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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
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"O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful." [Noble Quran 9:119]

"If you obeyed most of those on earth they would mislead you far from Allah's way." [Noble Quran 6:116]

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's now all about disarming Hamas


Fragmentation of the Middle-East is headed faster than ever sprouting  from Saudi Arabia's stubborn resolve to crush Hamas seen as a branch of  Muslim Brotherhood.  

It  arises from apprehensions concerning the  Ikhwans of Arabia going back to the early 1900s.  In 1902 (almost 80 years after being sacked by the Ottomans), Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud with some 60 of his brothers and cousins rode out into the desert to restore the rule of Al Saud.  He recaptured Riyadh.  But to conquer all of the Arabian Peninsula he needed the help of the nomadic Bedouins called ‘Ikhwan’ or Muslim Brothers who were recognized warriors wanting to spread their brand of Islam throughout the Middle East. With the help of the Ikhwans, Abdul Aziz captured province after province of the vast desert shedding plenty of blood.  But the Ikhwans were still restless and wanted to take over regions beyond Arabia. When Abdul Aziz disagreed, the Ikhwans rebelled.  With  the endorsement of al-Wahab religious authority who have been the "moral guardians" of the Sauds, Abdul Aziz crushed the Ikhwans, declared himself "king" in the  1930s and gave his name to the entire Arabian peninsula.  Around  the same time, a conscientious young schoolteacher, Hassan al-Banna,  established a different branch of 'Muslim Brotherhood' in Egypt which was a  peaceful social-welfare organization that gained considerable  popularity among the Egyptian middle-class.  Brotherhood network  gradually stretched across Egypt, Gaza, Jordan and Syria.  But with the  passage of time, the ideology established by Hassan al-Banna changed and  Brotherhood began voicing its own school  of Salafiism as a formidable rival of the al-Wahab Salafiists in Saudi Arabia.  Thus, once  again the Sauds began looking upon the 'Ikhwans' as a threat.

Coming to the present: 
Between Saudi Arabia, USA,  Israel, Egypt and UAE, the goal is to disarm and disband Hamas while  every other issue takes the back seat.  On the opposite side are Qatar  and Turkey supporting Hamas. Qatar's relations have lately soured  tremendously with the House of Saud.  Ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, was awfully disappointed on Saudi Arabia's rigid stance against Hamas and  treating other gulf countries like puppet states of the Saudi kingdom.


Hamas isn't welcomed in Egypt either, and Turkey isn't on good terms with  post-Morsi Egypt.  The unofficial or secret Egyptian initiative on the  Palestinian issue refuses to condemn Israeli crimes  against Gaza.  It also refuses to highlight the  rights of the  Palestinian people under occupation in both Gaza and the West Bank.    Despite the blatant bias, Saudi Arabia has firmly endorsed the Egyptian  initiative with no  alternatives.  No wonder Israeli officials have  recently been hinting on their security cooperation with Egypt and the  gulf states and asking for Saudi / UAE cooperation for disarming  Hamas.   As recently as mid July 2014, an Israeli daily wrote of  Israel’s plan proposing to the United Nations for providing $50 billion  to rebuild  Gaza after disarming Hamas.  Likewise, sources close to Hamas and  Islamic Jihad are abuzz with news on lucrative offers coming from the  gulf states to Mahmoud Abbas for the the same purpose.  The immediate  Saudi / UAE assignment is to garner support for the Egyptian 'scheme.'   While the world expected Egypt to be an honest broker for providing  relief to the Palestinians abused and stifled by the 66-year-old occupation, Egypt  instead decided to worsen their ordeal based on its own selfish whims. 

The complication goes on ....

Chances of Riyadh / Tehran  rapprochement couldn't be slimmer after Iran's willingness to cooperate  with Iraq to confront and halt ISIL operations in Iraq.  Furthermore,   Iran is now selling higher  quality and cheaper super light crude (or condensate) to China that  leaves  little room for U.S. crude to enter the market for the world's top  energy  consumer.  China has already finalized annual contracts with Tehran and  is not expected to take any U.S. oil in the short-term.  That's not only  annoying for the US but the Sauds are no less glowing with fury and  jealousy.  


Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to visit Riyadh for talks on Hamas with the  Saudi king but the visit was abruptly called off.  Reportedly  Abbas didn't agree with the Saudi proposal which suggested to send  Palestinian soldiers from the West Bank to the Rafah Border to demonstrate  their willingness for disarming Hamas and Islamic Jihad with full  financial support from Saudi Arabia and UAE.  Abbas felt it was too  dangerous a move and would likely ignite a civil war in Palestine with  national unity becoming history forever.  Abbas' reversal of policy and  the dire need for national reconciliation as first priority has been  unexpected for Israel and its allies. Surprisingly he confirmed  accepting the conditions of the Palestinian resistance.  Presently in a  scenario as dim as this, Abbas (a well-known dissembler) happens to be  the only friend of the Palestinian resistance factions.  His sudden  volte-face is apparently an indication of conceding defeat from the  resistance factions, their rising popularity and his own dwindling image  in comparison.  The other silver lining reflects another surprising  element.  The US isn't showing much enthusiasm for the Egyptian  initiative. Have the Americans sensed that it's a bad idea which will  unite and strengthen the Palestinian resistance movements in Gaza who  would never agree to any of the conditions of the Egyptian brokerage  plan and instead, adamantly decide the course of future action  independently?   

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