Michael Koplow notes that, since Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009, “no country has been more vocal about the plight of the Palestinians than Turkey.” But, so far, save a basic condemnation, they seem to be steering clear of the new conflict in Gaza. His theory as to why:
Turkey’s problem with PKK terrorism [Kurdish seperatists], combined with the inevitable civilian casualties that occur when fighting terrorist groups embedded amongst the general population, makes it harder this time around for Turkey to angrily denounce Israel as it once did. While I expected Turkey to issue a condemnation of Israeli actions, it is not surprising that it did not have the full force as it has in the past given the uncomfortable parallels that exist between Israel’s actions against Hamas and Turkey’s actions against the PKK.
Eric Trager goes through Egypt’s reaction:
On one hand, Egypt’s diplomatic and security establishments are urging calm. … Yet the Muslim Brotherhood is pulling Morsi in a very different direction. In the wake of Wednesday’s fighting, the Brotherhood called on Morsi to “sever diplomatic and trade relations with this usurper entity,” so that the Egyptian government can “begin to be a role model for Arabs and Muslims who keep relations with this entity.” The Brotherhood will also organize mass protests against Israel on Friday, and prominent Brotherhood leaders have insisted that post-revolutionary Egypt be more supportive of the Palestinians. “The Egyptian people revolted against injustice and will not accept the attack on Gaza,” tweeted Brotherhood political party chairman Saad al-Katatny.
Egypt’s latest tactic:
Al-Jazeera is reporting that Egypt’s prime minister, Hesham Qandil, is to lead an Egyptian delegation into Gaza tomorrow as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians. The Egyptians may have calculated that such a move will necessarily force Israel to pause its air assault on the Gaza Strip, and marks a real break from Mubarak-era policy towards Israel, without being openly hostile.
(Photo: Palestinian rescue teams help a man partially buried in the sand in the garden of his house following an Israeli air strike on Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on November 15, 2012. By Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)