ZOA Welcomes Restoration of Turkish-Israeli Diplomatic Relations, Hoping Turkey’s Rhetoric Against Israel Will Change
August 17, 2022

And Hoping Turkey Will Begin to Criticize Palestinian Regime’s Heinous Policies 

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The ZOA welcomes the restoration of Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations and upcoming exchange of ambassadors, and congratulates the leaders of both countries for this positive step. We hope that this warming and restoration of relations will help the two nations address issues directly, enhance mutual economic development and security, and increase Middle East stability. Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to recognize the reestablished state of Israel in 1949. Welcome back! 

A major obstacle to improved Turkish-Israeli relations in recent years was that Turkey harbored leaders of the designated terror organization Hamas, who were responsible for murdering numerous Israelis and who used Turkey as a base to direct Hamas’ Gazan operations against Israel. According to reports this spring (also see here), in an effort to warm relations with Israel, Turkey deported or refused reentry to dozens of Hamas members, after Israel provided a list of Hamas operatives to Turkey. Also, Turkey apparently pressured Hamas to not enter the latest Islamic Jihad war against Israel. These reports are encouraging.

We remain concerned, however, about Turkish President Erdogan’s wrongful accusations against Israel in the recent past, and urge him to reverse and discontinue such untrue statements. For instance, last year, PM Erdogan wrongly accused Israel when Palestinian Arabs hurled rocks and firebombs from Al-Aqsa Mosque and interfered with prayers there. On May 8, 2021, PM Erdogan wrongly tweeted, “We strongly condemn Israel’s heinous attacks against our first qibla #AlAqsaMosque, that are unfortunately being carried out every Ramadan.” And in his UN address on September 22, 2020, PM Erdogan wrongly accused Israel of extending its “dirty hand” over Jerusalem and “occupation and oppression in Palestine,” prompting Israel’s UN envoy to walk out of the General Assembly hall. And, on November 24, 2021, PM Erdogan falsely accused Israel of “oppressive” policies towards Palestinians, and called Israel’s eternal capital Jerusalem “the capital of Palestine.”

Moreover, while repeatedly wrongly condemning Israel’s policies towards Palestinian Arabs, Prime Minister Erdogan and Turkey’s other leaders have failed to condemn the Palestinian Authority for its Nazi-like policy of paying Arabs lifetime pensions to murder Jews and Americans, and for honoring and naming schools, streets and sports teams after Jew-killers, and for the Palestinian Regime’s dictator, Mahmoud Abbas, grotesquely condemning Israel for perpetrating “50 Holocausts” on the Palestinian Arabs. 

We hope that the positive step of restored diplomatic relations will also lead to positive changes in these areas of concern. Such changes could have a powerful effect in moving toward real peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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