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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mubarak vs Hamas

Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls

It seems that all quasi-royal families tend to hold grudges. Bush held a big one for Saddam, and Mubarak seem to be holding one for Hamas.
Now before Neocons (Americans, and Arabs--can you believe we have those? strange times!) start fuming "Hamas is a terrorist organization" out of their nostrils, let me just say that I'm speaking from a completely pragmatic, Egyptian, strategic point of view. Machiavellian, if you wish.
It is a strategic imperative that whoever is governing Palestine will need Egyptian support (for lots of reasons). And for a while Egypt seemed to be holding on to this card, as if it will bail us out of some jail; thanks to our horrible foreign policy, this was the only issue that kept Egypt a relevant regional player (i.e. "America, Israel, or the EU can't talk to Palestinians? Easy, go to Mubarak down in Cairo, and he'll take care")
It is also well known that Hamas (the democratically elected Palestinian government, for better or worse) is a satellite organization of Ikhwan (MB) in Egypt (in his latest TV interview, Mahdy Akef bragged that Ismail Hanea, Palestinian PM, consulted with him about his cabinet)
It is also a fact that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, isn't the gladdest folk on the block about the outcome of the Palestinian elections; he certainly wished for his Fatah to form the government.
In a situation like this, I would imagine that Egypt should have tried to hold all the strings in its hands. Mubarak should have tried to 1) contain Hamas and win their trust; 2) up the pressure on Mahmoud Abbas to try to get him to cooperate with his government; and 3) convince the Americans and the Europeans, as well as Hamas, that if anybody wanted to communicate anything to the other party, then they should take it to him...in other words, play everybody's friend (aka Mubarak's favorite position). This would have achieved 1) more stability in Palestine which translates to securer borders, and more stability in Sinai; 2) bigger strategic role for Egypt in the middle east (and can be used as bargaining card in other issues like limits on exports, free zone agreement, etc...); and 3) effectively drive a stake through the MB by containing their Palestinian branch (come on, if the man can get them the aid money from the US and Europe, they wouldn't mind having a Supreme Guide Mubarak!)
Instead, Mubarak ignores Hamas, his FM snubs his Palestinian counterpart, and then later he travels to Jordan to join its boyking in his chorus about how the "evil Hamas is trying to destabilize my country"!
Again, remember that this has nothing to do with the nature of Hamas. Mubarak is so old to be talking about stands for principles now. So spare me those!

Moved on!

8 Comments:

far from Machiavellian, what you wrote is politically mundane.
Hamas has snubbed many egyptian attempts to unify Palestinian factions to stick behind the PA. now that Hamas is in charge, do you reward them, those who snubbed you, by courting them when they have contributed largely to the mess they are in?
Hamas thinks they can snub everyone & yet still recieve their funds, the same people they snub & regard as enemy. They know that things have changed now that they are in control, MB cannot help Hamas with the funds they need & i doubt if Haniyah consulted with Akef over his cabinet.
Cash funds if cut from Hamas entirely, will force them to soften their stance sooner rather than later, thats the only way they will get the message.
by the way, did you expect the egyptian foriegn minister to meet Hamas's Zahar at the airport when they are still considered a terrorist organization?
& what sort of stability in Palestine exactly are you talking about?

By Anonymous Alienkain, at May 02, 2006 12:21 PM  

i am not saying that i wouldnt like to c hamas softening their positions...all I am saying is what i'm suggesting should be done, while at the same time other parties are exerting pressure on Hamas. If you corner anybody from all sides, even if he is weak and desperate, he'd go mad...if you pressure him from all sides, but left him an exit, you'd be certainly successful in changing his stance...(i.e. desperation leads to unpredictable results)
what i am saying about stability, has to do with the fact that I think hamas might be having a role in supporting terrorist attacks in sinai, whether directly, or indirectly (through neglegence in border control, etc...)

By Blogger Tomanbay, at May 02, 2006 12:45 PM  

OLA Tomanbay....I see you are still going strong with the political commentaries. Well since i do not write about politics, i do not get much readership, couple that with the fact that i have only written 3 posts and i am sure you will understand. I write here to first, get your attention to visit my blog and comment, since i have this accumulated feeling from your writing that you are not only about politics, and second of all i must get some people to comment alongside, since that helps my ego :)....Salute

By Blogger Deltron Blonde, at May 02, 2006 2:49 PM  

"far from Machiavellian, what you wrote is politically mundane.
Hamas has snubbed many egyptian attempts to unify Palestinian factionsuni to stick behind the PA. now that Hamas is in charge, do you reward them, those who snubbed you, by courting them when they have contributed largely to the mess they are in?
Hamas thinks they can snub everyone & yet still recieve their funds, the same people they snub & regard as enemy."

Sorry, but this statement is politically naive. Hamas and the PLO (Arafat's and Now Abbas's faction) are seperate political entities. Having them unified is like having the Likud and Shas unified on everything in Israel. It doesn't happen. They might agree on stuff, work together on others, but they won't unite. I don't understand what gave you the idea that just because they didn't accept the previous overtures to have them unite for whatever reason, means that they have shunned Mubarak forever.

These aren't kids playing in the courtyard between buildings. It's politics. Just like Bin Laden was useful to the States in the eighties for fighting off Russia, he is now their mortal enemy.


"Cash funds if cut from Hamas entirely, will force them to soften their stance sooner rather than later, thats the only way they will get the message."

Or, it might switch them to a level of fanaticism unheard of before, to observers like you anyways. The might start looking for alternate sources of funding and the palestinian people might sympathize with them and continue their support in defiance of the attempt to force Hamas to change their stance. Arabs are like that.


"by the way, did you expect the egyptian foriegn minister to meet Hamas's Zahar at the airport when they are still considered a terrorist organization?"

NEWSFLASH: EGYPT does NOT, I repeat NOT, consider Hamas a terrorist organization. To my knowledge, no Arabic country does. The reason the FM didn't meet up with his Palestinian counterpart might have been because the Egyptians are not sure of what the ramifications of such action might be. They chose to play it safe.

Now go take your terrorist mumbo-jumbo elsewhere.

Tomanbay, please excuse the fact that I took this to your Blog.

By Blogger Faisal, at May 03, 2006 1:03 PM  

faisal
read what i wrote before jumping on your wagon of conclusions.
It did happen, on two occasions, that Palestinian factions including Hamas, Aqsa martyrs & others met in cairo with egyptian officials in an attempt to Unify their (palestinian groups) efforts & to stand behind the PA, not to integrate with them, during the period when their attacks foiled & hampered the PA peace efforts with Israel.
I did not say that they were to become one with the PA, so you misunderstood what i said completely.
So you think Egypt does not consider hamas to be a terrorist organization? Really?? Egypt decided to play it safe you say, & where did you get this from? any official paper in your possession? Do you see MUbarak calling Ismael Haniyah or meeting him? Why didn't the Foreign Minister not meet his Palestinian counterpart when he (Zahar)met with the intelligence Chief? you seem desperate to label anything naive & mumbo jumbo, but fact is that palestinians at politics are worse than mumbo jumbo even. Try to read carefully next time, O wise faisal.

By Blogger jokerman, at May 03, 2006 3:59 PM  

Tomanbay
that clears it a bit. I agree about being cornered, they might be crazy enough to go berserk or might rationalise the situation & change their position & ultimately their charter too, which road will they take remains to be seen.
I also agree on what you said about their possible role in the Sinai bombings, ever since the first one struck & i suspected them & there were also a few who thought so too.
Dont forget that negligence at the border, if so, was mainly from the palestinian side which allowed the kind of fiascos everyone saw, & ofcourse i dont think you forgot about that bulldozer which brought down a section of the Egypt/Palestinians border down & allowed illegal entry into Sinai, allegedly Hamas was behind it.
Who knows, maybe Iran too...anyway,the truth is out there, hehe.

By Blogger jokerman, at May 03, 2006 4:17 PM  

first, try to stick to one nickname during a conversation...your schetzophrenic self's' are causing us a lot of confusion...
also i guess that what Faisal meant by saying that "Egypt played it safe" is that it chose to not deal with Hamas, because they weren't sure hoow the US would react...hence, the words "play it safe"
and what kind of papers are you talking about...he was talking about his opinion for god's sake!

By Blogger Tomanbay, at May 03, 2006 4:24 PM  

Toman

I mentioned official paper as proof to what he said about recognizing Hamas as a non terrorist group, it wasn't his opinion, he was stating a fact & i merely asked him for his sources.
His foolish rhetoric mixed up Israeli politics with its wide range of parties from left to right with limited palestinian politics.
Also he was rude for no reason & didnt read what i wrote properly.
by the way, Schizophrenia, has no T in it, & cmon, it wasn't that confusing.

By Anonymous Alienkain, at May 04, 2006 2:05 PM  

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