Politics

It’s good that Erdoğan skiped the White House visit

“It’s good Erdoğan didn’t go to the White House” as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives on July 24. It will be his fourt time, surpassing Winston Churchill.

Do you remember, President Tayyip Erdoğan postponed his visit to the White House, which was expected on May 9 upon the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden, although there was no official announcement? It’s good thing that he didn’t.

I’m not saying this because of the F-16 sales agreement that Turkey signed and put into effect on June 6. According to the information I received from defense sources, there was no delay; it was progressing “according to schedule.” If it had been delayed a bit more, there could have been difficulties with the $23 billion deal announced on January 24 due to price increases stemming from inflation in the U.S. I will write more about the F-16 issue.

Congress’s irrational and conscienceless invitation

But the reason I say “it’s good he didn’t go to the White House” is an announcement that came from Washington on the evening of June 6. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted the invitation to speak at a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives on July 24.

The invitation was made by both Republican and Democratic members. According to House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, “The bipartisan, bicameral meeting symbolizes the US and Israel’s enduring relationship and will offer Prime Minister Netanyahu the opportunity to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending their democracy, combatting terror, and establishing just and lasting peace in the region.”

This would be the fourth “opportunity” given by Congress to Netanyahu, who is currently condemned worldwide, except by the governments of G7 countries (the U.S., Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Italy), for the massacre of tens of thousands of civilian Palestinians in Gaza, to sugarcoat his actions.

This way, Netanyahu would surpass Winston Churchill, the iconic figure of World War II and the architect of the strategic Trans-Atlantic partnership between the U.S. and the UK as the British Prime Minister of the time.

This is an action that goes far beyond mocking humanity’s reason and conscience: it is an insult to that.

What about the White House?

“Democratic Socialist” Senator Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish himself, announced that he would protest the session where “war criminal Netanyahu” would speak. Sanders said to Johnson: “When you attend your fundraising dinners with your billionaire friends, and you eat your fine steaks, lobsters, and other wonderful food, please remember these pictures from Gaza.”

That’s the key point. With the financial power of the Israeli lobby and its full support for Netanyahu, they are making Biden and his rival Donald Trump play the game of “Who is more hawkish?” as they head towards the Presidential elections in November.

Those who invited Netanyahu to Congress also want Biden to invite Netanyahu to the White House while he is in Washington. Biden, who visited Netanyahu on October 18 to offer condolences and support after the Hamas attack on October 7, has not yet hosted the Israeli Prime Minister at the White House; in March, he announced that this invitation “would not happen soon.” However, in April, shortly before Erdoğan announced he wouldn’t go, Biden presented a $26 billion military aid package to Israel to Congress; Congress also approved it.

A question: If Trump announces he will meet with Netanyahu, will Biden open the doors of the White House?

An insult to reason and conscience

Biden is still making futile efforts to get his so-called “Peace Plan” announced on June 3 accepted and expects this to be appreciated worldwide.

In summary: Hamas will release all hostages, and Israel will cease fire.

Israel objected to the plan before Hamas. Two racist-theocratic coalition partners, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, threatened to withdraw from the government and topple Netanyahu, saying it would mean accepting defeat to Hamas.

However, under Biden’s instructions, CIA Director William Burns and White House Middle East Special Envoy Brett McGurk are shuttling between Cairo, Jerusalem, and Doha to get it accepted. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also be in Israel next week, who knows for the umpteenth time.

I don’t say it’s beyond mocking reason and conscience for nothing.

As of yesterday, the number of Palestinians killed since the Hamas attack on October 7 exceeded 37,000. Palestinians in Gaza, deprived of water, food, medicine, and shelter, continue to be targeted by Israeli attacks thanks to the political, financial, and military support provided by the U.S. and other G7 countries.

Erdoğan and the NATO Summit

President Erdoğan repeated in a joint press conference with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Ankara on June 6, “A ceasefire must be achieved as soon as possible”; “Countries providing ammunition and weapons support to Israel in its massacres are also accomplices in this crime.”

Erdoğan announced he had postponed the visit due to the “intensity of his schedule” shortly after U.S. Ambassador Flake said that the May 9 White House invitation would be announced soon. He did not have a busy schedule on those days. If he had gone, he might have had the “opportunity” to condemn Israel and stand up for Palestine in the White House, in front of Biden and the international press. Perhaps Biden and his team had already regretted the invitation, considering this possibility. However, that opportunity would probably not have served an action that benefitted Turkey’s political interests, including NATO.

We have the NATO 75th anniversary Summit in Washington ahead of us. The summit is on July 9-11, before Netanyahu’s Congressional speech. Erdoğan will attend that summit. Before or after the NATO summit, will Erdoğan go to the White House if Biden invites him? Would it be better if he went, or if he didn’t? Maybe waiting for the November elections is the best option.

Murat Yetkin

Journalist-Writer

Recent Posts

The endless labyrinth of Cyprus: letters, talks, realities

Reading the open letter by UN Cyprus Special Representative María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, one cannot…

4 hours ago

Turkish Police head’s loyalty display: A state within state?

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli's recent visit to the Police Special Operations Department…

21 hours ago

TUIK confusion: “Which inflation did you base the rate cut on?”

Unless the Minister of Treasury and Finance or the Governor of the Central Bank is…

1 day ago

From 1910 to 2024: Is Türkiye on the brink of another dog masacre?

Have you seen the 2010 short animation of Serge Avedikian called “Chienne d’histoire”? It tells…

2 days ago

Erdoğan towards the end of his Syria adventure: who will pay the bill?

"We want peace with Syria," President Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists on his return from the…

2 days ago

Diplomacy is changing: What should we do?

Artificial intelligence technology, the escalating severity of climate change, new types of hybrid warfare, the…

3 days ago