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Israel must get used to the new Turkey

Unless Israel improves the humanitarian situation in Gaza, tension between Turkey and Israel will remain.

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Turkey and Israel are at loggerheads again, and this should come as no surprise.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon recently staged a rebuke of the Turkish ambassador in Tel Aviv over the contents of a Turkish television show. Israel subsequently apologized, but this will go down as yet another milestone in the ongoing tension between Turkey and Israel.

Despite some Israeli and American efforts to paint Turkey’s objections to Israeli policies as “anti-Semitic,” people in the business of statecraft understand very well where Turkey is coming from.

They recognize that disagreements between Turkey and Israel are likely to continue provided there is no recognizable change in issues such as improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. They also recognize the complete and immediate freezing of settlements and the overall posture of Israel toward the peace process – if one can still talk about such a process.

I remember vividly the days when the United States criticized Turkey for engaging with Syria at a time when Washington and the Europeans were trying to isolate Syria. Today we see a full reversal of US and European policies; both the US and Europe now recognize that engaging with Syria is the right course of action.

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