Saturday, February 10, 2024

Media review: The Gaza war creates a new Islamic front and threatens American influence--Foreign Affairs

    Saturday, February 10, 2024   No comments

The American magazine Foreign Affairs published a long article dealing with the impact of the Gaza war on the Islamic and Arab worlds, saying that this war created a new Islamic front that may be the greatest challenge facing America.



The article, written by Toby Matthiesen, a senior lecturer in global religious studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, explained that the Gaza war is no longer limited to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel.


He pointed out the extension of this war and the participation of the so-called “Axis of Resistance” that includes Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen in it, and it has gone beyond that until it has now become, 4 months after its beginning, a strong unifying force for Sunnis and Shiites and has awakened a comprehensive Islamic front that includes the Sunni Arab masses, who are opposed by a majority. Overwhelming, Arab normalization.

The article added that for the United States and its partners, this development constitutes a strategic challenge that goes far beyond confronting the Iraqi factions and the Houthis with targeted strikes. By bringing together a region long divided, the war in Gaza threatens to further undermine American influence and, in the long term, could make many American military missions untenable.

He said that this new rapprochement also raises major obstacles to any US-led efforts to impose a top-down peace agreement that excludes Palestinian Islamists.

The writer reported that Arab opinion polls and social media show great Arab support for the Hamas movement and its strategy of armed resistance, and a significant decline in support for the United States and the regimes closely associated with it.

The same opinion polls now show, according to the article, that an overwhelming percentage of the population - more than 90% - opposes establishing relations with Israel, adding that the Arab Opinion Index for last January, a survey conducted in Doha that included 16 Arab countries, shows agreement. More than 3 quarters of respondents said their views of the United States had become more negative since the war began.

Matthiesen advised the pro-Western Arab countries to seek to bridge the widening gap between their policies and the sympathy of their citizens, saying that after years of neglect, these masses will urgently press for a just solution to the Palestinian issue, which threatens to spark a new wave of Arab uprisings.

He stressed that it is increasingly clear that it will be impossible for Washington to stop the regional escalation unless it is able to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, end the occupation, and finally establish a viable Palestinian state, adding that in the absence of concrete, credible steps in this direction, the pressure will continue. Popular influence on governments in the region.

Matthiesen concluded his article by emphasizing that without a just and broad solution to the Palestinian issue, the Middle East will never achieve lasting peace or the kind of political and economic cooperation that many have long dreamed of, indicating that the alternative is an endless cycle of violence, the decline of Western influence, and the integration of the region. In a way that is completely different from what the West wants, and even fundamentally hostile to it.




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