Israel-Turkey Detente Shadowed by Ankara's Ties with Hamas

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - Turkey continues to host Hamas leaders, and it has been widely reported that past attacks in Israel have been planned on Turkish soil. Turkish President Erdogan has long been a Hamas-embracer. Erdogan has engaged in strident anti-Israel rhetoric over the last 15 years that often crossed the line into anti-Semitism. Not that long ago, Erdogan accused the Israeli people of genocide, called Zionism a "crime against humanity," and said "we view the Holocaust in the same way we view those besieging Gaza and carrying out massacres in it." Make no mistake, Erdogan has not had a change of heart, has not become a Zionist, and has not parked his Muslim Brotherhood sympathies at the door. It's not that Erdogan wants Israel, it's that he needs Israel. Last fall, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed visited Turkey and pledged $10 billion in investments, along with a $5 billion currency swap to bolster Turkey's floundering foreign currency. With this, the UAE bought a move by Turkish foreign policy toward the Abraham Accords, which means toward Israel. Secondly, Turkey wants Israeli natural gas for its own domestic needs and for export to Europe. Finally, Erdogan hopes that a photograph with Israeli President Herzog, and improved relations with Israel, will convince the U.S. and the West that he is sincere about wanting to return to the fold. But Israel needs to make it clear to Erdogan that it has expectations and demands of its own. It wants Erdogan to stop his strident anti-Israel posturing, stop financially backing those agitating on the Temple Mount, stop blocking Israeli cooperation with NATO, and stop trying to torpedo Israel's burgeoning ties with other countries in the Muslim world. First and foremost, Israel wants Turkey to kick Hamas out of the country, instead of it playing host to an organization hell-bent on killing Israelis.

2022-03-10 00:00:00

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