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As the diplomatic spat between Turkey and Israel deepens, the United States appears to have been caught out by the speed and nature of the escalating crisis as it threatens to spread across the Middle East. Stemming from a deadly Israeli commando raid in international waters on a Turkish flotilla delivering aid to the Palestinian territory of Gaza in May last year, the crisis has escalated in recent days over Israel's decision not to apologize for the raid that claimed the lives of nine Turkish activists. It has also said it will keep its controversial naval blockade on the Gaza Strip in place. "Israel defends its interests and its government will not apologize," Israel Katz, Israel's transport minister and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said last week. "Israel maintains its naval blockade of Gaza to stop the transfer of weapons to terrorists from Hamas."
The Libya intervention presents an unsettling paradox, says Thorsten Benner. While it was the right decision to prevent a massacre in Benghazi, NATO's subsequent actions could harm future efforts to protect civilians. We are witnessing the heyday of the Libya intervention triumphalists. Presented with a rare instance of something that can halfway credibly be labeled a victory, France, the UK, the US and the NATO Secretary-General can be forgiven for savoring the moment without too many second thoughts.
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