Obama’s Arab Spring speech rings hollow in the Middle East
To groups like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, democracy simply supplies a means to the end of establishing hard-line Shariah law. They may take heart in the poll result showing 62 percent of Egyptians saying “laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Koran.” Al Qaeda is 1 percent more popular in Egypt than the United States, according to the Washington Times editorial on Thursday.
While President Barack Obama blamed the continued creation of Israeli settlements and its government’s walking away from talks with Palestinians for the ongoing Middle East turmoil, during Thursday’s speech, Israeli military and security forces were being debriefed on their response to Palestinian protesters who rioted against IDF forces in the events of Nakba Day.
Obama told the world on Thursday that he believes Israel must pullback to the pre-1967 borders in order to create a Palestinian nation, but offered no plan on how to stop the violence and hatred directed at the Jewish people by terrorists.
Gen. Mordechai stated that Northern Command commander Major General Gadi Eizenkot and the Golan Heights Division Commander overseeing the incident from the field. According to Mordechai, there are still hundreds of citizens attempting to breach the security fence — and the IDF is preventing it. The IDF spokesperson also mentioned that three soldiers were slightly injured.
Simultaneously, in the West Bank hundreds of civilians on Sunday were protesting at the Qalandia crossing, with no violent incidents. At the Erez crossing in the Gaza Strip, dozens of civilians breached the Hamas roadblock during the early afternoon hours and attempted to damage the crossing, which also gives Palestinians humanitarian aid.
“The IDF used riot dispersion means in the area, as well as live fire with some injured. These are not peaceful protests with flowers and love songs, but rather true provocations,” explained the IDF spokesperson.
Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai blamed Iran for using the Nakba day events on Sunday (May 15) to begin violent conflicts in the Middle East. Brig. Gen. Mordechai spoke about the riots at the Syrian and Lebanese borders and the Gaza Strip which took place in the early afternoon during a televised alert.
“I see fingerprints of Iranian provocation and an attempt to use Nakba day to create conflict,” said Brig. Gen. Mordechai, who mentioned that “when the incidents end, the IDF will consider their long-term ramifications.”
“When IDF forces recognized the possibility of damage to security infrastructure and even infiltration into Israel, they opened fire. According to Lebanese reports there were between four and eight people injured,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Mordechai also mentioned that, “Hundreds of people tried to breach the fence and enter Israel in the Golan Heights region. IDF forces opened fire to stop the infiltrators. Commander of Northern Command sent an update that they were able to successfully thwart the protest at the fence and that they were negotiating to return the infiltrators that entered Israeli territory. Sunday’s IDF actions were achieved with the help of other security forces and the Israeli Police.
The IDF Spokesman also mentioned that Palestinians breached a Hamas roadblock at the Gaza Strip and reached the obsolete Erez crossing. “Here, too, IDF forces worked to prevent infiltration into Israeli territory,” he said.
Sidebar: Obama’s lack of popularity in Muslim countries underreportedThe latest polling from the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitude Project shows that Mr. Obama’s much-heralded outreach to the Muslim world has failed. In Egypt, site of the June 2009 Cairo speech that kicked off the effort, the United States has a 20 percent favorability rating, seven points below where it was in 2009, according to Washington Times senior editorial writer James S. Robbins.In Pakistan, U.S. approval is 11 percent, a five-point drop since the Cairo speech. These surveys were conducted before the flap over charges of violating Pakistan’s sovereignty in taking down Osama bin Laden. In Jordan and Turkey, two important regional allies, American approval is 13 percent (down 12 points) and 11 percent (down four points) respectively.For Obama defenders who argue he inherited this problem from the George W. Bush administration, note that in 2006, U.S. favorability in Egypt stood at 30 percent and in Pakistan at 27 percent — still not good numbers, but higher than any Mr. Obama has generated.To groups like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, democracy simply supplies a means to the end of establishing hard-line Shariah law. They may take heart in the poll result showing 62 percent of Egyptians saying “laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Koran.” Al Qaeda is 1 percent more popular in Egypt than the United States, according to the Washington Times editorial on Thursday.