Israeli and Turkish Think Tanks Confer in Tel Aviv in Advance of President Herzog’s Trip to Ankara

March 3 2022

On Thursday, experts from the Turkish Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research (known as SETA) will meet for a day-long conference at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies in Tel Aviv. As Tal Schneider explains, SETA is financed by the Turkish government and is known to be aligned with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meetings, which are closed to both the press and the public, may signal improving relations between the two countries; notably, the conference is scheduled to take place shortly before the Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s planned trip to meet with Erdogan in Turkey. Schneider reports:

The Times of Israel has learned that diplomats and governmental officials will participate in the conference, the purpose of which is to restore ties and connections among mid-level officials from the two countries. Topics scheduled for discussion include the schism between the two countries, the energy market, and other relevant matters.

The Israeli participants will be led by Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak and Nir Boms, both researchers at the Moshe Dayan center, while the Turkish side is to be led by SETA head Burhanettin Duran.

In late January, Duran published a paper on the SETA website that was also carried by the Turkey’s regime-supporting Daily Sabah newspaper, titled “Pursuit of normalization in Turkey-Israel relations.” In it he detailed how Turkey plans to open a new chapter in relations with the U.S., the European Union, Greece, Armenia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Isaac Herzog, Israel diplomacy, 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