The flotilla departed from Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus. Turkey’s occupation of half of Cyprus is deemed illegal by the European Union and the United Nations.
If the government of Turkey feels so strongly about ending disputed occupations, why does it not start with the disputed occupation it is operating itself?
On Monday, Israeli ships stopped a flotilla carrying materials that could be used for war, including cement that Israel maintained could be used to build bunkers, to Hamas-ruled Gaza. The crew of one boat resisted violently, triggering a firefight in which nine people were killed, most of them Turkish nationals.
Turkey is protesting vigorously. But, question: Turkey is a NATO ally, an applicant to the European Union.
What is it doing allowing its nationals to smuggle cement that could build bunkers?
Especially when those nationals belong to a group, the Turkish IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) that Israel has designated a terrorist organization?
The flotilla followed a breathtaking Friday at the United Nations. The 189 signatories of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty agreed on a final list of resolutions for a safer world. The nuclear threat from Iran? Unmentioned. Instead, the NPT resolution targeted — what a surprise — Israel.
Shamefully, the Friday resolution was joined by the United States. Yes, the Obama administration issued a statement at the same time that “deplores the decision to single out Israel” and also “the failure of the resolution to mention Iran.” The administration deplored — but it signed.
And now, post-flotilla, the Obama administration stands in danger of being drawn into the attempt to open Hamas-ruled Gaza to military-capable imports, and to force Israel to engage in some kind of negotiation with Hamas.
Former Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk, who is close to Obama administration thinking, outlined in the New York Times Monday the contours of just such a deal:
«The administration needs to work on a package deal in which Hamas commits to preventing attacks from, and all smuggling into, Gaza. In return, Israel would drop the blockade and allow trade in and out».
It’s a pretty thought. Pro-Hamas groups did not go to the trouble of organizing a flotilla of supplies that could be used for war in order to end smuggling of war material into Gaza.
Nor are pro-Hamas groups seeking to ship the material into Gaza in order to thwart future attacks on Israel. Rebuilding Hamas’ bunkers is not a step toward peace.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.
First published: 04.06.2010.Written by Ivar