Hot on the heels of what was looking like a relatively successful meeting (for the Israelis) between Netanyahu and Obama whereby Obama didn’t exactly give the green light to Israel but nonetheless didn’t disagree with Netanyahu that Israel must do what it thinks is best for Israel, comes two pieces of news that will not be liked by Netanyahu and his Zionist cohorts.
The first is that the Iranians have invited the IAEA to visit what the IAEA considered to be Iran’s most secret nuclear installation at Parchin, previously off-limits because it is under military control. At the very least this will put back any plans the Israelis had for an imminent attack against Iran as the US – who are more than likely seething as well – have no choice but to hold-off any covert support for an attack against Iran pending an outcome to the IAEA’s inspection of the facility and their report.
The second piece of unwelcome news for Israel and the US is that Hamas has declared that it will not militarily support Iran in the event of a war between Israel and Iran. The news is unwelcome because it deprives Israel of a casus belli to attack Hamas in the Gaza Strip which the Israelis were hoping to invade and occupy on the pretext of preventing Hamas from attacking Israel in retaliation for Israel attacking Iran. In the process of invading the Gaza the Israelis were hoping to destroy Hamas once and for all.
The fly in the ointment as far as Hamas is concerned is the Syrian civil war (and let there be no doubt, this is a civil war). While Hamas, a Sunni organisation, supports neither side, the support Hamas received from President Assad was for purely political reasons inasmuch that Syrians and Palestinians have a common problem; large portions of their lands (in the Syrians case, the Golan Heights) are occupied by Israeli Zionists. The problem became complicated because Iran, which is predominately Shia, supports the Alawite (Shia) minority government led by Assad who is an Alawite. To complicate things further, Hezbollah in Lebanon is a Shia organisation that is supported by both Assad in Syria and Iran. Now that Hamas has withdrawn its support of Assad it has also effectively distanced itself from Iran as well.
Iran had been financially supporting Hamas in the Gaza Strip for years to the tune of many millions of dollars per month. That has now all but ceased. For Hamas the shortfall has been made up by other Arab nation’s donations but to nowhere near the levels that Iran contributed. Apart from the political problems, Iran’s own financial situation hasn’t helped either. Both Syria and Iran are also finding it increasingly difficult to finance Hezbollah as well.
In light of these latest developments, it is unlikely that Israel will attack Iran just yet – as much as they would otherwise like to. Meanwhile, time is running out for Assad in Syria and, while the West is hopeful that Assad will be toppled, the replacement regime will in all likelihood not be one that the West would prefer.
The Syrian opposition is mostly made up of Sunni Muslim groups that are largely sympathetic to the Palestinian cause – which, in turn, further creates a problem for Israel.
Lebanon, as well as being home to the Shia Hezbollah group, as also home to hundreds of thousand of Sunni Palestinian refugees who are as equally keen to return to their homes as the Syrians are to the Golan Heights. Just as the post revolutionary Egyptians are sympathetic to the Palestinians, especially those in the Gaza Strip, so it might be that any new regime in Syria will be sympathetic to the cause of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. And, while Hezbollah have had problems with some Palestinian guerrilla groups in Lebanon in the past, they have generally had a good rapport with the Palestinian refugees and the realignment of the political situation in this region of the Middle East could well see a new détente between the two evolve that serves all interests – including Syria’s and possibly even Iran’s.
There are some very interesting but also very dangerous times ahead.
A report appearing in Ha’aretz today says that Hamas refutes earlier reports that Hamas would not be supporting Iran by attacking Israel in the event of Israel attacking Iran.
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