Friday, June 24, 2011

Erdogan on Stage for the Palestine Play

With Washington decision-makers AWOL as the curtain rises, can Erdogan become the star of the Romance of Palestine?

Erdogan seems to be making U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood a Turkish foreign policy goal. He announced at a press conference on June 23:

Turkey is determined to support Palestine [in its bid] to become a member of the United Nations.

Erdogan has made clear he is referring to an independent and viable state, whose capital will be east Jerusalem.

To Tel Aviv, violence and diplomatic campaigns confirming that their minds remain firmly closed constitute the best thinking on how to deal with the problem. Israeli commentator Yoel Marcus warns:

It's crucial that Israel be removed from the discourse about Egypt's election battle. It's important for Israel to be in advanced negotiations for an agreement with the Palestinians at the time of the Egyptian elections, not in a state of stagnation.

Meanwhile, Washington, still in deep denial, is encouraging thuggish behavior on the part of Israel by threatening members of the latest Gaza freedom flotilla and fairly provoking Israel to commit piracy on the high seas. You see, these peace activists who dare to smuggle food and medicine to the people of Gaza are inciting the Israeli two-year-old to play with its matches, so one must punish them, since one surely cannot spank the two-year-old. In the words of Israeli commentator Natasha Mozgovaya:

The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on activists planning to challenge Israel's sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, warning that they will face action from Israeli authorities and that American participants may also be violating U.S. law.

Americans will of course be stunned when these chickens come home to roost.

Given such an attitude in Washington toward the flotilla members, it is pretty clear that the world cannot expect much constructive thinking to come from Washington on the real issue of Palestinian statehood. That, it would seem, clears the stage for Mr. Erdogan.

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