The reactions of the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement deal have been have been met with a plethora of emotions. Some Palestinians have argued that despite Turkish rhetoric, national self-interest would always supersede that of the Palestinian people. Others have reflected sentiments of disillusionment at the about turn taken by Turkey which appears to be diametrically opposed to the its erstwhile stance on the Palestinians issue. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s profile in the solidary community skyrocketed with his stance visa-vi Shimon Peres in his ‘one minute’ display. There is another grouping that views the by-product of the agreement to be beneficial to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip and are adamant in depicting a silver lining.
The actual text of the agreement has not filtered into mainstream circulation however the terms contained therein are gradually surfacing. An extensive exposé emerged in the leading Israel publication Haaretz which painted a shocking picture of the deal. There is not a shadow of doubt that one of the crucial motivators behind this deal was economics. Israel’s Netanyahu alluded to this crucial aspect on the 27th June 2016 stating that the deal has “immense implications for the Israeli economy”.
Haaretz ventures to shed further light on the matter by alluding to a gas pipeline deal between Turkey and Israel. Turkey is viewed as the gateway to Europe and the portrayal of Turkey is a lucrative incentive for both countries. Interestingly, the first gas fields were found off the coast of the Gaza Strip in the early 2000’s.
This was viewed even by the Israeli regime as property of the Palestinian people. In 2011, Israel National News ran a story titled “PA Claims Israel Steals Gas in Exploration of Gaza Waters” which would come as no surprise as the State of Israel is premised on the dispossession of Palestinian natural resources which include but are not limited to land and water resources.
In 2012 the fields of Tamar Field and the Leviathan Field were found off the coast of Haifa. Judging from Israel’s dubious history of dispossession, it would not be far-fetched to suspect that part of the gas being alienated by Israel via this Turkish gas deal may actually belong to the Palestinian people. This possibility and the existence of these fields are in the grasp of the Turkish leadership which compounds the treachery.
Other shocking concessions by the Turkish government related to the 2010 massacre in which nine Turkish citizens were murdered by the Israeli armed forces on board the Turkish humanitarian vessel the Mavi Marmara. It is reported that the Turkish government will effectively pass legislation immunising the perpetrators of this heinous crime in exchange for a 20 million dollar donation.
Despite this being a travesty of justice, Turkey has agreed to this amount being paid as a donation instead of compensation to protect Israel from future claims of compensation for their acts of wanton murder and bloodlust. This concession is pregnant with both meaning and implication in that Turkey has agreed to be an active participant in preventing the setting of a precedent which seeks to protect Israel at the detriment of not only their own Turkish victims but also those who has been touched by the hand of Israel’s murderous behaviour.
Erdogan’s political linage vests him within the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwan). It therefore was no surprise when the Palestinian offshoot Hamas welcomed his ascent to power and found an ally within him. The sacrificing of Erdogan’s political brethren in favour of Israeli shekels and geopolitical containment policies seems to be lifted from the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Ceaser.
The agreement to prevent any planning or coordination between the political wing Hamas and the armed wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam not only seeks to fragment the resistance against Zionist occupation but firmly vests Turkey as an agent of the colonial settler state. To exacerbate the treachery, it has been reported that Erdogan has provided a written undertaking to release his intelligence agents to “get back two Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians who went missing in Gaza and are held by Hamas.”
Et tu Brute?
Those seeking the silver lining have latched onto the easing of the siege on Gaza and the Israeli concession to expedite reconstruction of facilities such as building a hospital, a power station and a desalination station, all subject to Israeli security considerations. This easing has not been precipitated by Turkish intervention as it being portrayed by Turkey in the media. To the contrary, this has been the plan and recommendation of the Israeli security establishment.
A recent report by Israeli security stalwarts referred to Gaza as a ticking humanitarian timebomb which required urgent intervention. They recommended that Israel take steps to alleviate the crisis in Gaza, even at “the risk that some of the goods can be utilized by Hamas for its ‘tunnels’ industry’ and other belligerent purposes.” This is supported by the statements of Netanyahu who commented “When electricity is short, sanitation problems arise that can cause plagues that don’t stop at the border. That is why this is a clear Israeli interest.”
Negotiation by definition is power play between parties to achieve concessions which necessitates the shifting of positions which are originally entrenched. The only perceived boon of this agreement was something Israel was going to do in any event. Not only is this so-called easing of the siege fictitious and broad, it perpetuates the conduct of sustaining the status quo of occupation instead of dismantling it.
The extraction of Israel from the mortuary freezers is accurately described by Netanyahu as one of “strategic importance to Israel,” and the nett effect of which is to “create islands of stability”. This runs as a counter current to the global movement to isolate Israel under the Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement which correctly views Israel as a bastion of colonialism and apartheid in the modern world.
The conduct of Turkey has disillusioned many who viewed the country as a glimmer of hope for the Palestine people. Two prominent figures of the Resistance movement Hamas have expressed their disgust in relation to this normalisation deal. This does however underscore a striking realisation, that the only means of liberation is through resistance as political and geopolitical partners have become slaves to coinage. The only door to the liberation of Palestine is that of Tehran. After treachery of such a colossal nature, the words of English poet William Blake encapsulate the sentiments of many Palestinians and those in the solidary moment:
“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet is the chairman of Media Review Network.