Monday, December 14, 2015

Erdogan Wants Normalization of Relations with Israel

JERUSALEM (WFB) — After years of condemning Israel at every opportunity, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly raised the possibility Monday of normalization of relations with the Jewish state.

One of Turkey’s main motives in seeking reconciliation with Israel, say analysts, is the discovery of large gas fields off Israel’s shore. In the wake of the downing of the Russian plane by a Turkish fighter, Moscow has hinted that it might curtail its gas exports to Turkey, which Istanbul regards as vital. Israel has been engaged in extensive talks with Turkey’s traditional rival, Greece, and with Cyprus about exporting gas to those countries, with the pipeline extending into Europe. Turkish officials and businessmen have expressed considerable interest in having the gas pipeline extend from Israel to their country.

Israel should let Erdogan know that a heartfelt public apology for the Mavi Marmara flotilla and a monetary compensation for Israeli soldiers wounded by the flotilla jihadists is a precondition for normalization.

A live-stream broadcast to the world of Erdogan singing Hatikvah from the floor of the Turkish Parliament would work too.