Ktismatics

1 June 2010

Common Interests, Common Needs

Filed under: Culture — ktismatics @ 4:11 pm

From this AP story:

Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship has ignited unprecedented anger in Turkey and driven the Jewish state’s relations with its most important Muslim ally to their lowest point in six decades. There are signs, however, that the countries’ long-term strategic alliance and military ties will endure…

Turkey’s eight-year-old Islamic-rooted government has publicly and frequently expressed outrage over Israel’s 2008-2009 war in Gaza and continuing blockade of the strip. But Turkey’s deeply secular military remains heavily dependent on high-tech Israeli arms in its battle against Kurdish separatist guerrillas based along Turkey’s mountainous southeastern border with Iraq. Israel’s right-leaning government said that the countries’ defense ministers had agreed hours after the raid that the incident wouldn’t affect Israeli weapons sales to Turkey.

The massive Heron drones to be delivered this summer can fly at least 20 hours nonstop and first saw action against Hamas militants in the Gaza war. Turkey hopes they can gather crucial intelligence on Kurdish rebels and allow pinpoint strikes at a time of escalating insurgent attacks. Israel also recently completed a more than $1 billion upgrade of Turkey’s aging tank fleet and U.S.-made F-4 warplanes. Turkey has opened its airspace to Israeli pilots for training purposes.

“There are still common interests, common needs,” said Ofra Bengio, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center.

First, I’m aware of the pot calling the kettle black: both governments are allied in their efforts to suppress large indigenous ethnic populations with military force. Second, I become aware of someone pointing out to me the blackness of the pot, so that the kettle doesn’t look quite so bad in comparison. Third, on some level it doesn’t matter as long as the blockade gets lifted.

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2 Comments »

  1. This afternoon I took my GET OUT sign to join maybe 30 other people in a Gaza protest. There were some car honks of support, but the onlookers seemed mostly indifferent. Like the gaffe when the Israelis announced a new housing project in E. Jerusalem while Biden was on an official visit, this incident too will probably recede quickly, and the blockade will continue.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 2 June 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  2. Wow, Israel is now going to allow snack foods to enter Gaza! Obama, who continues to support Israel’s blockade while out of the other side of his mouth calling it ‘unsustainable, is going to meet with Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow about Gaza development. Abbas, of course, doesn’t run Gaza; Hamas, which won the election there, does. So what’s the scheme? Abbas will probably “talk tough” about Israel to Obama, showing the folks back home that he’s no pushover to US and Israeli interests. The US will give more money to Abbas earmarked for Gaza, but since there’s no way Abbas can get the needed materials for rebuilding Gaza through the Israeli blockade, the money will probably be used politically, in an effort to sway the Gazan populace away from Hamas and toward Abbas. Probably when Netanyahu meets with Obama later this month they’ll have some sort of joint statement whereby Israel promises to “ease” the blockade if they kick out Hamas. This will reinforce the Gazan perception of Abbas as a US-Israeli lackey, and they’ll reject the proposal. At which point the Obama and Netanyahu will say “see, there’s nothing we can do with these people.”

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    Comment by ktismatics — 9 June 2010 @ 8:12 am


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