The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Much has been written about the eleventh-hour agreement between Israel and Turkey designed to mend fences and return to normal relations. According to the initial reports, in the final hours of his Middle East trip President Obama was able to persuade Prime Minister Netanyahu to offer, and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to accept, an apology for the deaths of several Turks at the hands of Israeli commandos in the Mavi Marmara incident when they and others tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
Not surprisingly, however, the brokered deal seems to be unraveling and it is an object lesson about what Israel should expect when it makes concessions.
Mr. Erdogan purportedly said, in a phone call with President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, that if Israel apologized and paid restitution to the families of those who died he would resume normal relations with Israel and abandon efforts to have IDF officers in charge of the commando raid prosecuted.
When we first heard of the apology we were skeptical, inasmuch as Mr. Erdogan, even before the raid, had embarked on a pattern of anti-Israel rhetoric widely believed to have been inspired by his desire for Turkey to take a leadership role in the Muslim world and thereby regain its lost prominence. So it was hard to believe that all this could be washed away with an “I’m sorry” from Mr. Netanyahu.
Indeed, Mr. Erdogan crowed that the apology demonstrated Turkey’s growing power and influence and its ability to push Israel into going along with Turkish demands. (Oddly, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the other day that he was assured by the Turkish foreign minister that the Turkish government would avoid any “triumphalism” – i.e. boastful displays.)
In fact, it seems Mr. Erdogan is now saying not so fast – it’s too early to exchange ambassadors and stop all legal action against IDF officers until the restitution is actually paid and the embargo on Gaza is lifted – a new condition, it seems.
And there the matter now stands, despite the central involvement of the president of the United States.
To be sure, there are good and substantial geopolitical reasons for cooperation between Israel and Turkey. Both would benefit from a sharing of intelligence information on Iran and Syria – both of which share borders with Turkey – as well as the movement of weapons of mass destruction and support for insurgencies. But who really knows the Turkish calculus?
However this may turn out in the short run, Israel needs to reset its gullibility alarm as it contemplates further agreements.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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