Putting Turkey’s Overtures to Israel in Context

Within the next few weeks, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog is expected to travel to Istanbul to meet with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Israeli officials have described this visit as signaling warmer relations between the two countries, despite Erdogan’s longstanding and forceful criticisms of the Jewish state. Ruthie Blum argues that this effort is misguided, noting, among other things, Turkey’s condemnation of the Abraham Accords. To illustrate her point, Blum notes the recent imprisonment of an Israeli couple vacationing in Turkey, who “were slapped with the bogus charge of espionage for taking a photo of the presidential palace.”

Immediately before their detention, the husband and wife from Modi’in had made a video lauding their holiday venue. “Turkey is fun. It’s safe. You can speak Hebrew freely here; . . . . they love us. Come on over,” they said on camera with great cheer.

Since the harrowing ordeal, they’ve changed their view of the country and its “safety” for Israelis. Their government should do the same when it comes to trusting Erdogan.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spent days appealing to Erdogan to intervene. Each begged him to persuade Turkish law enforcement to release the Oknins from custody, on the grounds that they weren’t Mossad agents. But Erdogan excels at capitalizing on a crisis of his own making.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israel diplomacy, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy