Even before this current crisis, I’ve written about the changes in Turkey, for example here and here, and testified in Congress on the topic, here. Over the past few days, I’ve been covering the new crisis between Turkey and Israel over at Commentary’s “Contentions” blog, for example, here, here, and here.
It seems, however, that while the confluence of evidence of Turkey’s change overwhelms even former U.S. ambassadors to Turkey who normally can be relied upon to spin events in a positive direction, the Obama administration is completely oblivious and living not only in a fantasy world, but actually making matters worse. Against the backdrop of the 9/11 anniversary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new counterterrorism body which the United States would co-chair with Turkey. At the same time, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had this to say, according to the Turkish press (emphasis added):
“Israel has not yet fully understood the change in the region and has condemned itself to complete isolation,” said Davutoğlu on Sunday, referring to the Egyptian protesters’ attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday, adding that the demonstrations were not the result of Turkey’s recent actions toward Israel. “[Israel] despises and plays with the people’s honor in this region,” Davutoğlu said, adding that Turkey would continue to highlight Israel’s unlawful acts in all international platforms.
So the Obama administration encourages Israel to go to the United Nations. That body sets up the Palmer Commission to examine the law and the Mavi Marmara incident and finds in Israel’s favor. The Turkish government, which provoked the incident in the first place, throws a temper tantrum. The foreign minister promises to drag Israel through the mud in every forum and at every opportunity. So what does the State Department do? They sign off on a Hamas-supporting, virulently anti-Semitic, and anti-Israeli regime to chair a new forum from which they have already promised to bash Israel.