On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu met his American Jewish brother John Kerry in Rome and thanked him for his efforts in bringing about the reconciliation agreement between the Zionist entity and Turkey.
“I know your team has been working long and hard at this,” he told Kerry.
Kerry said the Obama administration welcomed the reconciliation agreement between the former allies for over 60 years, saying it was “a step we wanted to see happen.”
Netanyahu took the credit for the agreement signed on Tuesday. He claimed that he achieved the landmark agreement without giving-in to Erdogan’s demands.
It’s reported that Turkey and Israel will exchange ambassadors next month. Both country’s didn’t close their embassies in Tel Aviv and Ankara during the 6-year-old Mavi Marmara crisis.
Israeli press has called it “Netanyahu’s economic coup against Turkey” with the active help from the US, EU, NATO, and Saudi Arabia, based on the following information leaked of the ‘reconciliation agreement’ by Israeli media.
- Israel will pay $20 million as compensation to Israeli commandos’ victims at Mavi Marmara aid vessel on way to Gaza Strip. In return Turkey will limit Hamas’ presence on Turkish soil to political activity but not military training or funding Hamas operations in Gaza.
- Israel will allow Turkey’s humanitarian aid to Gaza through Israeli territory. In return Turkey has agreed to make sure no rocket would be fired by Hamas. Furthermore, Ankara would convince Hamas leaders to distance themselves from Iran and Hizbullah. In April 2011, Saudi ‘royals’ promised Erdogan they would invest $600 billion in Turkey.
- Turkish parliament to pass legislation voiding any Turkish legal proceedings against Jewish soldiers involved in the Mavi Marmara operation and bars future claims.
Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent with daily Ha’aretz watered-down Netanyahu’s excitement by saying: “The biggest criticism that could be leveled at Netanyahu is why he signed now rather than one or two or four years ago. If this deal is strategically important for Israel, why not seek to complete it earlier? The crisis only deepened as the years passed, and reaching an agreement became even harder – both for the Turks and in terms of the political constraints on Israel’s side.”
So why did Erdogan betrayed Palestinians? As result of Erdogan’s adventure in Syria, Turkey has lost Russian oil/gas supplies. Erdogan now aims to build an East Mediterranean natural gas pipeline, which would transport natural gas supplies stolen from Lebanon and Gaza by Israel (here, here) to Cyprus. In January 2016 Erdogan stated that “Israel is in need of a country like us in the region. We have to admit that we also need Israel.” Thus began a new chapter for Turkey-Israel relations. Ankara aims for the first transfer of Israeli gas to take place by 2020, but Putin’s anti- Erdogan foreign policy poses a significant challenge to the East Mediterranean pipeline.
Turkey is the only Muslim member of NATO which maintains a large Air Base at Incirlik. The base houses 60-70 US tactical nuclear weapons. In 2012, Ankara signed a $25 billion contract with Russia’s ROSATOM to build country’s first nuclear plant, which is still on the ice due to US-Israeli pressure on Moscow.
The American Jewish Lobby has praised the Israel-Turkey rekindled love affair. David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, and Stephen M. Greenberg, chairman Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations have all declared the agreement kosher.