Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the Israel-Turkey reconciliation agreement as “strategically important for Israel’s security and economy,” but members of the coalition government, as well as the opposition, disagree.
Israel’s newly appointed Minster of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman is reported to say he will oppose the agreement at the next cabinet meeting. He criticized Netanyahu’s acquiescence to Turkey’s conditions to the agreement and his apology to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Israel’s efforts to stop the Turkish-registered ship MV “Mavi Marmara” from breaking Israel’s naval blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza. Lieberman and others also object to the agreement that stipulates ‘compensation’ to the families of the Turks who attacked the 13 Israeli commandos who boarded the ship when it refused to stop. The attackers were ” armed with iron bars and knives.” The bloody confrontation ended with 10 Turkish activists dead, as and 10 Israelis wounded.
The Turks onboard the ship were members of the government-sponsored Turkish radical Islamic jihadist organization the IHH (full Turkish name “Insan Hak ve Hurriyetleri ve Insani Yardım Vakfı,” in English “The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief”). The IHH is anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic. It operates throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. It is closely affiliated with Hamas and other Muslim Brotherhood groups and has Turkey’s Erdogan as its main cheerleader. Erdogan has also funded the Hamas government in Gaza and hosted Hamas terrorists in Turkey.
In Turkey Roasts Israel in Globes online, Dr. Norman Bailey, a Professor of Economics and National Security, The National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, notes that the new agreement with Israel, “Turkey will not permit Hamas attacks to be planned and supervised from its territory, but it will not expel Hamas operatives.”
Former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar argued this ‘bad agreement” creates the precedent of “paying ‘compensation’ to families of Turkish terrorists. Sa’ar warned, “Creating such a precedent of compensation to the attacker not only harms our national dignity. It is a serious strategic mistake by the State of Israel, whose battle against terrorism is far from over.” Moreover, how could Israel protest the Palestinian Authority’s payments to families of terrorists after it pays $20 million in ‘compensation’ to Turkish terrorists?
Besides, how could Israel rely on an agreement with shifty Mr. Erdogan? He is a leading member of the Ikhwan al-Muslimun — the Muslim Brotherhood and has been known to violate international anti-terrorism funding agreements. uUnder his watchful eye, Turkish banks exported large quantities of gold to Teheran as payments for Iranian natural gas and to launder Indian payments for Iranian gas and oil.
Moreover, Erdogan chose to protect and cooperate with ISIS and the al-Nusra Front’s efforts to oust Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. As it turned out, despite his help and his efforts to impose shari’a on Turkey, ISIS turned against him and has been attacking Turkey.
Dr. Bailey questions the “commercial sense of building a gas pipeline between Israel and Turkey. [Moreover] if extended to Europe it will compete with a similar project between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, countries with which Israel is engaged in improving relations.”
Bailey comments that “the “deal” will be seen by the Kurds of Turkey, Syria and Iraq as a betrayal. The Kurds are among the best friends Israel has in the Middle East and have shown themselves to be effective fighters against Islamic State (IS).”
On balance, again in the presumed absence of any secret side agreements, the terms of the diplomatic rapprochement between Israel and Turkey would seem to be if anything worse than the deal with Iran negotiated by the US and other countries concerning Iran’s nuclear weapons plans, which was so vehemently opposed by the current Israeli government.”
If anything, Turkey should apologize to Israel and compensate the Israelis.