Western diplomats have confirmed to a Turkish newspaper that the Turkish government—led by Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan—has vetoed Israel’s participation in next month’s NATO summit in May. The move has not gone over well within NATO:
Turkey’s blockage against Israel was brought to the table during the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on April 18, the Daily News learned. Some ministers of the allied countries including the United States, France and Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen indirectly criticized Turkey for bringing its bilateral problems with Israel to the NATO platform. Some ministers went so far as to vow to veto the participation of Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco and other partner countries in the activities of the Mediterranean Dialogue if Turkey continues to do so against Israel, something they called “a violation of NATO’s values.”
While President Obama has identified the virulently anti-Semitic Erdogan as one of his closest friends, the Turkish prime minister’s obsessions increasingly threaten U.S. national security interests. And while congressmen cultivated by Turkey point out that Turkey participates with NATO in Afghanistan, they neglect to mention that many Turks also fight for the enemy. Surrounded by sycophants and giddy with the success of his midnight raids on past and present opposition, Erdogan may believe he is riding high. What he is actually doing, however, is forcing Western states to question Turkey’s role in the treaty alliance.