“Apology Tour, Part II” highlights the futility of Mideast negotiation

Benjamin Netanyahu apologized begrudgingly to Turkey, which accepted for 24-hours. It became an embarrassment for Israel and the U.S. Photo: AP

CHARLOTTEMarch 24, 2013 ― Barack Obama is at it again, only this time he managed to coerce Israel into an apology rather than take the heat himself.

So clever was Obama’s strategy that the New York Times labeled it a “diplomatic coup,” even though the end result may have done little more than highlight the absurdity of negotiating with the Islamic world.

SEE RELATED: Israel and the Palestians: For Obama, everything must be “fair”

In 2008, candidate Obama said he would negotiate with Iran. That statement alone emphasized his ignorance of global diplomacy in dealing with the Muslim world. Nearly five years later, the self-anointed “world’s greatest orator” proved yet again that his only true ability is talking, by continuing to show he has no clue about foreign policy.

What no one seems to grasp is, that other than setting off bombs to create havoc, talking is what they do best in the Middle East. Barack Obama grew up in that environment. He comes by it naturally. Is it any wonder that his solution to everything is talking? It doesn’t matter whether he actually says anything of substance, all he needs to do is talk. If he can throw in an apology now and then, so much the better.

Lying is an acceptable strategy in Islam. Muslims may even renounce Allah or the prophet if the tactic is beneficial to them. There are several Koranic verses on the subject of lying, such as Surah 2:225, “God knows all and hears all. God will not call you to account for that which is inadvertent in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which is intended in your hearts. God is forgiving and lenient.”

In other words, legitimate negotiation is virtually impossible with a Muslim because there are no rules to govern the truth.

SEE RELATED: Backing Palestinians: Obama’s High Noon switcheroo in Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu needed American support, so Barack Obama went to Israel for a media created lovefest. Surrounded by countries that refuse to recognize their right to exist, Israel is in a perpetual state of protecting itself.

Obama desired the perception of credibility with Israel at home and Netanyahu needed the United States’ blessing in the event the Jewish nation is forced to take action against Iran.

Though speculative at best, here is one scenario of what followed the Obama/Netanyahu summit.

For President Obama the strategy was simple: Assure Netanyahu that the United States will look the other way if the time comes to protect itself from Iran. If Israel is successful, Obama can claim “We had your back.” If not, we deny any responsibility and let Israel take the heat.

In exchange for that commitment, Obama pressured Netanyahu into apologizing to Turkey for a 2010 incident when Israeli commandos stopped and boarded the Maui Marmara as it attempted to run a blockade which had been established to prevent weapons from being shipped to Hamas. Nine passengers were killed including some radical Islamists.

Israel’s prime minister bit his tongue and apologized to the Turks, despite the fact his country was guilty of nothing more than protecting itself.

In a White House statement issued Friday, Netanyahu’s apology was greeted as the “restoration of positive relations” between Israel and Turkey. Apparently the Turks didn’t get the message. On Saturday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced it was too soon to appoint an ambassador to Israel or to stop the prosecutions of Israeli Defense Force generals for their roles in the blockade attack.

With the current strained relations between the once friendly countries, it is important for Israel to find a way to re-establish good will with Turkey. Unfortunately, the Erdogan government is becoming increasingly Islamic.

Rather than improve Turkish/Israeli relations, Netanyahu’s apology has been viewed in the Muslim world as an acknowledgement of wrong-doing by Israel. While Hamas and Turkey celebrate, Obama has embarrassed Israel with his appeasement approach to foreign policy.

Turkey appears to have gained the advantage of demanding additional concessions from the Jews. Meanwhile, Israel now has another country to reckon with while fending off the likes of Iran and other hostile Islamic nations surrounding it.

Obamaworld becomes more dangerous by the day, but, like the tree that makes no noise in the forest if it falls when no one is around, if we remain oblivious to the peril, then it doesn’t really exist.

Besides, if it is not Obama’s fault, then nothing else matters. He can always blame George Bush.


Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to SwitzerlandFrance and Italy for groups of 12 or more.

Inquiries for groups can be made at Peabod@aol.com Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.





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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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