A multilateral counter-terror initiative generated by the United States excludes Israel while featuring many states with terrorist ties. The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) has 30 founding members including Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Israel's exclusion is noteworthy, considering it is at the forefront of counterterrorism operations, constituting an unprecedented hub of expertise on the matter.
But including Israel would offend many of the GCTF's founding members, many of which are sworn enemies of the Jewish state and actively finance and support terrorist operations against it.
The GCTF can therefore be viewed as a U.S. attempt at forging closer ties with countries that have a history of sympathizing and actively supporting Islamist terrorism in the past. Israel was barred from participating in a June GCTF meeting, reportedly due to vehement protests by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
An unnamed State Department official was quoted saying "A number of our close partners with considerable experience countering and preventing terrorism are not included" in the GCTF and that they hoped to include Israel in future activities. That has yet to happen.
The GCTF started in September 2011 with an aim to "enhance global cooperation" and promote a long-term approach to addressing the international terrorist threat. It hopes to enhance countries' abilities to deal with their respective terrorist threats by finding messages to counter violent extremism and other actions.
But much of the rhetoric that fuels radical Islamist terrorism emanated from GCTF member state Saudi Arabia's ultra-conservative Wahhabi interpretation, which has been disseminated globally with petroleum revenue.
Meanwhile, Egypt co-chairs a criminal justice working group for the forum even though new President Mohamed Morsi has openly supported Hamas and his Muslim Brotherhood organization has called for jihad against Israel.
For more information on the GCTF, click here.