EGYPT OPENS BORDER February 23, 2009Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
Al Jazeera reports that the Egyptian Government has allowed the Rafah border crossing to be opened. The border crossing will be opened for three days to allow “the passage of students and the sick”.
The change of heart on the the part of the Egyptians is good news for the Palestinians. While it is true that Israel has blockaded Gaza, it has been abetted by the Egyptian Government for reasons of its own.
The reasons for the Egyptian dictatorship’s complicity with the Israelis is seldom commented upon. Similarly, there is no explanation in this report for the temporary change of mind. Could it be the change of Administration in Washington? Could it be there is less money to bankroll the American partners in the Middle East?
The Palestinians could do with some friends.
Juan Cole links the Khan al-Khalili bombing to the Gaza massacre. He writes:
On Sunday some small cell struck Khan al-Khalil again, killing a French woman and wounding twenty others, mostly French, at a cafe facing the Husayn Mosque.
But it turns out that like most of the brain-dead tactics of the terrorists, this one always backfires on them. So many Egyptians depend on the revenues from the tourist trade that they view attacks on tourists as a death knell for their own jobs and economy. And Egyptian culture has a basic sense of decency and humaneness that they cannot square with killing innocent foreigners. The radicals made themselves political pariahs.
I had not realized there were once Arab Jews (adherents of Judaism). The case in Iran is illustrative, as it is illuminating. Roger Cohen reports:
The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighborhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live on in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey’s, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful cater to about 1,200 Jews, survivors of an almost 3,000-year-old community.