Egypt Plays a Crucial Role in Israel’s Efforts against Hamas

During the intermittent rounds of fighting in the Gaza Strip since 2008, Cairo has served as an intermediary between the Hamas regime and Jerusalem, which naturally eschew direct contact with each other. Even under the pro-Hamas rule of Muhammad Morsi, and all the more so under the anti-Islamist rule of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has been the sole power able to restrain the terrorist group somewhat. Eran Lerman argues that Israel benefits from having its southern neighbor in this position:

Today, the relationship [between Israel and Egypt] has reached new heights, due to their shared efforts against terror in Sinai, on one hand, and against Turkish subversion in the eastern Mediterranean, on the other hand. With a partnership in restoring calm in Gaza, and in an age of integration in the field of energy supply, there may even some change in the generally shrill anti-Israel atmosphere in the Egyptian public sphere. In this respect, the creation, in Cairo, of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)—bringing together Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy—is another step in that direction.

At the same time, the mediation is of great importance for Egypt itself. . . . A severe deterioration of the situation in Gaza, and a level of distress that may lead to pressure to throw the border open, are viewed in Cairo as a nightmare. The last thing that Egypt needs are millions more mouths to feed. Beyond that, the growing grip by Egyptian intelligence on events in Gaza can serve to force the Palestinian terror groups to cease and desist from all aid to the “Sinai Province” of Islamic State and other subversive elements in the peninsula. . . . At present, Egypt seems to have achieved an effective deterrence against further Palestinian support for terror groups in Sinai. . . .

Over time, the combination of Israeli pressures, a deterrent effect (even if limited and fragile), and intense Egyptian engagement, all help to erode the myth of the jihadist “resistance” [on which Hamas stakes its legitimacy]. The Hamas leadership’s diplomatic and military efforts of the past year are overtly designed to extract material gains. As such, they also raise—in a certain sense—questions about the movement’s ideological commitment to jihad at all costs. Thus, the very reliance upon Egypt, at times of crisis and distress, may indicate that in the regional power struggle among ideological camps, the Islamists are not quite sure that they still have the upper hand.

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, General Sisi, Hamas, Israeli Security


The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media