Three papers discuss the current situation in the Middle East in light of yesterday\’s murder of the US Ambassador to Libya:
Yediot Aharonot says that "The last two years of the Obama administration in the Middle East have seen the fall of the old national regimes, hated as they were, and have turned the Arab countries into Afghanistan: Rife with militias, armed extremist groups and severe violence, all under the aegis of the holy democracy. And is there any doubt that if a Palestinian state were to arise, that it would become a source of existential danger to its two neighbors, Israel and Jordan? Another bastion of uncontrollable Salafism? Do we not see what is happening in Gaza, which is itself becoming Salafist?" The author concludes: "Now the Obama administration is liable to finish the work: Get rid of Bashar Assad and turn Syria into a new Afghanistan, easy prey for future militias, rmed terrorist gangs, anarchy and despair."
Ma\’ariv asserts that the instability in Libya is having a direct effect on Israel since "It has led, among other things, to the smuggling of weapons into Sinai and the Gaza Strip." The author speculates that the US might yet mount cruise missile attacks on terrorist targets in Libya the way it has done in Yemen.
Yisrael Hayom notes that the US welcomed the changes of regime in Egypt and Libya, "and sought to see them as a step toward the Arab world becoming more open and more democratic. It also sought to build on the unwavering support that the West has provided to Arab revolutionaries. But yesterday, America\’s expectations shattered against the reality of the Middle East." The author wonders: "In another few years, will Morsi\’s Egypt become a more open and tolerant state, or a state in which extremists set the agenda? If the latter is the case, the next anti-American or anti-Western outburst will be merely a question of time."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the “abject mismanagement and economic parasitism” that are the root cause of the Palestinian Authority’s sorry financial state. The editor notes that despite willful anti-Israeli slander, Israel continues to regard Abbas and his Fatah stalwarts as preferable to Hamas rule, and adds: “Israel is the indispensable crutch upon which the PA leans. Without Israel propping up the Ramallah-based economy, things there would be incalculably worse.” Reminded of incitement by radical Islamist groups during the Arab Spring, the editor believes that Hamas is actively abetting the demonstrations against the higher cost of living in Ramallah and other PA cities, and asserts: “Heightened Israeli vigilance is obligatory.”
Haaretz declares: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has gone to war,” not against Iran but rather with “the administration of President Barack Obama.” The editor asserts: “U.S. support was once a given; thanks to the policies of the current Israeli government, however, it has become more fragile than ever before.”
The full text of Haaretz editorials is available today to registered subscribers only.
[Guy Bechor, Yoel Gozansky and Eyal Zisser wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma\’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]