Israel or NATO?
In my latest for The National Interest, “NATO & Israel,” I argue that the flotilla crisis may force us to choose between Israel and our transatlantic Allies.
Turkey, a founding member of the NATO alliance and heretofore Israel’s only friend in the region, is apoplectic.
All the major European powers have criticized Israel’s actions, with Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, and David Cameron all issuing stern statements. More interestingly, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has weighed in with uncharacteristically stern words
Thus far, the Obama administration is keeping its powder dry, issuing a cautious statement expressing “deep regret at the loss of life in [the] incident, and concern for the wounded” while also stressing “the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.” That’s exactly the right position for the world’s superpower—and perhaps Israel’s only remaining friend—to take at the outset. But the facts are quickly coming in and it will be time to make tough calls.
In the meantime, stalling for time isn’t going to please anyone. Certainly not the Turks, who have already declared themselves “deeply unsatisfied” with the response.
Does it matter? American administrations have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel and against the international community dozens of times in the past. But the stakes are higher now.
Much more at the link.