Two papers continue to comment on the crisis in Israel-Turkey relations:In Yediot Aharonot, a Turkish journalist and political analyst writes that "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is delusional if he thinks that linking the lifting of the maritime blockade of Gaza to an apology and compensation for the Marmara incident will bear fruit," and adds that, "Erdogan’s positions raise the question of what exactly he is trying to achieve." The paper asserts that "When Erdogan links Ankara’s fate to that of Gaza and hurls harsh accusations at Israel, this strongly affects his status in the Arab and Islamic worlds." The author believes that "The members of Erdogan’s Islamist government identify themselves as Muslims first," but cautions that "While Turkey is trying to assume a position of leadership in the Arab-Sunni world, it should remember that Arabs identify themselves as Arabs first. With a little bit of luck, both Israel and Turkey will understand in the end that neither of them stands to gain if they lose each other."
The Jerusalem Post writes that the cooling of ties with Turkey "was not sudden and unexpected, it has been going on for a decade, ever since Erdogan’s Islamist party began its rise in 2002. Erdogan’s freezing of defense trade with Israel and downgrading of diplomatic ties are sure to influence civilian commerce as well. Turkey will lose out no less, perhaps even more, than Israel. Ankara plainly cuts off its nose to spite its face. It has already lost Israeli tourism. Now Turkish humiliation of Israeli air-travelers will keep businessmen away and eliminate Turkey as a favorite transit stop. But Turkey will discover that alternatives can be found."
Two papers comment on yesterday’s incident at an IDF base in Samaria in which IDF vehicles were vandalized and graffiti was sprayed against IDF commanders in retaliation for the earlier demolition of three houses at Migron:
Ma’ariv suggests that, "The Israeli Left has been stuck for a decade because, in a long process, the jihadist Left has infiltrated into the legitimate Left: Anarchists with Labor Party people, anti-Zionists with Peace Now, BDS devotees with the Zionist Left. Instead of disavowing them and erecting a wall, they talk about ‘a common struggle.’ This happened several weeks ago at the joint meeting of left-wing movement leaders in the protest tent on Chen Boulevard; the national Left with the anti-Israel Left, everyone all together. This disease is contagious and it has also happened to part of the Israeli Right. The Jewish Jihad has infiltrated and stained it. Only a few, at the last Jerusalem Parade, shouted ‘Death to the Arabs’ but it was they who set the tone." While the author warns against tarring all settlers, "most of whom are honest people," with the same brush, he nevertheless asserts that "There is among them a dangerous, racist and malignant minority, jihadists even if from the faith of Moses. Yesha Council Chairman Yossi Dayan did well to condemn them and not try to understand them."
Yisrael Hayom says that, "It is difficult to conceive of anything more idiotic and more criminal than attacking the IDF – the jeeps that will race to a settlement where there is a suspected terrorist infiltration, the tires that save lives, and the base whose soldiers are sons of the settlement movement. Whoever hurts the IDF is not a Zionist and has no portion among us. One must remember this when discussing what happened at Migron this week."
Haaretz comments on the criticism voiced by former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates of PM Netanyahu’s opposition to U.S. military exports to moderate Arab states: "Gates described Netanyahu as "ungrateful" and as one who does not bother to do his homework prior to important working meetings. The US sees these arms and the advice that goes along with them as powerful levers, and refuses to abandon the markets in the region to competitors such as Russia and France. Israel, which for years has depended on generous U.S. aid packages, comes off appearing indifferent to U.S. needs, including the need to create jobs. Israel needs Washington’s assistance in intelligence and operational matters. Netanyahu’s conduct not only repays generosity with ingratitude but also erodes support for Israel in critical U.S. centers of powers."
[Tolin Daloglu, Ben-Dror Yemini and Emily Amrousi wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]