July 19, 2012
U.S. Caves to Turkey’s Demand
Zionist Org. of America (ZOA) Critical of Israel’s Exclusion from Counter-Terrorism Conferences in Madrid & Istanbul – Fits Obama Admin. Pattern of Excluding Israel
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has been critical of the Obama Administration’s recent excluding of Israel from two counter-terrorism conferences held with a large number of long-standing U.S. allies, first in Istanbul, Turkey, in June and again in Madrid, Spain last week. This fits a pattern of excluding or leaving out Israel that has characterized the Obama Administration.
The ZOA views this exclusion of Israel as grotesque and tragically ironic in view of reports yesterday that terrorists bombed a bus carrying Israeli tourists at Bargas Airport Bulgaria, killing seven, and wounding over 30, according to reports. (The attack came on the 18th anniversary of the Iran-sponsored terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires in 1994, in which 87 people were killed and over 100 maimed and injured).
Reports indicate that Israel’s exclusion by the Obama Administration from the State Department’s Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) came about at the behest of Turkey’s Islamist, vociferously anti-Israel Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to an Israeli report, “Israel tried hard to obtain an invitation to the meeting, and its exclusion, despite the tight US-Israeli intelligence ties, has greatly disappointed officials in Jerusalem” (Ran Dagoni, ‘US excludes Israel from anti-terror forum because of Turkey,’ Globes, June 10, 2012).
Established in September 2011, the GCTF’s aim, according to its website, is to help countries at the forefront in the fight against terrorism to share their “experiences, expertise, strategies” and to reduce the vulnerability of people everywhere to terrorism by effectively preventing, combating, and prosecuting terrorist acts and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism.
The GCTF has 30 members, of which 10 are Muslim countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Of these four, only Algeria lacks at present an Islamist government. Saudi Arabia has spread its pernicious Wahhabi jihadist ideology which has inspired numerous Islamist terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
At the Istanbul conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Terrorists now hold territory in Mali, Somalia, and Yemen. They are carrying out frequent and destabilizing attacks in Nigeria and the Maghreb. Here in Turkey, the PKK continues its long campaign of terror and violence, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives” (‘Opening Remarks at the Global Counterterrorism Forum,’ June 7, 2012). Secretary Clinton said nothing in her speech about the thousands of Israeli lives lost to Arab terrorism over the years.
In Madrid this week, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Maria Otero spoke of the meeting as being a “high-level conference on the victims of terrorism,” but, like Secretary Clinton the previous month, also made no reference to Israel among the countries named that had suffered terrorist attacks (‘Victims of Terrorism,’ July 9, 2012).
Dr. Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, has said, “Israel has been one of the key counterterrorism allies of the United States for 30 years … Its absence from an American-sponsored counter-terror conference raises questions that need to be answered” (‘Obama’s Exclusion of Israel at Counter-Terror Conference Rates Concern,’ Algemeiner Journal, July 15, 2012).