Last year, the Obama administration and State Department promoted the Global Counterterrorism Forum, but acquiesced to Turkey’s demand that Israel be excluded from the forum. Apparently, as seen by his repeated endorsements of Hamas, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that terrorism is always bad, unless directed at Israelis.
Last July, Rick Richman and Jonathan Tobin noted that long after Secretary Clinton had promised to do what was necessary to win Israel’s inclusion, forum meetings were going ahead without the Jewish state’s presence. Well, it’s happened again.
According to CNS’s Patrick Goodenough, the State Department has acquiesced to the forum again excluding Israel. Goodenough reports, “Six months after the Obama administration said it was ‘committed’ to involving Israel in its flagship international counter-terrorism initiative, there has evidently been little progress….”
The issue is not simply Israel’s exclusion, or the State Department’s belief that more intolerant states like Lebanon and Turkey might stay away if Israelis were at the same forum. Rather, the problem is that these radicals believe that U.S. acquiescence to their refusal to allow Israel’s inclusion is an implicit U.S. endorsement of their drive to delegitimize Israel completely. Clinton’s refusal to pull the carpet out from under the meeting by putting U.S. participation on the line not only undercuts global counter-terrorism by signaling that terrorism against Israel needn’t be on the table, but also convinces the Erdoðans of the world that momentum is on their side.
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