In Iran, elements from within the regime are reportedly offering a $1-million reward for the assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak because of his opposition to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In Lebanon, the leader of Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran and Syria, merely calls for the Egyptian government's overthrow.The UN has a lot of thinking to do. The whistle was blown on them by FOX News of all places.
In response to this, Tariq Alhomayed, a Saudi who is editor-in-chief of the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, describes Hamas as Iran's tool, and argues that "Iran is a real threat to Arab security." Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, agrees, and he is not alone. When Arab states met to discuss the Gaza crisis, Saudi Arabia vetoed any action. Even the Palestinian Authority blames Hamas for the fighting. Activists in Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority and is Hamas's nationalist rival, make no secret of their hope that Hamas loses the war.
Welcome to the new Middle East, characterized no longer by the Arab-Israeli conflict but by an Arab nationalist-Islamist conflict. Recognizing this reality, virtually all Arab states - other than Iran's ally, Syria - and the Palestinian Authority want to see Hamas defeated in Gaza. Given their strong self-interest in thwarting Islamist revolutionary groups, especially those aligned with Iran, they are not inclined to listen to the "Arab street" - which is far quieter than it was during previous conflicts, such as the 1991 war in Kuwait, the 2000-2004 Palestinian uprising or the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war.
The United Nations agency that administers a school in Gaza where dozens of civilians were killed by Israeli mortar fire last week has admitted to employing terrorists to work at its Palestinian schools in the past, has no system in place to keep members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad off its payroll, and provides textbooks to children that contain hate speech and other incendiary information.THis is a must-read by Carlos Alberto Montaner:
This demand for "proportionality" can only be called surprising. Until this conflict began, history books everywhere always expressed great satisfaction and a certain chauvinistic pride when a nation's army inflicted on the enemy a large number of casualties, vis-à-vis a trifling price paid by "our boys." Israel is the only country expected to behave differently and, in fact, it does; I know of no other nation that announces where and when it will drop its bombs, thus enabling civilians to evacuate the territory. Of course, in this it behaves asymmetrically, because the Hamas terrorists, forever eager to cause the greatest damage possible, never announce when or where they will launch their rockets against Israel's civilian population.
In turn, Israel has not the slightest interest in causing casualties. All it wants is to stop Hamas' attacks the only way it can: by eliminating the terrorists and destroying their arsenals. There's no other way to deal with them. Hamas is not a political organization with which agreements can be reached, but a fanatical gang intent on wiping Israel off the map. To achieve this objective, its members are even willing to turn their own children into human bombs, just to kill the hated Jews.
Here's another very important asymmetry. The Jews build underground shelters in all houses near the border; they close the schools and hide the children at the least sign of danger; they treat the death of a single soldier as a national tragedy; they do everything possible to rescue their prisoners, and protect the civilian population from the consequences of war. In contrast, the authorities in Gaza, drunk with violence, fire their machine guns irresponsibly into the air to express joy or grief (causing numerous injuries), do not hesitate to install their headquarters or hide their guns in schools, mosques or hospitals, use human shields to protect themselves, turn to suicidal terrorists and reward the families of such "martyrs" with money.