Tag Archives: argentina

If Egypt falls to the Brotherhood, Hamas could “go overseas”.



It needs no overstating that what happens next in Egypt is of crucial importance to not only Israel but the world.

It is obviously not right for the Egyptians to live under the yoke of oppression and poverty but as a people they need to draw lessons from the Iranian Revolution of 1979 so as to not go from one extreme to another.

In the rush for deserved freedom they could end up worse off.

In the 1979 Revolution Ayatollah Khomene’i was the figurehead behind which liberals, communists and religious Muslims coalesced to force out the Shah.

But once the Shah was ousted that coalition was soon quashed in a bloody Islamist coup, which led to the installation of extreme religious rule and a worse civil liberties situation than under the Shah.

Egypt is at a similar stage. The banned Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot, has not been actively calling its supporters on to the streets but their presence is casting a dark shadow over proceedings and they will make their play for power when the time is right.

If Egypt ends up like Iran then all bets are off. The Israel-Egypt peace treaty will be under serious threat and for the first time in 38 years the prospect of war between Israel and an Arab country will be rekindled.

Then there’s Hamas. The “siege” of Gaza by Egypt has been far more brutal than anything Israel has imposed.

But an Islamist Egyptian government, whether democratically elected or imposed by force, would allow Hamas freedom of movement through Egypt which would increase its access to Israel and the rest of the world.

An Israeli woman was murdered after the Gaza-Egypt border was breached by frustrated Gazans in February 2008 when a suicide bomber from Gaza crossed into Israel from Egypt.

Israel needs to complete the security wall that will run the length of its long border with Egypt as soon as possible.

Some argue that, unlike Al Qaida, Hamas’ terrorism is purely limited to attacks on Israel. But lack of international activity by Hamas could well be purely down to lack of opportunity due to it being hemmed in Gaza and cracked down on in the West Bank.

Hamas could take heart from just how successful the PLO was in bombing its way to the negotiating table.

Although the PLO attacked civilians in Israel 181 times between 1967 and 1979 between that same period there were at least 201 PLO attacks on aircraft and other civilians outside Israel, which, all told, involved attacks on the property and civilians of some 40 countries (Israel and Palestine – Assault on the Nations of Law, Julius Stone).

With freedom to operate freely through Egypt Al Qaida style international bomb attacks by Hamas could make Western nations pressurise Israel even more. Countries attacked might threaten to withdraw support for Israel if Israeli doesn’t acquiesce in making concessions that could compromise its own security.

In the same vein Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq after the Madrid bombings.

Hezbollah, which claims to be protecting Lebanon from Israeli aggression, “went overseas”. In 1992 it killed 29 people when it blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and in 1994 87 died when it blew up the Jewish Community centre located in the AMIA building in the same city.

Although international warrants were issued for arrests of the perpetrators they are now safely ensconced in Iran. Hezbollah has denied involvement just as it is denying involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri.

Hamas is an acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement”. “Palestine” does not feature in its name and it has never claimed any pretence that its terrorist operations were restricted to what it considers “Palestine”.

Unlike the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) at least Hamas is honest in that respect.

Stop the Occupation now!

HMS York, which is on its way to the Falklands (ph:Royal Navy)

I have just bought my copy of the Current Bun (Britain’s most widely read daily newspaper) and it seems we could once again be going to war with Argentina over territory that is 8,000 miles away.

Isn’t it about time we withdrew our 3,000 citizens from the Falkland Islands and look to make peace with Argentina? This is an issue that is never going to go away.

It is an occupation similar to Israel’s in the West Bank, except we have no security reasons to be occupying the Falklands.

In 1982 war raged for 74 days and we lost a staggering 255 soldiers, while Argentina lost 649.

We even sank an Argentinian warship, the General Belgrano, while it was not enagaged in battle. 323 Argentinians went down with it.

As Wilfred Owen, out greatest war poet, asks us in Futility: “Was it for this the clay grew tall?”

No, it wasn’t.

In contrast to the often repeated, but dubious, assertion that we went to war with Iraq over oil, this really is a conflict over oil. It is believed there could be billions of barrels of oil under the coastal waters surrounding the Falklands (there are zero oil reserves in the West Bank)

Four British based drilling teams are due to start work off the Falkland Islands next week, much to the chagrin of Argentina, and we have sent HMS York, a destroyer, to guard them in the wake of the increasing tensions between the two countries.

Argentina has decreed that boats travelling through its territorial waters need to obtain special permission before doing so, which could inhibit the drilling.

Argentina still claims the Falklands and surrounding waters as their own. Maybe they are wrong but there has never been a judicial court decision as to who owns what.

We keep hearing how Israel is apparently “in breach of international law” for being in the West Bank but are we not in breach of international law for being in the Falklands?

The islands have been conquered, abandoned and reconquered successively by France, Spain, Argentina and Britain.

From 1820 to 1833 Argentinians were living there until we threw them out. Now they want them back.

Surely, the only fair thing to do would be for the International Court of Justice to convene in the Hague to try the sovereignty issue once and for all.

It would be hassle, but not overly problematic, to remove 3,000 people and to rehouse them back here (Israel withdrew 7,000 from Gaza).

No British soldier deserves to lose his or her life over a tiny piece of territory so far away from us.

Yes, the loss of the oil reserves will hit our already battered economy but then our army won’t be diverted from where it is currently needed most; fighting Islamist terrorism.

And, finally, when all is said and done we might even then have some moral authority with which to preach to Israel about ending its own occupation of the West Bank.