Thursday, December 6, 2012

Article on the Sinai Peninsula from Professor Ely Karmon

Sinai Peninsula (NASA, International Space Sta...
Sinai Peninsula (NASA, International Space Station Science, 7/24/09) (Photo credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center)

Dear friends and colleagues,

Following my email of March 2012 recommending the reading of the article "Egypt's Sinai Peninsula: Fertile ground for discontent" by Sarah El-Rashidi please see below the link to the excellent description of the present dire situation in the Sinai Peninsula and the threat it represents for Israel, Egypt itself and the region at large in Nicolas Pelham's article "In Sinai: The Uprising of the Bedouin."

It is clear from this description that it will be extremely difficult and it will take a much time to the Egyptian government to change the trend in Sinai and neutralize the threat.

In my opinion, it is not at all sure that the ruling Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement will have the political will to take the necessary economic and political measures to alleviate the situation of the Bedouins and clamp down on the salafis, jihadists and radical Palestinians in Sinai, among other because of the counter pressure on them from the Egyptian salafi movement and its more violent elements.

The situation in the Gaza Strip, where the Palestinian  Muslim Brotherhood branch Hamas rules with an iron fist since 2006, salafi and jihadist organizations and groups have largely proliferated under its umbrella, generally cooperating with Hamas's goals of attacking and destroying Israel and Islamizing Palestine and sometimes challenging its present "moderation"  or pragmatism. The latest conflict in Gaza which led to the Israeli "Pillar of Defense" Operation testifies to this trend and threat and bodes bad for the future of Sinai. 

In a way, the situation in Gaza resembles the situation in Afghanistan where the Taliban were militarily supported by al-Qaeda in the fight against their local enemies and then gave it freedom of action on its territory to build the jihadist Golem of September 11.

The fact is that in the West Bank, due to the activities of the Israeli and Palestinian Authority security agencies, there is no such salafi/jihadi phenomenon.

Sorry for duplicates.

Ely Karmon, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar 
International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and
The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at
The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC)
Herzlyia, Israel
Tel.:   972-9-9527277 
Cell.: 972-52-2653306
Fax.: 972-9-9513073, 972-9-7716653

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