AP: Radicalism on the Rise in Mideast
As Iran holds its ground and hope of peace talks recedes
As news headline writers struggle daily to come up with different ways to say “No Progress on Peace Talks” and “Iran’s Gonna Do Whatever it Damn Well Pleases,” the Middle East in general is becoming more susceptible to radical anti-Israel factions, according to the Associated Press. Actually, as the news service puts it, the region is “backsliding toward name-calling and saber-rattling, and away from the goal of a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world.”
Recently, Syrian President Bashar Assad, who once held out hope for negotiations with Israel, said that peace will only come “through resistance.” Earlier this week, Hassan Nasrallah, the Iran-backed head of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which now holds 10 of the 30 seats in the Lebanese government, upped his rhetoric against President Barack Obama, who he says has facilitated “absolute American commitment to Israeli interests, Israeli conditions, and Israeli security … while disregarding the dignity or feelings of the Arab and Muslim people.” Even Israel’s old friend Egypt has increasingly turned against it, both culturally and politically. Also not helping: The fact that the Obama administration has increasingly backed away from its initial insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze in the Palestinian territories, not to mention Israel’s hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who, says the AP, “has said Israeli-Arab lawmakers who meet Palestinian militants should be executed and the president of Egypt could ‘go to hell.’”
All of this is music to Iran’s ears: “[W]ith peace efforts stalled, the first time Iran uses its leverage in the Arab world to support another armed conflict against Israel, the election debacle will be quickly forgotten.”
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