Thread: It's interesting that some commentators who expressed concern over the Abraham Accords not doing enough to get concessions from Israel on a Palestinian state...are often the SAME ones who appeased Iran (and often Turkey too) and thus drove Israel and the Gulf together.
What people don't understand about appeasing aggressive countries like Iran is that when you do it, there is unforeseen blowback. When threatened, countries will come together, and thus you achieve the opposite of what you thought "engaging moderates" would do
Imagine for instance if Ankara had been stopped before invading might have worked more peacefully in EastMed, instead of pushing a crisis that rapidly led to military and defense ties, end of arms embargo for Cyprus etc...
If you signal to an aggressive, militarist country it can do what ever it wants, eventually those it threatens will unite, usually fearing for their own survival if they don't. Threats against Israel, for instance, never achieved anything for the aggressors.
Western countries have too often thought that "engagement" by "diplomacy" will achieve results. But look at the Syria's conflict. It was the Astana process that achieved results, never John Kerry and his "process"...because actions lead to results, not talk.
If you create a vacuum of power through not being willing to stand up to aggression, then something will fill the vacuum. Each action has a reaction. This is science and international relations. Ignoring the need to be tough in the face of threats leads to policy missteps.
This idea that you always have to give regimes like Iran everything they want or they might be "more extreme" is predicated on false notions that to stop extremism, you have to give it things. All that does is lead to the opposite goal that was intended.

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More from @sfrantzman

17 Sep
Thread: I blocked two people last evening because I saw them discussing whether Palestinians should pursue "armed struggle"...I felt bad, but they aren't Palestinian, and I find it macabre for people to discuss others engaging in war that can harm civilians so cavalierly
One of the entitled notions of discussing the "conflict" in the West has tended to empower people to feel that they can discuss the lives of people in the Middle East using what seem like sterile terms such as "armed struggle" without admitting what they are discussing.
The people discussing the "armed struggle" don't pay any of the consequences, so for instance they won't live under curfew or rocket fire or sirens or tanks in the street. That feels to me like colonialism. Colonizing someone else's "conflict" to encourage suffering
Read 14 tweets
31 Aug
I basically read state media every morning since a lot of the coverage of the Middle East I do requires being up on what is being said by pro-government media from Russia to Riyadh, Tehran to Damascus...and Turkey's pro-government media is today the least diverse, most propaganda
I mean if you read Fars News or Tasnim sometimes you get a hint of criticism of the government by other government officials or groups jockeying for power; and even discussion of government failures/setbacks...with Ankara's media is just "government did this that and this"
You can read Tass media in Russia and at least learn that an alleged "Russian spy" was detained, all you get in Turkey is bombastic statements and an endless parade of militarist AK Party talking points at places like's pure propaganda
Read 6 tweets
29 Aug
There is talk of conflict in the eastern Mediterranean, but in reality Ankara enjoys creating these crises every month, whether in Libya or Syria or Iraq or now the Med. the idea that Ankara wants a conflict with Greece is false: it knows Greece is not Afrin, it only attack weak
Ankara’s goal is the Ata to try to get some compromise. It talks tonight because it got used to always getting what it wants through threats, just as it got US to leave part of Syria in October 2019, it’s drunk on power. But it knows reality of real conflict with major country
Ankara’s recent military experience is fighting Haftar using Syrian rebels and drones; bragging of fighting the Syrian regime, bombing villages in Iraq, the 2015-2016 PKK conflict in Turkey and attacking innocents like Hevrin Khalaf in 2019. It is wary of major conflict through.
Read 5 tweets
12 Aug
Israel says that it’s Directorate of Security for the Defense Establishment in cooperation with additional security institutions, has thwarted a cyber-attack targeting Israel's leading defense industries.
Israel says : an international cyber group called "Lazarus” - an organization that is backed by a foreign country. Members of the group used various hacking techniques, including 'social engineering' and impersonation. #breakingnews #Israelnews
“They built fake profiles on Linkedin, a social network that is used primarily for job searches in the high-tech sector. The attackers impersonated managers, CEOs and leading officials in HR departments, and contacted employees of leading defense industries in Israel,”
Read 4 tweets
13 Jun
It's interesting how language and media work...Ankara's outlets pushed the "warlord" term for Haftar...notice of course they don't call Syrian rebel commanders "warlord" or or even Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis...terminology is important. It is used carefully and with consideration.
For instance...Houthis are "rebels" and Syrian rebels are "opposition" whereas the Iranian-backed proxies are "militias"...Hamas maybe "terrorist" or "militants"...Hezbollah are "fighters" and Nasrallah "chief"...Nasrallah is not a "warlord." Not "rogue."
Interesting also you can follow terms like "moderates" and "hard liners" and "militants"...I mean Taliban "commanders" are not "warlords." Like in the 1980s the "right wing death squads"...and "left wing militants"....very interesting. Who are "terrorists" and who "militants"?
Read 4 tweets
30 May
What a strange BBC headline. Turkey has the most cases in the region and the second highest number of deaths in the Middle East; it sought to downplay the crisis in March before taking action. There are a dozen countries that did better by a variety of measures in the region.
It's convenient the article didn't give us a comparable snapshot, so I made one, for other countries in the Middle East and Greece (a neighbor of Turkey)...from a point of view of death toll or cases per capita or even testing...take a look:
Someone called this chart “misleading”....blocked. I don’t mind if you want me to include other data, but accusing me of “misleading” by putting Turkey in contrast to its neighbors and not Western Europe is bizarre. I don’t have time for trolls.
Read 5 tweets

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