The leader of ISIS broke his seven-month public silence by threatening to
attack Israel, just as Israel and Turkey are close to restoring full relations after a five-year crisis. There’s a link here, and I discussed it a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV Radio in Pittsburgh. ISIS is in trouble, and the go-to move in such circumstances is to try to draw Israel into the battle. Likewise, when Turkey reoriented its attention from Europe toward the Arab world, its first step was to turn hostile toward Israel.
Now Turkey’s interests are changing, and a rapprochement with Israel is in its interest. Not surprisingly, opposition is coming from Israel’s right wing, calling this a deal with the devil because of Turkey’s recent history of hostility and support for groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
Israel’s right, including the present government, has made a career out of scaring its people over every possible threat, real and imagined. The guiding philosophy is that the whole world is against Israel, and Israel must always be on the defensive. But now, when one of the threats–Turkey–can be removed from the list, even temporarily, elements of the right oppose the move. That sounds to me like that old description of the classic ideologue: “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts.” There’s a lot of that going around…