Gaza’s Diplomatic Fallout Less Damaging Than Feared

Gaza’s Diplomatic Fallout Less Damaging Than Feared By MASSIMO CALABRESI / WASHINGTON Friday, Jun. 04, 2010

A lone protester holds a sign criticizing the Israeli blockade of Gaza, outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California on JuneIsrael’s raid on the Gaza aid flotilla last Monday initially appeared to many as an unmitigated disaster to the Obama Administration, for three reasons: First, the U.S. would have to protect Israel against a furious diplomatic backlash from other countries, potentially damaging U.S.-led alliances at NATO and the U.N. Second, it would undermine the U.S.-led peace process by inflaming Palestinian anger at Israel, creating a pretext for the Palestinian side to derail the fragile indirect negotiations they agreed to with great skepticism. Third, it would hurt U.S. efforts to get new sanctions against Iran passed by the U.N. Security Council because Turkey, whose government had tacitly encouraged the flotilla and which lost four of its nationals in violence that followed Israel’s attempt to commandeer one of the vessels, holds one of the rotating seats on the Council.

So far, however, U.S. officials say none of those fears has materialized. To be sure, Israeli-Turkish relations are in a real crisis, which the U.S. i…

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