A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 12, 2009--Hezbollah in Egypt-Obama's Seder
The big news from the Middle East this weekend has been the arrest of a series of people in Egypt described as agents of Hezbollah from Lebanon. Egypt is claiming that the agents were in Egypt to engage in terrorist activities to undermine the Egyptian regime. Hezbollah's leader Nasrallah admitted on television last night that at least one of those arrested was indeed his agent. He claimed he was just there to help the Palestinians in Gaza. According to many observers, Nasrallah’s admission was a mistake. By admitting his involvement in internal Egyptian affairs, he forces Egypt to take additional actions. There are calls in Egypt to add his name to the indictment against those arrested and then to ask for an international arrest warrant from Interpol.
These are farfetched ideas, but there is a clear ranching up in the rhetoric. The Egyptians are blaming Iran for Nasrallah's actions. This represents a continuation and a worsening of the ongoing conflict between Iran and its allies and the rest of the Arab world. How this will evolve is unclear, but with the situation in Gaza unresolved, it will clearly become more complicated in coming weeks and months.
I have a picture on my website on the 100 days of the President Obama's seder. I have to admit it is a very strange site to see a seder in the White House, taking place under the picture of Dolly Madison. Does it have any long term meaning? Probably not. This is another step along the way of making Jewish traditions part of the mainstream American traditions. This goes hand in hand with some of the American church movements in the past few years to recognize the Jewish origins of Christianity.