World View: Israel, Hamas Extend Gaza Truce 24 Hours to Negotiate Deal

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Islamic 'halal' tourism surges in Turkey
  • Israel and Hamas agree to 'long-term' truce in Gaza war
  • Egypt denies militarily intervening in Libya

Islamic 'halal' tourism surges in Turkey

There are currently 75 hotels in Turkey, up from 5 in 2002, deliberately identifying themselves as "Islamic hotels" for "halal vacations." Demand for such hotels is soaring, and Muslims from around the world are coming to Turkey as the most Islamic-friendly destination in Europe. 

These hotels strictly forbid alcohol and pork, and serve only halal (Islamic) meals. Families can have meals together, but the hotels emphasize segregation of men and women. Women have separate beaches, separate pools, and separate prayer rooms. According to one woman, "You don't have to worry about people taking photographs of you and ending up on Facebook or wherever. So you can be completely relaxed." 

The halal tourism sector was worth 103 billion euros in 2013, representing around 13 percent of global travel expenditures. Zaman (Istanbul) and BBC

Israel and Hamas agree to 'long-term' truce in Gaza war

There are massive celebrations on the streets of Gaza on Tuesday, as leaders of Hamas declared "victory" over Israel in the recent war, claiming that Israel was forced to agree to a ceasefire since Hamas rockets could strike anywhere in Israel and could force Israel's airport in Tel Aviv to shut down. 

A number of Israeli politicians agreed, in that Hamas has not been demilitarized, which was supposedly Israel's major objective in the war. According to MK Eli Yishai: "This will be time for Hamas to resupply itself with weaponry to use against Israel. Not demilitarizing Gaza will bring Israel to another round of fighting that will be even worse."

The terms of the cease-fire agreement are as follows: 

  • A lifting of the blockade on Gaza by Israel and Egypt, opening border crossing, and allowing goods and people to pass back and forth. However, the limitations on these border crossing openings were not discussed.
  • Israel will stop targeting Hamas leaders and commanders.
  • Gaza's fishermen will be able to fish in a larger zone, extending six miles offshore.
  • Discussions of opening Gaza's airports and seaports to start in a month.

One commentator on BBC pointed out that anyone in Gaza can build a rocket in his basement and launch it towards Israel, bringing retaliation from Israel. 

Something that both sides insisted from the start of the war was that there would be no return to the status quo ante, and yet that's pretty much what has happened. Israel's concessions are largely symbolic and can easily be reversed at any time at the first sign of a terrorist act in Egypt's Sinai or in the West Bank. And Gaza can launch a new barrage of rockets at any time. 

From the point of view of international geopolitics, Israel has been the target of an enormous amount of hostility because of the thousands of deaths in the Gaza Strip. 

However, Hamas has also suffered internationally because of the rise of the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) and the comparison of Hamas to Islamic State. Last week, Hamas publicly beheaded several Palestinians who were alleged to be "collaborators" with Israel, which is exactly the kind of atrocity that Islamic State has been conducting. Hamas is also committed to wiping out Israel in the same way that Islamic State is committed to exterminating Yazidis and Christians in Iraq. 

Politically, Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lost popularity as it's become clear that Israel was not meeting its objectives in the Gaza war, and may not even have had any clear objectives in the first place. Hamas was becoming very unpopular before the war began, but has become much more popular as a result of the war. They may lose those gains as soon as people realize that the Gaza war ended, with massive losses to the people and infrastructure of Gaza, but nothing has really changed. 

Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast is headed for a major war between Arabs and Jews, re-fighting the war between Jews and Arabs that followed the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Jerusalem Post and AP and Reuters

Egypt denies militarily intervening in Libya

Egypt is vehemently denying that Egypt intervened militarily in Libya. The denial follows reports Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were responsible for the mysterious warplanes that bombed Islamist militias in Libya last week. According to Egypt's foreign ministry: "What is being circulated in the media regarding military intervention in Libya are rumors. [Egypt supports] Libyan legitimacy and the needs and training of the Libyan armed forces."

However, this very carefully worded statement actually does not contradict the reports, which stated that UAE warplanes bombed Libya, while Egypt provided the airports and landing facilities that made the bombings possible. 

UAE's aggressive behavior has been a big surprise to many outside the region. In fact, the UAE has emerged as the most assertive of the Arab Gulf monarchies, without the reticence of Saudi Arabia. 

In some ways, the conflict in Libya is becoming a proxy war between UAE and Qatar. In 2011, both UAE and Qatar backed militias that opposed Muammar Gaddafi, but the two countries backed different militias. The UAE supported the more secular militias, especially the ones in Zintan in western Libya. Qatar, on the other hand, supported the Islamist brigades, especially in Misrata. These militias were all united against Gaddafi in 2011, but today they're fighting each other, and the UAE and Qatar are respectively supporting the same ones they supported in 2011. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and The Hindu

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, halal tourism, Israel, Hamas, Gaza, Eli Yishai, Egypt, Yazidis, Iraq, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Libya, United Arab Emirates, UAE, Qatar, Zintan, Misrata 

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