There’s one ruling party, factions red and blue,
They’ve got so many Hitlers they don’t know what to do.
They gave them some press,
Invaded a few,
Whipped them with words and then bid them adieu.
The West is just watching, while Erdogan creates pretexts for another Middle Eastern war: one in which Israel may be pitted not only against the neighbouring states of the old Arab League, but also Turkey, and Iran, and Hamas, and Hezbollah.
This is what is called an “existential threat” to Israel, unfolding in live time. It could leave the West with a choice between defending Israel, and permitting another Holocaust. In other words, we are staring at the trigger for a genuine world war. With Recip Erdogan’s twitching finger on it.
I’m rather curious about the reason Americans are supposed to give any more of a damn about Israel than we do about Uruguay or Andorra these days. The old excuse about Israel being the only democracy in the Middle East is obviously out of date; Erdogan is far more democratically legitimate than any of the revolving coterie of Israeli presidents and prime ministers. Besides, given that we are assured that democracies don’t go to war with other democracies, Israel clearly can have nothing to fear from Turkey and its democratically elected prime minister.
Moreover, Turkey is formally allied with the United States. Israel is not, nor has ever been, an ally. Unlike Israel, Turkey has never attacked a US warship with air and sea forces or killed 34 US servicemen. In fact, if Turkey and Israel ever go to war, the USA may even be obliged, by virtue of its commitment to a fellow NATO member, to attack Israel itself. In light of these facts, I’m sure America’s Jews will be vastly relieved that they didn’t vote into office a president named Hussein who used to attend an Islamic madrassah and sympathizes with Arabs.
Ironically, David Warren’s description of Erdogan as a politician who combines “efficient, basically free-market economic management, with a puritanized version of the religious ideals of the old Ottoman Caliphate”, tends to make Erdogan sound more palatable than about nine-tenths of the current collection of American politicians.