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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Sep-2011
11-Sep-11 World View -- Political crises in Turkey, Egypt and Israel

Web Log - September, 2011

11-Sep-11 World View -- Political crises in Turkey, Egypt and Israel

Egypt's government in crisis after storming of Israel's embassy

This morning's key headlines from

* Political crises in Turkey, Egypt and Israel
* Netanyahu pledges allegiance to treaty with Egypt
* Avigdor Lieberman threatens to aid Turkey's PKK terrorists
* Turkey's Erdogan forced to soften military threat to Israel
* Egypt's government in crisis after storming of Israel's embassy
* China: Chaos in North Korea over rise of Kim Jong-un
* Uyghur Unrest in Xinjiang shakes relations between China and Pakistan

Netanyahu pledges allegiance to treaty with Egypt

Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday (Reuters)
Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday (Reuters)

With Israel facing new crises with both Turkey and Egypt, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is avoiding commenting on Turkey's implied threat of military clashes with Israel's navy. However, Netanyahu announced that Israel will continue to adhere to the peace treaty with Egypt, which serves the interest of both countries. This follows a dramatic 24-hours during which an Egyptian mob laid siege to Israelís embassy in Cairo. Jerusalem Post

Avigdor Lieberman threatens to aid Turkey's PKK terrorists

While Netanyahu avoided commenting on Turkey's threat, his far right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was not so reticent. Lieberman assembled a team to consider ways of retaliating against Turkey. One recommendation is to arm the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a terrorist group in Turkey. Another suggestion would be to offer assistance to Armenians who have accused Turkey of genocide, and file UN reports. The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying, "Our policy was and remains to prevent a breakdown of relations with Turkey and easing the tensions between the countries. ... Israel has and is acting responsibly and hopes Turkey will act accordingly." Haaretz

Turkey's Erdogan forced to soften military threat to Israel

Friday's escalated threat by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Turkey's navy to accompany foreign flag aid ships to Gaza, risking a military clash with Israel's navy, has alarmed both internal and external observers. The threat has polarized Turkish politics, with Erdogan's opponents, led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, demanding "justification," as we reported yesterday. Among Erdogan's supporters, some are implying that Kilicdaroglu is a traitor and lover of Israel. AP and Zaman

Nonetheless, Erdogan's office has released a statement saying that his threat of a military clash was a mistranslation of his actual words. According to the statement:

"We stressed the principle that we will ensure the safe movement of Gaza's aid vessel. The eastern Mediterranean Sea is not Israel's private playground. As long as it avoids intervening in the freedom of movement in the region, we won't send any warships to escort the vessels.

It appeared as if we were offering to have warships escort every aid vessel. This is not true. Turkey will defend the rights of its citizens only when Israel chooses to intervene and prevent free movement in international waters."

Since Turkey already claims that Israel's blockade of Gaza "prevent[s] free movement in international waters," it's hard for me to read this new statement as a retraction. However, it does appear to be a softening, forced on Erdogan by political pressure. Ynet

Egypt's government in crisis after storming of Israel's embassy

 Demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy building in Cairo early on Saturday (AFP)
Demonstrators outside the Israeli embassy building in Cairo early on Saturday (AFP)

Egypt's security forces are on high alert, after three people were killed and 1,049 wounded in clashes that began on Friday and continued into Saturday, around the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Egypt's government held a crisis meeting in which prime minister Essam Sharaf offered to resign, an offer that the military council rejected. Egypt has announced that it will find and prosecute those responsible for the embassy violence, and will implement a state of emergency again. The repeal of emergency laws was a key demand of protesters in the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February. In a televised message Saturday, the information minister Osama Heikal said the government was committed to protecting all embassies in Egypt after three people were killed in overnight clashes, and authorities would apply "all articles of the emergency law to ensure safety". Reuters and The National (UAE)

China: Chaos in North Korea over rise of Kim Jong-un

With North Korea's president Kim Jong-il approaching his 70th birthday, and pushing his young son Kim Jong-un as his successor, Chinese scholars and politicians are expecting chaos when Kim finally steps down and lets his son take over. According to Professor Liu Ming of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences:

"Without Kim Jong-il's rule, the personality cult will be phased out and some long-restrained opinion and behavior will gradually burst out, [and] the three-four years after Kim Jong-il] will be a very dangerous period" while Kim Jong-un and his family will regain power and order. [The son] "will try to reestablish the personality cult again, [even as] less and less people will continue to believe a mystified Kim Jong-un. "Many people, including the military, doubt the legitimacy of the hereditary succession for three generations and particularly the qualifications of Kim Jong-un."

Asia Times

Uyghur Unrest in Xinjiang shakes relations between China and Pakistan

Pakistan's President Zardari and China's President Hu Jintao
Pakistan's President Zardari and China's President Hu Jintao

The number of terrorist incidents by Muslim Uyghurs in China's northwest Xinjiang province has been increasing, causing death, destruction and ethnic tension the cities of Kashgar and Hotan. The situation was further complicated when the government of the city of Kashgar published a statement online that claimed at least one of the perpetrators had been trained in Pakistan. The allegation by Chinese officials cast a shadow over Sino-Pakistani relations, a bilateral relationship that had been characterized in Kashgar just the month before by Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khan as "higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel, sweeter than honey, and dearer than eyesight." Sounds like true love to me. Jamestown

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-Sep-11 News -- Ten years after 9/11, Muslims and Westerners are far apart thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Sep-2011) Permanent Link
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