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A better option for NATO than an Islamic Turkey

Reader comment on item: The Erdo─čan Enigma

Submitted by Saul Stein, Apr 21, 2017 at 14:07

As you point out in your article about Erdogan, it is time we consider whether an Islamic dictatorship, or any dictatorship for that matter, belongs in NATO. If the U.S. is forced to remove Turkey from NATO, we must consider a suitable replacement. My nomination goes to Israel.

True, Israel would not receive universal approval, but it has much to recommend it. For example:

1. Militarily, Israel would be at least an "in kind" replacement for Turkey. It would more than likely be an upgrade.
2. Israel can be counted on to spend more than 2% of GDP on Defense. This is a key necessity for NATO at this time.
3. Accepting Israel into NATO provides and excellent opportunity to remove Israel from the list of nations receiving U.S. Aid. As I've heard you say before, Israel's Economy is strong enough to come up with the $3.5 Billion or so per year that it receives from the U.S. Better yet, this annual sum can be put to use helping to alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis, which would benefit both Europe and the U.S. It's time Israel gets off "the dole" and becoming a member of NATO would be a suitable way to address Israel's security needs.
4. This would send a very strong signal to Iran, Nuclear Deal or not.

There are potential problems, of course:
1. Israel isn't exactly in the North Atlantic. But neither is Turkey, or Italy, or Greece for that matter.
2. Russia won't like it one bit. But they'd complain if we brought Albania into NATO. Or Singapore.
3. There will be many in the European Left who will complain - like France, Italy, Sweden and probably Germany. But by using the money that use to go to Israeli Financial Aid for helping solve the refugee crisis, and providing a way to keep those refugees in the Middle East rather than coming to Europe, I'd bet those countries could be brought in line.
4. The Palestinians will obviously have a conniption fit. But so what? Until they come around to admitting that Israel is the historical Homeland of the Jewish People, for which there is overwhelming archeological evidence (Titus's Arch in Rome - hello!), they need to be told that they are hopelessly out of touch with reality and it's time to "get a grip". Who knows, maybe admitting Israel into NATO will send the message to the Palestinians that it's time they realize the need to accept Israel as their neighbor and make a deal that works for everyone.

The pros for this proposal are mostly pragmatic and substantive, while the cons have more to do with emotional reaction to admitting the Jewish State to any International Forum (in other words - bigotry). Admitting Israel into NATO, with or without removing Turkey, makes NATO stronger while at the same time providing other benefits for Europe and perhaps the Middle East as well. Erdogan's obsession with power provides us with an opportunity, assuming we can think outside of the box.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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