With large, angry anti-Israeli demonstrations putting pressure on moderate Arab states, Jordan, one of two Arab countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel (Egypt being the other), now says it is "reconsidering" those ties. Al Jazeera reports:
Jordan's prime minister has said his country may review its diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of the offensive in Gaza.
"Jordan will look into all options, including reconsidering relations with Israel," Nader Dahabi told legislators on Sunday.
"There is no way we would remain silent when this threat affects the security of the entire region."
Turkey, a moderate Muslim country that Israel considers a vital regional ally and military partner, has likewise been compelled by popular opinion to takes sides against Israel. Ha'aretz reports:
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of committing "inhuman" acts in Gaza that would cause it to self-destruct. In an interview with Al Jazeera television network, the Turkish prime minister said Israel hurt its relations with Turkey by attacking Gaza, and will be punished. In the wake of his visit to the Middle East on Monday, Erdogan voiced his support of Hamas and said Turkey would act as a mediator between the Islamist organization and the United Nations Security Council.
West Bank leadership softening criticism of Hamas
Hamas's rival, the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority that rules the West Bank, has begun to mute its public criticism of Gaza's radical leadership. Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister, writes in the joint Israeli/Palestinian news site bitterlemons.org that this could hasten steps toward a merger between the PA and Hamas:
The Israeli attack has increased public sympathy and support for Hamas because it is the target of these attacks and because it is trying to fight back. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, meanwhile, finds itself in an awkward and difficult position.
For one thing, it has been marginalized and has been the target of criticism while being compared unfavorably with the role and position of Hamas in Gaza. This has led Fateh spokespeople and leaders to change their tone from trying to hint at Hamas responsibility for the suffering of Gazans to a more reasonable and rational tone, exemplified by President Mahmoud Abbas, who, during a meeting of the PLO's Executive Committee, suggested that the time is right for coordination between the different factions and invited all factions, including Hamas, to address this issue.
This change in tone could result in some positive momentum in the dialogue among the Palestinian factions that are under growing pressure from the public to reconcile.