Jordan has announced it will vote against the UN resolution calling for a Palestinian State.
8/27/11, "Freedom for extremists could make Sinai the new Somalia," The Australian, Greg Sheridan
"One immediate result of the Arab Spring is a brand new franchise operation for al-Q'aida.
In Egypt's Sinai desert, which borders Israel, a group has arrived announcing itself as al-Qa'ida in the Sinai Peninsula. Another group calls itself al-Shabab al-Islam (Youth of Islam).
The franchises are new and pretty undeveloped so far. As yet, al-Qa'ida central has not granted formal recognition to its aspiring Sinai franchise.
- But really, it's only a matter of time.
This week, an Israeli cabinet minister told me that looted Libyan weapons have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip.
In both Libya and Egypt, the prisons were emptied. Many innocent people were wrongly incarcerated in those prisons. But there were also many, many authentically extremist jihadists who have now gone back to the life of murder, suicide and caliphate building, which is their true love....
Barack Obama came into office with several clear-cut policies for the Middle East. They have all failed. Chief among Obama's policies were initiatives to engage Iran and Syria. Neither of these engagements yielded one ounce of benefit for the US or for anyone else, apart from the governments of Iran and Syria, in the Middle East. On the Israel/Palestine issue, Obama has been wholly ineffective. His initial stress on halting Israeli building within its existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank was completely counter-productive. Not only did this have absolutely no effect on the amount of land used for settlements, which does not increase when building occurs within existing boundaries, but it made it virtually impossible for the Palestinians to negotiate directly with Israel, because they could not demand from Israel less than Obama demanded.
As a result, the world lost two years of potential dialogue between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government, two years in which the PA weakened and Hamas probably strengthened. Then when Obama finally did call for direct negotiations, the Palestinians, after the shortest possible time,
- stood him up....
- Yet Islamist extremists have themselves been killing Egyptian policemen
- and soldiers in the Sinai
- without arousing popular anger in Egypt.
Many Egyptian newspapers instantly printed conspiracy theory explanations that the Israelis had staged the attack themselves in order to justify military action against Egypt, and the Israelis would soon seek to take back territory in the Sinai from Egypt.
This is all incredibly destabilising. Although, with Israel's agreement, Egypt has sent more troops into Sinai to try to restore order, it has essentially lost control of Sinai, where non-integrated Bedouin tribes
- are happy to co-operate with Islamist terrorists.
More than that, the Sinai is of iconic significance to the Middle East. It is the one example in independent Israel's history of the land-for-peace formula actually working. Now the Israel/Egypt treaty is under deep threat. Israel will need to build a security fence along the Sinai and devote many more military resources to its southern flank.
Hamas sees how a small terrorist attack can cause a big anti-Israel reaction in Egypt. Although it seems that Hamas was not directly involved in this terrorist attack, it can easily create front groups to carry out attacks to provoke Israel and force Israeli retaliation while avoiding clear-cut blame for itself. It would thus put maximum pressure on the Israel/Egypt peace treaty....
Jordan has announced that it will vote against next month's UN resolution declaring, unilaterally, an independent Palestinian state, which will have no effect on the ground other than perhaps to help incite a third Palestinian intifada.
This UN resolution would be all about bashing Israel and nothing else. It would have no constructive purpose. There is absolutely no good reason why Australia should not vote against this resolution. To do otherwise would be dishonourable, and bad policy. Our friends are our friends, after all, especially when the whole world is against them."