In the past, when Israel was involved in any military action to defend itself or respond to attacks from its Arab neighbors, it was totally condemned by all the Arab nations around it. This time it’s a little different–and not because Israel was justified in its attack on Hamas (which it was).
The biggest threat to peace in the Middle East right now is Iran–not only because of its pursuit of nuclear weapons, but also because of the terrorism it is sponsoring in the region through control and funding of Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Iran is not an Arab nation–its people are Persians. Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation–most of the countries around Iran are Sunni Muslims. The damage to countries in the region caused by Iranian-backed terror has not gone unnoticed by Iran’s neighbors. Thus, according to Power Line Blog, the response to the Israeli attack in Gaza has not followed past patterns.
According to the article:
“Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit held a press conference in Cairo yesterday for the Arabic press in which he extended condolences to the Palestinians killed in the attacks but blamed Hamas for ignoring warnings that Israel would attack if rocket fire from Gaza didn’t cease. Aboul Gheit’s comments follow last Thursday’s report in al Quds al Arabi, in which Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman reportedly told Israeli officials that Egypt would not oppose a short operation to topple Hamas.”
“Mohammad Abdallah Al Zulfa, member of the Saudi Shoura Council said on the Alhurra Arabic TV news program on December 17 that “Iran is the big threat in today’s world, supporting all the terrorists from Hamas to Hezbollah to some other terrorists that we don’t know their names yet” and “Iran destabilized the region by supporting all the illegal activities and activists such as Hamas.””
“Ironically, the Iranian regime’s “New Middle East” — not the version that had earned President Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat a Nobel Prize — could leave Israel in a stronger regional position if it beats Hamas into the ground, and uproots its terror infrastructure. It would be called a humiliating defeat for Hamas’ leadership and its Iranian overlords and it would lever up Israel’s position with Arab neighbors who have been paralyzed from acting against the same Iran that threatens their very existence.
If Israel continues to avoid Palestinian civilan causalites and uproot Hamas, the Arab states will honor Israeli power and Israel’s will to use it, that in this case protects their future too.”
The denial of Iraq to Iran as a terrorist staging ground, along with the gradual recognition by Iran’s Arab neighbors that Iran is not a ‘team player’, should make for serious positive changes in the Middle East this year.