The violent prism of realism remains the best instrument from which to discern the political movement of the major actors in the Middle East conflict. Daniel Pipes of the Philadelphia based Middle East Forum was correct in his analysis of Iranian proxy motivations, Benny Avni’s insight of Hamas’ political advantages bore fruit for those struggling to figure out how to read the region. By far the most significant analysis remains from Fouad Ajami.
Dr. Ajami reveals that the contortions of the Arab Spring were only minimally read correct by Hamas. Hamas is a Sunni proxy of the Shia lead theocracy in Iran. Hamas’ own reading of its patrons throughout Damascus divined that Hamas ought to prod Egypt, especially given Gaza’s proximity to Egypt. Bear in mind that Israel gave away Gaza in 2007 only to find it turned into a haven for terrorists. With this small southern strip stolen from the PLA, Hamas sought new Sunni leadership outside the Shia lead Alawite rule of Syria.
Where does this horse-trading leave us?
It weakens any American resolve simply because we’ve stayed out of this conflict. It strengthens Iranian resolve to fortify its proxies both in the North (which stayed out of this recent conflict) and Hamas sponsored Gaza. We should note that Fatah (the PLA’s proxy throughout the west bank) has taken suzerainty from dominant Gulf petro-monarchies like Qatar. Lost in the mix are the Palestinians. The short view of American’s disengaging from the region has only given us partial relief, for the House of Saud and numerous other petro-monarchies throughout the region are not effective militarily, leaving the wily Persians to pursue policies that will only lead to more conflict.
It should be noted that this latest conflict gave Iran a needed reprieve while it continues to pursue nuclear arms.
The solution to this regions conflict remains with Egypt. Cultivating Cairo will relieve Jerusalem. Consolidating any Egyptian hold on this fractured region will take time and American prestige. Team Obama’s Machiavellian grasp of power relations throughout this region has had very mixed results, for all the major players remain too weak to contain rivals.
As of this writing, Hamas got hit hard, Israel’s Iron Dome defense missile shield worked wonderfully, but American resolve is diminished.
Get ready for round two. An ascending Israeli challenge shielded by the House of Saud against the Persian Mullahs.