Because unlike “gullible Westerners [who] can delude themselves that a Sharia (Islamic rule) state in Gaza will care only about itself and Israel,” they know better, know that the natural state of a sharia-state is to grow and expand, spilling into neighboring land. After all, though they may be “secular,” they do come from an Islamic background and know exactly how totalitarian Islamic law is.
“Why Arab states are unmoved by plight of Hamas: most fear Muslim militancy despite their dislike of Israel,” by Tim Butcher for the Telegraph, January 17:
In New York a United Nations human rights chief alleges Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza.
In Geneva the normally silent International Committee of the Red Cross goes public to condemn the Jewish state. And in Kensington barriers have to be erected by police to stop protesters reaching the embassy of Israel.
By contrast, the reaction in the Arab world seems almost mute. There are a few rallies in countries such as Syria and Yemen where Israeli flags are burned but that happens after Friday prayers on high days and holidays anyway.
The Arab League splinters over which member state should host an emergency summit on Gaza. Even in the West Bank, just 40 miles from Gaza and home to 2.5 million fellow Palestinians, a call by militants for mass protest rallies dubbed “days of wrath” passes largely unheeded.
Why is it that, as Israel prepared to announce a cessation of offensive operations in Gaza, the Arab Street remained so apparently unmoved by its assault on the tiny territory?
The answer lies in the way many Arab regimes view militant Islam, as represented by Hamas. The West has come to view Muslim militancy as one of its biggest threats in the 21st century but for many Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia the same threat has existed for much longer.
Egypt’s secular, military leaders have been struggling with the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1920s. They have tried arresting leaders, invoked emergency powers to stop popular demonstrations and banned members of “the Brothers” from standing in elections. President Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship remains in power in Egypt but militant Islam remains one of the most clear and present dangers to his rule.
The links between Hamas and “the Brothers” are strong, deep and long-standing. The Gaza Strip, which is the powerbase of Hamas, abuts Egypt and in the eyes of many the Palestinian movement is little more than the “North Sinai Branch” of the Muslim Brotherhood. So just as Cairo needs to keep “the Brothers” in check, it also has an interest in seeing Hamas weakened.
As Amotz Asa-El, an Israeli commentator, put it: “Gullible Westerners can delude themselves that a Sharia (Islamic rule) state in Gaza will care only about itself and Israel. Mubarak evidently knows better than that.”[…]
In 1982 Syria’s then president, Hafez al Assad, the father of the current president, Bashar al Assad, showed exactly how tolerant he would be towards his country’s Muslim Brotherhood. After the movement started to stage guerrilla attacks on Syrian state organs like the police force, he ordered his army to surround Hama, the town where the group had its de facto headquarters, and shell it with artillery. The death toll, mostly civilian, was never definitively established but some estimates put it as high as 20,000.
So while regimes across the Arab world have condemned the huge loss of civilian life caused by Israel’s military assault on Gaza there are few regimes rushing to offer solidarity with Hamas…