A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
February 10, 2008 Gaza/Sderot and Egypt
Gaza and Sderot continue to dominate the news with many attacks on the city Friday and Saturday bringing a new sense of urgency to the situation. Two boys were injured last night. An eight year old lost his leg and is still in critical condition. Hundreds of residents of the Sderot went to Jerusalem and demonstrated outside the Prime Minister's Office demanding action. The government met to discuss the situation but there was no real outcome. The facts have not changed. The army is ready to re-conquer Gaza, but has no interest in doing so. The simple fact that no one has a plan of what to do afterwards is very problematic. The hope still is that Israel can wait out Hamas and at some point they will lose support
There is actually a hopeful sign of Hamas losing support, and it is coming from Egypt. The deterioration of Egyptian-Hamas relations is very significant. As I wrote last week, the violent actions taken against Egyptian security personnel at the Gaza border last week has had a major effect on Egypt. Over the weekend the whole political spectrum of Egypt has been extremely critical of Hamas and supportive of President Mubarak. It is considered a major affront to Egypt that its security personnel were attacked. There was a great deal of discussion about how Hamas cannot be trusted and that all their discussion about wanting talks with the Palestinian Authority under Egyptian sponsorship were merely a ruse to gain time. Furthermore, they even discussed the fact that Hamas- fundamental claim that they were a fighting an oppressor is wrong, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza and they now do not have a legitimate reason to be fighting. We will see how long this attitude lasts, but it does represent a very fundamental shift in Egyptian intellectual positions.
While I have refrain here from any discussions of American Presidential politics (I do that in the election section of the web site) I did come across an interesting piece posted by Michael Trotten in Commentary called Assad Suckers Obama .The piece, while somewhat critical of Obama, is more in the way of warning to any politician who thinks that if the US only talks to Assad, we can solve the problems between Israel and Syria, Syria and Lebanon..