Calls for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza are generally useless if pertinent issues aren’t on the table (witness Syria). And here’s what’s emerging: Hamas in Gaza has increased its missile capability—and its willingness to use it against Israel—thanks to imports of weaponry from Iran moved to Gaza via the new sympathetic Egyptian government. Iran hopes to catch Israel in a squeeze play, with rockets attacking it from the south and west to distract it from the missile and coming nuclear threat Iran poses to the east. The New York Times reports:
“The smuggling route involves salaried employees from Hamas along the way, Iranian technical experts traveling on forged passports and government approval in Sudan, Israeli officials said.”
The head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is behind protests unfolding there and supports Hamas in Gaza. In one interview he contends that he has at least some official U.S. support.
The real enemy in the Arab world is not Israel, writes Arab commentator Abdulateef al-Mulhim:
“The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s sacking of the Defense Ministry continues. After firing the defense minister two weeks ago, he fired two deputies last week, replacing each with allies expected to push through more than $700 billion in new defense spending to replace aging armaments.
Islamic militants in Somalia have beheaded a Christian in the coastal town of Barawa. A crowd gathered to watch as the body of 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose was cut in two, the militants claiming he was “a spy for foreigners and of embracing the ‘foreign religion of Christianity.”
60 Minutes’ Lara Logan has a few things to say about Islamic extremism in a speech worth watching that was delivered at a Better Government Association luncheon last October (see video below). She complained about “Taliban apologists” in the United States who misread the fight in Afghanistan:
“This is terrorism, it’s a completely and utterly different fight from anything we’ve faced in our history. … Our way of life is under attack. If you think that’s government propaganda … you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance you think that you write the script.”