Turkey Maintains Close Israel Ties

The Israel air force continues to bomb Gaza, but the Turkish government, which has close military ties with the Israel army, will not take any action to curtail its working relations with Israel. A high source in the Turkish military commented to the newspaper, Zaman: “Though there have been ups and downs in the political relationship between Turkey and Israel, military ties are not expected to be affected due to the depth of that relationship and because it serves Turkey’s national interest.” Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek also made clear his government will not break off relations with Israel or take retaliatory actions for the Gaza bombings.

The realism of Turkey is a lesson for other Arab nations. If Arab leaders could cease their rhetoric and address issues of poverty and unemployment, a solid relationship with Israel could transform the Middle East into a vibrant economic giant given the intellectual abilities of Palestinians and Israelis. But, realism has never been a quality that has marked Arab leadership.