…for thinking that the election of David Cameron in Britain might make a real difference in the direction of British policy.
I was wrong. In a speech in Ankara, Turkey, Cameron did his best imitation of Barack Obama’s apology tour:
… let me turn to the prejudiced – those who don’t differentiate between real Islam and the extremist version.
They don’t understand the values that Islam shares with other religions like Christianity and Judaism that all of these are inherently peaceful religions. Nor do they understand that Turkey is a peaceful country, with a long history of religious tolerance.
Turkey thus is absolved of all responsibility for its own actions which in the past several years have been anything but as described by Cameron. The rise of anti-Western, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic forces in Turkey is our fault, no doubt, in this twisted view of reality.
The highlight of the speech, which is sure to have the left-wing media and blogs crowing with ecstasy, was when Cameron attacked Israel for the flotilla confrontation and called Gaza “a prison camp”:
I know that Gaza has led to real strains in Turkey’s relationship with Israel, but Turkey is a friend of Israel, and I urge Turkey, and Israel, not to give up on that friendship.
Let me be clear: the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable. And I have told Prime Minister Netanyahu we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous. Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.
Yet Cameron mentioned not a single word of criticism for the fact that Turkey instigated the Gaza flotilla incident, that there were Islamist provocateurs on the lead ship, that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has been attacking Israel for years, and that Turkey has tried to undermine U.N. sanctions against Iran.
If Cameron didn’t want to criticize Turkey while visiting, fine, but don’t engage in false narratives to please your hosts, either.
As for referring to Gaza as a prison camp, there also was not a single word of criticism for the Palestinians — particularly the Hamas Islamists — who turned Gaza into a missile base for Iran and Hezbollah after Israel departed in 2005. If Gaza is a prison, it is a prison of its own making.
Cameron could have shown some guts, and asked Turkey to stop instigating trouble and the Palestinians to abandon the armament of Gaza. The two issues are intimately connected, as the reason the Islamists want the naval blockade lifted is so that Iran more easily can ship heavy weapons.
David Cameron’s apology tour will win him no respect, and will encourage those who view the West as weak and in decline.
We’ve been there, and done that.