Inspirational speech, a long delayed apology and a Passover gift for Iran.
On 20 March I received intel from a News Agency insider that the Israeli government are planning an Easter exploit on Iran, that the US was desperately trying to cool things down and planning how best to keep out of it, as was the UK.
Without further verification this would be hard to publish on its own other than as an “insider rumour”, however as further reaction and results come in from Obama’s visit to Israel, the news stories themselves seem to be verifying it.
Firstly lets look at the nature and the text of Obama’s speech- Essential theme of duality; going beyond, and avoiding mistakes that have attracted criticism in the past (such as his connection of the “holocaust” to the creation of Israel in 2010) to the point of confirming dubious rhetoric that he knows to be false;
“When I consider Israel’s security, I also think about a people who have a living memory of the Holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iranian government that has called for Israel’s destruction.”
“The Islamic Republic’s proposal to help resolve the Palestinian issue and heal this old wound is a clear and logical initiative based on political concepts accepted by world public opinion, which has already been presented in detail. We do not suggest launching a classic war by the armies of Muslim countries, or throwing immigrant Jews into the sea, or mediation by the UN and other international organizations. We propose holding a referendum with [the participation of] the Palestinian nation. The Palestinian nation, like any other nation, has the right to determine their own destiny and elect the governing system of the country.”
— Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, October 2, 2011
After hitting all the right buttons with the Israeli audience, becoming in the process a Zionist’s Zionist.
For this was the address of a passionate, pro-Israel advocate, a true friend, a Zionist. A leftwing Zionist, employing his charisma, his authority and his oratory to try to shift Israelis into his camp.
— Times of Israel
He then slipped in recognition for the new post Arab-spring governments, official recognition for organizations previously referred to by Bush as terrorists such as Hizbollah and Hamas, that he hoped would join the negotiating table to further the peace talks.
Sugar always tastes better than vinegar, so while on the one hand he was praising Israel using Zionist rhetoric, on the other he was pushing for a more reasonable solution for Palestine, which would have been much less palatable if it hadn’t been coated in so much syrup.
“This truth is more pronounced given the changes sweeping the Arab World. I recognize that with the uncertainty in the region — people in the streets, changes in leadership, the rise of non-secular parties in politics –it is tempting to turn inward. But this is precisely the time to respond to the wave of revolution with a resolve for peace. As more governments respond to popular will, the days when Israel could seek peace with a handful of autocratic leaders are over. Peace must be made among peoples, not just governments. No one step can change overnight what lies in the hearts and minds of millions.”
On Friday Netanyahu phoned his Turkish counterpart to apologise for the incident (albeit in a limited way). Israel has hitherto been defiant that Israeli soldiers acted in self-defense after being attacked by activists (on the boat they were aggressively boarding). enraging senior figures in his armed services and other government figures.
Today (23 March) Netanyahu posted on his facebook wall that “The fact that the crisis in Syria intensifies from moment to moment was the main consideration in my view,” so nothing really to do with the extrajudicial killings of nine pro-Palestinian activists and the wounding of many more.
Looking into this further, Turkey desperately needed this restoration of diplomatic ties, on the surface Israel did not.
- Since the Arab spring Turkey’s exports are increasingly running through Israeli ports with the degradation of the situation in Syria and the current inefficiency at Egypt’s terminals.
- The Turkish armed forces are heavily dependent on Israeli military technologies from the long years of the close alliance between the two countries, which Ankara cut short. This dependence applies most particularly to its drones, the backbone of today’s modern armies. It is also holding up the huge transaction for the sale of American Boeing Awacs electronic warning airplanes to Turkey. Boeing was unable to deliver the aircraft without Jerusalem’s consent, because a key component, the early warning systems, is designed in Israel. Turkey is in need of those planes – not just to monitor events in neighboring wartorn Syria, but to complete its air defense lineup against potential Iranian ballistic missiles. Without the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System), the advanced FBX-radar system the US has stationed at the Turkish Kurecik air base is only partly operational. The Kurecik battery is linked to its equivalent at a US base in the Israeli Negev, a fact which Ankara chooses to conceal
- Israel , Jordan and Turkey under the guise of working together to prevent potential chemical weapons from Syria, will form much closer intelligence ties, will also give Israel the potential to strike Iran without violating international airspace. The current corridor through Saudi Arabia is well defended, and prior to these agreements flying through Turkey would have been impossible without an outcry.
The principal of fair exchange is complete.. Turkey gets its AWACS improved trade routes and apology, US gets diplomatic “breakthrough” and perceived success for Obama trip. But what did Israel get out of this climbdown and apology? It seems it gets an unhindered flight path through Turkey to Iran.
On the plus side it seems like it will be a limited operation with limited if any international assistance with the US making it clear that will not get involved in any ground war.
While disapproving of an errant family member’s behaviour, unconditional love shows through, and Obama’s quote; “Today, I want to tell you — particularly the young people — that so long as there is a United States of America, Atem lo levad, you are not alone.” has hints of a parent frustrated by a rebel teens behaviour “I know you mugged that granny, and I know you’re gonna do crack tomorrow, but Ill always love you no-matter what cos I’m yo mamma”.
Updated 24/03 John Kerry makes unanounced visit to Iraq to demand that they close their airspace to Iranian military, under the auspices of preventing flights supporting the Assad regime. http://rt.com/news/kerry-syria-iraq-iran-760/