A new development
This is quite a new development in the history of West Asia which is fraught with blood-spilling tussle between the Arabs and Israelis. Egypt, which has played the role of a balancer traditionally in the volatile politics of West Asia, is leading a coalition of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against the Hamas.
But what is the reason behind this fresh development in West Asian politics?
Impact of the Arab Spring
The reason for this change is the impact of the Arab Spring. The series of revolution in a number of West Asian countries over the past few years have given a fillip to an aggressive form of Islam and ruined the forces of 'stability' that had a pathetic record of honouring democratic rights.
Like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas also has to be defeated
For example, in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood toppled the three-decade-old rule of Hosni Mubarak but led the country into further chaos until the army intervened and took the power. The new leadership in Egypt considers outfits like Hamas equally threatening like the Muslim Brotherhood. The same can be told about stable regimes like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates which feel worried about possible revolution in their respective countries. They thus feel it is politically expedient to back the Israeli war machinery instead of the cornered Palestinians.
It is because of this reason that the Egyptian proposal for ceasefire gives more importance to the Israeli conditions that that of the Palestinians. The Egyptian leaders think that Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, should be finished off just like the parent organisation.
Entry of Palestinian refugees also a headache during the period of turmoil
Moreover, the entry of thousands of Palestinians into the Arab states to flee the Israeli attacks has also caused much worry for these regimes. In a region which has been seriously threatened by the political clashes and violence, no regime feels safe any more in giving shelter to outsiders, even if they include homeless Palestinians.
Arab Spring has posed serious threat to the stability of W Asian regimes
The fact that the two contradictory forces in Palestine (moderate Palestine Liberation Organisation of President Mahomoud Abbas and the extremist Hamas) recently entered into a unity agreement has also caused much worry in the ranks of the surrounding world for it fears Hamas will ultimately prevail over the moderate forces and pose a bigger challenge to the regional peace.
Only Iran and Turkey have spoken for Gaza but they have their own interests to serve
Hence, excepting Iran and Turkey, not many from the Arab world has offered much in support of the helpless Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Even these two states are expressing sympathy for the Palestinians for their respective national interests. While Iran has a serious difference with Israel, Turkey is aiming to emerge big in the Islamic world to draw Europe's attention.
This is an unprecedented situation where killing of innocent people have failed to melt hearts. But international politics has always been served by self-interests and it has been the same this time as well, irrespective of the difference in manifestation.