The absolute cluelessness of the IDF beggars belief at times and this is one of them. Amidst a mystifying warming trend between the Israeli and Turkish governments which I wrote about last night, the Israeli army has appointed a new military attaché for Turkey. Since Turkey is one of the most sensitive countries in the world in terms of Israeli relations you’d think they’d appoint an individual with some background in Turkey, perhaps familiar with the language, definitely someone who has relationships there and would be seen as sympathetic by the Turks. Who did they appoint? None of the above.
Yediot reports the new attaché is Col. Moshe Levi, past administrator of the Gaza siege. He’s the guy responsible for making cardamom treif for Gaza. They guy starving Gazan babies. The guy preventing Gaza from rebuilding after the devastation wrought by Operation Cast Lead, a massacre denounced fulsomely by Turkey’s prime minister. The guy who had the chutzpah to say the following in May 2010 as last year’s fateful Gaza flotilla was getting underway:
Colonel Moshe Levi, commander of the Gaza District Coordination Office, told reporters Wednesday that there is no shortage of food or equipment in the Hamas-ruled territory.
“The sail is a provocative act that is unnecessary in light of the figures, which indicate that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is good and stable,” he said, adding that Israel allows the transfer of many products to the Strip,
Now, how do we see this appointment? Is it an act of provocation by the IDF against Turkey’s civilian government? Is it an appointment vetted with the Israeli prime minister (and thus is Bibi in on it too)? Or is it cynicism or just plain obtuseness? Or are they punishing the guy for not starving Gaza enough? Or all of the above? Yediot reports that the position in Ankara is no longer thought to be the attractive one it once was due to the frigidity of bilateral relations between the two countries. So they had to exert pressure on Levi to take the post. Gee, you’d think those responsible for this brilliant piece of personnel management might’ve stopped to think whether P.M. Erdogan might see it as a slap in the face given Levi’s past.
This passage from the Yediot article indicates that the IDF remains clueless about how Levi’s past will appear to his new Turkish interlocutors:
Tzahal hopes that the new winds blowing from Turkey will renew strategic collaboration between the two nations and ease the service of the new attaché.
I’d say: not likely, unless they think a CV that would be specially attractive to the Turks would include past service that produced profound suffering for Gaza’s 1.5 million civilians. One wonders whether Levi plans to put Turkey on the same type of “diet” he put Gaza on?