A week after the ceasefire concluding Israel’s eight day campaign against Hamas, Operation Pillar of Defense, there is some debate as to who came out on top. The way one judges the outcome seems to depend on: one, what you make of the ceasefire agreement; two, what role you think that Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi played; and, three, other less tangible factors.
In a read-out of a phone call between President Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the United States pledged to "use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza."
Jerusalem The crisis now under way in Gaza represents the moment when the wave of Sunni Islamism that has been achieving triumph after triumph in the region since early 2011 finally crashes up against the Jewish state.
On October 24, Egyptian officials raided an apartment in Nasr City, a neighborhood in Cairo, suspected of housing a terrorist cell with ties to the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. A firefight ensued and one of the suspected terrorists was killed. An Egyptian police official explained to Agence France Presse that the man “is suspected of having connections with the group that carried out the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.”
There is one curious beneficiary of the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that cost four American lives: Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood government. The attack in Libya and subsequent controversy has almost entirely obscured the siege that same day of the American embassy in Cairo, and President Mohamed Morsi’s irresponsible handling of a very dangerous situation.
Rifai Ahmed Taha Musa, one of Egypt’s most notorious al Qaeda-linked terrorists, attended the U.S. embassy protest in Cairo on September 11. Musa was just one of several al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists who was present at the rally, imploring followers to punish those who produced the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.
On and around September 11, 2012, al Qaeda attacked multiple American assets around the world. The attack that has received the most attention is the deadly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the U.S. consulate in Libya was not the only diplomatic facility assaulted by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in September. Terrorists with ties to al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, were involved in at least three other U.S. embassy sieges in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and possibly elsewhere.
This evening on CBS's 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama called the recent violence in the Middle East "bumps in the road."
CBS's Steve Kroft asked, “Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?”