Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned Israel from ally into adversary, friend to foe, partner on the international stage to convenient whipping boy in order to gain political points domestically and tumultuous applause in the Muslim world, according to The Jerusalem Post comment.
“Already in 2009, Israel’s ambassador at the time, Gabby Levy, was quoted in a Wikileaks cable as saying that Erdogan was a “fundamentalist” who “hates us religiously.”
On Monday evening, that same Erdogan called new Israeli President Isaac Herzog with a simple message: Let’s start afresh.
Lovely sentiment, though considering Erdogan’s track record, it’s rather difficult not to question his sincerity.
In May, following riots on the Temple Mount, the Turkish president had this to say about Israel: “Israel, the cruel terrorist state, attacks the Muslims in Jerusalem.”
Yet, on Monday, his office put out a statement of his call with Herzog that said the Turkish president “underscored that Turkey-Israel relations were of great importance in terms of security and stability in the Middle East, and that there was a great potential for cooperation between the two countries in various areas.”
The very next day, however, his office put out another statement, less conciliatory, slamming Israel for house demolitions and saying “we condemn Israel’s unlawful and inhumane practices and hereby reiterate our support for the judicial process to hold Israel accountable for its crimes in the occupied territories.”
Israel knows Erdogan well, and what it has come to know after 18 long years is a staunchly anti-Israel Islamist who consistently tries to inflame the Muslim world against the Jewish state, often peddling in antisemitic rhetoric to do so.
He is a leader with neo-Ottoman fantasies.
Israel knows how Erdogan’s Turkey has hosted an office of Hamas, where attacks against Israelis have been planned. It knows about the money laundering for Hamas coming out of Turkey, as well as the provision of passports for members of the terror organization.
It knows about Turkish efforts to scuttle an Israeli-Cypriot-Greek natural gas pipeline; about the way it constantly tries to undermine Israel in various international forums; and about its occasional support for Iran (when it suits its interests).
And those are just some of the actions Ankara has taken against Israel. There are also the myriad actions it has taken against others in the region—from the Kurds to the Egyptians to the Cypriots and Greeks—that Jerusalem finds loathsome.
But when Erdogan calls and whispers sweet nothings, (…) Israel must harbor no illusions about who it is dealing with,” the comment added, in particular.