[Freemanlist2] Dr. Aaron Lerner - Commentary "Quick Draw" Olmert Visits Turkey

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Fri Feb 16 10:04:13 CST 2007


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May this year bring Israel security and prosperity. May haShem inspire his People to bring an end to the to the tyranny and appeasement of Ehud Olmert.
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Weekly Commentary "Quick Draw" Olmert Visits Turkey
Dr. Aaron Lerner                   Date: 15 February, 2007

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday agreed to let a Turkish team inspect 
the construction site at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, work 
Muslims fear will harm the face of the nearby Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Olmert had shown him 
photographs of the construction work, but had failed to convince him that it 
would not harm the holy sites there. Olmert agreed to a Turkish suggestion 
for a technical team from Turkey to inspect the site, Erdogan said.

Olmert said he agreed to the inspection because "Israel has nothing to 
hide." "
Amiram Barkat and Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondents 15 February


Under normal circumstances, intensive and painstaking negotiations and 
preparation would hide behind the "script" such a narrative presents.

But that's not how "Quick Draw" Olmert operates.

Prime Minister Erdogan pitched the idea on the fly and Olmert responded, 
after giving it about as much thought as the time it takes to read this 
sentence.  Or less.

Could things have been handled differently?

Absolutely.

The Israeli advance team could have shown their Turkish counterparts the 
presentation Olmert was planning to make to their boss to establish what the 
reaction was going to be.

Erdogan's idea to involve Turkish experts could then have been developed and 
explored by the advance team instead of considered for a millisecond by Mr. 
Olmert.

And if the idea made sense the text of the joint announcement would have 
been drafted in advance of the meeting.

The announcement would have clearly set the parameters of the Turkish team's 
visit so that there were no surprises.  In point of fact, considering the 
sensitivity of the matter, and given that Turkey is a quick flight away from 
Israel, one would have expected a preliminary unofficial visit of someone 
from the Turkish team before the announcement just to make sure that there 
were no misunderstandings.

Turkey would have made its contribution toward defusing the situation and 
Israel would have gained an interaction with Turkey that at least implied 
their acceptance of Israel's current control of the Old City.

But this wasn't done.

Instead, already tonight Mr. Olmert is trying to recast what he agreed to 
after Mr. Erdogan's office issued a press release describing the initiative.

Yes.  It wasn't even a joint announcement.

And since the parameters of the visit were not set, and given that there 
will be considerable pressure from the Moslem world on the Turks to condemn 
Israel, come what may, there is every reason to expect that that is what 
will happen.

Instead of addressing the very dry question as to whether or not the 
excavation at the Mugrabi Gate physically endangers the adjacent Temple 
Mount, the Turkish team can use this opportunity to blast Israel for 
excavating in "occupied Jerusalem" and then extrapolate from that to 
whatever flights of fantasy they wish regarding how Israeli activities and 
policies in "occupied Jerusalem" endanger the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

So instead of a positive meeting we now have damage control.

One thing is certain:  "Quick Draw" Olmert hasn't learned from his mistakes.

And this is costing Israel dearly.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra at netvision.net.il
Website: www.imra.org.il
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