He has been playing Egyptian politics, by adding to the rhetorical fuel that propelled an Islamist mob into the Israeli embassy in Cairo last Friday. He is himself in Cairo, this week, on a mission to harness grievances against Israel, in the very fluid circumstances of the “Arab Spring.” For action against this common enemy is the one thing that can unite all disparate Arab factions – potentially under Turkish leadership.

The West is just watching, while Erdogan creates pretexts for another Middle Eastern war: one in which Israel may be pitted not only against the neighbouring states of the old Arab League, but also Turkey, and Iran, and Hamas, and Hezbollah.

This is what is called an “existential threat” to Israel, unfolding in live time. It could leave the West with a choice between defending Israel, and permitting another Holocaust. In other words, we are staring at the trigger for a genuine world war. With Recip Erdogan’s twitching finger on it.