Source / Courtesy: The National Interest
By Benny Morris
“Israel will exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it [a reference to the Medieval Crusader kingdoms],” states the 1988 Charter or constitution of the fundamentalist Muslim Hamas, the organization that rules the Gaza Strip and may well command the support of the majority of Palestinians.
And, to be sure, Islam these past two weeks has definitely been closing in on the Jewish state, with Israel’s ambassadors in the two major Middle Eastern states with which it had good relations, Turkey and Egypt, being sent packing.
Of course, the circumstances of each case were different (history has that ability to give us infinite variety). In Ankara , the government expelled the ambassador because of Israel’s refusal to apologize for implementing its blockade of the Gaza Strip, from which, over the past decade, masses of rockets have been fired on the country’s southern towns and villages; in Cairo, it was the mob, unleashed by the so-called “Arab Spring,” and uncurbed by the country’s interim military government, which overran and vandalized the Israeli Embassy and forced Israel’s diplomats and their families to flee for their lives.
But in both cases, it was Islam which gradually eroded secularism and brought down pragmatic, prudent governments in the region, which drove the diplomats from their posts—much as Islam, in Hamas’s take, wishes to do, and will do, to Israel itself, the ultimate alien and other in “their” Middle East.