Restoring Israel’s Relations with Turkey? Only Small Gestures, Deal Not Certain

This is part of an article that Yossi Melman, co-author of Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars, is writing for The Jerusalem Report magazine — on efforts by the governments of Turkey and Israel to repair diplomatic (and other more covert) relations:

Israeli Navy Photo of Turkish Activists Attacking Israelis Who Assaulted Mavi Marmara

Israeli Navy Photo of Turkish Activists Attacking Israelis Who Assaulted Mavi Marmara

A deal is no certainty. It all depends on President Tayyip Erdoğan, and he is unpredictable and unreliable. Israel has no intention to make any compromises with Hamas as, beyond its own domestic political considerations, such steps would anger another important Israel ally – Egypt, as well as the Palestinian Authority.

Still, Israel is ready to make some small gestures in Gaza on the humanitarian front to satisfy Erdoğan and help him to portray himself as Hamas’s savior. The big question is will those gestures be enough to save face for the Turkish president?

Even if relations are normalized, they will never return to the levels of the ’80s and ’90s when the two countries were allies and cooperated in the fields of intelligence and security against common rivals and enemies, such as Syria and Iran.

Those glorious days were over even before the bloody clash on the Mavi Marmara “Break the Gaza Blockade!” ship in May 2010, when Israeli troops who boarded the vessel killed 9 activists who fought them.

December 23, 2015

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