Mideast Moves on Without the US

Arab Spring Winter

Gaza disengagement The Gaza disengagement contributed to the Sinai’s spiral far more than we thought. An Israeli intelligence official shared this assessment with Haaretz:

Contrary to what the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence had expected, after the disengagement Gaza began exporting terror to Sinai rather than the other way around. “We thought Sinai was the source of all evil for Gaza, but it turned out that things were exactly the opposite,” a senior intelligence official said. “The Egyptians understood the situation much faster than we did.” . . .

“We thought experienced global jihad operatives from Afghanistan and Iraq would come to Sinai, and from there to Gaza, but in practice, the operatives from Gaza are the ones who taught the operatives in Sinai everything they know,” the official said. “The Salafi operatives from Gaza are all breakaways from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who know the IDF well and have accumulated much more combat experience than the operatives from Sinai … The Gaza operatives are an operational asset, because they know how to plan and supervise attacks.”

• Egypt’s ambassador to the UK compared the Muslim Brotherhood to the Nazis. But the parallel Ashraf ElKholy drew between his country’s unrest and London’s 2011 riots upset a few Britons, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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Erdogan’s being Erdogan again, saying he has evidence Israel was behind Egypt’s coup. According to Hurriyet, the basis for the claim is an unnamed French Jewish intellectual. You don’t have to be French, Jewish, or intellectual to figure out that Erdogan’s one of the losers from Egypt’s coup. The military regime already cancelled his Gaza 2013 tour.


Egypt’s Media Cheers Army Crackdown

Hamas cautiously finds its voice on Egypt’s crackdown, reports the Times of Israel.

For more commentary/analysis, see Tim Marshall on Egyptian xenophobia, Times of London staff-ed on taking back the Sinai, Steven Simon on US leverage, and a NY Times staff-ed.

Palestinian refugees from Syria now in Lebanon compared their status in the two countries for the LA Times:

Many Palestinians in Lebanon are relegated to working on the black market, enduring harsh conditions and low pay. Ammar, Rania’s brother-in-law, managed to find a job as a tile-layer upon his arrival from Syria. His monthly salary of $500 is more than many Palestinians in the camp bring home for several months . . .

Palestinians in camps in Syria live like Syrians,” says Rania, speaking in the sweltering flat she is sharing with a dozen relatives. “We have the same rights, the same education, the same medical treatment, the same opportunities. If a Palestinian is smart in Syria, they have the chance to travel abroad for education.”

(Image of Egypt via Twitpic/Douglas Wheelock, Ban via UN/Rick Bajornas, disengagement via Flickr/Israel Defense Forces)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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