Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hamas's Political Weakening May Help Israel

The political dynamics in the Middle East are slowly changing - quite possibly in Israel's favor.  A Reuters article reports that Iran has cut funding to Hamas due to the Palestinian movement's refusal to support besieged Syrian President Bashar Assad.  Hamas, which has its political headquarters in the Syrian capitol, Damascus, has long been used by Iran as a political and terrorist weapon against Israel (Hamas currently controls the Gaza Strip).  However, the Iranian leadership is obviously quite upset at Hamas's failure to support the fellow Iranian proxies in Syria.  Assad, who is backed by Iran, has been increasingly under threat as popular revolts against the dictator have increased.  The Syrian regime has also faced increasing illegitimacy across the globe as many leaders, including recently President Obama, have called for Assad's resignation.

Reuters also reports that Hamas has lost funding from its Muslim Brotherhood supporters who are fueling the Arab Spring revolts in Egypt.
Hamas is also widely believed to receive money from the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most popular and organised political force. Diplomats said those payments also may have been reduced because the Brotherhood has diverted funds to support the so-called Arab Spring revolts.
Hamas's financial and political woes may bode well for Israel.  Hamas has recently indicated a desire for a ceasefire with Israel.  According to reports this ceasefire will go into effect Sunday evening. This followed a series of bloody attacks in southern Israel this past week, perpetrated by the PRC, a group of Muslim terrorist seemingly unaffiliated with Hamas.  Israel has responded forcefully to both the PRC attacks and subsequent rocket strikes from Gaza.

All of this seems to suggest that the political turmoil within the Arab states may be weakening Israel's enemies.  Growing infighting among anti-Israel groups, the weakening of dictatorial Arab regimes, and the loss of Iranian influence appear to have strengthened Israel's position.  While the loss of Egypt's Mubarak and the possible increase in Islamist power in Egypt, may have some detrimental effects for Israel, ultimately it appears that the weakening of Hamas, Syria, and Iran may be quite beneficial for Israel. (Egypt, under Mubarak, was a nominal ally of Israel's and now may be taking a more Islamist-friendly approach, as the recent PRC attacks, launched from Egyptian-controlled Sinai, show.) 

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