Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) was a special luncheon guest over Chol HaMoed Sukkos in the Los Angeles sukkah of Barbara and Stanley Treitel. Berkley, a U.S. Senate candidate, thanked the Jewish community for inviting her and hearing her views on Israel and related matters.
On the specific issue of the strained relations between Israel and Turkey, Berkley said, “I am greatly disturbed by Turkey’s saber-rattling and its threats to force a naval confrontation with Israel. It appears Turkey is looking for excuses to further harm its bilateral relationship with Israel, while Israel continues working to mend ties and reestablish this formerly close alliance that has played a vital role in America’s joint efforts to counterterrorism and extremism in the region.
“As the international community has clearly stated, Israel’s blockade of Gaza is completely legal and Turkey’s statements fly in the face of international law and common sense. Israel does not owe Turkey an apology for defending its own citizens against Turkish-supported terrorist groups like Hamas. Turkey must stop its bullying and support for terrorist groups, and work instead to restore ties with Israel.
“Even while it’s threatening Israel, our nation’s most reliable ally, Turkey has the audacity to ask the U.S. to supply it with predator drones. Given Turkey’s actions, my Congressional colleagues and I should take a close look at this deal in order to determine if it’s in America’s interest to continue supplying weapons to a country that is threatening one of our closest allies and supporting terrorist groups like Hamas.”