Mona Charen
After a two-hour meeting in Cairo, Khaled Mashaal, unelected leader of Hamas, and Mahmoud Abbas, unelected leader of the Palestinian Authority, were all smiles. "We want to assure our people and the Arab and Islamic world that we have turned a major new and real page in partnership on everything to do with the Palestinian nation," Mashaal announced. "There are no more differences between us now," agreed Abbas.

In other words, the "moderate" Abbas is now a full partner with the leader of an organization whose charter is committed not just to the destruction of Israel but also to the elimination of all Jews everywhere. This is the same Abbas who forfeited whatever slim claim he held to a moderate status by declining to accept Israel as a Jewish state, refusing to engage in direct negotiations with Israel (as recently as last week chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat declined a Quartet request to sit down with the Israelis), and flouting the Oslo Accords by going to the United Nations to demand recognition. Now, he is formally partnered with a genocidal, Islamist organization. But the Obama administration thinks Israel is the problem.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood won 40 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections, while another 25 percent went to Salafi forces. The Salafis regard the Muslim Brotherhood as squishes. Sheik Abdel Moneim el-Shahat, leader of the Salafis, is scornful of the Muslim Brotherhood for talking about citizenship and freedom outside the strictures of Islamic law. El-Shahat is not so broad-minded. "I want to say: citizenship restricted by Islamic Shariah, freedom restricted by Islamic Shariah, equality restricted by Islamic Shariah." So two-thirds of the Egyptian electorate support candidates who will find Hamas utterly congenial. But the Obama administration is dismayed by Israel.

In Syria, the regime's brutal massacres of peaceful protesters continue. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said this week "We are placing the figure at 4,000. But the information coming to us is that it's much more." Guess who the Obama administration is angry at?

In Turkey, the Islamist party won a huge victory in June, permitting the government to crack down on opposition voices (jailing hundreds of critics) and move the once-Western oriented Muslim country more firmly in the direction of an Islamist state. Turkey has also noisily supported Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and Islamists in other Muslim nations.

Inexorably, Iran continues its march toward nuclear weapons.

The Muslim world is in turmoil, and so far, the results do not bode well for peace, democracy or development. But what worries the Obama administration? Israel.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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