Protests Sweep Arab World

The Israeli air force has caused massive destruction to facilities in Gaza as well as killing hundreds, but it has also sparked large scale demonstrations throughout the Arab world. After Friday prayers in Cairo, Tehran, Damascus, and Amman, thousands of people marched through the streets shouting hate toward Israel and demanding action on the part of their leaders. In Tehran, as over six thousand marched shouting, “Death to Israel” and “Death To America” Ayatollah Akbar Hshemi Rafsanjani said an Israeli defeat in Gaza would be a ‘scandal” for the Israel government and lead to its downfall. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said an invasion of Gaza would result in a massive defeat of Israeli forces. He warned Hamas had been given new anti-tank weapons which would wipe out Israel tanks.

The Egyptian and Jordan governments made certain to curtail demonstrations in order to avoid things getting out of hand and turning into massive anti-government protests. Ironically, Iran in raising the topic of new anti-tank weapons gave credence to Israel arguments they had to bomb Gaza in order to destroy new weapons being smuggled into the territory.

Israel is not going to confront Hamas fighters in the streets of Gaza cities. The air force will use its power to prepare the way for tanks so they will not be attacked by the new weapons. The solution is rather clear — there is need for an independent force in Gaza to ensure supplies for its citizens and to ensure that rocket attacks cease.