Yadlin.'Iran hindered dialogue'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: AFP
Iranian nuclear site at Natanz
Photo: AFP

MI chief: Turkey doesn’t need Israel anymore

Major-General Amos Yadlin tells Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Ankara has changed its policy, veering more towards radical direction; says easy for international community to attack Israel over its security measures as it hasn't faced terror recently

"Beyond the specific current tension, one needs to realize that the distancing is more essential and relates to strategic issues and common interests between Israel and Turkey," Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said Tuesday during a security briefing to members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.


Yadlin addressed many important topics during his survey, including the recent strained relations between Jerusalem and Ankara. "There are still common strategic issues between Israel and Turkey, but it's not the same strategic closeness that existed in the past," he said.


"In the past Turkey acknowledged joint interests which strengthened the relationship. For example in the 1990s the Turks regarded Syria as an enemy. There was a joint enemy. However, over the years Turkey and Syria resolved their differences and Turkey doesn't need Israel's closeness anymore."


Yadlin further added, "In the past they had an interest in securing their Syrian border and therefore the relations with Israel were strong. In the past Turkey strived to come closer to the West, beyond joining NATO.


"They wanted to become a member of the European market and they thought that relations with Israel would promote them in the American market as well. They got a cold shoulder from the Europeans and couldn't achieve their goals. In light of this, they changed their policy and are now in the midst of a process of distancing themselves from the secular approach towards a more radical direction," Yadlin explained.


Iranian threat

The military intelligence chief also addressed the Iranian threat. "Iran has hindered the dialogue (with the West) and the international community is preparing to use sanctions against it. However, currently while Iran isn't under heavy pressure, it sees no need to forego its core issue. It continues to advance with its nuclear program," he said.


There has not been any known progress on the Iranian issue in the international front in the recent weeks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that should Iran's response remain unchanged, the Western powers will employ a comprehensive sanctions package.


Nevertheless, no concrete decisions have been made yet. Diplomatic elements estimated several times recently that a new sanctions package will be brought for a vote in the UN's Security Council in February.


Peace talks with Palestinians

Yadlin also commented on the Palestinian issue. "The Palestinian Authority prefers to promote the political process but sticks to its demands in respect to preconditions to negotiations with Israel, such as freezing construction in Jerusalem, resuming negotiations where they left off in the (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert days and other guidelines.


"The way Salam Fayyad and Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) see it, the international community needs to force Israel into the agreement's outlines prior to entering negotiations."


Yadlin stressed that the PA "encourages international discourse which challenges the State of Israel's legitimacy and its actions. The paradox in the current state is that one of the primary factors which enables a discourse on the legitimacy of the State of Israel is its success in terminating terror.


"The world naturally supports those perceived as weak and the fact that Israel isn't suffering from terror recently or from an immidate military threat allows the international community to accept claims against Israel's security activity."


Yadlin also added that the PA fights Hamas in the territories it controls in the West Bank. He noted that it does so "not for love of Israel but for internal needs. They don't want to find themselves in the state that Fatah found itself in the Gaza Strip."


פרסום ראשון: 01.19.10, 16:22
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