Monday, October 27, 2014


What with Kerry's odd focus on the Palestinian issue as a reason for the rise of ISIL, let's contemplate how the Arab world's past fixation on Israel actually hampers a current fight against jihadi terrorism.

In Sinai, jihadis continue to fight Egyptian forces:

A coordinated assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed 30 Egyptian troops on Friday, making it the deadliest single attack in decades on the military, which has been struggling to stem a wave of violence by Islamic extremists since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The war raging in Sinai is a surprisingly bloody affair that gets little attention despite the fact that we have troops there (as part of a multi-national non-UN force) to monitor the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

The ability of jihadis to operate in Sinai is greater because the peace treaty limits the amount and type of forces that Egypt can put in Sinai lest they become a military threat to Israel.

And contrary to Kerry's claim of what Arabs think, Egypt isn't reacting to jihadi attacks in Sinai by trying to solve the Israel-Palestinian problem:

Egypt announced on Sunday it was postponing talks in Cairo on cementing the Gaza war ceasefire after closing its border with the Palestinian enclave in response to deadly attacks in the Sinai peninsula.

Israel has relented on allowing more Egyptian forces into Sinai to fight the jihadis, but it clearly isn't enough and it isn't clear that Israel would feel secure granting permission for too many troops to camp out in Sinai.

UPDATE: If Israel was blowing up houses and evicting Palestinians, this would be the subject of anguished protests by the world community. Just where are the Westerners who like to stand in front of bulldozers to protect Palestinian homes?

With bulldozers and dynamite, the Egyptian army on Wednesday began demolishing hundreds of houses [in Rafah, on the border with Gaza], displacing thousands of people, along the border with the Gaza Strip in a panicked effort to establish a buffer zone that officials hope will stop the influx of militants and weapons across the frontier.

It is journalistic malpractice not to note that smuggling tunnels used by terrorists cross the border there and use houses on both sides as the entry points to disguise the tunnels.

And what makes the effort "panicked"--a term that judges the effort misguided, you must admit--rather than "rapid?"