Itamar Rabinovich, former Ambassador of Israel to the United States and member of the American Interest‘s editorial board, is incredibly knowledgable and insightful on Middle Eastern history and politics. He recently wrote an astute article on the strategically important Sinai which is well worth your time. A key passage to keep in mind as you digest the moves and machinations of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood over the coming weeks and months:
But Egypt’s divided government has not established a correspondingly coherent policy. Relations with Israel are managed by the defense minister, now Lieutenant General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, and the military security establishment, whose leaders are determined to maintain a peaceful relationship with Israel and to secure Egyptian sovereignty in the Sinai. For them, the lawless Bedouin, the Sinai jihadis, and Hamas and other groups in Gaza threaten Egypt’s national security. But their will and ability to translate this view into policy are limited.Meanwhile, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are playing a double game. While Morsi denounced the recent violence (particularly the deliberate killing of Egyptian policemen) and issued an implicit threat against Hamas, the Brotherhood published a statement accusing Israel’s Mossad of perpetrating the attack – a claim that Hamas’s Prime Minister of Gaza, Ismael Haniyeh, has repeated.In fact, Hamas, too, is playing a double game. Having lost Syrian backing, it is hoping that the Egyptian Brothers will provide its kindred movement with political and logistical support. Yet it allows radical Palestinians and jihadi groups in Gaza to conduct operations in Sinai.
Read the whole thing. Add it to your weekend reading list.