White House statement: The Gaza blockade is unsustainable

We saw it coming last night, and now here it is. “Unsustainable.” Thanks not to Hamas, but to Turkey.

“We are working urgently with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other international partners to develop new procedures for delivering more goods and assistance to Gaza,” said Mike Hammer, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

“The current arrangements are unsustainable and must be changed. For now, we call on all parties to join us in encouraging responsible decisions by all sides to avoid any unnecessary confrontations,” Hammer said in a statement…

“It remains a U.S. priority to provide assistance to the people of Gaza,” Hammer said.

“In the interest of the safety of all involved, and the safe transmission of assistance to the people of Gaza, we strongly encourage those on board the Rachel Corrie and other vessels to sail to Ashdod to deliver their materials to Gaza,” he said, referring to the Israeli port.

That last bit is the White House’s concession to Israel. Remember, the “activists” aboard the Corrie have already rejected the idea of cruising to Ashdod in favor of heading on to Gaza to challenge Israeli authority. This is Obama’s way of preemptively placing some blame on them in hopes that they’ll reconsider and avoid a confrontation with the IDF.

This has been quite a coup for Turkey, though, hasn’t it? Whatever “adjustment” is made to the blockade will be trumpeted by Erdogan and his cronies as a victory for both the country and Islam, a pair of identities that they hope to intertwine for their political benefit. Meanwhile, they’ll go on alternately rattling their saber at Israel and insisting that they really want to be friends, except that the Israelis make it so darned difficult. It’s a classic good cop/bad cop routine with Turkey in both roles — the secular-ish, western-friendly, quasi-European state on the one hand and the belligerent, overtly religious, Palestinian faux-champion on the other. The goal is to get everyone to tread lightly and make occasional concessions lest the bad cop overwhelm the good and Turkey be lost to the Islamist orbit forever. So here’s the first concession: The blockade is now “unsustainable,” thanks to a flotilla organized by degenerates from the Muslim Brotherhood and aided and abetted by Ankara. And Erdogan will play it to the hilt:

Lately for the first time, the AK [Islamist] government began to run into domestic problems. The poor status of the economy, the growing discontent of many Turks with creeping Islamism in the society, and the election — for the first time — of a popular leader for the opposition party began to give hope that next year’s elections might bring down the regime. Indeed, polls showed the AK sinking into or very close to second place. With the army neutered, elections are the only hope of getting Turkey off the road to Islamism…

But then the Gaza flotilla sailed in. Many oppositionist Turks see this as close to a conspiracy, and one can hardly blame them for doing so. A radical Islamist group close to the government organized this whole affair, which while nominally independent, enjoyed the Turkish government’s patronage…

Is this the magic weapon the AK will use to gain reelection next year? Many Turks think so, and are angry at Israel for, in their eyes, helping the survival of the regime they hate.

Relaxing the blockade also helps its survival insofar as the regime can take credit. But Obama has a national security agenda too — e.g., expanding special ops to target jihadists all over the world is a big part of it — and he doesn’t need provocateurs like Turkey demagoging him if/when the next U.S. operation somewhere goes horribly wrong, especially with Muslims already feeling disillusioned about Hopenchange. This is his attempt to buy a small reservoir of goodwill for later use. Hope it’s worth it, champ.