Turkey is erupting as the hottest anti-Israeli belligerent state of the Middle East.
The US ally and NATO member that aspires to join the European Union now ranks as chief instigator, leader and organizer of the so-called Gaza aid flotilla of boats tackled overnight by Israeli commandos.
Inevitably the clash resulted in several dead and wounded including Israeli navy personnel, as well as a predictable torrent of condemnation and anti-Semitic flood of insults from Western Europe and the Arab world.
Yet there was nothing accidental about this collision.
Videos show demonstrators on the boat attacking Israeli navy personnel with knives and live fire, and seizing at least one of the soldiers' weapons. Training, preparations and the loud propaganda preceded the flotilla -- all earmarked to shed blood and launch another "hate the Jews" campaign.
Turkey and Hamas, the Islamist group governing Gaza since 2007, overtly teamed up for weeks to engineer the exercise. It was out there for all to see on Al Jazeera. So-called "non-governmental" aid groups included Turkish militants, trained to fight and prepared to shed blood. The charade was meticulously watched over by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, whose Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spared no effort inveighing sentiments against Israel in the greater Middle East region ever since his party emerged in 2002.
The "Hate the Jews" campaign will undoubtedly follow its course to the United Nations, where the Security Council will fashion yet one more anti-Israeli resolution within days.
We have been here many times before, but never under the leadership of a so-called ally, as Turkey.
Unfortunately the Turkish-Hamas campaign is advancing with a seemingly naive White House, which today issued a statement that smacked too much of anti-Israeli blame, "regretting" loss of life.
There is nothing new about blockades.
The US has used one against Cuba for nearly 60 years under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Britain imposed a blockade in 1982 on the Falkland Islands and launched a 74 days long war resulting in the death of 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers to protect its sovereignty over these far-flung territories occupied by Argentina. Egypt, too, has declared a stern blockade on Gaza since 2007, reinforced with an 18-feet-deep steel wall currently built on the borders to prevent tunnels to Gaza. How come we never hear any voices accusing Egypt of a blockade?
The Obama administration, which ought to stand by Israel's right to protect its borders, is, instead, drifting. The only statement that ought to come out of the White House is one to support international law, which allows any sovereign state to protect the sanctity of its borders against unlawful intrusions -- and flotillas.
At least nine armed Turks were killed, and dozens were wounded, overnight aboard the so-called aid flotilla as it made its way for the Gaza Strip when Israeli naval commandos seized control. There was nothing peaceful about those on board. As reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the people on it were chanting, "[Remember] Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews! The Army of Mohammed will return" [to kill you], and were talking of providing weapons, and martyrdom.
The Turkish role is seriously disturbing in today's Middle East. Two US Democratic administrations, those of Carter and Clinton, oversaw a determined American mediation to bring about peace treaties between Israel and two Arab countries—Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in the eighties.
Now, a Democratic administration watches haplessly a renewed sinister encirclement led by Turkey, with the membership of Hezbollah and Hamas, and an isolated Syria, designate Israel as an enemy state.
The Obama administration's lackadaisical response is at least suspicious. From Day One, President Obama's effusive embrace of the "Muslim World," spanning his inauguration speech to his Cairo speech, and his extended hand to Iran, have planted seeds of encouragement to those in the Middle East who think it is time to launch yet another war on the Jewish state.
There has been a feeding frenzy in progress for months in the Arab and Turkish media, now nourished further by this death flotilla.
It may not have been the president's intent to appear sympathetic to the wrong party, but it is not entirely accidental, given an inordinate number of Middle East experts sprinkled across his administration – most of them Jews. Surely these folks should have been heard from earlier, telling Turkey to stop it; not admonishing Israel for doing so.
The Turkish role is sinister; it could very well lead to a new war.
The excited participation of European countries rushing to condemn Israel is creepy.
And the whiff of anti-Semitism hangs heavily in the air.
Youssef M. Ibrahim is a senior fellow in the Federation for the Defense of Democracies and a columnist for the New York Sun