A serial loss of regional allies, serious financial difficulties, internal squabbling, and inability to build up its military capabilities have all weakened Hamas, leaving it vulnerable to potential unrest in Gaza.
The biggest loser? The peace process.
ON A SULTRY MORNING in late September, I drove for two hours on the traffic-choked roads north of Cairo to Al Adwa, a Nile Delta town of dusty alleyways, mosques, and crumbling red brick houses. This is where Mohamed Morsi, the president of Egypt, was raised. Morsi left nearly four decades ago, but he returns regularly to visit his younger brothers, who still work the family farm, and to celebrate Islamic holidays.
Pundits in Israel are still struggling to make sense of Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s surprise announcement yesterday that, at age 70, he is retiring from politics. The move, like Barak’s January 2011 decision to leave Labor and start his own political party, caught everyone off guard.
There is a measure of thanksgiving, or at least relief, in the land of Israel. With the ceasefire, Israelis are grateful that their young men waiting on the border—and almost everyone has a husband, son, brother, friend among those 70,000 reservists—will be spared the horrors of fighting in Gaza. They are grateful that the civilians in southern Israel can now emerge from their shelters.
Yes, Hamas can change and evolve. In some ways, it already has.