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Hamas Needs New Patron: Turkey Next in Line?


Things haven’t been going very well for Hamas lately.

Its attack last fall on the “Zionist Entity” accomplished little more than making Israel’s air defense system a global celebrity. Over the course of the Arab Spring, Hamas lost two financial and military backers in Syria and Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt was at best an imperfect and short-lived victory: More people remember the MB intentionally flooding Gaza’s tunnel network with sewage than they do Hamas’s deep access to Egypt.

This isn’t what Hamas expected when the Arab Spring first erupted, says the WSJ:

“Hamas was under the impression that the…Arab Spring was playing to their favor, and that the region is coming gradually under the control of Islamists, and that time was on their side,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian government spokesman. “This atmosphere didn’t live for long.”

Hamas is now likely to turn towards Turkey, an arrangement that could suit both sides.

The ruling AK Party in Turkey is both angry and worried about the Egyptian coup. The deranged minds in the tinfoil hat wing of the government who see dark Jewish and Masonic plots everywhere think that a mass-demonstrations-to-legitimize-a-coup scenario is also being tried in Great Turkey.

For Erdogan, the best way to respond is to patronize Hamas. This would burnish his Islamist credentials and play well to the peanut gallery at home. It would also irk the Egyptian army, which Erdogan wouldn’t mind doing.

At the end of the day, Israel probably wouldn’t cry over an Istanbul-Gaza axis. Turkey is by regional standards a conservative, thoughtful power, and in any case, it would ensure the continued fragmentation and weakness of the Palestinian movement. Israel could likely live with it if Hamas’s next patron were happy to see it bark but unlikely to permit it to bite.

[Image of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Turkey courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • bigfire

    The outgoing Muslim Brotherhood is already saying that the new Egyptian president is a crypto-Jew. Yes, that’s the ticket back to power.

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