Monday, September 05, 2011

NO apology!

Turkey has been waging a deliberate rejectionist propaganda campaign against Israel. In Turkey, the traditional secular Government has been replaced with the Islamist oriented Government of Recip Tayyip Erdogan that has defanged the Army and is intent on delegitimizing Israel. First, the Turkish Government connived in the sending of the Mavi Marmara flotilla to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza and they also included trained Islamist terrorists on board that attacked the Israeli commandos when they arrived. This is not just my opinion but is included in the Palmer Report that was issued by the UN. The Report also said that Israel used "excessive force" in fighting these terrorists, but how else were they to defend themselves. But, the Report makes it clear that the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza is legal and justified.

Then Erdogan insisted that Israel must apologize for the death of the nine Turkish citizens in the combat on the boat. Israel refuses to apologize, what for, for legitimately defending itself? Now Turkey has used the publication of the Report as an excuse to expel the Israeli Ambassador and downgrade diplomatic ties with Israel. They have also cancelled the joint military pacts they had with Israel. All this is a deliberate anti-Israel maneuver to curry favor with the Muslim world to gain influence there. It should not be forgotten that Turkey controlled most of the Middle East for hundreds of years, and as a right wing Islamist PM, Erdogan is pursuing a policy focussed on the east, not the west. In a sense this has little to do with Israel, but has more to do with Turkey's historic role in the region and its internal politics. In summary, Turkey is using Israel to score points with the Arabs. This is easy to do when the Palestinians are intent on obtaining legitimacy for their state from the UN. Turkey will be one of those Muslim nations that will line up to support the Palestinians.

Turkey has other problems, the illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus, a clear case of brazen military expansionism. They are also still waging a military campaign against the Kurds and recently attacked Kurdish positions in northern Iraq, a completely illegal act. Further they are always trying hard to deny the truth of the 1917 massacre of Armenians that was a forerunner of the Holocaust. Turkey is also playing the Syria card, while Syria descends into chaos, Turkey will be there to pick up the pieces. But, the consquences can be worse for them than they think.

The Arabs have no love for the Turks considering how they were treated by them when Turkey was their colonial master. Also, the Arab arena has traditionally been the playground for the pursuit of glory and power between the two peripheral Muslim nations, Turkey and Iran. Iran is making headway in the Arab world with its threat to develop nuclear weapons. This not only discomfits Israel but also Turkey, so Turkey is looking for ways to counter the influence of Iran, and delegitimizing Israel is one of them. Look for further anti-Israel moves by Turkey to show the Muslim world that they are leaders in the campaign against Israel. But, in the long run this will not accrue to their benefit, they will lose any possibility of joining the EU and they will lose US support and influence.


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