By Dr. Cellu Rozenberg
The prevailing view that Turkey supports Iran is a mistake. The interest of Turkey and Israel in stopping Iran's nuclear project is completely identical... And most importantly: if and when the order to attack Iran is given, there is no doubt that Turkey will serve as a platform for attack.
Translated by Viktoria LymarEdited by Steven Stenzler
2 April 2013
...Obama's journey to our region once again raised the hope that the administration in Washington might have a planned policy regarding the future of the increasingly unsteady Middle East.
Obama's trip to our region revived hope that perhaps, the United States has a grand strategy with respect to the Middle East, which is ever more shaky. High-ranking U.S. officials are trying to analyze the complex reality created in the wake of the "Arab Spring" while looking at the developments in the region as part of a transition period necessary in times of revolution. The insights of the senior American office-holders and the President himself are based on the principle of the "rational player" as it is expressed in the West.
The problem is – there's no certainty at all that what's perceived in the West as rational is necessarily the same in the eyes of the players in the Middle East. We assume that there exists a structural failure in understanding the developments in our region. The paradox is that everything done to date out of that sober view of the "rational actor" not only has failed to bring the results hoped for – but in many cases, was perceived by the Middle East actors as a weakness of the West.
Another significant strategic failure, in our humble opinion, is the hope that Russia and China will rise above themselves and abandon the sweeping international support for the regimes existing today, such as the Iranian and Syrian ones. This is a failure of thought, at best – or a basic misunderstanding that Russia and China will not allow the United States and the West to be the only players in the arena. The West didn't manage to counteract the influence of Russia and China in the region, and it seems like there won't be a real change in the upcoming period.
President Obama's speech at the Jerusalem International Convention Center was designed to prepare the hearts of the Israelis. For a good reason the President claimed that the people must push their leaders to make hard yet necessary choices in the name of a better life. Some argue that Obama has definitely "hit" the Israelis' hearts.
To Maintain the Arab Monarchies
And what happens in other countries around the Middle East? The revolution in Egypt has brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power at a heavy bloody price that is still in effect today. This is an organization that was an anathema both to Israel and the Western world – and here, in one historic moment, in a democratic process, the movement ascended to power. Those close to the ear of the American President, are more and more aiming for a direct dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood. They argue that Morsi and his government will be tested according to their policy toward the demands of the international community, peace with Israel and the war on terror.
Syria is a rather complicated issue. Until now, the United States refrained from acting militarily alongside the rebels, who are but Islamic fundamentalists. There's no certainty at all that the United States is capable, for the moment, of deciding on the fate of the government [there]. However, the policy of the United States, Turkey and Israel is to avoid at all costs the use or leakage of non-conventional weapons to terrorist elements, especially to Hezbollah. Obama has understood pretty well that Turkey doesn't want to and is unable to stand idly by in the case of Syria. Hence the arrangement reached with Israel is very welcome.
In another article, it was claimed that the Marmara affair is but a comma versus the challenge ahead for Israel and Turkey to stop the terrible danger emerging from Syria. Secondly, the prevailing view that Turkey supports Iran is a mistake. The interest of Turkey and Israel in stopping Iran's nuclear project is completely identical. Turkey has a crucial role in stopping arms shipments from Iran to Syria passing through Iraq. The U.S. is incapable of doing it alone. And most importantly: if and when the order to attack Iran is given, there is no doubt that Turkey will serve as a platform for attack.
The United States is trying to maintain the Arab monarchies, including those in the Gulf. The fears of the leaders are quite great. Iran has already declared that help of one of them is going to lead to its destruction. The situation in Jordan is also very tough. The Palestinian question will not disappear from the eyes of the international community. In terms of the United States, this issue constitutes a substantial obstacle to progress towards the settlement of the situation in the Middle East. The Prime Minister knows it perfectly well. Hopefully, Obama and Netanyahu are coordinated on this critical matter.
Original Hebrew article:
Photo credit: AP/The Washington Free Beacon