Manic Monday: Meet the New Boss…
Posted November 26, 2012on:
A ceasefire was declared in the conflict between Hamas and Israel this past week. Among other things we are thankful for this season, I’m sure we are all grateful that the bombings have stopped and that the ground war threatened by Israel did not materialize. (Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic skills, I’m quite sure, were also a factor.)
It is somewhat unclear as to what Hamas gained by the months of rocket attacks against Israel. As this article points out, the Israeli government made some vague promises about easing the existing blockade on building materials. However, due to Hamas’ long-recognized practice of building military targets close to houses, schools and hospitals, residents of the Palestinian territories are stuck rebuilding their homes, with no guarantee of enough materials and/or money to complete the reconstruction process.
Ayman el-Kholi, whose two-story home was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike aimed at militants, said Hamas government representatives and fighters, including Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar, visited him and promised compensation.
“They promised that after things calm down, they will begin to reconstruct all homes destroyed and not just ours,” he said.
In the meantime, the 41-year-old banker has sent his six children to sleep at various relatives’ homes, and he is staying with a friend. The rubble from the destroyed building was still in a heap on Sunday as he waited for the only government tractor to come remove it.
The entire block was damaged by airstrike. Shops were buried and a nearby workshop for electrical appliances was severely damaged.
All I can say is, somehow someone must be seeing a benefit to all this. I truly can’t see what Hamas is gaining by their constant attacks on Israel, nor can I quite understand what Israel is supposed to do to make the situation any better. The combination of oil and religious insanity is, indeed, a toxic one.
The article quoted above also points out that Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group currently in charge of Egypt through its President, Mohamed Morsi. Morsi came into power after the Arab Spring of 2011 deposed the existing dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who was a staunch supporter of Israel. After a period of rule by the military, elections were held, and the Muslim Brotherhood emerged victorious. I suppose one of the expectations of the protesters was that Morsi would not be as evil or dictatorial as Mubarak; plus, the anti-Israel views of the protesters would finally be mainstreamed in the government.
While the anti-Israel bias looks to have become a reality, Morsi’s “man of the people” phase seems to be over. At the moment, it looks like Morsi has caught MEDD (Middle-Eastern Dictator Disease).
More than 500 people have been injured in protests since Friday, when Egyptians awoke to news Mr. Morsi had issued a decree temporarily widening his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review.
Mr. Morsi’s office repeated assurances that the measures would be temporary, and said he wanted dialogue with political groups.
“This declaration is deemed necessary in order to hold accountable those responsible for corruption as well as other crimes during the previous regime and the transitional period,” the presidency said in a statement.
Yet leftists, liberals, socialists and others say it has exposed the autocratic impulses of a man once jailed by Mubarak.
“There is no room for dialogue when a dictator imposes the most oppressive, abhorrent measures and then says ‘let us split the difference’,” prominent opposition leader ElBaradei said on Saturday in an interview with Reuters and the Associated Press.
I understand that revolution is always a risk. I also do applaud the courage of the Egyptian people and their willingness to get out in the streets and fight for their beliefs. But at the same time, in order for the situation in the Middle East to improve, I think two things have to happen:
- The U.S. has to stop propping up secular dictators who oppress, torture and kill their people; and
- The youth of Egypt, Syria, Libya, and other countries in turmoil, need to understand that wiping Israel off the face of the earth won’t solve their economic problems. They must let go of their fanaticism and open their minds to alternate ways of perceiving the world.
Until real changes like these are made, despite the protestations of “democracy” and “freedom” coming to these oil-rich territories, we will continue to have new bosses that are the same as the old bosses. And that helps no one at all.
This is an open thread.
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