Ibrahim Barzak and Karin Laub of the Associated Press take a critical look at Hamas’ rule in Gaza.
Are there lessons to be learned here about what would follow in Egypt should Islamists ultimately come to power there? The inclination to seek them is natural enough: Hamas became the first branch of the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood to get a chance to govern. But the differences are considerable between huge, proudly independent Egypt and tiny Gaza, with its narrative of victimization, struggles with Israel and split from the still Fatah-ruled West Bank. And for fellow Islamists on the rise — not just in Egypt but in Tunisia, Libya and other countries transformed by the Arab Spring — the Hamas experiment in Gaza seems mostly an embarrassment.
The Russian leader’s visit is expected to provide competition for U.S. diplomatic leadership on issues such as natural gas, Iran, and Syria, writes Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute.
For the United States, Putin’s trip demonstrates that there is competition for diplomatic leadership in the Middle East; in his view, Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan have options other than Washington. Putin’s direct talks with regional leaders will be aimed at forcing them to judge which partnership they prefer on certain issues. Although Washington need not be too worried about this, it should press its partners, particularly Israel, to make sure U.S. perspectives are given due prominence during the discussions.
Times of Israel: Egyptian FM tells Clinton to avoid statements ahead of vote tally
Jerusalem Post: PM: IDF will use more force to fight terror, if necessary
New York Times: What Sheldon Adelson Wants
Washington Post: Lally Weymouth interviews Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
Wall Street Journal: Turkey Promises ‘Necessary Steps’ After Syria Downs Jet
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