Israeli media is reporting that former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of reconciliation with Turkey. According to the Jerusalem Post report, Sa’ar said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to be hostile to Israel and to be “patron” of Hamas and other terror groups:
November 22, 2016 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not decreased his hostility to Israel and continues to serve as a patron to Hamas and other terrorist groups despite having signed a reconciliation deal with Israel , former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar charged on Tuesday.
Sa’ar’s comments to Army Radio came a week after Israel and Turkey essentially resumed full diplomatic ties by mutually naming new ambassadors and a day after Erdogan gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 in which he refused to back down from comparisons of Israel’s actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis.
‘Erdogan is the same Erdogan, and the interview yesterday was important because it showed those who believe we are truly turning a new page, as a result of the deal agreed to five months ago, that this is an illusion,’ Sa’ar said.
Sa’ar, a former Likud ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is now seen as a potential challenger to his rule, said that while rehabilitating ties with Turkey is important for Israel, it should not have been done at any cost. The former minister attacked Israel’s decision to agree to pay compensation to the families of Turkish flotilla activists killed in clashes with IDF naval commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara vessel in May 2010. Pause Unmute Current Time 0:49 / Duration Time 1:52 Loaded: 0%Progress: 0% Fullscreen Israel, Turkey discuss joint gas pipeline as ties resume after six-year rupture (Israel, Turkey discuss joint gas pipeline as ties resume after six-year rupture)
Erdogan was unrepentant about the flotilla in Monday’s interview, rejecting as ‘lies’ claims, apparently supported by video footage, that the IDF soldiers were attacked by the Turkish activists and acted in self defense.
Sa’ar said that Israel’s paying compensation was essentially an admittance of guilt, fueling Erdogan’s comments. ‘We paid them compensation. Why wouldn’t he say they didn’t attack us, we gave him the best evidence there is.’
He referred to the decision to pay compensation to the families of those who attacked IDF soldiers as ‘one of the most humiliating actions that a sovereign state can carry out.'”
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In 2011, the GMBDW Editor published a report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” which demonstrated that the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including at that time its Turkish components including the Turkish government, was deeply involved in the planning and preparation leading up to the June 2010 first Gaza flotilla that was involved in the violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. That report also detailed Erdogan’s early background with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a fundamentalist Saudi religious organization that has been accused of promoting extremism and supporting terrorism all over the world, and his own ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
As we noted in our December 2015 post on the seeming normalization between Turkey and Israel, the Israeli motivations are not clear to the GMBDW, particularly the statements of Dore Gold, until recently the director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who appears to be a key figure in mediating the rapprochement. As we pointed out, Dr. Gold was responsible for the 2011 report mentioned above and which was published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) where at that time Dr. Gold was the director.