Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What a Surprise

...many of the "peace activists" aboard those Gaza-bound "aid" vessels have ties to terror groups. And it will come as no surprise that many of the same "activists" had no identification papers when they were detained by Israeli commandos who boarded the ships.

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has details the MSM chooses to ignore:

A majority of the arrested “peace activists” who brutally attacked the Israeli soldiers with pipes, metal rods. chairs and knives are linked to terror groups including Al-Qaeda. Several are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The activists include Turks, Yemenites and Indonesians. And, many of the arrested “peace” fanatics have no identification papers.

More from Israel's YNet News:

The ongoing interrogation of passengers who were aboard the Marmara – the Gaza aid flotilla's flagship – revealed that the majority of those who attacked the Israeli Naval Commandos boarding the ship have direct and indirect Global Jihad ties.

Israel's investigation has revealed some 100 people infiltrated the peace and humanitarian aid activists making their way to Gaza, with the explicit design to attack Israeli soldiers using cold arms.

Some among that group are believed to have ties with World Jihad groups, mainly al-Qaeda.

The majority of suspects are Turks, but some are Yemenites and Indonesian. One Yemenite Islamist was photographed with a dagger in his belt prior to the raid.

The suspects are not cooperating with investigators. Most of them have no identification papers, and Israeli authorities are still trying to ascertain their identity.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the majority were recruited by the same IHH handler who organized the flotilla.

IHH is the Turkish aid group with well-established ties to radical Islamic elements. Israeli interrogators report that some of the activists were recruited specifically to attack Israeli soldiers. Some of the suspects had large sums of cash in their possession, along with knives, metal clubs, slingshots and other weapons.

Meanwhile, Ankara's official outrage over the incident apparently has its limits. While Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been highly critical of Israel--suggesting (at one point) that Tel Aviv should be banned from the U.N.--there have been extensive efforts to prevent recent incidents from seriously damaging military ties between the two countries. Turkey and Israel have a long history of security cooperation; IAF squadrons routinely train in Turkish airspace; the two nations share intelligence and Ankara buys millions of dollars in military hardware from Israeli firms ever year.

That's one reason the IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi made an urgent call to his Turkish counterpart last week, after a subordinate made remarks critical of Ankara's past human rights abuses, during an address at an Israeli defense college. From Turkish Weekly:

Last week, in a lecture at the National Defense College in Glilot, [Major General Avi] Mizrahi said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been severely critical of Israel since Operation Cast Lead, should first look in the mirror. Mizrahi mentioned the massacre of the Armenians, the suppression of the Kurds, and the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.

Officials said that Ashkenazi spoke at length with Gen. Ilker Basbug (Chief of the Turkish General Staff) and assured him that Mizrahi's remarks did not reflect the IDF's official position, and that Israel highly valued the strategic relationship it had forged over the years with the Turkish military.

Both militaries are apparently trying to steer clear of the political fray, and avoid damaging their partnership. There is also the question of how long the Turkish General Staff (TGS) will tolerate PM Erdogan's efforts to erode the nation's secular traditions. While General Basbug and his predecessor have generally followed Erdogan's party line on such issues as EU membership and Turkish sovereignty, many senior members of the TGS are uncomfortable with the PM's Islamist leanings and rhetoric.

In the aftermath of the Gaza incident, the military quickly announced that no Turkish warships would accompany the next "aid" flotilla that sails to the waters off Gaza. That was a clear reminder that the TGS remains the kingmaker in Turkish politics, and their are limits to its patience and cooperation in Mr. Erdogan's various schemes.
ADDENDUM: To be sure, there is a current "chill" in military relations between the Turks and the Israelis. Scheduled joint exercises have been cancelled and the IAF probably won't fly from Turkish bases anytime soon. But no one has even remotely suggested that the two countries end their military cooperation, a reminder that the TGS has ultimate veto authority over any changes in government policies.

1 comment:

mosheshmeal said...

I believe you are incorrect as saying the Israeli airforce train in Turkish airspcae. That was the case in the past: