During the speech, West turned to the issue of the Gaza flotilla that has been making headlines in recent weeks. A group of pro-Palestinian activists, led by several Turkish groups, have said they plan to sail to Gaza on a humanitarian mission to break the Israeli blockade. Last year, Israeli commandos killed a number of activists on a similar mission, including one American citizen.
But West seems to think that because Turks are involved in the flotilla, it’s actually the Turkish government that is leading the charge. Thus, West said to Gaffney’s group, because Turkey is a NATO ally, the United States would have to attack Israel if Israeli defense forces again storm the flotilla:
WEST: And be very nervous about one simple thing. I know that we were talking about this flotilla. If Turkey establishes a flotilla, and supports a flotilla going down, and all of the sudden Israel attacks this flotilla, Turkey is a member of the EU and also a member of the NATO, can wave and say, “As a member of NATO, we have been attacked and therefore, part of the charter is all NATO countries must come to the aid of a NATO member that’s been attacked.”
And see, this is the kind of stuff that I sit down in my lonely little apartment in Washington, DC and I think about.
During the same speech, West also called Fatah, the political block ruling the Palestinian Authority, “a terrorist group,” adding that if the Palestinians go to the U.N. this summer to declare statehood, it will be “nothing more than a new terrorist state.” Watch it:
First, “Fatah is not currently regarded as a terrorist organization by any government.” But second, West’s understanding of NATO and the situation with the flotilla is way off. Turkish rights groups, not the Turkish government, are sponsoring the flotilla, thereby making NATO, and Article V of the Washington Treaty, completely irrelevant. Moreover, Haaretz reported this week that Turkish representation in the flotilla will be limited because the main flotilla sponsor, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, announced that it will not participate in the mission.
But also, even if West’s imaginary scenario had some sort of basis in reality, he’d know that the United States never attacked Israel last year when Israeli commandos raided the flotilla. In fact, the U.S. government barely said anything about the Israelis killing an American during the operation.
It’s sort of ironic then, that West said in the same speech that the GOP’s presidential candidates don’t know anything about national security. Yet, these are the issues that, according to West, he sits down in his lonely apartment in DC and thinks about.