Egypt’s future right now is civil strife with a steady flow of violence: probably not as ugly as in Syria but bad enough to disrupt life and to undermine a transition moving forward. (Interview by Michael J. Totten)
The Truth About Egypt
Once Again, Palestinian Leaders Have Chosen the Wrong Allies
In inciting his constituents to violence over imagined desecrations of the al-Aqsa mosque, Mahmoud Abbas has allied his nominally secular Fatah party with radical Islam. By doing so, Amotz Asa-El notes, Abbas joins a long line of Palestinian leaders who have backed the losing (and morally bankrupt) side of every global conflict: from Amin Haj al-Husseini’s alliance with the Hitler, to Yasir Arafat’s alliances first with the Soviets and later with Saddam Hussein. Abbas’s current policy demonstrates equally poor timing:
Islamism has [now] overplayed its hand. The sense of insecurity, grief, and wrath that has befallen Paris after its trademark glee and light were disrupted by gunfire and commando raids has traveled far and wide. From Paris, London, and Washington to Canberra, Beijing, and Moscow, Islamism’s preachers and followers now loom as the most immediate, potent, and ubiquitous threat to world peace. . . .
Historians will wonder whether Mahmoud Abbas led or joined this fall’s psychosis surrounding Jerusalem’s holy places. There will be no debating his basking in the fires of religious war that Islamism’s local agitators had worked hard to spark. Who the original agitators were has been clear all along. They were the Islamic Movement’s northern branch [an Israel-based offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood] and its leader, Raed Salah. What was not clear was that the [Israeli] government’s outlawing this week of the northern branch would pass unopposed by a dumbfounded West. . . .
For Abbas, it is too late. He has now arrived where Arafat did when he positioned himself as Soviet imperialism’s trusted stooge, Saddam Hussein’s last friend, and [the African tyrant] Idi Amin’s best man. It is not too late for Abbas’s potential successors. If they can’t bring themselves to confront the Islamists in their midst on moral grounds, they should at least consider the public-relations fiasco and political dead end where their current leaders’ Islamist misadventure inevitably leads.