Mid-East On Target
The humanitarian aid flotilla was nothing more than a Turkish attempt led by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain patronage over the Muslim Brotherhood and continue extending his Islamic influence throughout the Middle East. Israel made it clear several times over that all humanitarian aid to Gaza can be shipped through Ashdod and into Gaza under the watchful eyes of the supposed "humanitarian" activists. The reason for the blockade of Gaza is to halt arms, ammunition and other supplies which can be used for military purposes by Hamas against Israel. Instead Erdogan wanted a confrontation to prove his support for the international Muslim Brotherhood. Erdogan leads the Islamist influenced Justice and Development Party and took office as Prime Minister in March 2003 soundly defeating the secular parties who had ruled Turkey since the Kamalist (Ataturk) revolution of the 1920s establishing the modern Turkish state as a secular entity. In particular he was successful on the domestic economic front but once re-elected he concentrated on foreign affairs, in particular supporting the Hamas (Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood) in all its conflicts with Israel. He gained power as a western style Muslim, but once consolidating support his true Islamic colors and those of his Justice and Development Party have taken command. In the meantime he collected many honorary doctorates and peace awards from foreign organizations as part of his camouflage for his ultimate Islamist agenda.
The Turks are now making their first overt steps to lead the Muslim world, the lightning rod being Israel and the tactic supporting Hamas. Nothing could be more useful than a clash with Israel over "humanitarian aid" where Erdogan has nothing to lose and all to gain. Israel is the up front enemy, symbolizing those with whom he is at odds with in the Muslim world. Previous Turkish administrations had an alliance with Israel; that is no more. Erdogan has moved Turkey closer to Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in general. His true rivals in the Middle East include the secular regimes of Egypt (Pres. Hosni Mubarak), Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, the pro-western Lebanese PM Said Harriri and in particular the Palestinian Authority Pres. Mahmoud Abbas and his pro-western PM Salam Fayyad.
Erdogan is outwardly supporting Hamas over Fatah. Had he supported the PA and Fatah he would have shipped all the humanitarian equipment to them and had Fatah take the credit for its distribution. Instead he decided on a clash with Israel using his own Turkish Muslim Brotherhood supporters from the IHH (the so-called relief agency with reported ties to Islamic terror organizations) in an effort to undermine those in a state of peace with Israel and the Fatah led PA who presently are attempting to arrive at a two state solution with the Jewish State. Let us not forget that Hamas violently overthrew the Palestinian Authority regime in the Gaza Strip in 2007 resulting in hundreds of dead and injured.
One of the major points made by Prof. Samuel Huntington in his famous book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order" is the constant instability in the Muslim world. Much of this he attributes to the lack of an agreed upon major power leading what he calls the "Islamic resurgence". Already in the 1990s he believed Turkey, as opposed to several other choices, could be the most natural player to take up the challenge, leaving its western leanings and European overtures behind. In the last few years Erdogen is shifting away from both and towards a more "natural" Muslim orientation. Ankara is picking up the gauntlet to lead and abandon the secular Ataturk legacy. The Turks are a major economic and military power in the region with the ability to spread their influence far and wide. The Ottoman Empire held the last seat of the Islamic Caliphate and quite possibly is looking to host the centralized Islamic authority once again in a reinvigorated religious and cultural challenge worldwide. Such a focus would catapult the Turks into a world leadership position.
Using the conflict between Israel and Hamas on the local level and between the national secular Arab regimes and the Muslim Brotherhood in the wider sphere are all part of the same strategy. Western influences are weakened, Islamic loyalties are strengthened and Turkish influence spreads to encompass the Muslim world. Istanbul and Ankara become synonymous with the Islamic resurgence leaving the West and others throughout the world little choice but to engage Erdogen when dealing with any crisis involving Islam or the Muslim world. The Turkish Islamists are proving their credentials in their simple, focused, premeditated clash with Israel. One should not be surprised if a latent antisemitism becomes more manifest and spills out of Turkey, similar to what we see in Egypt, Jordan and much of the Arab world, even those with whom were are not in conflict. The more the Muslim Brotherhood solidifies its grip, the more antisemitism will take hold.
The amount of casualties and the ultimate diplomatic fallout for Israel are not yet known, but for sure in the media war Israel is the big loser. The Turks and their Hamas clients have certainly won the first round. But it must be made clear again that the Hamas – Israel conflict is only being used by Erdogan and the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. The bottom line is worth repeating, written at the outset of this article:
"The humanitarian aid flotilla was nothing more than a Turkish attempt led by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to gain patronage over the Muslim Brotherhood and continue extending his Islamic influence throughout the Middle East. Israel made it clear several times over that all humanitarian aid to Gaza can be shipped through Ashdod and into Gaza under the watchful eyes of the supposed "humanitarian" activists. The reason for the blockade of Gaza is to halt arms, ammunition and other supplies which can be used for military purposes by Hamas against Israel. Instead Erdogan wanted a confrontation to prove his support for the international Muslim Brotherhood."
Monday, May 31, 2010
Posted by GS Don Morris, Ph.D./Chana Givon at 2:19 PM