From the Washington Post:
Turkey said Friday that it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and suspending military agreements with Israel, signaling a deepening rift between the former strategic allies in the aftermath of last year’s deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish ship leading an aid flotilla to Gaza.
The crisis with Turkey comes as Israel faces strained relations with another longtime regional ally, Egypt, over a deadly border incident last month, and it raises the prospect of Israel’s increasing isolation in the region at a time of tumultuous change.
Turkey announced its move ahead of the publication of a U.N. report that found that while Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, its commandos had used “excessive and unreasonable” force when they boarded the vessel, the Mavi Marmara, and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists…
That report is bound to be nothing more than another bit of UN Israel-bashing. “Excessive and unreasonable” is a subjective judgment and, at the end of the day, Israel wouldn’t have had to use any force, at all, if the flotilla people had simply obeyed the law. You go to break a blockade and you’re engaging in an act of war…Israel could have just torpedoed the flotilla and still would have been within the law.
But Turkey is taking this bogus incident as an excuse to expel the Israeli ambassador, and that means something. Turkey, increasingly Islamist, is breaking its ties with Israel and lining on the side of the Jihadists. This is a watershed moment – it is the end of any large, powerful Moslem nation even making an effort to be Western and civilized. We can now expect increased pressure on Iraq to toe the Islamist line, especially if any sort of Moslem Brotherhood government emerges in Egypt. We’re back to 1967 in middle eastern affairs but with a much more virulent strain of anti-Israel and anti-US sentiment in the area.
Our response should be to cut off all military ties with both Turkey and Egypt and refuse both nations any aid. If we can keep Iraq in our camp that would be great…and we should offer strong inducements to the Iraqis to partner with us, lest they be swallowed up by Turkey, Iran or a combination of both. But we have to be prepared for Iraq to cut ties with us, as well…they are placed in a difficult position and may decide that it is better to get along with everyone than count on an increasingly distant and distracted United States.
It could be that wiser heads will prevail and all this will blow over – but if the Islamic world really wants to fight, then there’s not much we can do about it, except to fight them.