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After patching up the feud between Israel and Turkey, US President Barack Obama faces a much tougher ordeal: brokering ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report. To address the looming Syrian chemical arms crisis, President Obama needs a unified Arab-Islamic front to join the campaign against Bashar Assad.He must therefore confer the seal of leadership on either of the two rival blocs: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Abu Dhabi, or Turkey and Qatar.
The rivalry between the two camps is unresolved for lack of an acknowledged leader.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the gesture of apologizing to Ankara for the 2010 flotilla incident on the assumption that Obama had put in place an anti-Assad front consisting of Israel, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt for grappling with the escalating Syrian menace. (Read more…)
Ted Belman. The apology sets a bad precedent. We should never apologize when we are in the right. When our enemies are in the wrong we should demand they apologize. Even if the package deal included Obama demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, we still shouldn’t have apologized. As we know this is short form for rejecting the right of return. As for Obama demanding negotiations to reach an agreement, he did this in the first term. He also supported Netanyahu’s position that there be no pre-conditions to negotiations. Obviously, since Obama offered concessions to Israel rather than demands, he wasn’t prepared to back away from demanding a divided Jerusalem and ’67 lines with swaps.
The apology, whose timing took many — this writer included — by surprise, however, also provides Turkey a chance to regain its lost political influence in a region where it once appeared set to play a key role as a major mediator.
Turkey and Israel will also have a chance to cooperate in the energy field, following the discovery of vast gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, since the most economically profitable way of carrying the gas to world markets is through Turkey, according to industry experts.
Israel’s apology caught many off-guard coming as it did at a time when the already bad atmosphere in ties was soured further after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks, during a UN forum in Vienna, in which said “Zionism” should be considered a “crime against humanity.” (Read more…)
Obviously Israel can’t complain when US releases $500 million in aid when we do it ourselves. Thus the PA escapes punishment for going to the UN for recognition. Our remaining threat is to build in E-1. No one believes that we will do it. Nor do we condition the flow of money on … on anything. Ted Belman
Just before the start of the Passover holiday on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would reinstate the regular transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The decision was approved by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.
The move came several days after U.S. President Barack Obama, while visiting Israel, called for confidence-building steps as means of resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Israel suspended the transfer of funds — about $100 million in monthly customs fees and other commercial levies it collects on behalf of the PA according to economic articles stipulated in the Oslo Accords — in November, after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas succeeded in gaining nonmember observer state status for the Palestinians at the U.N. (Read more…)
Israel’s apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara event will lead to an altered balance in the Middle East peace process, said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in an address to lawmakers on Tuesday.
Israeli forces killed nine Turkish nationals aboard a vessel carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza in the 2010 incident.
A bilateral deal has been struck whereby Israel must cooperate alongside the Turkish government over the region’s peace process.
The move represents a more assertive stance for Turkey with regard to regional politics.
“The point we have arrived to as a result of our consultations with all our brothers in Palestine and peripheral countries is increasing our responsibility with regard to solving the Palestinian question and thus bringing about a new equation,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Turkish Hurriyet daily. (Read more…)
This is no reason to apologize when you are in the right. Turkey and Israel would have found a way to do this deal even if there was no apology. As they say countries only have interests.
Secondly why is Israel selling low cost gas to Turkey and Europe. Far better to sell value added products produced with low cost gas. Thus Israel would greatly increase her exports and created new industries and much employment. It may be that this deal is worth doing for Israel but I just wanted to make the point of producing value added products. Ted Belman
Turkish media reported this week that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology has paved the way for a massive joint pipeline project carrying natural gas from Israel to Turkey and from there to Europe. There is no overestimating the influence joint economic interests can have on stable relations between countries.
It is said that during a private conversation, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once thanked French President Charles de Gaulle for France’s help to Israel, attributing it to the strong alliance and friendship between the two countries. To which De Gaulle replied, “France has no friends, only interests.” (Read more…)
Reza Kahlili has disclosed in a new report the existence of a massive underground nuclear development facility located 15 miles northwest of Fordow near Qom. Kahlili had previously disclosed that the Fordow facility may have been disabled in an alleged January 21st blast with casualties of Iranian and North Korean scientists. This new underground nuclear complex is surrounded by a large quantity of Shahab 3 missiles in reinforced silos and may contain sufficient stockpiles of enriched fissile uranium and plutonium for possible assembly of nuclear devices. Moreover, in addition to advanced enrichment facilities, there are allegations that a separate facility is engaged in development of nuclear warheads for intercontinental ballistic missiles. From satellite photos the Quds secret facility appears to be under military control.
Watch this impressive You Tube video illustrating this newly identified Quds Iranian nuclear facility:
In a Washington Timesreport, Kahlili notes the overarching significance of the Quds site:
Images of a secret nuclear site known as Quds and recently revealed details of its operation clearly show the regime has crossed the nuclear red line. In collaboration with North Korea, it is now steps away from arming its missiles with nuclear warheads. (Read more…)
Justice Minister Tzippy Livni on Sunday spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, discussing the possibility that Israel would pay reparations to the families of nine Turkish supporters of Hamas who were killed in 2010 aboard the Mavi Marmara, after they attempted to attack and murder IDF soldiers as part of the Gaza flotilla.
Turkey’s vice-premier, Bulenbt Arink, told Turkish media Sunday that a meeting and discussion in compensation had taken place, but gave no details.
Turkish media reported Sunday that the families were due to receive “tens of millions of dollars” in compensation. Israel has named former director general of the Foreign Ministry, Yosef Checanover, as responsible for the negotiations on compensation for the Israeli side.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan told reporters that Turkey had made three demands from Israel as a condition for restoring relations with Israel. One of those was a demand for a full Israeli apology. “They wanted to express regret, but we said ‘no.’ We demanded that they use the word ‘apology,’” he said.
The Arab League on Tuesday approved a Qatari proposal to set up a $1 billion fund for Arab east Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state under any peace deal with Israel.
Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his country will contribute $250 million to the fund, which he called for in an opening speech to an Arab summit in Doha that focused on the crisis in Syria and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
“The summit… calls for setting up a fund to support Jerusalem to the value of $1 billion to finance projects and programs that would maintain the Arab and Islamic character of the city and reinforce the steadfastness of its people,” the draft resolution said.