… Ankara warned that further supply vessels will be sent to Gaza, escorted by the Turkish Navy, a development with unpredictable consequences. Israel has sounded an alert throughout the country fearing rocket attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Arab League has called an urgent meeting on Tuesday to decide on a common response. Egypt is under pressure to end the blockade of Gaza while Greece has cancelled a military exercise with Israel. – Turkey threatens action; Israel on alert
Pres. Obama’s response of “deep regret” at the Israel-caused deaths “also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible,” was greeted in Turkey as “sort of weak.” State weighed in yesterday as well.
Jake Tapper is reporting today that the Obama administration will stand with Israel, because doing otherwise would isolate them further.
Ben Smith has the quote of quotes: “We’re the only ones who believe them.”
Meanwhile, the Republican right is already saying the activists on board attempting to get aid into Gaza are linked to Turkey “terrorists.”
Pick your sides, folks, then we’re off.
Cutting to the chase, PM Netanyahu and the IDF are forcing Pres. Obama into a corner, while Muslim and Arab nations will press for him to condemn Israeli actions if the Security Council finds against Israel, something that will cause a political squeeze play in the U.S., as well as set off a domestic dynamic that plays into the neoconservatives who have been lying in wait for 2012.
Everyone writing about this story keeps saying “Israel” in the larger sense of things. I get that, but let’s down to specifics. Prime Minister Netanyahu, well, I’ll let someone else fill it in, though I’d replace “Israel” with the “Netanyahu government” below:
How badly has Israel f**ked up in its response to a flotilla intending to deliver aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza? Pretty f**king badly. – FP
The IDF blog posted the footage of soldiers being beaten with “knives, metal rods, firebombs,” as well as “metal poles and chairs, and threw one soldier over the side of the ship.” But I’ve got to ask what did the IDF expect? Just because the people are “non-violent,” doesn’t mean they should trust the IDF. See history.
What began a tenuous slip in the relationship between Netanyahu’s government and Ankara that began with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey and Shimon Peres having a very public spat at Davos, which escalated over Israel dressing down the Turks over a TV show, has now developed into a full blown diplomatic and perhaps even a military crisis, with the UN Security Council calling a special session because of Netanyahu’s folly. Reactions from nations on the UN Security Council boiled down to “shocked.”
Jeffrey Goldberg is invoking the Second Intifada, what he described as the “(specifically, the story of the non-massacre at Jenin),” to give himself time to process the apocalyptic scenario for Israel playing in his head over the actions of the IDF, which Netanyahu backed.
When Pres. Obama came into office, King Abdullah of Jordan warned that if peace wasn’t obtained between the Palestinians and Israel war would be next.
One of two calculations are going through the right wing Netanyahu government, with Avigdor Lieberman whispering prompts of preemptive mania in Bibi’s ear. First, they may want to squeeze Pres. Obama further, because they feel he’s been weakened in the U.S., sensing a tide about to sweep into Congress that will bring more hawkish leaders in, dreaming of a Republican victory that will be more amenable to Netanyahu’s dreams of military action with Iran. Or perhaps Netanyahu has decided that Obama is irrelevant and so he’s going to go his own way, because the current American president isn’t easily bent to his will. There is also the possibility that the collective right wing in Israel has gone mad.
Netanyahu’s actions send a clear signal to the U.S., coming after our military command said that the situation between Israel and the Palestinians is making our job harder. Netanyahu government obviously is no longer interested in the U.S. position in the region.
Someone needs to assess that our friendship with Israel is now one way, though I don’t expect any politician in either party to admit it.
Netanyahu’s provocative actions are coming at a time when Pres. Obama is facing the worst domestic crisis of his presidency in the Gulf. That’s not by accident; it’s by Netanyahu’s design.