This week we learned that the Israeli and Greek premiership had an informal one-on-one discussion about crisis management and international intervention.
Week end comment
By Mike Adams
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ran into his Greek counterpart George Papandreou while dining out at a Moscow restaurant. Prior to this encounter, the two men had been having talks with the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In the case of Israel, Iran’s nuclear threat was at the top of the agenda; Greece was wrapping up an energy deal for the Burgas–Alexandroupoli pipeline that will be used to transport Russian oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek Aegean port of Alexandroupoli.
The ad hoc meeting lasted an hour, during which time Netanyahu told Papandreou that the international community was obliged to reach out a helping hand to the economically stricken Greece as well as imposing biting sanctions against Iran. The clincher came when Netanyahu presaged that “if Iran gets nukes, so will Turkey”.
To me this sounds as is if Netanyahu is playing Greece off against Turkey. Notwithstanding, it was straight talking from someone at the centre of it all. Poor Greece knows that its prodigious neighbour to the east is no delight, but rather a security liability. In Grecian eyes, the ever present Turkish menace has of late assumed an added sinister dimension – the growing Islamic faction headed up by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is reaching out to other Muslim brothers in arms in “unorthodox” Iran, Syria, Sudan and Gaza. Netanyahu is fully aware that Greece is in a predicament being deemed the economic dunce in the EU class.
WikiAnswers states that the following countries are Greece’s allies: USA, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Malta, and France. Their support for Greece is beginning to sound more like doublespeak if indeed they’re speaking up at all. According to WikiAnswers Israel has an ally in: USA, UK, Germany, Turkey and India. Amongst other Israeli allies are Canada, China and the Czech Republic. The sting in the eye for Greece is Israel’s ties to Turkey. That’s changed somewhat in the past few months.
Without elaborating on it, we know that Erdogan has been rubbing Netanyahu up the wrong way for quite some time now. Israel knows that she needs to play up to potential partners, not fraternise with foulmouthed foes. Hence Bibi’s portrayal of Turkey as an ogre and an imminent threat to global stability. Israel may not care to patch up things with Turkey when Greece just happens to pop out of the blue looking for some answers to a major fiscal headache and much, much more.
Banging her head up against one of her columns won’t get the Greece far. The Grecian state has also some serious thinking to do in her stance toward Israel. Will Greece continue to merely tolerate Israel’s existence or will she come alongside a Middle Easterner who really can show what being an ally is all about? Greece will find in Israel an empathetic soul; one who is familiar with standing alone in a sea of resentment and violent hostility. Mutual back-rubbing in the fields of defence, economics, commerce, culture and science will benefit both countries. It’s time for Greece to consider its options.
I’m reminded of what the Israelis did for security during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Israel had voiced displeasure with the arrangements and asked to send its own security detail to protect its athletes. The Greek government reluctantly agreed. Traditionally, the host country is solely responsible for guarding athletes and does not authorise outside police agencies to carry weapons in the Olympic Village.
“We sent a team to Athens to look over security,” a former Israeli military officer had told the Washington Post. “It was so bad that we privately threatened to boycott the Games unless things were changed”. The no-nonsense approach got the Greeks off the track of complacency.
The Olympic security mess was instrumental in getting law enforcement and intelligence agents from Israel to handle training of their Grecian colleagues regarding suicide bombers. Good old Papa was Minister of Foreign Affairs back then as he is now, but he now shoulders the responsibility of the office of Prime Minister as well. It would serve him well to actively bless Israel before it’s too late. I don’t think anyone is too keen on yet another Greek tragedy.