Yoaz Hendel
The Mavi Marmara
Photo: AFP

Israel a battered wife?

Op-ed: How could Israelis so quickly forget Turkey’s recent hostility, role in Marmara violence?

In the past week, the ties between Israel and Turkey are reminiscent of the battered wife syndrome. A little petting after a rough period, silence instead of a blow – and suddenly we give in. Our national senses become dull, the questions disappear and the discourse becomes incredibly optimistic and blind.


Within a few days, Turkey went from being a threat discussed behind closed doors to a strategic asset. Within a few days, forgetfulness spread through our national psyche.


At once, we saw the disappearance of memories of a Turkey that encouraged the violent Marmara flotilla. The testimonies of hate-filled meetings with Muslim Brotherhood figures held under Erdogan’s auspices also evaporated.


A few quiet moments and nobody here remembers that not too long ago, Turkey defined us as a strategic threat. The concern over Turkish military cooperation with Iran and Syria on the eve of the upheaval there has also been forgotten.


It all happened and was forgotten, or maybe it never happened?


Don’t expect miracles

Otherwise, how can we explain the fact that Defense Ministry officials rush to announce the resumption of defense trade, including the transfer of sensitive means to the Turks? How can we explain the great effort undertaken by government representatives to minimize the severity of the UN report on the flotilla – a report that was supposed to, for the first time, rip the masks off the Turkish involvement and publicly expose its ties with a violent terror group?


How can we explain the reflex of so many Israelis to head en masse to Turkish resorts so soon?


Indeed, it’s true that we are desperate for a comforting hand and for a regional friend in the face of a sea of hostility. It’s true that every random diplomatic smile or a flotilla ship being stopped overseas prompt national celebrations here. Yet nonetheless, there are no great miracles when it comes to violent husbands and states with a hostile strategy. Risks don’t turn into hopes and curses don’t turn into blessings in a short time.


Even if Turkey has an immediate interest in lowering its profile vis-à-vis the UN report and the unrest in Syria, and even if a healthy process of rethinking is being conducted there, Israel cannot base its policy on that. It’s regrettable, yet hopes are not an indicator of change.



פרסום ראשון: 07.08.11, 12:11
 new comment
This will delete your current comment