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July 5, 2016 6:26 am

Why the Israel-Turkey Pact Is a Good Deal

avatar by Jonathan Fenton-Harvey

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Like many people, I am a profound critic of the current Turkish regime. It’s hard not to condemn a leader who censors the press, prosecutes critics of the state — within its borders and in other nations, and is ceaselessly evolving into a totalitarian despot. And as a supporter of Israel, I have no respect for President Erdogan’s past attitudes towards Israel.

Despite this, I fully support the recent deal struck by Israel and Turkey. Unsurprisingly, many Israelis and supporters of Israel do not share my enthusiasm. One Channel 10 poll revealed that 65% of Israeli Jews oppose the deal, compared with 24% who support it.

Many Israelis feel that their country is selling itself out to Turkey, as the deal involves paying compensation for the 2010 Gaza flotilla escapade, along with the Israeli government offering a full apology for the incident.

Yet those who oppose it should consider the benefits that the deal will provide to Israel, both in the short and long term. Since Israel is now a key exporter of gas to Turkey, the deal will bring about economic prosperity, while consolidating peace between the two states — trade has always been a key element in diplomacy. This surely outweighs the pride lost over the deal.

A more significant boost will be the unity in dealing with terrorism and extremist insurgencies — which will lead to a safer and more stable Middle East. Notably, Erdogan has promised to shut down Hamas in Turkey, which will obviously be one less issue for Israel to worry about.

As the world grows more dangerous, it’s vital that Israel and Turkey are united in the face of emerging threats like Iran. After all, if someone like Erdogan can go from despising Israel to normalizing trade relations, it exemplifies how possible it is to achieve unity.

Not only will the deal benefit Israel — both in terms of economical and security considerations — but it provides an opportunity for powerful nations to unite in the campaign against terror, and to build a more secure Middle East.

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