Friday, January 09, 2009

The Cynical Approach: Gaza Conflict Is Meant To Distract World From Iran

That is the upshot of an opinion piece in by Ashley Perry, editor at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs for the Middle East Strategic Information project :
Is world being distracted?
Is Gaza war an Iranian ploy to divert attention away from nuke program?

The fighting in Gaza has filled the columns of every international newspaper and reputable news website around the world. International television and radio have provided a sea of analysts to pore over every detail, every inch and every angle of the operation. All the major international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League are discussing nothing else.

Perhaps this is the point of the whole conflict, and the decision by Hamas not to renew the ceasefire. Conceivably, the conflict was created to divert attention from something else, rather more pressing. [emphasis added]

Only weeks ago much of the world's spotlight - the politicians and media, if not the average person in the street, was focused on Iran. Iran's quest for nuclear weapons was such a pressing concern that as one high-level British official told me, "Every Member of Parliament's door is open on this issue."
Of course, Israel's attack was not anticipated and came as a surprise to both Hamas and the rest of the world, which may be why Perry throws in Hamas's refusal to agree to a ceasefire. Also, I am not sure how much attention is drawn away from Iran when Hamas is a puppet of Iran and this connection has come up in the media.

One point that Perry emphasizes is that Hamas is a puppet of Iran--not an ally.

Khaled Meshaal with Ali Larijani, speaker of Iranian parliament.
Now we know why Meshaal looks

The difference?
In the words of Dar al-Hayat columnist, Jihad El Khazen, "Iran is playing a disruptive and subversive role on the Palestinian scene; it does not intend through the $25 to $40 million it spends monthly in Gaza to support the Palestinians but rather to use them." [emphasis added]
Perry's theory (his op-ed was written on January 6) fits the recent firing of rockets from Lebanon too:
If the situation in Gaza comes to a halt soon, a ceas-fire is signed or imposed and the world's attention wanes, it is not inconceivable that Hizbullah will be prodded to inflame the northern border.
Although not actively involved, Hizbollah would have known about what was going on.

Even if Iran is not behind Hamas's actions or their refusal of the ceasefire, that has not stopped Iran from taking advantage of the situation:
Persian reformist newspaper accuses Ahmadinejad government of using Palestinian problem 'as weapon' against reformist bodies after shutting down newspaper accused of reporting misinformation about Palestinian fighters in Gaza
All in all Iran, and Ahmadinejad, are getting benefits from the ongoing conflict--something that will end up hurting them if Israel is in fact able to destroy or at least significantly disable Hamas.

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