UPDATE: SOUTHERN ISRAEL REMAINS ON HIGHEST ALERT IN ANTICIPATION OF A HAMAS TERRORIST ATTACK.
The United Nations’ Palmer Report was published yesterday containing all of the details that your humble servant had blogged on Wednesday.
In light of its findings that Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza is legal and that Israeli soldiers legally boarded the Turkish flotilla vessels, the Report does not demand that Israel apologize–suggesting instead that Israel express ‘regret’ and pay reparations to the families of those terrorists who were killed which Israel has already (inexplicably) offered to do.
For its part, Turkey immediately declared the United Nations’ report “null and void.”
Even until the last minute, however, Turkey comically continued to issue threats and ultimatums to Israel–the last one on Thursday being that Israel had 24 hours to apologize and lift the Gaza blockade–or else. Israel refused–and now the “or else” is becoming apparent.
Israel’s ambassador to Turkey has been expelled; Turkey is planning legal action against Israeli officers and soldiers; and Turkey has downgraded or abrogated commercial and military agreements. None of this is surprising considering the background of Turkish PM Erdogan who has dreamed of this for years (though the Turkish military must be grimacing considering the weapons it will no longer have access to).
In Erdogan we have the consummate politician who has built his career on fomenting hatred for Israel: a man who campaigned for the prime ministership on an anti-Israel platform, who traveled the Arab world after he was elected pompously castigating Israel at every opportunity in order to pump up his popularity as an Islamic leader, who journeyed to every conceivable venue to excoriate Israel for defending itself in Operation Cast Lead, and who had a personal hand in putting together a flotilla of IHH terrorists that sought to break a legal blockade of Gaza to help Erdogan’s terrorist Hamas friends.
All of this has made Erdogan the darling of Islamists everywhere–and especially Islamists in Gaza. So Erdogan’s July announcement about planning to visit Gaza in September was also no surprise. But what is worrisome is the coupling of that visit with the threat made yesterday by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that the Turkish navy might be used to try to break the Gaza blockade.
It doesn’t take much imagination to envision a scenario where Erdogan attempts to sail ‘victoriously’ into Gaza on the deck of a Turkish destroyer or missile cruiser. A possible Israeli-Turkish naval confrontation is just one more headache that Israel needs to plan for in what promises to be a September to remember.
***Addendum. Three hours after this blog was published this morning, Turkey has announced new Turkish naval meddling in the Eastern Mediterranean. See israelstreet breaking news for details.