Barack Obama pressured Israel to accept the current ceasefire agreement with Hamas that was devised by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi, and Israel’s worst enemies are thrilled.
Hamas declared November 22, the day the truce went into effect, a “national holiday of victory.” Israel National News reported that “mosques in Gaza City blared through their loudspeakers: ‘Allahu Akbar (G-d is great), dear people of Gaza, you won. You have broken the arrogance of the Jews.’”
A Hamas sheikh, preaching at the funeral of one of those killed in Gaza, declared that Hamas had just won a great victory, one that would prove to be “the first nail in the coffin of Israel.” The Financial Times noted that “on Friday, the midday prayers were dominated by declarations of victory, with some preachers drawing a line between the latest conflict and the Prophet Mohammed’s victory over the infidels.”
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad crowed: “Zionists have reached the dead point and have no other alternative but officially recognizing and bowing to the absolute right of the Palestinian nation.” The speaker of Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, agreed, saying: “The victory of Gaza highlights the necessity to continue resistance and Jihad against the Zionist regime. With their patience and perseverance, the people of Gaza showed that the only way to confront the Zionist regime is Jihad and resistance.” The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, said that “accepting defeat after eight days means that the Zionist regime is becoming increasingly weak,” and that the “counter-resistance is getting stronger.”
Meanwhile, Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal’s deputy, has already stated obliquely that Hamas has no intention of keeping to the terms of the ceasefire anyway. Marzouk rejected calls for Hamas to stop amassing weapons, saying: “These weapons protected us and there is no way to stop obtaining and manufacturing them.”
Yet the truce terms require, according to the Voice of America, “‘all Palestinian factions’ to stop all hostilities toward Israel from Gaza, including rocket fire and attacks along the Gaza-Israel border.” So if the truce forbids them to fire upon Israel, what is Hamas going to do with all these weapons? Or is Marzouk signaling that Hamas has no intention of keeping the truce at all?
For its part, Islamic Jihad was eager to emphasize that the jihad against Israel would go on. “The battle with the enemy has not ended,” a masked jihadist from the group maintained. “Our choice in fighting and getting weapons to defend our people is going on.”
Another indication that the jihad against Israel will flare up again soon enough came from the imprisoned Saudi Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Fahd, who praised the jihad bombings in Riyadh in 2003 and was jailed shortly thereafter. In a fatwa posted last week on a jihadi website, al-Fahd declared, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, that “the Jews are the leaders of the infidels and the greatest enemies of Islam and the Muslims in the present age,” and that therefore Muslims who waged jihad warfare against Jews everywhere would be discharging “one of the most important duties and greatest virtues.” Al-Fahd added that “any guarantees of protection granted them by tyrannical and infidel governments are meaningless, especially when the Jews are attacking Muslims as they please.”
Al-Fahd may be in prison, but his view of the jihad against Israel as a religious obligation incumbent on every Muslim is not by any means restricted to him alone. So many Muslims worldwide share it that even in far-off Indonesia, a Muslim group last week began offering “jihad registration forms” to those believers who wished to wage jihad against Israel.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Badie, meanwhile, reminded the world that “jihad is obligatory” for Muslims, and dubbed truces with Israel a “game of grand deception.”
All that may be an elaborate exercise in false bravado and self-delusion. It may be that the ceasefire is not the victory for the forces of jihad that those forces are claiming. But the signals are unmistakable: over the past year Israel wrote no fewer than twenty messages to the United Nations, asking for support in defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza. The UN didn’t acknowledge any of those letters, but was stirred into action almost immediately when Israel began to defend itself – not to declare support for the Israeli defensive actions against the relentless rocket attacks, but to compel Israel to stop.
And after just eight days, they succeeded, courtesy of Barack Obama. When Israel’s defensive actions began, Obama declared clearly his support for the Jewish state’s right to defend itself, but now he has made another declaration – one that is just as clear, albeit tacit: that when Israel does defend itself, he will move heaven and earth to stop it from doing so, before the damage to the jihad war machine gets too extensive.
The jihadis got the message loud and clear.
Image courtesy shutterstock / wongwean