Jewish Journal


May 28, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

May 28, 2012 | 3:10 am

Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter and Menachem Begin clasp hands after signing the Israel-Egypt peace treaty at the White House, March 1979. (Photo: Israel's Ministry for Foreign Affairs)

Political Islamism is not to be feared

All political parties that have emerged in the wake of the Arab Spring will be ‎accountable to their electorates, including the Islamists, writes Marwan Muasher in ‎the Washington Post. ‎

The field in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and elsewhere is now ‎open to all, and the people alone are the true source of authority. Society has ‎claimed the right to bring in or remove anyone from power. Religious parties can’t ‎hide behind religion or indulge in pretensions of sainthood — slogans such as “Islam ‎is the solution” won’t fly without being accompanied by actions. And secularists can’t ‎ban Islamists from politics under the pretext that the latter are uncommitted to ‎pluralism, particularly because secular forces were often the ones curtailing open ‎politics in the past. Both parties’ “holiness” is over. ‎

Iran’s “Great Game” in Afghanistan

Iran is establishing its own powerbase in Afghanistan, via the country’s media, in ‎anticipation of an American withdrawal, writes Amie Ferris-Rotman for ‎Reuters.‎

Iran spends $100 million a year in Afghanistan, much of it on the media, civil ‎society projects and religious schools, says Daud Moradian, a former foreign ‎ministry advisor who now teaches at the American University in Kabul. “It is ‎using Afghanistan to send a message to America that it can’t be messed with. ‎Afghanistan becomes a managed battlefield as a result.”‎

Two Cheers For Morsi

A win for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate in the Egyptian presidential vote ‎will give the organization sole responsibility for the country, for better or for ‎worse, writes Elliott Abrams in the Weekly Standard. ‎

If Egypt’s “liberals” (meaning, people who believe in democracy, liberty, and ‎the rule of law rather than Islam as the guiding principles of the state) are to ‎have a chance in future years, the predicate must be that the electorate ‎believes the MB had a clear chance and failed them. If Shafik wins, many ‎Egyptians will believe the elections were stolen by the Army and the old ‎regime’s machine, and in any event power will be divided between the MB on ‎one side and the Army and president on the other. There will be no clear ‎lesson to learn if conditions in the country then continue to deteriorate. If ‎Morsi wins, the MB will be in charge—and have to deliver. And when they fail, ‎as I expect they will, it will absolutely clear whom to blame.‎

Enough Talking, Kofi

The former UN chief’s peace mission to Syria has failed, writes James Taub in Foreign ‎Policy, and the world must admit it and come up with a new plan. ‎

The question is: When do you stop pursuing this low-probability game? When, if at all, do ‎the risks of action become greater than the risks of inaction? The international ‎community kept talking with the Serbs until the massacre at Srebrenica in July 1995 ‎finally provoked a NATO bombing campaign. In Sudan, as in Rwanda, nothing happened ‎until it was too late to make much of a difference. Annan knows this history all too well; it ‎is his history. “He’s been there before,” says [spokesman for the UN mission in Syria ‎Ahmad] Fawzi, “and he will know when the time has come to pull the plug.” Or maybe he ‎won’t. Maybe he’ll recoil from the alternative.‎

The Dangers of Flirting with Hamas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ ploy to press Israel could well backfire on him, ‎writes Zvika Krieger in the Atlantic.‎

Several diplomats in Tel Aviv expressed concern to me that Abbas might be playing with ‎fire. One of these days, Hamas is going to call Abbas’s bluff and actually move forward with ‎the unity agreement—which would jeopardize U.S. and other international funding, as well ‎as force Abbas to confront his long-standing promise not to run for re-election.  ‎

Jimmy Carter’s Camp David Diplomacy Inspires a Theatrical Work

Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast takes a look at the stage version of the landmark ‎Israel-Egypt peace treaty of 1979. ‎

The punch line is they produced the only peace treaty that has stood the test ‎of time. That’s how Jerry Rafshoon pitched the idea for an upcoming new ‎play titled Camp David. He was there as the White House communications ‎director when Jimmy Carter brought Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin ‎and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to the Maryland retreat in September ‎‎1978, not knowing what the outcome would be—and in an exercise of ‎presidential leadership, pulled off what the experts warned would be ‎impossible.‎

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