Things in Middle East are quickly spiraling out of control. The Palestinians want to import weapons from Iran, to stockpile for the next war with Israel, but are prevented from doing so by the Israeli naval blockade. They realize they can’t stop the Israelis militarily, so they’ve turned to the world court of public opinion.
So, the Palestinians set a trap for Israel and they sailed right into it. Israeli SEALs boarded a ship in a Turkish flotilla supposedly carrying humanitarian supplies and were promptly knifed and clubbed by the so-called “peace activists” aboard. They didn’t use guns, but knives and steel pipes – which look harmless in the after-action photos. So does their cargo of the teddy bears,diapers and wheelchairs.
But not so the Israeli SEALs, who killed nine of the ship’s passengers in the melee. The UN moved speedily to condemn Israel. So did Turkey, Israel’s onetime ally in the region, which has now turned its sights to a bigger role in the Muslim world. So far President Obama has been neutral, condemning "violence" in general.
But the Palestinians have inched one step closer in their ultimate goal -- to separate the White House from Israel and then provoke a war. They’ll settle for the U.S. remaining neutral in the Arab-Israeli disputes; so far they’re close.
What happens when the next "peace flotilla" leaves Turkey bound for Gaza? Will the Israelis seize and search it? Will it end in more violence and condemnations of Israel? Or will Israel ultimately be forced to bow to world public opinion and end its blockade? Will Obama move from neutrality to condemnation?
The next few ships to challenge the blockade will likely be filled with more children’s toys and baby formula. But once the blockade is broken, those ships will be filled with missiles, weapons and ammunition bound for Hezbollah and Hamas.
But this isn’t really about Israel and the Palestinians. It’s about Iran and nuclear weapons and the Obama’s credibility in the region. After assuring the Israelis for the last year that they’re going to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program with diplomacy and sanctions, they’ve privately resigned themselves to a nuclear Iran, saying Team Obama can contain it. They figure to force an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that will turn the tide in the Middle East away from conflict.
The plan makes no sense to anyone other than Team Obama. The Iranians don’t want it, the Israelis don’t believe it, and the Palestinians are itching for another fight. Meanwhile the President keeps making those eloquent speeches that increasingly nobody believes. And the clouds of war are gathering.
Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of FoxNews.com's "DefCon 3." She served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations