Will he do such things? 146

Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey is furious that the Palmer report found Israel was acting legally when it intercepted the protest flotilla launched from Turkey to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in May 2010. (See our post A surprise, Sept. 1, 2011). The report – although issued by the United Nations – actually found fault with the protestors and with Turkey itself.

The Islamic world is not used to being found fault with by the UN, especially in relation to Israel. And Erdogan won’t stand for it.

He plots revenge – not against the UN but against Israel.

“I will do such things – what they are, yet I  know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth!”

Well, that wasn’t exacty what he said – that was King Lear. Erdogan has some definite plans in mind, not very awe inspiring, but he sure would like them to be the terrors of the earth.

These are the things he has threatened to do:

Strengthen the presence of the Turkish navy in the eastern Mediterranean, and “pursue a more aggressive strategy”.

Again send ships to “carry aid” to Gaza. Turkish naval vessels will accompany civilian ships carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.Whether to try reaching the shore of Gaza itself, in order to incite action by the Israeli navy, is not clear.

Personally visit Gaza. Whether he’ll sail directly to Gaza, to incite interception, is again not clear. An official said –

“Our primary purpose is to draw the world’s attention to what is going on in Gaza and to push the international community to end the unfair embargo imposed by Israel.”

If the blockade is not illegal it is at least “unfair”, Turkey maintains. To be fair, the Israelis should allow Hamas to import weapons freely into Gaza to use against them.

Will Erdogan really do what he threatens and risk a clash at sea with Israel? Or is all his vengeful talk mere bluster?

According to this report, Israel’s navy is far superior to Turkey’s:

The Turkish Navy is no match for Israeli missile boat technology and their electronic jamming and tracking systems. Neither do the Turks have advanced submarines like Israel’s German-made Dolphins or close air cover.

Stamping about the stage raging against Israel may be all he can do.

Time will tell.