The U.S. has an unlikely new ally in its call for regime change in Syria: Hamas. The Times reports on this important turn of events:
Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said during Friday Prayer, “I salute all people of the Arab Spring, or Islamic winter, and I salute the Syrian people who seek freedom, democracy and reform.”The worshipers shouted back, “God is great” and “Syria! Syria!”
This is very bad news for Damascus. For Assad, his relationship with Hamas helped legitimate him as an Arab nationalist; for decades the Syrian regime has covered its crimes against Arabs by loudly proclaiming its hatred of Jews.It is also a disaster for Iran. It means the leaders of Hamas in Gaza are no longer willing to swallow their Sunni principles to align with Iran. Sunni sectarianism (with the help of Arab chauvinism) is trumping pan-Islamic ‘resistance’ as a rallying cry.The Turks and the Gulf states will no doubt ensure that Hamas doesn’t suffer materially for diplomatic about-face. The all out Sunni campaign against what many regard as the “Persian heretics” is gaining momentum. Once the Persians are out of the picture, the Gulf states, Turks and Egyptians will likely begin to haggle and squabble over who picks up the pieces but for now it is all about the Sunni surge.