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A clearer Middle East picture

In the past few days, several conundrums have been cleared up:

1. The Egyptian regime is at one and the same time repressive and incompetent, a toxic combination. Persecution of the Coptic Christians in the name of Islam is growing steadily, resulting in both an internal and an external refugee crisis. Many of those displaced may try to come to Israel, facing the government with a very difficult choice: let them in, find room for them and provide them with assistance at a time of budgetary constraint, or turn them away, infuriating allied governments and Christian communities worldwide, including American Evangelical groups otherwise very supportive of Israel.

President Mursi will be faced with a disastrous economic situation, and food and fuel shortages will result in massive civil unrest. Pity the new Islamist pharaohs.

2. Assad of Syria isn’t giving up. Neither is the opposition. Iran, Russia and Venezuela will continue their material and political support for Assad. Turkey is in danger of being seen as a paper tiger, and all thoughts of neo-Ottoman domination of the region will be seen as an opium-dream.

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