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With Egypt, Turkey Lost As Israeli Allies, Where To Turn? – OpEd

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To Saudi Arabia, perhaps?  That’s right, the birthplace of most of the 9/11 hijackers and ancient birthplace of Islam.  A religion that Bibi, his followers, and more importantly, his father detest.  One of the most conservative monarchies in the world.  That’s where Bibi sees Israel’s next alliance according to Aluf Benn in Haaretz:

Netanyahu now hopes that Israel might be able to get close with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, who also seek to block the possibility of an Arab Spring in the region. In the West, Netanyahu is hoping to circumvent Turkey by strengthening ties with Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. During his visit to the Balkans, he was shown photos and statues of national heros [sic], sent to their deaths by the Ottoman Empire. A real basis for friendship.

That, and Lieberman’s bold strategic genius in suggesting Israel offer advanced weaponry to the PKK to hurt the Turks where they live, are all that’s needed to mend all the damage Bibi’s done to Israel’s standing both in the region and world.  Doesn’t Israel have enough proxy wars going on with Iran supporting Hezbollah and allegedly Hamas.  Does it want to add to the list by angering the Turks?  Does he want Turkish warships off-loading weapons for Hamas?  Because if Israel plays with fire by sending a single bullet to the PKK, they’re liable to pay dearly for it.

So let’s see, Bibi will balance the loss of Egypt, one of the most influential states in the Arab world; and Turkey, the Muslim country whose wealth and sway are growing faster than any other in the region, if not the world; with the gain of alliances with Saudi Arabia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.  Really?

There is one saving grace though, that may prevent an Israeli war with Turkey.  Ben Zion Netanyahu has publicly expressed his admiration for the Ottomans, who would go into a restive village in Palestine, search out a few troublemakers and hang ‘em in the square to show people who’s boss.  With such family admiration for the Ottomans, how can Bibi go against his dad?  In fact, dad has offered such historical examples to his son as suitable ways to rein in those uppity Palestinians causing Bibi so much trouble.  So I don’t see how Bibi can well suit up against the modern heirs of the Ottomans.

This article first appeared at Tikun Olam

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Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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