Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Turkey has provided an excellent example for the U.S.

The U.S. enjoys a multitude of means through which to signal its seriousness to Palestinians and Israelis about its goal of ending the occupation and fostering a two-state solution. Leveraging U.S. influence vis-a-vis the Palestinian side is already standard practice, but the tendency has been to stick to rhetoric and diplomatic pressure vis-a-vis Israel. Thus, prior to the disappointing Obama-'Abbas-Netanyahu meeting in New York, the U.S. went ahead with a planned naval exercise with the Israeli military rather than postponing it. As the recent Turkish example illustrates, canceling military exercises pushes Israel's angst meter. Given the extensive ties between the Pentagon and the Israeli military there are many, many ways to signal displeasure, ranging from sending a major instead instead of a general to a planned meeting, postponing joint military exercises, or delaying or even canceling procurement decisions.

If President Obama is serious, he should learn from Turkey's timely wake-up call.

Relevant earlier post.

No comments: