msnbc | November 17, 2012
>>> as we mentioned egypt is trying to help with the situation in gaza . joining me now is the senior fellow from the middle east policy at the brookins university.
>> thank you. i'm also at the university of maryland .
>> that's my alma mater . good to know. the crisis in gaza could draw egypt deeper in the conflict. egypt has been at peace since the signing of the camp david accords in 1979 . does this crisis have the potential to undermine 39 years of peace?
>> they sem pa fiympathize with hamas and blame the mubarak regime for not doing enough. they don't want to be dragged into it. they stand to lose big if there's real escalation and israel goes into gaza . they're in a bind and why they've activated heavy ploep diplomacy, along with the turks to mediate this. in the end, it's a function of what the israelis decide. certainly, they can help negotiate a cease-fire and weigh in on terms of the cease-fire. it's an end of the israelis calculation and on that the u.s. doesn't have much say. frankly, the u.s. doesn't have all that much leverage with issue. in an issue like this, they do what they think is right for them. the u.s. doesn't have the kind of influence it used to have with mubarak in egypt . egypt loses if there's an escalation. you can argue jordan loses because there's more public pressure on the king. the palestinian authority , there will be more pressure and the winners will be hezbollah, supplying missiles to hamas , iran supplying missiles to hamas . everybody has an interest in a cease-fire and yet there is an escalation that can get out of hand.
>> the arab spring led to popular uprisings in many cases changing the leadership in those countries. how do you think the arab spring affected the calculation here and what's taking place with this conflict at this time.
>> hugely. think about 2008 . there was a major gaza war on larger scale than this one. 1400 palestinians were killed in that three weeks of war. what happened? yes, there was public opinion pressure in the arab world . it really didn't show up in terms of government policies . mubarak , critical of israel was actually coordinating with them because he didn't want to see hamas really succeed. that's true of several other arab leaders. right now, no one can do that and people weighing in on the arab league sympathize with hamas , don't want to see it lose strategically and won't put pressure on them the way mubarak put pressure on hamas for cease-fire. eeb governme even governments that don't favor hamas , the king of jordan facing uprisings over rising gas prices , he worries the sympathy with the palestinians now could be used to escalate the process against him. he has to sit in the background. you don't hear him much right now. it's a factor and changes equation, changed even the negotiations leverage of a cease-fire. it certainly potentially changed the nature of the fight because of the ability for hamas to get re-supplies.
>> all right. from the center for middle east policy and the university of maryland , thank you for joining me this afternoon.
>> my pleasure.