Can Turkey and Israel Reconcile?

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Pinhas Inbari - While Turkey and Israel signed a reconciliation agreement in June 2016, Turkey is in the midst of defining its identity - as Turkish first or Muslim first. If Turkey chooses its "Turkish" identity, a true Israeli-Turkish reconciliation may be possible, but if Erdogan chooses his neo-Ottoman Muslim path, obstacles may block the reconciliation. Their relations are also affected by Turkey's ties with the Palestinians, which have several dimensions, including Turkey's ties with Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Turkey's involvement in Gaza presents a challenge to its enemies - Egypt and Iran - as well as to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Turkey's agreement with Israel was reached behind the PA's back. Moreover, giving Turkey a major role in Gaza's rehabilitation pulls the rug out from under Europe's status. The real difficulty likely to arise between Turkey and Israel concerns east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Turkey has ties with the most extreme elements, such as former mufti Akrama Sabri, inciter Raed Salah, and Hamas.

2016-11-15 00:00:00

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