To Many Arabs, the Fall of Tunisia’s Islamist Rulers Is Good News

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, where demonstrations succeeded in toppling a long-ruling dictatorship. Unlike elsewhere, where uprisings were either repressed or led to bloody civil wars, the revolution in the North African country seemed to be a success story, leading to reasonably democratic elections that brought the Islamist Ennahda party to power. But last month, the president removed the prime minister and his entire cabinet from office, and called up the military to back up the move—ending Ennahda’s rule. Khaled Abu Toameh examines the generally positive reaction to the coup throughout the Arab world:

The Ennahda party was inspired by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the ideology of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. . . . The decision of the president [to dismiss the government] was made in response to a series of protests against Ennahda, economic hardship, and a spike in COVID-19 cases in Tunisia.

Tunisia is the third Arab country after Egypt and Sudan to say that it is fed up with the rule of the Islamists. With the exception of Qatar, most of the Arab countries have long regarded the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups as a major threat to security, stability, and peace. The Palestinians, on the other hand, seem to be the only Arabs who continue to believe in the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates, particularly Hamas, the terrorist group that has been ruling the Gaza Strip since July 2007.

Evidently, many Arabs are pleased that the rule of the Islamists in Tunisia has finally come to an end. The jubilation in the Arab countries over the toppling of Ennahda sends a clear message to the rest of the world against embracing or appeasing the Islamists. Sadly, this is a message that continues to be ignored by the many Palestinians and leaders in the West who continue to support Hamas and other Iranian-backed Islamist groups that seek to eliminate Israel and to keep the Palestinians mired in misery.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Arab Spring, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestinians, Tunisia

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas