Arnaud de Borchgrave’s Perspective:
Following his success in mediating a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Palestinians, Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi lunged for absolute power as a new religious pharaoh.
The huge demonstrations that collapsed Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year dictatorship last year suddenly reemerged in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — this time to demand that Morsi govern as a democratic president.
|Egypt's Morsi speaks to supporters outside the Presidential palace in Cairo.
Between Palestinians and Israelis, neither side liked where the latest bloody conflict was headed.
Hamas’ Iranian-built Fajr-5 rockets were inaccurate and with insufficient range to reach beyond the outskirts of Israel’s heavily populated areas.
The accuracy of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system blunted Hamas’ rockets that were nothing more than airborne grenades. Only nine Israelis were killed vs. 163 Palestinians, including seven senior Hamas commanders.
Hamas’s rockets were, in effect, the third Palestinian intifada. And the next missile warhead upgrade, smuggled from Iran through Egypt, will bring Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa within range.
This time, Israel’s retaliatory Operation Pillar of Defense targeted — and killed — Hamas’ Chief of Staff Ahmed Jabari. It also demolished carefully concealed stockpiles of Fajr rockets, along with pinpoint precision bombing of Hamas government offices.
The Israeli Air Force, minutes away, launched 1,500 pinpoint strikes against targets long identified by Israeli intelligence.
Demolished in 1,500 air strikes, according to Israeli sources, were 19 Hamas senior command centers, hundreds of underground rocket launchers, 140 smuggling tunnels and dozens of concealed operation rooms and bases in separate buildings, and 26 weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, along with dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites.
Six Palestinians accused of working for Israeli intelligence were executed at an intersection in Gaza in front of a cheering mob. One of the bodies was then attached to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets as a warning against working for Israel.
No amount of violence will hasten the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It is diplomatic chimera.
Israeli settlements keep growing and no one can see Jewish settlers agreeing to resettle in Israel. Many of them are Jewish fundamentalists who came directly from the U.S. and have never lived in the Jewish state.
The number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank now exceeds 350,000, double what it was 12 years ago. The Israel Hayom newspaper reported 300,000 Jews now living in East Jerusalem.
A ten-month partial freeze on settlement expansion came to an end two years ago. One Israeli politician, Yakoov Katz, predicts the number of settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would reach one million within five years.
At the height of the latest crisis, Arab columnists piled on about the “Holocaust that was exaggerated to justify the usurpation of Palestine.”
In the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, Faiz Rashid, a Palestinian-born Jordanian columnist, demanded the Nakba be taught instead of the holocaust.
Those who say “Remember the Nakba” want to bring to light what they call a monumental and ongoing historic injustice.
For Zionists, Palestine in 1948 was “a land without a people for a people without a land.”
For Palestinians, Israel was founded in what was home for one million Palestinians living in over 700 villages and cities that were deliberately and forcibly depopulated and renamed in 1948 following the Jewish victory in the war of independence.
Palestinians who want to live-and-let-live with Israelis fear radical retribution. Hamas’ dictatorial grip on Gaza and the growth of its clandestine influence throughout the West Bank silences moderate views.
The 18-year-olds who fought in the liberation of Europe in World War II are now 4 years from their 90th birthday.
And those who remember the newsreels that showed bulldozers dumping thousands of naked Jewish bodies into huge common ditches are now over 70.
If it weren’t for TV’s history and military channels playing 1945 newsreels, the holocaust would be ancient history.
As memories fade, anti-Jewish propaganda redoubles its efforts to confuse subsequent generations.
Anything goes — and anything is believed — in a culture in which lies freely mingle with facts.
“It is a well-known fact that modern Jews are not Jews, but rather a Khazar rabble from the Caspian Sea who were forced to convert by their king due to pressure applied to him by Muslims and Christians,” writes blogger Asad Al-Azouni.
The Obama strategic pivot from Europe to Asia bypassed the Middle East — only to be pulled back to reality by Hamas, Israel, and Egypt’s beleaguered Muslim Brotherhood.
It is also abundantly clear the U.S. cannot play the role of honest broker between the Jewish state and Palestinian radicals that are backed by Egypt.
But Egypt’s newly elected Muslim Brotherhood regime is already under siege by democratic forces demanding an end to dictatorial government.
Arab radicals argue violence is the only way to liberate Palestine, or at least to force Western powers to move it to the top of their geopolitical agenda.
And behind Muslim radicals is Iran, busily completing its clandestine preparations for a nuclear bomb. The key man in the undercover Hamas-Iran relationship was Ahmad Jabar, assassinated by a pinpoint Israeli strike against his third-floor apartment in the heart of Gaza.
For Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, 56, there is a delicate balancing act between Cairo and Tehran.
Even Egypt’s radical Muslim Brotherhood is not ready to jettison its peace treaty with Israel. But nothing would please Iran’s aging mullahs more than a rupture in Cairo’s relations with Washington.
Given Egypt’s desperate need for World Bank, IMF and U.S. financial assistance, this is not likely to happen.
Noted editor and journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave is an editor at large for United Press International. He is a founding board member of Newsmax.com who now serves on Newsmax's Advisory Board. Read more reports from Arnaud de Borchgrave — Click Here Now.
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