The Sinai Attack: Sending a Message

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An Israeli soldier inspects a burnt armoured vehicle near the Kerem Shalom border crossing after unidentified gunmen crossed into Israel from Egypt on 6 August 2012. (Photo: AFP - David Buimovitch)

By: Houssam Kanafani

Published Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The assault on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai is not unrelated to events that the country has witnessed in the last few months. The Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) control of the presidency has directly impacted Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, especially its ruling party.

Egyptian president-elect Mohammed Mursi has demonstrated receptiveness to the Palestinian Hamas movement. He even invited its leadership to the presidential palace - the first time in the movement’s history.

Undoubtedly, observers in Egypt, Israel, and the United States were not very keen about such a high-level reception. So something had to be done to reaffirm the boundaries of the relationship between Egypt and Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organization.

The Sinai attack was a path towards achieving this goal. Regardless of the direct perpetrators, those behind the curtains wished to send several messages to Egypt’s new rulers and Gaza’s older ones.

The only way to make the message clear was to display a show of strength that would provoke Egyptians to stand against the MB leadership’s strategy for alleviating the siege imposed on Gaza.

Public opinion can be roused by spilling the blood of Egyptian soldiers. This was a way to return the ball to the court of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the “avenger of blood” entitled to exact retribution on the killers.

According to most Egyptian officials and media, the killers were “Palestinian from the Gaza Strip infiltrating Sinai.” This version of the story spread quickly through the streets.

The discourse had racist undertones, against “Palestinian terrorists,” despite numerous rational voices that apportioned blame based on who would gain from such a move, and who would lose. In this there are two winners, Israel and SCAF. The losers are Hamas and the Egyptian MB.

Those who planned, implemented, and enabled the operation were able to strike “two birds with one stone.”

The Gaza Strip was closed off, just like it was during the time of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. The siege is now expected to intensify following the indefinite closure of the Rafah and Karm Abu-Salem border crossings.

It is interesting that the attack came hours after Israel warned tourists in Sinai of a “potential terrorist attack.” The news should have reached Egyptian security. Either they did not treat it seriously enough, or kept it under wraps to use for internal political ends that will become apparent in the coming days.

The blow first hit the Egyptian presidency and its efforts to play a role in external politics. Now it seems that this arena will remain firmly in SCAF's hands, starting with Palestine.

The president will have to make do with working on internal issues and navigating between the boundaries drawn by SCAF. It seems, for now, changing presidents will not alter the political framework devised by the officers.

It was also a blow to Hamas at the exact time when the “terrorist” accusation would stick, following its incomprehensible decision to release a militant Salafi leader, who had been incarcerated in Gaza for the past two years.

The release was part of a deal, whose parameters are not yet clear. But it tainted Hamas with the stain of implicit cooperation with extremist movements. This made it easier to accuse Gaza's rulers of participating in the Sinai attack.

"Israel cooked, Egypt ate, and Gaza has to wash the dishes," goes the Strip’s new joke about the Sinai attack.

Houssam Kanafani is Arab world and international desk editor at Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


"Israel cooked, Egypt ate, and Gaza has to wash the dishes," goes the Strip’s new joke about the Sinai attack."

Is this last what passes for "journalism" here?

This is what I know about Gaza and Islam:

“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last. Victory will never be found by taking the line of least resistance.” Winston Churchill

“What the horn is to the rhinoceros, what the sting is to the wasp, the Mohammedan faith is to the Arabs of the Sudan-a faculty of offence. All the warlike operations of Mohammedan peoples are characterised by fanatacism” Winston Churchill

“While Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsees and Jews, along with several million adherents of an animistic religion, all coexisted in relative harmony, one religion that would not accept compromise stood out from the rest: Islam.” Mahatma Gandhi

At one time I ordered some reading material, including Taha;s "Second Message", and a “study” Koran to find out what this "Islam thing" was all about. When I was sixteen I was chanting nam yo ho renge kyo to a piece of paper, (gahonzen?), having NO idea what I was doing. A few years later I hitchhiked cross country, got saved in Nashville Tenn. and went to live on a Christian farm in Mansfield Ohio. My gra'mom called me a "seeker". That said I wanted to understand this "religion of peace". It was Humaid's article on jihad I found in my Summarized Bukhari that decided “things” for me.

If Islam is the “religion of peace”, where in Sheikh Abdullah bin Humaid's article on jihad can I find the equivalent of “Love Thy Neighbor” and “good will toward men”? And explain its prominence, and significance almost as an “Introduction”, in a book that's described as “the most authentic and true among the books of the Prophet”: My Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari. Also address “jihad” as it's defined in Reliance of the Traveller and answer the same question. (Chapter O-9.0: Jihad O: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion.” And explain why the “greater” jihad is only mentioned once here and never seen again in this “Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law”.) Also compare Humaid's “jihad” and Emmet Fox' Sermon on the Mount and tell me which one best represents a spirit of Love and compassion. Lastly; would you pick Sheik bin Humaid to sit on a Human Rights Commission? (That's a trick question by the way.)

Maybe you can throw in an explanation of the Jews are “monkeys, pigs and rats” on page 656 and the part where Mo says, “if somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him” on page 613 in the chapter on Jihad.

Also, explain why Humaid's “jihad” shouldn't be “Exhibit A” in refuting the “religion of peace” claim.

Jihad in the Qur'an and Sunnah by 'Sheikh Abdullâh bin Muhammad bin Humaid ),

Subscribe to Jihad/Campus Watch and the Middle East Forum/Quarterly, Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and read Raymond Ibrahim and others.


Martin Kramer:
Gaza is a place with no Israeli settlements, from which Israel has totally withdrawn to the 1967 lines, and which nonetheless has become a Hamas terror state. That’s what happens in conditions of Gazafication. So when people say that in a two-state solution, Palestinians would have a "right of return" to the West Bank and not Israel, I do not find that particularly reassuring either. Any influx of Palestinians across the Jordan poses a problem for Israel, and it is naive to dismiss it. I would like to hear how, in a two-state scenario, Gazafication of the West Bank can be prevented. I haven't heard it yet.

Neither have I.

Read The Haj by Leon Uris. And ask these questions:

What year did the nation of Palestine come into existance?
What were its national borders and what year did it cease to exist?
What currency did the nation of Palestine use and why is there no history of it?
Name one leader to the “nation of Palestine” prior to Yasser Arafat.

Hamas from cradle to Grave by Matthew Levitt

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: I Will Never Recognize a Jewish State

PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews

Barry! Which world are you living in? jihadis,AL Qaida are CIA/MOSSAD/MI6 OUTFIT!
Confirmed by MOST DEVIOUS-KNIVING -LYING ango saxon called william Hague
Other day I was watching STORY ON MAFIA in so called usa !The most interesting thing I found was MAFIA COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT SUBTLE SUPPORT from Ruling elites! As MAFIA was destroyed in 1986 onwards the whole of MAFIA'S business of garbage collection,casino operations, drug dealing,etc HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER by JEWS!EXACT APPLIES in SANAI!
You just have to visit Juba,Adis Ababa,Nairobi,Kampala etc you will find sleepers agents of MOSSAD who are ENCOURAGING the Africans to go so called israel

Well put...

Jihadis have no "rationales" beyond jihad. They do not have to "make sense" in their attacks. But even you Jew haters should get this:
-Jihadis hate the Egyptian Army. Their dads and uncles make money by smuggling Africans and drugs into Israel. The Egyptian Army stops them bc it is bad for Egypt and against the law. Beduin do not recognize "laws" and the al Qaeda guys have brainwashed the younger ones that jihad triumphs over all.
-The object was to kidnap an Israeli and bring him to Sinai. It was successful in Gaza in the past. And it would bring IDF into direct conflict with Egypt Army if they crossed border.
-This was actually a brilliant plan: hit at the two worst enemies of jihad in Sinai.
-There was a warning bc Beduin there often work both sides and report back to Israel or their cousins in the IDF.
Why you give "credit" to Israel for all these "brilliant" Arab actions is beyond me. Even al Qaeda got angry at Iran for not giving its due for 9/11.

"Jihadis have no "rationales" beyond jihad."

Wait, is this similar to the "barbaric savage" Palestinians who refused to become refugees in their own homeland and the Judeofascists thugs like yourself who are enraged that the Palestinians haven't abandoned their land and will soon return there because of their demographic superiority? Did you book your one-way flight out of Palestine to make your reverse aliyah and go make the desert bloom somewhere else?

Nicely put...

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