How Turkey’s Reconciliation Deal with Israel Harms the Palestinians
Jeremy R Hammond,
With Israel and Turkey having announced a reconciliation agreement this week, Turkey is portraying itself as a protector of the oppressed by arguing that it will allow greater aid to the people of Gaza. The truth, however, is that, far from helping the Palestinians, Turkey’s deal with Israel serves to reinforce the occupation regime in place since the June 1967 Israeli-Arab War.
Relations between Turkey and Israel came under strain as a result of Israel’s 2008-09 massacre in Gaza (dubbed “Operation Cast Lead”, in which over 1,300 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians). Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan famously confronted Israeli President Shimon Peres at the 2009 World Economic Forum, publicly criticizing him for Israel’s war crimes before storming off the stage.
Relations were severed in May 2011 when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) attacked a civilian ship on a humanitarian mission in international waters, murdering nine Turkish peace activists on board (one of whom was also an American citizen).