BY JOEL HILLIKER
Jan 09. Among the many truths the
war in Gaza exposed, here is one: Israel’s alliance with Turkey is a trap.
Israel inked a mutual defense
agreement with Turkey in 1996. Among its benefits, the deal linked the two
countries’ militaries in joint training, provided Israeli arms to Turkey ($2
billion worth as of 2007) and granted Israel’s air force over-flight
Far more, the deal gave Israel a
much-needed, highly respected ally in a neighborhood full of enemies. Those
itching to pick a fight with Israel simply haven’t been eager to contend
with Turkey’s million-man army, the second-largest force in NATO after the
United States. The Islamic Affairs Analyst went so far as to say that
Israel’s foes—most notably Iran—respected Turkey enough that the Jewish
state’s survival was all but assured as long as the pact held up.
But there’s the rub. Just a glance
at events in the past couple of years shows that this deterrent effect has
weakened. Israel’s enemies have started to turn loose.
Not coincidentally, over that same
period, Turkey has shifted from being a hedge against those enemies to
actually supporting them. Nothing made this clearer than did the Gaza
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