Turkey cancels military exercises with Israel and NATO over Operation Cast Lead
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Recent developments in the Middle East have seen a noticeable change in relations between Israel and Turkey. Israel's relations with Turkey has apparently reached a boiling point after the cancellation of scheduled military exercises between Turkey, NATO, and Israel. The Turkish response and reason given for cancelling the exercises was that the planes that Israel would use in the exercises had propbably been used in the "Operation Cast Lead" back at the beginning of the year. The Turks were basically throwing a political protest against Israel after the release of the Goldstone report on the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians during "Operation Cast Lead". The report was critical of both sides, but as was expected it was especially anti-semitic towards Israel who were for the most part simply defending themselves against terrorist elements who were firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza strip.
In the recent news reports from the Jerusalem Post it is being reported:
Even as Israel sought to tamp down tension with Ankara over its decision to refuse IDF participation in a joint military exercise this week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of using phosphorous bombs on Gaza's children. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, meanwhile, revealed Tuesday that Turkey and Syria had held military maneuvers last week - the same week Ankara canceled the annual Anatolian Eagle exercise because the IDF was to participate.
According to Syrian FM Muallem, Turkey and Syria carried out recent military maneuvers after the Turks had snubbed their nose at the Israelis. The Syrian FM went on to report:
"One week ago, Syria and Turkey carried out maneuvers near Ankara," Muallem said, according to Al-Jazeera. "This is important because it refutes reports of poor relations between the military and political institutes in Turkey over its strategic relations with Syria." Muallem's comments came on the same day that 10 Turkish cabinet ministers traveled to Syria for the first meeting of the newly formed Turkey-Syria High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. It was the second military exercise between the two Muslim countries since April. At that time, Defense Minister Ehud Barak termed a joint drill between Turkish and Syrian soldiers on their shared border a "disturbing development." The United States criticized Turkey on Tuesday night for refusing IDF participation in the drill.
As we can see from the comment above the Turks not only snubbed their nose at Israel and held military maneuvers with Syria instead, the Turks leveled serious charges that the Israelis had used phosphorus bombs on children in the Gaza strip during the "Operation Cast Lead". The Islamic countries around Israel are clearly propagating lies and taking their complaints to the UN in order to pressure Israel and have them investigated. This is of course not a new tactic for the Islamics, as they are always trying to get some resolution passed in the UN that condemns Israel.
As many of you know, the IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world. The IDF has regularly taken extraordinary measures to alert people beforehand before bombing buildings, suspected arms developments facilities, etc. If any children were exposed to Israeli weapons during Operation Cast Lead, that responsibility and burden lies solely on the shoulders of those who forced the Israelis to act to defend themselves and that was the terrorists. Israel was forced to act due to numerous rocket attacks being fired at Israel from the Gaza strip. It is a sad day when a legitimate democracy is criticized and not allowed to defend themselves against blood thristy terorrist elements. What is the world coming to??
In order to downplay the recent deterioration of ties between Israel and Turkey, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted as saying that the military exercises between Turkey and the West were simply delayed, not cancelled. The Jerusalem Post reported:
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that the drill planned to take place this week involving the Israeli and Turkish air forces was not canceled but only postponed, Israel Radio reported Tuesday afternoon. Barak said the ties between the two countries are important to both and added that Ankara was also aware of this. Earlier this week, The Jerusalem Post reported that the planned drill was canceled after Turkish officials the Turkish army would not practice with IAF jets which are likely to have bombed targets in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead.
It would appear to me that Barak is simply on a mission for damage control at this time. Israel, for their part, declared that they would not carry on a "war of words" with the Turks through the newspapers. The Haaretz newspaper reports:
Israel sought to ease tensions with the Turkish government on Tuesday, after it canceled Israel's participation in a joint air force exercise. Diplomats at the Israeli mission in Ankara told Turkish foreign ministry officials that "Israel has no interest in settling disagreements through newspaper headlines," Haaretz has learned. The Israeli diplomats told Haaretz that Jerusalem decided to take a moderate stance toward the canceled exercise and the general tension between the two governments. The diplomats said Jerusalem "understood" the Turkish foreign ministry's statement on Tuesday that the cancelation was not political.
In contrast, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed Israel for its conduct during Operation Cast Lead in January. The daily Sabah reported that during an address to the local Religion Council, Erdogan said "people just watched from the comfort of their chairs as phosphorus bombs rained on innocent children in Gaza." "In some countries children are provided with comfort, peace and the most advanced education and health opportunities, while other children face poverty, destitution, helplessness, war, conflict, weapons of mass destruction and phosphorus bombs," he said.
Once again the Turkish PM Erdogan repeated his anti-semitic propagada that the IDF had "rained" down phosphorus bombs on the children of the Gaza strip. Erdogan failed to make mention of any of the activities of the terrorist elements in the Gaza strip that were directly responsible for the conflict. Erdogan refused to place the blame where it should be placed and instead threw the responsibility for the military operation on the backs of the Israelis. Israel for their part has previously denied targeting children or Palestinians and that their issue is with the terrorist elements that are raining down rockets in Israel from the Gaza strip. Israel and any other legitimate country has the right to defend it's people from terrorist attacks. Turkey certainly defends themselves and carries out military operations on the Kurds in Iraq. Turkey's protest of Israel is weak and hypocritical at best.
Despite the back and forth public debate between Israel and Turkey, this situation deserves to be watched more carefully as we are seeing what I feel is a dramatic shift in actions and attitude by the Turks as it relates to Israel. Students of Bible prophecy are aware of the prophecies of the prophet Ezekiel where he notes that the area encompassed by the modern state of Turkey will be aligned with the Gog/Magog invaders as foretold in the Bible in Ezekiel 38-39. This attitude shift will probably go a long way to preparing the Turks for their date with destiny with the God of Israel in the mountains of Israel.
Until next time, keep watching the Middle East and especially the actions of the Turks. They have a prominent part to play in the end times.