American Intervention in the Gaza Conflict – Shmuel Sandler
(dailyalert.org, Aug. 8, 2014
American intervention in the Gaza conflict has been difficult to understand. Washington acted against its own strategic interests in prodding Israel to pull back from clubbing Hamas, and in involving Turkey and Qatar – the lawyers and financiers of Hamas – in the ceasefire negotiations, while snubbing Egypt.
The Obama administration has failed to recognize the emergence, importance and opportunities presented by an axis of moderate pro-American Middle East states that developed during the recent crisis. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, many Gulf states (with the exception of Qatar), and Israel all shared similar interests in this conflict, as did Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. They all sought the dramatic weakening of the radical Islamic, Iranian-backed Hamas. Yet Washington declined to support this emerging bloc.
U.S. behavior towards Egypt is worrying. The Obama administration seems incapable of dealing squarely with Egyptian President Al-Sisi because he deposed the Muslim Brotherhood government. Perhaps Washington was seized with the thesis that views the Muslim Brotherhood as a pragmatic actor and a potential ally against more extreme iterations of Islam.
This could also explain the Obama administration’s misperception of the AKP, Turkey’s ruling party, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Strangely, Obama befriends a rabidly anti-Western and openly anti-Semitic leader. The writer is a senior research associate at the BESA Center and professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)