The diplomatic hosannas for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following his brokering of the recent cease-fire between Hamas and Israel were still being heard, even as the former head of the Muslim Brotherhood started behaving like a pharaoh. Morsi "temporarily" seized new powers that, among other things, forbid judicial review of his policies.
What ought to amaze us is how many times Western and especially U.S. diplomats have gone to the Arab-Muslim well, believing they will find something different at the bottom. Egypt, Hamas and even Iran string us along like a cad with a bevy of women in his orbit because we refuse to acknowledge their true intent.
In a recent radio interview, I tried to explain to the host that the Muslim Brotherhood and other enemies of Israel mean what they say. "Those are just words," he said. How do you break through such willful ignorance?
We are engaged in a clash of civilizations between Western democracies and Islamic fundamentalism. As with most dictatorships, Egypt had one free election that may well be its last. Morsi's government is now about the business of suppressing dissent, a familiar practice among dictators. Protests over Morsi's power grab have again enlivened Cairo's Tahrir Square and produced a rebellion by Egyptian judges against their new "pharaoh."
New generations of Muslim children are taught to hate all things Western, including Jews, Christians and other "infidels." Israel is pressured to sign off on a cease-fire agreement with Hamas, so that the West can get back to holiday shopping. Hamas and their terrorist brothers use cease-fires to rearm. According to the Sunday Times, citing Israeli officials, "Israeli intelligence satellites have spied the loading of rockets and other material believed to be destined for the Gaza Strip."
It's not only the West with which Arab-Muslim nations and terrorist groups break agreements. As former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger writes in "The Israel-Hamas Clash of Civilizations," "the culture of compliance is foreign in the Middle East, which has not experienced intra-Muslim compliance with most intra-Muslim agreements for the last 1,400 years. It is a culture that reveres the 7th century [and] Muhammad's treaty of Hudaybiyya, stipulating that treaties are not in perpetuity. Treaties may be violated -- in order to achieve the overriding goal of bringing enemies to submission -- upon amassing sufficient power to overcome the enemy." This is likely why there is talk about Egypt vacating its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
The only hope of maintaining a sense of stability in the region is for Israel to remain strong. President Obama's endorsement of Israel's right to defend itself against missiles launched from Gaza was helpful. It would be even more helpful if the United States would stop believing the fiction that the goal of the Palestinians is to get their own state, after which they will live together peacefully with the rest of the world. It won't happen, given the beliefs and practices of Arab-Muslim nations.
Israel's enemies understand strength and resolve. They are encouraged by weakness and vacillation. That is why they feel emboldened, not only to move missiles (likely provided by Iran) into Gaza, but also why other terrorists attacked the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. They pay little or no price for doing so while we argue over whether words were taken out of intelligence documents before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday talk shows.
No nation has done a better job fighting terrorism than Israel. It remains America's strongest ally in the region and a necessary counterforce to attempts by Hamas and PLO sympathizers Russia, China and North Korea to penetrate deeper into the Middle East.
If more people would take the time to read the pronouncements and goals of Morsi when he headed the Muslim Brotherhood and also his latest speeches, they would understand what the endgame is and why disbelief by the West is also part of their strategy for world domination.
Examiner Columnist Cal Thomas is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media.