Turkish and Israeli leaders in war of words

April 10, 2018 Europe , Middle East , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo



Tom Arms



The Turkish and Israeli leaders are exchanging salvoes in a bitter war of words. The catalyst was a clash between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops on the Israel-Gaza border. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately attacked by calling Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a “terrorist” and Israel a “terrorist state.”


He added: “What you do to the oppressed Palestinians will be part of history and we will not forget it.”


Netanyahu responded with: “Someone who occupies Northern Cyprus, invades the Kurdish regions and slaughters civilians in Arfin – should not preach to us about values and ethics.”


Of course, there are boulders of truth in both statements but of greater importance is the diplomatic realignment that lies behind the words.


Not so many years ago Israeli-Turkish relations were reasonably good. That was when Turkey was on the cusp of joining the EU. Israel – as well as being the Jewish state – is a Western democratic rock in an Arab sea and Turkey needed reasonable relations with the country to ease its path into the European Union.


President Erdogan has firmly turned his back on Europe and his face towards the Arab world. To achieve the influence that Turkey once had in the lands of the old Ottoman Empire, he must be seen to be championing the cause of the Palestinians. The result: More battles to come.





Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and email[email protected].

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