the North Sinai security headquarters with a massive blast, causing damage, but no injuries. Thankfully it wasn’t a replay of the attack last month that killed 33 security personnel in some of Egypt’s worst violence since the overthrow of former president, and Muslim Brotherhood member, Mohamed Morsi last summer. That combined car-bomb and shooting attack capped a week that also saw seven troops killed by a roadside bomb and two Israeli soldiers wounded in a cross-border shooting. Even though the latest attacks give the lie to Cairo’s assurances that it was bringing jihad in Sinai to heel, they presage closer security cooperation with Israel, are already close.
The first embers of the Sinai insurgency were lit by the general security breakdown that accompanied the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. The uprising’s current, blood-drenched phase, however, was sparked by the army’s July 2013 overthrow of Morsi
Since that coup, hundreds of soldiers and security force officers have been killed in retribution attacks, both in Sinai and – since last year – on the Egyptian mainland. In response, Egypt has waged a military campaign including air strikes and ground operations, as well as the destruction of 95% of smuggling tunnels (some 1,600 in all) to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Immediately following last month’s attacks, Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency and his forces began destroying or evacuating hundreds of homes in the half-kilometer area abutting the territory.
Through it all, Israel has been an indispensable partner. Even during the height of this summer’s Gaza conflict, the Egyptian-Israeli blockade of Gaza enforced since Hamas forcibly took it over in 2007 remained intact. All throughout that war – during which Cairo and Jerusalem worked together to draft ceasefire proposals with little input from Washington – Israeli officials communicated daily with their Egyptian colleagues to take Cairo’s “temperature.” At least 2,127 Palestinians were ultimately killed in the fighting – at least half of them civilians – and both partners knew high death tolls would eventually turn Egyptian public opinion toward a ceasefire. Throughout, Egypt continued operations against the tunnels, and kept its lone crossing to Gaza mostly closed to people and aid.
Israel has come under shooting or rocket attack at least 20 times since Mubarak’s departure, but has been reluctant to conduct operations on Egyptian territory lest it jeopardize the 1979 Camp David Accords. One of the few exceptions came last summer, when an Israeli drone appears to have struck Sinai militants with Egypt’s permission—and conceivably at its behest.
4:46 PM, Aug 27, 2014 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
With lawmakers ratcheting up pressure on Obama to take action in Syria, few in the administration have been paying close attention to Libya, apparently.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:10 PM, Jul 30, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on Hamas's attack tunnels, Operation Protective Edge, the Iranian factor, and what the media gets wrong about Israel's involvement in Gaza.
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.
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.