Russian-Turkish Pipeline May Leave Out Israel…
ISTANBUL-Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and a host of other world leaders are assembled today in Istanbul for a regional security summit.
In the early morning a roadside bomb exploded on the outskirts of the city, injuring 15 people, including at least 2 policemen. The attack is said to be unrelated to the summit, which appears to have gone off smoothly.
I have a new article out here on Russian PM Putin’s announcement that the Blue Stream II pipeline, which runs through Turkey, will not bring Russian energy to Israel as planned.
You can expect to hear a lot more about the pipelines running through Turkey in the next few years, especially the competing Nabucco and South Stream pipelines which are set to bring natural gas to Europe. Turkey is seeking to turn itself into a regional hub for these pipelines, a position that will add to the country’s already growing wealth and power.
Though Putin stressed that Israel perhaps not being included in the Blue Stream II project was based in commercial reasons-Israel recently discovered more of its own energy resources and might not need the energy from Blue Stream-there was a general consensus among the assembled leaders that there needed to be an investigation into the Israeli boarding of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara last week, which left nine Turks dead.
Israel is continuing to be defiant in the face of international demands for an investigation into the incident. Though among most Israelis there is a real desire for peace, many feel that they are suffering from a double standard being set by the rest of the world after their soldiers tried to defend themselves while being attacked. The entire boarding of the Mavi Marmara was done with the intent to protect Israel and to not allow any precedent of ships running their blockade of Gaza, they feel.
The botched and unprofessional boarding of the ship, followed by poorly constructed propaganda meant to present their side of the story, has made global opinion of Israel drop to a new low and left the country further isolated. From insulting the very pro-Israel US vice-president Joe Biden to this raid on the Turkish boat, Turkey being their closest ally in the region, Israel appears to be uninterested in diplomacy. This stems from a fear that Israel is in danger of ceasing to exist and that the rest of the world is not allowing it the ability to protect itself. When caged, the natural tendency is to lash out and should Israel engage in any large scale military efforts, as it regularly does, the results may be even messier than usual. Whenever I’ve traveled in Israel people have expressed hopes for peace, but also a disenchantment with the way the rest of the world sees their position. Though they have the backing of most of the world’s powers they still feel victimized, that a double standard has been set against them.
Speaking about investigations…the UN is set to vote this week on sanctions for Iran.
Just as defiant as Israel, today in Istanbul Iranian President Ahmadinejad said that new sanctions would mean he will walk away from the negotiating table over Iran’s nuclear program.
I contributed reporting to an article on that issue here.