Ankara (GPA) – Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged insults over the weekend, exposing the growing rift between the two US allies.
Still expressing his anger over the decision by the Trump regime to recognize al Quds as the capital of Israel, Erdogan spent the weekend chastising the Israeli occupation force and their “terrorist state”. Saying Trump’s decision to change the designation of al Quds was “null,” Erdogan went on to fire at both Tel Aviv and Washington.
This rhetoric reached its high point on Sunday when Erdogan promised that the Turkey would use “all means to fight” Israel and “won’t leave Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murdering country.” Erdogan also called out the Israeli government saying they only know “occupation and plunder” on Sunday and said today that the US is Tel Aviv’s “partner in bloodshed.”
Netanyahu responded to some of Erdogan’s comments during a press conference in France, by saying that Erdogan is “not a man who is going to lecture us.”
Netanyahu then went on to criticize Erdogan for being “a leader who bombs Kurdish villages in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran go around international sanctions, who helps terrorists — including in Gaza — kill innocent people.”
While there may be some truth to these allegations against Erdogan, perhaps Netanyahu should take a closer look at some of Israel’s behavior.
For starters, Israel has been rated as the second most dangerous country for journalists in the world, with hundreds murdered in the last decade. This information even comes from watchdogs that normally publish information Israel would approve of since the only country below Israel for press freedom was Syria, a nation currently besieged by imperialist interests.
Israel has also been complicit in skirting international sanctions in the past, including selling weapons to nations like apartheid South Africa in the past and more recently has sold arms to nations like Myanmar which is using them to kill Rohingya Muslims. Israel has even made deals that resulted in political scandals in recent years with German arms firms that has major investment from Iran, meaning they would’ve violated their own policy of boycotting Iranian product.
As far as the allegations of Erdogan bombing Kurds in his own country, Netanyahu may be innocent of this but only because he has no Kurds of his own. However, Netanyahu’s military does bomb Palestinians all the time, including this weekend which saw bombings of Gaza that resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.
There is also the matter of supporting terrorists, which for Netanyahu to claim he isn’t guilty of is laughable. Israeli arms are constantly found in the hands of militants fighting against Israel’s enemies in places like Syria, and some groups have even spoken to the US media, thanking Israel for financial support.
Nobody can predict what the next point of contention between Ankara and Tel Aviv will be, but the US can’t be happy seeing two crucial allies falling out like this. Turkey is also proving to be a unique counterweight against the recent Saudi attempts to normalize relations with Israel and the blockade of Qatar.
While Palestine may no longer be a priority for Riyadh, Erdogan has made it clear he will continue the fight. This split of US allies (Turkey being a NATO member) could become dangerous, and the only man who can stop it, Donald Trump, has nowhere near the level of diplomatic skill this issue will require.
Also published on Medium.