What Turkey Seeks to Gain from Meeting with Iran and Russia

July 27 2022

While Israel and Turkey have been making progress in their efforts at reconciliation, last week the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the presidents of Iran—the most dangerous enemy of the Jewish state—and of Russia, Iran’s major patron. The summit, held in Tehran, thus raises serious doubts in both Jerusalem and Washington about whether any kind of productive relationship with Erdogan is possible. But Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak notes that Ankara has many serious differences with both Tehran and Moscow, and backs the enemies of both countries in Iraq, in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, and above all in Syria:

Turkey’s military penetration in Syria creates a massive headache for Iran. Turkey and Iran are fighting a proxy war in the country. While Turkey backs the Free Syrian Army (FSA) that sought to overthrow the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and remove Russian forces from the country, Iran backs Assad and local Shiite elements. Turkey has [provided] active support to the FSA from the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011. In 2016, Turkey became a belligerent [itself].

Turkey’s mending of ties with Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and even, to some extent, Egypt serves to isolate Tehran further and retaliate for the terrorist attack attempted against Israelis in Turkey [last month].

Despite Iran’s apparent attempt to violate Turkey’s sovereignty in Istanbul, the centuries-long Turkish-Iranian diplomatic tradition dictated that Ankara respectfully receive the Iranian foreign minister. In other words, . . . Ankara [is keeping] its friends close but its enemy closer.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at JNS

More about: Iran, Israel diplomacy, Russia, Turkey

The Palestinian Authority Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Jan. 31 2023

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced that they had ceased all security cooperation with Israel; the next two days saw two deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. But the PA has in the past made numerous threats that it will sever its ties with the Israeli government, and has so far never made good on them. Efraim Inbar poses a different set of questions: does cooperation with Palestinian leaders who actively encourage—and provide financial incentives for—the murder of Jews really help Israel protect its citizens? And might there be a better alternative?

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems unable to rule effectively, i.e., to maintain a modicum of law and order in the territories under his control. He lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, and we now see the “Lebanonization” of the PA taking place in the West Bank: the emergence of myriad armed groups, with some displaying only limited loyalty to the PA, and others, especially the Islamists, trying to undermine the current regime.

[The PA’s] education system and media continue propagating tremendous hostility toward Jews while blaming Israel for all Palestinian problems. Security cooperation with Israel primarily concerns apprehending armed activists of the Islamist opposition, as the PA often turns a blind eye to terrorist activities against Israel. In short, Abbas and his coterie are part of the problem, not of the solution. Jerusalem should thus think twice about promoting efforts to preserve PA rule and prevent a descent into chaos while rejecting the reoccupation of the West Bank.

Chaos is indeed not a pleasant prospect. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem to Israel, but one that will be mitigated if the various Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other. A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against it. In addition, anarchy in the territories may give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror