The repercussions of the Israeli bombardments of Gaza are being felt in the entire region.
1. Kadima/Labor move to a) unseat Hamas and b) gain upper hand in the upcoming elections against Bibi Netanyahu is not succeeding. Hamas popularity can increase in the aftermath of the tragic consequences of the bombardment of densely-populated areas. Hamas does not fall by aerial attack; it falls if the Gazans turn against it and accept Mahmoud Abbas as their leader, an unlikely scenario. An outcome similar to the 33-Day War can also play into the hands of Bibi Netanyahu, calling for change of an inept government.
2. The moderate Arab governments will pay a high price. The most precarious situation is in Egypt. Not that the Egyptians have found a new hero in Hamas. But with their lives in near economic ruins, they can find any excuse to hit back at their government. Mubarak’s supposedly prior knowledge of the Israeli attack and the closure of Rafah border crossing during the height of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza have further damaged his reputation that can only help the Muslim Brotherhood. The Jordanian and Saudi governments are also feeling the heat.
3. Hamas inability to wage an effective military response to the Israeli bombardments once again demonstrates the inherent military weakness of an organization that is more suited to carry out terrorist activities. Hamas, however weakened, can still survive the areal attacks. Defeating it requires wining the hearts and minds of the Gazans.
4. The Islamic Republic can come out of this conflict as the only winner. By taking the moral high ground, the Iranian government can solicit the support and sympathy of the Iranians as well as the public opinion in the region. The Israeli attack has also given Ahmadinejad a new window of opportunity to highlight his anti-Israeli credentials during the upcoming presidential elections. It also gave his government an excuse to close Kargozaran, a leading moderate newspaper supporting Rafsanjani, his arch enemy.
5. The real victims of the attacks are the Gazans, with more than 400 dead and thousands injured, and a country in ruins. The Palestinian people deserve a better fate: a stable government and a country of their own. The warring sides, the Israeli government and the Hamas, are the real obstacles to achieve those goals.