After Obama extracted an apology from Israel, Turkey went on to flagrantly violate the terms of the agreement. A Muslim country violating an agreement with a non-Muslim country is routine, but it was still embarrassing to the United States which had negotiated the apology.
But instead of being called on it, Erdogan got a splashy trip to Washington where he rubbed the violation in everyone’s faces by dragging one of the terrorist daddies from the Mavi Marmara for a photo op with Kerry and a letter for Obama.
Prime Minister Erdogan was quite blatantly showing that the Mavi Marmara Jihad boat issue wasn’t done. Despite Obama Inc’s notorious hostility to Israel, Secretary of State John Kerry should have at least had the common sense to avoid a photo op like that because it wrecks the closest thing to a diplomatic triumph that his people had been claiming credit for.
But Kerry has repeatedly pandered to Turkey on the Mavi Marmara. In April, he went into outright outrageous territory.
US Secretary of State John Kerry compared the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing to the nine Turkish terrorists killed by the IDF as they tried to break Gaza’s naval blockade, at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday.
You can put this down to Kerry being Hanoi John again. Or the usual hostility to Israel. But there has been a notable uptick in the Turkey pandering lately.
Turkey’s proxy war in Syria has made it an even bigger player and Obama Inc. can’t seem to decide if it wants to negotiate with Assad or climb in deeper with the rebels.
Erdogan desperately wants the US to bail out his Syrian War. But all the pandering suggests that Obama Inc. has pivoted to negotiations and is working hard to get Erdogan to go along.
The project is doomed. Erdogan didn’t begin this war just to end it with a negotiated agreement that will leave the Alawites in power. But in courting him, Kerry is selling out not only Israel, but his own credibility.
Erdogan is just as bad as Assad. The difference is that he hasn’t really been challenged yet. But there’s little difference between how Assad and Erdogan handle dissent. Both do it with jails and bullets.
A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that after Kerry learned of the Israeli decision last Thursday, he personally called Oren and requested clarifications, stressing that the move undermines his efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry requested that the government rethink its decision, or at least postpone the outposts’ legalization.
A phone call from the secretary of state to a foreign ambassador to demand explanations and voice a protest is considered a very unusual move, one that indicates Kerry’s anger at the Israeli decision. Such protests are usually conveyed through lower-level channels.