America’s Turkey Problem, and Israel’s

A member of NATO and once a staunch ally of the Jewish state, Turkey has over the past decade repeatedly provoked Israel, becoming the main sponsor and protector of Hamas and backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, while its president is given to vocal expressions of hostility and anti-Semitism. It has also provoked the U.S., most of all by flirting with both Russia and Iran. At the same time, Ankara has fundamental strategic differences with Moscow and with Tehran, and has engaged militarily with the proxies of both. Thus Turkey’s interests in certain ways align with those of America and Israel, as has been seen on occasion in Syria and, more recently, in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Michael Doran argues that Washington has mistakenly driven away Ankara, which has legitimate grievances against U.S. policies, and that the latter should seek to renew the fractured alliance. Dan Schueftan, however, argues that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made such a renewal impossible, and so long as he is in power both Israel and America should treat Turkey as an enemy. (Moderated by Gadi Taub. Video, 77 minutes. In English with Hebrew subtitles.)

Read more at Shomer Saf

More about: Azerbaijan, Israeli Security, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict