Beyond the Cusp

June 3, 2015

President Obama, Israel, and the Threat Dilemma

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There is a situation developing which either President Obama has not been informed or really desires to destroy Israel and gift all the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for the forming of an Arab state of Palestine completely erasing the State of Israel and very probably leading to the mass slaughter of the over Six Million Jews living in Israel along with probably most of the Baha’I, Christians and other non-Muslim Israelis and who knows even about many of the Muslims who may not meet the criteria for being a follower of Mohammad and Islam should Abbas apply some standard or tests killing all who fail to measure up. Once again this week President Obama renewed his threat during an interview given to an Israel news outlet that should Prime Minister Netanyahu not enter into renewed negotiations with the Palestinians that the United States would be hard pressed to support Israel in the United Nations Security Council should a resolution be presented concerning the situation with the Palestinians legitimate rights to a state with the 1967 lines, actually the 1949 Armistice Lines which the Arab League demanded never be considered or applied to becoming a border for any entity, especially Israel thus leaving Israel without an actual legally recognized border along the Green Line thus technically making it ineligible for statehood. This was the umpteenth time that President Obama has communicated this threat publically and who knows how many times he has demanded the negotiations reconvene or else to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and other members of the coalition and likely the opposition members as well. President Obama is sounding like a broken record (which refers to this vinyl disk which was the CD of its era, perhaps CD is a bad reference as they too are so dated already but we need a playable reference and not a memory stick with speakers, and the record would hit the damaged groove and jump back one or more grooves and keep skipping back repeating the same part ad nauseum) stuck on repeating that threat to the point that he might actually mean this red line as compared to his Syria red line. But there is a problem also of President Obama’s making he appears to be ignoring and likely intentionally.

 

This little snag is that there is no willing partner with whom for Prime Minister Netanyahu to negotiate. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority refuses to permit negotiations on any borders or other potential demands and situations which stand in the way of Abbas making peace with Israel, namely the existence of Israel as you will soon realize. Abbas and all the other members of the supposed supportive ruling structures of governance for the Arabs denizens of Judea and Samaria residing in Area A and parts of Area B, with Area C presumably under Israeli sovereignty and thus beyond Arab rule by the terms of the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap for Peace (a restating of the Oslo Accords which additionally allowed for certain guarantees for Israel to retain many of the recognized Israeli settlement cities and blocks which were established, guaranteed by President Bush and his administration which was given Israel in a letter of intentions and refined definitions of terms, in exchange for Israel turning over Gaza to the Arab Palestinian Authority, of which Mahmoud Abbas is its Chairman, in order for the Palestinian Authority to be allowed to show the world their intent and ability to reside in peace with Israel and build a functional society within Gaza which would lead to the turning over of Judea and Samaria except for the recognized areas defined in the letter of intent which restated the inferences in the document of the Roadmap which set the standard for areas beyond Area A and Area B being turned over to Arab control in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem. The problem is that the Roadmap demanded that the Arabs demonstrate their leadership and ability to govern and live peaceably with the Israeli neighbors. Abbas and company almost from day one had a small problem, they really had no control over Gaza as the people of Gaza did not desire for Abbas to be in charge and stealing the majority of the funding that was supposed to be used for their betterment and the building of infrastructure and upkeep and all those other pesky and annoying items which is a part of leadership. This led to the expelling in disgrace the United States trained Arab Palestinian Authority Security Forces, an actual small army, replacing them with the peoples chosen leaders, Hamas the terrorist entity. So the demonstration on how Abbas would rule Gaza or any other area was to be thrown out unceremoniously and replaced with a terrorist group, namely Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Europe has slowly but surely taken a rather expected route for a continent mostly ruled by weasels of which the worst of the bunch are at the top in the European Union. The path taken by these illustrious genuflectors to anything anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and moving rapidly to including anti-Semitic was to remove Hamas, or at least try to but have to retreat due to the cries of protest which are beginning to wane and retreat as they adjust to the idea that there are no real terrorist groups, just many misunderstood bomb-makers and assassins, and soon Hamas will be cleared of accusations of terror activity and accepted as a ruling body in Gaza.

 

Now we reach the little problem, the burr the size of Texas under the saddle. Mahmoud Abbas and supporting kleptomaniacs have decided that they will demand the same exact demand put forth originally by none other than President Obama during his first year in office when he demanded that the 1967 lines be the actual border for any Arab State and that negotiations should begin on this idea. Abbas has taken that and demanded that all Israelis be removed from beyond the 1967 Lines, the Green Line, before he will even consider restarting negotiations. Thus far he has not particularly stated he is including the Eastern sections of Jerusalem, especially the areas surrounding the Temple Mount and reaching to the Western Wall as much of these areas have been either modernized inside leaving the outside of the building as its original and historic structure and stones as well as much additional new buildings as Israel will Never Again allow for the Temple Mount and surrounding environs to be stolen from us as long as we continue to breathe, period. But Abbas likely will include every inch of Jerusalem occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967 until they declared war on Israel on the second day of the Six Day War in June of 1967 where Israel, subsequent to the Jordanian assault, artillery barrage and tank advance through western Jerusalem, repelled and drove back the Jordanian Army across the Jordan River behind the recognized Jordanian border and liberating Judea and Samaria. The unit which retook the Western Wall and Temple Mount stopped their advance and prayed upon these holy grounds being liberated and returned to Jewish possession. This was the spiritual highpoint of the entire Six Day War which itself brought out a spiritual high for all Israelis, Zionists and their supporters, and they were numerous and even included Europe back in those times, before the universal campaign to besmirch the Israeli reputation and utilize old anti-Semitic tropes to label and defeat Israel making Israel and her supporters the new Jew to be scorned and destroyed at all costs. The old blood libels of killing babies for their blood for baking Matzoth became modern blood libel against the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), the Israeli government and the Jews of Israel as well. Now Israel is faced with President Obama demanding Israel enter negotiations or else he will support the presumably soon to be presented French Plan in the United Nations Security Council while Abbas demands that Israel pull all of her citizens, IDF, security forces, and border police from all of Judea and Samaria including the Jordan River Valley (a strategic defensive area which is essential if Israel is to survive any mass assault from out of the east such as Iran, Iraq and even Jordan with the potential of Syria or Turkey using that approach), all of the established cities east of the Green Line which includes nearly one-million Israelis both Arab and Jewish and most likely all of East Jerusalem.

 

One may wonder why Abbas would make such an outlandish and maximalist set of demands in order to even begin any negotiations. It actually is fairly obvious though a bit difficult to believe. The initial hint is the fact that there have been claims for quite some time from Arabs that they should be awarded all of Jerusalem for their capital city and that every trace of Israeli presence be removed thus giving all of Jerusalem and probably the majority of the neighboring areas which would be considered generally a part of the greater Jerusalem area. This would push Israel almost back to Tel Aviv and its neighboring areas and completely out of any of the high ground of which Jerusalem and the established cities beyond the Green Line are Israel’s first line of defense against both attack and terrorist infiltrations. But Abbas is fully aware of the ramifications of what he demands. Also, should Israel completely pull out of all the areas previously occupied by Jordan, what is left to negotiate? Abbas and his band of cutthroats will have received what even most Europeans, for now, recognize as the maximalist demands of the Arabs and should Israel retreat from all such areas past the Green Line even the Europeans, United Nations, United States, Russians, and virtually everybody else except those desiring that all of Israel be destroyed, and groups that includes Abbas and fiends. That is what Abbas deems needful of negotiations and why he can demand exactly the same that President Obama once demanded and has countlessly stated as an intended border, all of the lands east of the Green Line, as the initial point for negotiations and for all Israeli presence be removed, thus he also established possession, which we all know, possession is nine-tenths of the law. Once Israel has been forced from their cities, neighborhoods, factories, commercial developments, shopping malls and all other areas, many of which were established over forty years ago when the world recognized these areas as to be retained by Israel in even the most sacrificial of agreements and now are no longer in question a part of the Arab state to be formed upon the corpse of the state of Israel and the graves of her Jews, Christians and others.

 

So we have President Obama threatening to allow or possibly even support, which will be important as we will explain, the soon to be released French proposed peace plan in the United Nations Security Council and we have Abbas demanding that Israel abandon every inch of the contested lands, likely even East Jerusalem, before he will even consider gracing the negotiations table with a representative; Abbas is beyond and above such trivialities as bothering to negotiate. He is too busy looking at the real estate offerings in Northern Tel Aviv and choosing which mansion he will likely claim as his retirement estate, the place he will hide behind international troops guarding his safety after he destroys all of Israel through negotiations supported by President Obama; though I am tempted to make a Freudian typo of Preditorent Obama. Truth be told, there are those within President Obama’s innermost circle of advisors, which include Susan Rice and Samantha Power and others, including at least one self-loathing Jew, who would advise he support the eradication of Israel and the genocidal slaughter of her peoples replacing all with the twenty-third Arab state as a just and fitting crown of achievement and legacy of President Barack Hussein Obama, and for such an accomplishment perhaps his middle name should be in all caps, italicized, bolded and flashing red just for emphasis. This has to be behind Mahmoud Abbas demand for all of the contested areas be just the introductory sacrifice by Israel in order for there to be negotiations where Abbas will have his negotiators instruct the Israelis of their eventual demise within the next few months as President Obama, the United States military and all the NATO nations descend on Israel siding in its complete removal and sterilization of the lands purifying all of the area between the River and the Sea of every last vestige of Israeli heritage or sign of its ever having existed establishing the Arabs now known as Palestinians as the sole historic residents of the areas going back to the initial explosion which created the universe.

 

So, what is this French plan of which we have mentioned, you ask? Well, it can be simplified to a sentence or two. It calls for the restart of negotiations using the 1967 Lines (Green Lines) as the initial starting point for borders allowing for mutually agreeable exchanges of lands for establishing the final borders for both Israel and Palestine allowing for negotiations to last up to eighteen months and if no agreement can be reached by that point then the United Nations will establish borders based on the Green Line as they see acceptable and should this be a Chapter Seven Resolution, then it will be enforceable by use of force of arms. The force of arms is why having the United States not just oppose nor veto, nor only abstain, but to vote in favor of this plan and promise to fully support the enforcement at the end of the eighteen months with American military might. The one change I might think that Obama would demand be set is that the eighteen months countdown begin at some date past such as when the talks last collapsed such that he is assured that he will still be in office long enough to see the implementation by force of arms be carried out. And yes I do believe that President Obama would use force of arms to the point of overwhelming use of military might against Israel though he has refused to use it anywhere else. I can even make the argument whereby President Obama can make it appear that he has no other choice but to attack Israel to enforce the United Nations decree. He would initially refuse to use force of arms against Israel to force a solution which would then have the European Union and all the nations of Europe get cold feet and refuse to use force of arms and instead whine at Israel loudly and annoyingly in the hopes that such was enough (the question is would Israel even notice that Europe was now whining rather than droning on and on about the Palestinian Arabs). Finally, there would be a few nations who would tepidly send a few troops, certainly not sufficient to force five grandmothers to cross a street, and they would take over a hotel in Bethlehem or Ramallah and spend their time in the bar patting each other and commenting on their brave commitment. Finally there would be a single nation which would give Israel a deadline for them to leave the contested areas or else face the use of force to establish the terms of the French Proposal and enacted United Nations edict.

 

Next Turkey would mass naval forces offshore and land forces along the Golan Heights as there would be no Syrian forces to protest and the likely responsible entity would be Iran who would gladly approve and give permission. The Turkish troops would act as if they were advancing but not cross the Israel border though they would probably remove the fence and other restrictive barricades leaving a large defenseless area which would serve well for an attack. Eventually the Turkish forces would advance with speed towards the Israeli border accompanied by armor such as tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) eventually drawing an Israeli response which they would tout as a hail of bullets and munitions threatening Turkish troops who were not being threatening in any manner and were on the former nation of Syria’s side of the border. Turkey would then a few days later force an actual engagement which both sides would accuse the other of fomenting the firefight. Both sides would take casualties and Turkey would demand the support of the member nations under Article Five of the accord of which Turkey is still a member, for reasons that escape me. Then there would be a flurry of activity in Brussels and capital cities across Europe, the United Kingdom along with the United States and Canada all discussing what will eventually be a moot-point, whether or not they must support the call to arms by NATO member Turkey against Israel. Eventually, probably a very short eventually, they would realize that they were treaty bound. Here is the according of Article Five of the NATO Charter also known as the Washington Treaty:

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

 

Once the NATO Alliance members have received an Article Five request and the aggression has been verified, something in such a scenario set-up above, such a debate would be quite short and soon followed by some deep breathes and a fair amount of hemming and hawing attempting to discover some way to avoid committing troops unless the United States leads the way. There would very likely be a brief statement made by President Obama in the White House during primetime evening hours so that the television stations could carry the announcement that despite reservations and with no desire to engage Israeli forces, the United States is treaty bound to come to the aid of a fellow NATO nation suffering attack while in support of an Article Seven Binding Resolution which the United States is also treaty bound to support and is why the United States has provided Turkey with intelligence data gathered by satellites and other means on the Israeli positions and troops movements etc. Such information was unnecessary which President Obama was aware when he offered such information in place of actual assistance. If one desires to know about any Israeli call-up of reserve forces, IDF troop movements, defensive placements and intended plans of actions, all a commander of an enemy force needs to have is a subscription to Haaretz and all the intelligence information will be in the first section, first page, with any above the fold coverage being of special and paramount importance to any opposing force. With the advent of the Article Five NATO treaty request as well as the Chapter Seven United Nations Security Council Resolution and all other considerations, President Obama would claim remorse and having his hands tied forcing his offering the complete and total support of the entirety of the United States military capabilities for the duration.

 

It is such a scenario which, no matter how ridiculous and impossible as it may appear, would force the United States to use force, that we can expect that in talks President Barack Obama likely personally told with French President Francois Hollande to submit the Israel Peace Resolution as a Chapter Six Resolution which is not binding even to the point of use of military force to implement. They would have noted that such would be sufficient to allow every nation wishing to do so to recognize the Green Line as the border of the new state of Palestine; it would still be debatable if the Green Line would then also be the recognized Israeli border. Then they would continue on debating over some fine French wine, some truffles, some foie gras stuffed into sautéed mushrooms and some coq au vin as to which nation would get to recognize Palestine officially. Of course this conversation would take place in Paris as when has President Obama ever used the phone when a trip to some luxurious location was the alternative as one can only be President for at most eight long travel mile years. Even with the recognition there will likely not be a clompete retreat from the contested lands and no way the Israelis will accept totality of defeat and be debating the terms of surrender after pulling back within the Green Line as Abbas demands. The demand is the insistence that Israel accept their defeat in a war of world public opinion and the talks Abbas describes would be to discuss the terms of Israeli surrender of all the lands all the way to the Sea along with a schedule for vacating the lands as the Arabs enlarge their state of Palestine until it reaches the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, just as the chant one can hear at every Israel Apartheid Week (or month) on their local university campus, a celebration required of any university deeming themselves relevant to the modern age of political correctness in all things and a required hatred of Israel and all things related including the concept of a Jewish State, the Jews having the same rights as any other peoples or simply against Jews period. The one thing which requires our attentions are to see whether the French Arab-Israeli peace talks resumption resolution is filed as a Chapter Six, non-binding resolution, or a Chapter Seven, binding resolution with required options for use of military force to implement should any nations or group challenge and not conform to the demands of said resolution. If the French resolution is filed as a Chapter Seven then we will be watching the debate and vote on whether or not the world should run full steam barreling headfirst into World War III. Isn’t it wonderful to live in “interesting times”, just as the old Chinese curse states.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 28, 2011

The Gathering Storm Clouds Over Israel

Now that the initial panic-driven pressure of the opening ceremonies of the United Nations with the Palestinian drive to circumvent negotiations with Israel by demanding the United Nations grant them a Palestinian State and grant an all-encompassing package satisfying every one of their demands; the repeated usual rants from Iranian President Ahmadinejad dismissing the Holocaust, denying the rights of Israel to exist as the Jewish State, and decrying the numerous crimes he accuses the United States, Israel and the West of committing against humanity; the steadily escalating accusatorial rhetoric from Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan spelling out presumed illegal acts by Israel against the IHH ship Mavi Marmara from the flotilla; and the Durban III Conference to celebrate and restate every anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic blood libel that were the theme that hijacked the original conference ten years ago are history; now Israel, and those who support Israel, need to sift through the propaganda and inflammatory accusations and dispel them with truth and plan for the ramifications which may materialize from all of the threats made at the United Nations and the weeks leading up to the opening ceremonies in New York. All of these were fully expected and provided no surprises even including the rounds of applause and approval for every anti-American and anti-Israel speech while giving scant, if any, approval for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech where he recounted Jewish history and the Jewish people’s ties to the Promised Lands including all of Israel and Jerusalem. So, with this recent reminder of where the lines are drawn and who those are willing to stand with Israel and the seeming multitudes that stand against Israel, exactly what should be expected in the near future and beyond.

The most immediate of threats comes from the Palestinians, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). Mahmoud Abbas was received as a conquering hero in Ramallah where he called for the start of the “Palestinian Spring” and stressed the need for the protests and other actions to be nonviolent. For those familiar with the coded message when the Palestinian Authority or other Palestinian leaders call for nonviolent demonstrations, you already know the inevitable results in violent disruptions and attacks against Jews. We have already seen an increase in rock attacks on motorists in the past week with one such attack resulting in the death of 24-year-old Asher Palmer and his infant son Yehonatan when a large rock was thrown through the windshield hitting Asher in the face causing loss of control and the vehicle to crash off the road. There have also been reports from the IDF of the Palestinian Authority paying Arab Palestinians to riot which resulted with the riots in Judea and Samaria last week being larger in number and more violent than usual, as reported by Arutz Sheva. This violence is in addition to the continuing rocket and mortar attacks being launched on civilian targets in areas of southern Israel which more area has fallen within the increased range and sizes of Hamas weapons capabilities.

The escalating posturing by Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan insisting for measures to be taken against Israel in retaliation for the Mavi Marmara confrontation during the IHH Flotilla attempt to break the recognized and legal Israeli blockade of Gaza, despite the United Nations Palmer Report recognition of the Israeli right to impose a blockade on Hamas in Gaza, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has been demanding an Israeli formal apology and for reparations to the families of the recalcitrant IHH terrorists who died as a result of the attack and response from IDF commandoes when they boarded the vessel to divert them to an Israeli port. Turkey has escalated the heated rhetoric by deploying warships in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea announcing intentions to disrupt Israeli shipping. Turkey has also threatened to escort the next challenge to the Gaza blockade with these same naval ships and even to disrupt drilling operations in the Mediterranean between Crete and Israel, possibly even destroying the drilling equipment. Erdogan’s posturing has reached a point where it now borders on declaration of hostile intent and should he continue to escalate the situation, it may be near impossible for Turkey to climb down before the situation goes from confrontational threatening to actual threat being put into actions and the situation escalating out of control. Erdogan was sounding like a leader seeking support for a war against Israel on his recent trip to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Most people and experts have expressed the opinion that Syria has too many problems with their current uprising to be of any great threat as far as Israel is concerned. I beg to differ on this point. Syrian President Bashir Assad has regularly blamed terrorists who are backed by Israel or directly accused Israel of arming those who are opposing his continued rule in Syria. One of the threats that must be considered is that of Assad forcing a border confrontation with Israel even larger than the one that occurred in conjunction with the Palestinian Naqba Day protests. It was established that Assad had paid people to protest by crossing the Israeli border and even promised additional reimbursement for the families of anyone who was injured or killed in an attempt to force a confrontation simply for propaganda purposes where any violence could be photographed and released to an eager world media. The confrontation did not occur and the instigation was ended without violence. There exists the possibility of an even larger border confrontation being forced to such a magnitude where violence is virtually guaranteed should those sent to cross into Israel refuse demands to return to their side of the border and instead attempt to continue into Israel past the border troops. This could then be used by Assad as a means to utilize maximum force to end the protests by invoking the need to battle Israel in order to protect Syrians from the murderous Jews. I realize this is not likely, but I also would not totally rule this out, especially if Assad is backed by Iran and Hezballah in a regional war with Israel. This could be done in concert with Egypt and Turkey in addition to Syria’s normal allies.

The situations with Lebanon and Egypt are quite similar and likely to become nearly identical in the near future. With Hezballah now also officially the governing party of Lebanon and the high likelihood for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party to win outright the Egyptian elections, or at least win the majority of the necessary seats to command a ruling coalition, that Egypt and Lebanon would find themselves allied with Iran in spirit if not in fact. Add to the mix Erdogan and the Turkish threat and Assad in need of a distraction to retain his hold on power with Iran’s desire to keep close ties with Syria and Hezballah needing Syria as a convenient arms storage facility and arms pipeline, and that makes for a very serious mix. Now add Hamas and the possibility of a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood and what comes next is anybody’s nightmare. The Middle East is as close as it has been in nearly a quarter of a century to initiating another war to drive the Jews into the Sea. This is further made possible as the American presence in the Middle East becomes less pronounced once they pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan within the next year. Add the American Presidential election cycle coming into play and it makes for a perfect stage for things to go wrong, very wrong. Many of Israel’s enemies see the Administration of President Obama as weak and unlikely to come to Israel’s aid, or to provide such aid with great reluctance and thus delaying the probably necessary aid making Israel more vulnerable than she has been since President Carter. Add to this the fact that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Turkey have nearly equal weapons systems as does Israel with them all having F-15 and F-16 Jet Fighters, Abrams Tanks against Israeli Merkava tanks, small arms, anti-tank armaments, Apache Attack Helicopters, or similar arms and the Arab leaders may see the present as the best chance they have had ever. Add to that if Turkey can make it appear as they have a legitimate reason for a war with Israel, what do the NATO allies do as they are treaty bound to assist Turkey in all manners requested, which minimally would be to leave Israel fending for herself. That is one view of the picture, one any sane person would pretend not to see as the probability, or at least possibility, of great evil is on the horizon.

Beyond the Cusp

September 16, 2011

Turkey’s Erdogan Virtually Declares War on Israel

During his joint news conference with the Tunisian Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid el Sebs, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, “Israel will not be able to move in the eastern Mediterranean as it wishes. It will see our determination in this regard,” while referring to his country’s ability to have frigates and assault vessels in the eastern Mediterranean “at any time” to ensure freedom of movement. This was a follow-up to the deployment of three Turkish warships to the eastern end of the Mediterranean with the stated mission to escort a potential flotilla to Gaza in order to break the Israeli internationally recognized blockade of the Gaza Strip. This came immediately after the United Nations released the Palmer Report which, though expressing Israel had possibly used more than necessary force (there’s a new claim against Israel that was so unexpected), declared the Israeli blockade, deployed to impede the importation of weaponry and other supplies of war into Gaza be sea, to be perfectly legal and as such allowed to take legitimate actions to enforce inspection of all cargo entering Gaza through Israel or by sea. Should any entity or country desire to export armaments, explosives or other items not allowed to pass the Israeli blockade, they are free to use the Egyptian border at the Ramallah crossing into Gaza which Egypt has opened allowing everything to enter into Gaza.

This latest threat comes after a week of rapid deterioration of relations that have been steadily unraveling since Prime Minister Erdogan took office in 2003. The downturn of relations accelerated greatly since last year’s confrontation on the Mavi Marmara during the Turkish Flotilla to break the blockade. Prime Minister Erdogan has been demanding an apology by Israel setting a deadline for before the release of the Palmer Report. Upon the release of the report, Erdogan’s official position was that the report was tainted and influenced by anti-Islamic interests or pro-Zionist interests making the Palmer Report inconsequential. Israel has offered and expressed regret that force was necessitated which caused casualties including nine dead and offered to make some restitution but refused to offer the formal apology demanded by Turkey’s Erdogan. This led to Turkey reducing their relations with Israel to the lowest level just short of fully breaking off relations. Erdogan insisted that the Israeli Ambassador return to Israel as well as that one level below Ambassador leaving only the minimalist contingent downgrading Israel’s Embassy to consular level. The Turkish Ambassador was also recalled by Turkey from Israel and all military trade and agreements have been cancelled but business in other fields have been allowed to continue though there is some strain even on those levels. This has all come down to the positioning of three Turkish warships off the Israeli coast remaining in international waters and Prime Minister Erdogan has threatened to order the Turkish Navy to provide full military escort to any ships desiring to make port in Gaza. Such a move would be an actual act of war and the expression of intent to commit such an act is tantamount to a declaration of hostilities.

Thus far, Israel has not responded to the Turkish brinkmanship, at least not officially. Israel still intends to continue to enforce their blockade even if this would lead to a direct confrontation between the Israeli naval forces and those of Turkey, should they enter Israeli waters without permission. This is a very serious and dangerous standoff which does not bode for a peaceful ending. In the meantime, Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan is touring the countries which have changed leadership during the “Arab Spring” (referred to here at BTC as the “Arab Winter”) making accusations and denunciations of Israel, pledging support for whatever new regimes come to power and calling for them to join Turkey in the efforts to restrict Israel. Let us all hope that Turkey is purely posturing and Erdogan is not intending to provoke a war with Israel, especially if his aim is to drag all of the Middle East and North Africa into open warfare against Israel. It might be time for NATO to call for calm and use any influence they may have on Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance, to stand down from the threatening stance and mediate a solution that ends the thus-far one sided escalating of rhetoric before it becomes provocative actions that can easily get out of hand and pass the point of no return. Hopefully, nobody is actually attempting to cause a shooting war and all this remains portentous bluster and does not become explosive discharge.

Beyond the Cusp

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