Turkey is not determined to fight terrorism in all its forms, not when it is sending flotillas to support Hamas. Germany and Russia are European countries with much more important trade and strategic relationships with Iran. Egypt has much greater potential to build bridges with Israel than Turkey, a country still mistrusted by many in the Arab world it once ruled. Turkey cannot help press Israel and the Palestinians together, because Turkey has forfeited almost all its credibility with Israel by its recent behavior.
Who could press Israel? The current Israeli prime minister is on record mocking the US as easy to manipulate and lie to. But the notion that Cameron's outreach to a vital Muslim country is somehow "evil" is a sign of how deep a nerve he has touched with the neocons. That a conservative leader is expressing common sense on the West's interests vis-a-vis the Muslim world has clearly rocked them to their foundations. By the way, I love this classic line from a neocon commenter:
The proper response is for them to feel a sharp sting, and to worry about losing us. If they don’t care about that, then all the groveling in the world will accomplish nothing but to make them despise us as weaklings to be bullied, while they continue on the anti-Western course they had chosen anyway. If they do care, then a sharp response with pain will bring them up short.
Can you imagine a similar argument with respect to the contempt Israel has recently shown for the US? When will neocons talk about standing up for America when it comes to Israel? Or is that a stupid question? Israel is the exception to every rule they otherwise insist upon - and the last few years have proved it. A reader writes:
I think [Cameron's] approach was spot-on, and Bagehot's critiques miss the point entirely--yes, it shows a lack of coordination with EU. That's the whole idea. Cameron's message is that he doesn't intend to dovetail UK foreign policy with the EU, and Turkey provides a perfect example where he sees an opening for gain based on UK intransigence. Turkey has one of the two or three best performing economies in the world today. It's international stature is gaining (the Neocons can choke on that), and it is emerging as the major regional powerbroker. In this regards, its close relationship with Israel was holding it back. So in the end, notwithstanding the stupid spittle that comes from Commentary, this isn't so much about Israel as it is a resurgent Turkey wanting to be a major player in the region and recognizing that that isn't possible with an Israeli Albatross around its neck. Cameron's people understand this perfectly.
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