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Israel Needs Turkey More Than Turkey Needs Israel
There is no way that anyone with the slightest trace of a conscience can condone what Israel is doing in the name of retaliation in Gaza. It is also highly doubtful that such brutality will achieve its goals in the end.
History should tell Israeli's that such heavy handed measures, which fly in the face of the notion of "proportionality" have ultimately achieved little in the past in terms of their security.
All that will be achieved in the end is that Israel -- having satiated it's apparent need for vengeance -- will have gained a respite until the now even more radicalized Islamic elements in the region, and the world, recoup to hit back in some way.
In the meantime, there appears to be a somewhat smug notion in Israel that whatever Prime Minister Erdogan may be saying about Israel, and however inflamed Turkish public opinion gets, that Turkish-Israeli ties will survive because the Turkish military, in the first instance, needs these relations badly.
#ffff00">While it is true that there is a strong "strategic link" between the two militaries, we don't believe that Israeli's should be that sure in their belief that "Turkey is in the bag, no matter what."
With a public opinion that is now almost 99 percent anti-Israeli, and with an Islamic government at the helm it is hard to see how even the most cynical Turkish officer can believe that it will be business as usual no matter what.
Unless Israel returns to the political track and displays an honest interest in ensuring that the Palestinians get their fundamental rights, rather than being kept in Israel's security fold behind high walls, where they are subject to a kind of "Apartheid regime," while Jewish settlements continue to go up on their occupied lands, it is hard to see how these ties will progress, let alone how peace will come to the Middle East, and to Israel.
#ffff00">Another smug notion on the Israeli side appears to be that "Washington will always step in to set Turkey right as far as Israel is concerned." At any rate, Washington got a bitter lesson in March 2003 when it learned, prior to its invasion of Iraq, that one should only take Turkey for granted at one's own peril. We are of course referring to the decision by the Turkish Parliament not to allow U.S. forces to use Turkey for invading Iraq.
Then there is the hope in Israel that is invested in the Jewish lobby in the United States. It is said that this lobby will ensure, through it's clout on issues such as preventing Armenian genocide bills, that Turkey falls in line. Conversely it is suggested that if Turkey does not fall in line, that the same lobby will punish her by refusing to help on this score, or even by ensuring that such bills pass.
It remains doubtful that come April, the Obama administration will want to alienate Turkey at a time when this country will have become so vital to it vis-a-vis Iraq. #ffff00">But if it is prepared to support an Armenian genocide bill despite this, and President-elect Obama has in fact promised to do so during his campaign, then it will most certainly not be "business as usual in Turkish-American ties."
There are also new and positive developments in terms of the Turkish-Armenian issue that the Obama administration will have to consider in taking such a step. #ffff00">Given the ongoing Azeri-Armenian dispute, the Obama administration will also want to consider the implications for its ties with Baku if it goes ahead and supports any Armenian bill. The Azeri's at the present time are even more touchy on this score than Turks, and the proof is that they are even opposed to the positive overtures by Ankara in its ties with Yerevan.
But if the Obama camp and the U.S. Congress nevertheless go ahead on this score -- with encouragement form the Jewish lobby -- we can assure our readers based on the best of authority that Ankara will not remain indifferent in the face of such a development.
In actual fact it is not that Ankara "will not remain indifferent," it is a case that "it can not remain indifferent" due to public opinion given that this is the touchiest of subjects for Turks.
Contrary to what some may believe, therefore, Turkey is not in "a brace yourself, wait and see" stance here. There is significant "possibility evaluation" and "forward planning" on this score.
Given the actual situation on the ground and the complex set of circumstances that are involved in this part of the world, some mentioned above, #ffff00">it increasingly evident that it is Israel that needs Turkey, both politically and psychologically -- not the other way around -- in order to show the world that it is not isolated and alone in a hostile part of the world that is growing more hostile by the minute.
What we are trying to ultimately say here is that Turkish -- Israeli ties are not as #ffff00">one-sided and amenable to the preconceptions that some of the commentators in the Israeli media are being led to believe by Israel officials.
If things continue as they are, they will certainly get ample opportunity to understand this.
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by Ibrahim Kalin