Turkey convened emergency NATO meeting

The tension inside of NATO may be slow to emerge, but repercussions may be grave: either for alliance, or for Israel. Craig Murray, as usual, has an excellent overview here.

Briefly:

Attack by Israel on a NATO member flagged ship in international waters is an event to which NATO is obliged – legally obliged, as a matter of treaty – to react.

About Eva Smagacz

White Knight from Britain.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 10 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. BradAllen says:

    I wouldn’t lose sleep waiting for their reaction. Turkey is about to find itself isolated amongst Israel’s “powerful friends” as Erdogan accused them.

    The Russians must sallibating at the possible outcome. Would it be possible that with the US blind and stupid support for anything that Israel does would push NATO to ignore the Turkish outrage and risk losing Turkey. You can bet this is not lost on the Russians.

    So, tell me again, how is Israel good for american interest.

    • Colin Murray says:

      I think the neocons in our government would drop Turkey in a heart beat if they thought it were in (their opinions of) Israel’s interest. However, the Europeans are a different story.

  2. otto says:

    Legally obliged means little or nothing in international politics of course.

    • Walid says:

      NATO related from Xinhua:

      Greece suspended a scheduled visit by Israel’s air force commander to Athens on Monday, following a deadly Israeli military operation against a flotilla transporting humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

      Furthermore, Greece canceled an ongoing joint air exercise with Israel, code-named “Minoas 2010,” the Greek Ministry of Defense announced on Monday. The exercise started on May 25 and was due to run through June 3.

      Earlier, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas had summoned Israeli Ambassador to Greece Ali Yahia to formally complain and ask to be informed on the situation of the 34 Greek nationals who participate in the humanitarian mission. The mission was organized by European and American activists with a Turkish humanitarian organization.

      Non-NATO related, Nicaragua broke off diplomatic ties with Israel yesterday and joins Venezuela and Bolivia that had done likewise in 2009 because of the Gaza war.

    • potsherd says:

      Whatever happens, it will create a precedent. If NATO can ignore its obligations in one case, everyone will know they are meaningless.

      It’s worth recalling that there is some opinion that the purpose of the Afghanistan debacle was to preserve NATO by giving the alliance something to do. This hasn’t worked out well. If NATO ignores an attack on one of its members, the alliance has no reason for existence and is a liability besides.

      As BradAllen says, the Russians are loving this.

      • Walid says:

        Israel practically acts as a member of NATO with its joint military exercises and constant presence. Last September there was an incident with the NATO Defense College that had invited Lebanese academic and expert on Hizbullah, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb to speak to military officers and diplomats enrolled in the NATO Regional Cooperation Course aimed at reaching out to the Arab world. The course included participants from the Mediterranean Dialogue, of which Israel is a member. When she found out about the Israelis and the apparent NATO trick to draw her into meeting with Israelis and breaking her country’s laws, she became angry and raised a big stink. LA Times covered the incident at the time and Helena Cobban on her blog covered extensively the back and forth of this story.

  3. Colin Murray says:

    Thanks for the post, Eva. It’s great to hear NATO leadership is unhappy. This has been a long time coming, and it’s about time they got off their duffs and opened their eyes.

  4. Chaos4700 says:

    The US may be flippant about NATO obligations, but the other members most certainly will not be. Europeans are still pissed about us dragging NATO into a botched effort in Afghanistan and trying to twist arms to get them all mired in Iraq — which turned out to be predicated on lies.

    To boot, there were European citizens among those assaulted by Israel. I don’t think Obama is going to make this go away by brushing it off. He might be able to treat his voting base that way, but the rest of the world? I don’t think so.

    • Walid says:

      It was interestingly implied in the article that NATO had become a tool to give legitimacy to some of America’s dubious ventures, like Iraq 1 and 2 and Afghanistan.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        I’ve had a chance to talk to a foreign exchange student from Germany and that’s exactly the feeling on the street over there, even in one of our staunchest allies. Israel has just stabbed a knife into the heart of US interests — and our government can’t even so much as complain publicly about the action.