During the past half century America had two firm allies in the Middle East in the governments of Israel and Turkey. The Bush administration adopted a policy of unconditional support for Israel despite mistakes on the part of Israel leaders based on the assumption any sign of disagreement with Israel would be disastrous for peace in the region. Israel’s close relationship with Turkey was based on working in alliance with Turkish military officials as well as the sympathy of many government officials. However, the vast majority of Turks did not regard Israel as either a friend or ally. Such a delicate situation had many dangers and Israel’s invasion of Gaza was the last straw. One Israel Defense Forces entered Gaza and unleashed the power of their arms it created a violent reaction among ordinary Turkish people which finally compelled its civilian and military leaders to draw back from Israel.
Latest reports indicate Israelis are not vacationing in Turkey. This is typical Israel behavior–when criticized, draw back, go down into the bunker of ignorance and pretend the world is against us and we don’t need anyone. It is time for American officials to let Israel know their behavior is not acceptable if peace is the goal. It is time to take a tough stand against Israel in order to protect itself against its own mistakes.
These words are written by someone who has studied in Israel, has worked in Holocaust education and dearly cares about the future of Israel. But, it is time for Israelis to admit mistakes, take corrective action, and, above all, get the damn settlers out of the West Bank.