Why has Hamas chosen this moment to take over Gaza? What does the rise of Hamas mean? News coverage is generally not up to the task of providing serious analysis of the events.
The Bush administration placed its chips on Fatah. We promoted Mahmoud Abbas. We provided training to his “security forces.” We pressured Israel to facilitate the opening of the Gaza crossing to Egypt under his (supposedly monitored) control. Eli Lake describes the rise of Hamas in Gaza as a defeat for the CIA. As Lake’s reportage illustrates, it certainly humiliates the United States. It also directly threatens Israel.
For whom is it a victory? Recall that the head of Hamas resides in Damascus and reports to Iran. The rise of Hamas and the imposition of an Islamic state in Gaza echoes the Khomeni revolution of 1979 in Iran.
Why now? It seems highly unlikely that Hamas’s move to seize the moment in Gaza lies anywhere but with Khomeni’s successors in Iran. Viewed together with the Eido assassination in Lebanon earlier this week, events in Gaza are fairly described by Meyrav Wurmser as part of a regional offensive against the United States and Israel by the Iranian/Syrian Axis.
The rise of Hamas in Gaza represents the extension of Iranian influence to Israel’s south. The result is untenable. It constitutes one more chapter in what Churchill called “the gathering storm.”
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