The Obama administration has so effectively alienated the Arab World’s Sunni Muslim regimes in states like Egypt and Saudi Arabia that they are turning to Israel to see their interests looked after. Now that’s a legacy achievement.
Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit posted this clip flagged by Breaking Christian News which features the popular television host and owner of the Egyptian satellite network Faraeen, Tawfik Okasha, apparently urging Israel to execute airstrikes against Iranian nuclear targets.
“Our dear friend [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Okasha began, “please.”
“Iran faces you and the Bushehr reactor faces you,” he added. “Put your trust in God and bomb it.”
“We are with you and if you need fuel for the jets, we will give it to you,” he continued.
Okasha, while perhaps not representative of the Egyptian people, is often representative of the government in Cairo led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. His personal antipathy toward Hamas and the deposed Muslim Brotherhood is well-documented.
“I swear here, on live television, I will break the law and go to his home in the fifth district [of Cairo] and hang him on Bab Zuweila,” Okasha said of Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk in September. The monument to which he referred is a famous ancient gate to the city of Cairo.
Okasha’s colorful nature aside, his apparent endorsement of an Israeli strike on Iranian targets is reflective of an unspoken but apparent alliance of necessity between the region’s Sunni dictators and the Israeli state as Iranian influence expands across the Middle East.
“The Israeli prime minister’s public confrontation with President Barack Obama over the U.S. administration’s pursuit of a nuclear bargain with Iran may have drawn all the spotlight this week,” The Wall Street Journal reported in early March. “But America’s other key allies across the Middle East—such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates—are just as distraught, even if they lack the kind of lobbying platform that Benjamin Netanyahu was offered in Congress.”
These nations’ ties with Washington have already frayed in recent years, dented by what many officials in the region describe as a nagging sense that America doesn’t care about this part of the world anymore.
Now, with the nuclear talks nearing a deadline, these allies—particularly in the Gulf—fret that America is about to ditch its long-standing friends to win love from their common foe, at the very moment that this foe is on the offensive across the region.
They expressed their concerns by amassing a 10-nation coalition of Gulf Arab states to execute military strikes in Yemen with the sole mission of checking Iranian influence over the region and preventing Tehran from gaining access to the critical Red Sea strait of Bab el Mandeb.
The White House is certainly shaking up the region, but it is unclear if there is a method to this madness.