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January 15, 2012

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Support of Turkey doesn’t make sense

The Columbia Daily Tribune - By Yossi Feituch 

How to explain the idiosyncrasies of our Middle East diplomacy that includes a bizarre love affair with Turkey’s Islamist regime?  

While President Barack Obama supports the idea of an Arab Palestinian state — even as its constituents contemplate no scenario of peaceful co-existence with or acceptance of the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, as is reflected, for instance, in Palestinian curricular schoolbooks — he denies the idea of a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, though no Kurd doubts the legitimacy of Islamic Turkey as a nation-state. 

Indeed, the Obama administration is a staunch ally of Turkey in its quest to defeat the Kurdish desire for self-determination — recently, we supplied Ankara with three Super Cobra attack helicopters and four pilotless Predator drones. 

Yet we cannot even get the neo-Ottoman regime, in return for siding with it in its full-blown war against the Kurdistan Workers Party, to be less anti-American, if only by mitigating its promotion of radical Islamism (aka Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt and Libya, not to mention its embrace of terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah and, until recently, Syria; or to end its systematic undercutting of U.S.-led sanctions against Iran, whose fast track to making a nuclear weapon does not concern it one bit; or, at the least, to nudge it earnestly to mend its broken relations with Israel, a bona fide and important U.S. ally.

Yossi Feintuch is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom, a Reform Jewish faith community in Columbia.

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