Thursday, November 06, 2014

Israel not alone

There is a persistent rumor that Israel is alone in the world facing the Islamist threat of Hamas, the Palestinian offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB).   In fact Israel is not alone, since there are many countries around the world that are facing similar threats from Islamist terrorist groups:
  1. Egypt: Pres. al-Sisi is currently fighting the Egyptian MB, and fellow jihadists in Sinai.  Last week 33 Egyptian soldiers were killed near Al Arish, attacks that were traced to Gaza and blamed on Hamas.  Israel and Egypt have a working relationship against Hamas. 
  2. Nigeria: the Nigerian Government is fighting Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist organization that has kidnpped hundreds of girls, since they oppose education of women, and they have killed hundreds in attacks on Nigerian Army facilities.
  3. Kenya: the government is fighting the al Shabab terrorists from Somalia, that have attacked Malls and tourist sites and have killed hundreds of Kenyan civilians. 
  4. India: There have been periodic spectacular attacks by Islamists on Indian cities and tourist locations, such as the attack in Bombay (Mumbai) a few years ago that killed hundreds.
  5. Philippines: The southern Philippine island of Mindanao (Sulu) is inhabited by Muslims that have been fighting the central government for years for local autonomy; the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf are fighting an insurgency against the Philippine Army.
  6. China: The Muslim Ouiger people of western China have engaged in an insurrection against the Central Government for years, including carrying out terrorist bombings in Beijing and elsewhere. 
  7. UK: There have been several violent incidents of bombings in London, carried out by groups of extremist Muslims, most notably the 7/7 attack in 2005 that killed 64 people.  Several groups have been arrested since then.  Most of these terrorists have been of Pakistani origin and trained in Pakistan.
  8. France: There have been several rounds of terrorist attacks in France, most of them resulting from the very large (ca. 5 million) Muslim population of N. African (Moroccon, Algerian) origin. Their riots are getting more and more violent and attacks on Jews have become routine.
  9. Saudi Arabia: Has survived a domestic war against al Qaeda affiliates and considers Shia Iran as a major enemy.
  10. Russia: Has faced an insurgency from Chechnyan Muslim terrorists for many years and has fought two wars in Chechnya.
  11. Canada: is the latest country to have a Muslim extremist attack its Parliament building and kill its soldiers.
States do not have friends, they have interests.  Israel treads a narrow line between being a client state and ally of the USA and being a sovereign state looking after its own interests.   Clearly the USA being the only world superpower can call the shots, but on the other hand when its interests and policies, as viewed by President Obama, contradict those of Israel, what is Israel to do.  In the final analysis it must put its own interests first, it must give them priority.  Also, when the US Administration derides Israeli PM Netanyahu for having "narrow national interests," of course he does, so does every politician, including Obama.  It is now high time that Israel looks to other centers for support and alliances, most notably India (now under a nationalist BJP President), China, Russia, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Philippines, and even the Arab Gulf States, whose interests are certainly to fill the vacuum left by Obama's ill-conceived withdrawal from the region. They may not be able to replace the USA as an ally for Israel, but they will allow Israel to some extent to diversify its dependence.   


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