September 16, 2011:
In the last week, Turkey’s leader has backed off on the threat to send armed escorts for the next supply convoy to try and break the Israeli Gaza blockade. This was in response to Turkish military leaders warning the aggressive, anti-Israel politicians that taking on Israel could be disastrous for Turkish forces. Going that close to southern Israel (Gaza is a thousand kilometers from Turkish air bases) gives the Israeli air force a big advantage. Moreover, Israeli air and naval forces are considered (by the Turks) more experienced and better prepared for combat. But after a few days of saying the initial “we will send warships” threat was misunderstood, Turkey’s pro-Arab prime minister said that Turkey could send naval forces to the Israeli coast at any time. Turkish military leaders are not happy with this kind of talk.
Today the Palestinian Authority (controlled by Fatah, which runs the West Bank) asks the UN to recognize Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) as an independent state. This has long been sought by Palestinians intent on using lawfare and media manipulation to gain European support to first halt trade with Israel, and then use military intervention to force Israel to get out of the West Bank and stop attacking Gaza. This plan runs afoul of Israel being determined to defend itself against Palestinian terrorism. Already, these Palestinian efforts have convinced many Westerners that any Israeli attempts to defend itself are a war crime. Another problem is that two rival Palestinian groups share control of the Palestinian territories. Fatah has 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, the more radical Hamas has 1.5 million in Gaza. The two groups have been negotiating for over a year, and have been unable to work out an arrangement to share power in a unified Palestinian state. This is nothing new. The Palestinians have been making the wrong moves for over sixty years, but they have gained allies in the West, who see Palestinian incompetence as a cause worth getting behind. Many Western nations, and a growing number of Arab ones, are no longer willing to send money to the Palestinians. That’s because too much of the cash disappears into foreign bank accounts controlled by corrupt Palestinian officials. Even Hamas, which beat Fatah in an election (and then outlawed elections) and took control of Gaza on the promise of eliminating corruption, has become dirty. Palestinians seem incapable to choosing leaders who are not incompetent thieves.
In Egypt, the popular uprising that overthrew the decades long Mubarak dictatorship has still not formed a democratic government. Egypt is being run by a “temporary” military dictatorship. There are supposed to be elections sometime in the near future. The voting, if it happens, may put an Islamic, or very pro-Islamic, government in power. The big problem is corruption. The military and most major businesses are deeply into these unpopular practices (monopolies, no-bid contracts, lots of bribes), and will struggle mightily to hang on to these privileges. One way to accomplish this is to exploit over 60 years of anti-Israel propaganda (and centuries of Islam inspired attacks on non-Moslems). Distracting Egyptians from the formation of a new dictatorship, by instigating greater hostility towards Israel, is a classic ploy. And it often works. The corrupt are better organized, even though they are greatly outnumbered. The military and police are among the most corrupt organizations in Egypt, and both are intent on hanging on to their privileges, no matter what. For example, the police are going easy on criminals, seeking to persuade the people to call for a “strong” (as in undemocratic) government to assure law and order. At the same time, all the unrest has hurt the tourism industry, and the government is rapidly running out of money to buy food. About half the population survives on this imported food. If there is widespread hunger, the government can blame Israel, and many people will believe that.
September 15, 2011: The Israeli embassy in Jordan was evacuated because of threatened riots.
September 10, 2011: The riot in Egypt outside the Israeli embassy left 986 injured and three dead (two from injuries and one from a heart attack). The casualties were caused when thousands of rioters clashed with police (who initially stood by as the embassy was attacked.) The Israeli diplomats were safely evacuated, but the embassy was trashed. Several Western nations warned Egypt that this kind of violence against diplomats and embassies would endanger the foreign aid Egypt is so dependent on.
In Gaza, a rocket and several mortar shells were fired into Israel.
September 8, 2011: Israel has assigned a squadron of UAVs to patrol the Egyptian border, in an attempt to keep terrorists out, or at least see them coming.
September 7, 2011: A rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza. Later in the day, an Israeli air-to-ground missile killed a suspected terrorist driving his car in Gaza.
The government revealed that 13 terrorist cells had been destroyed last month via arrests of key members. At least one terror attack, in Jerusalem, was interrupted the day before it was to happen, and a suicide bomb vest seized and disabled.
September 6, 2011: Israeli missiles hit a group of Palestinian terrorists setting up rockets in Gaza. One of the men was killed, and it was later revealed that he was a leader in one of the many terror groups in Gaza.