Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear once and for all that despite the talks, the friendly exchange of views and the warming relations that seemed to be developing until recently, Israel and Turkey are not going to restore their relations anytime soon.
Erdogan's threats against Israel-Netanyahu
On Monday, the Turkish leader said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be tried as a war criminal for Israel's ongoing attack on the Gaza Strip, while referring to the Israeli leader, he called him the "butcher of Gaza," International Israel Media reported.
This narrative has been consistently maintained by the Turkish president since the war first broke out, even as more than 1,200 Israelis were slaughtered at the hands of Hamas terrorists who stormed cities and private homes, setting fire to and killing.
Shortly after the outbreak of war, Turkey urged Israel to react in a restrained manner.
A week after the war, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan contacted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to discuss a possible release of civilian prisoners. This was the most friendly behaviour seen from Turkey and there has been nothing similar since.
On the contrary, Turkey has consistently maintained its condemnation of Israel's defensive military campaign in Hamas-controlled Gaza, while maintaining that Hamas is not, in fact, a terrorist organization.
"Hamas ... is a liberation group, the mujahideen who are fighting a battle to protect their territories and their people," Erdogan said two weeks after the war broke out.
Several days later, he claimed Israel was committing "war crimes."
Erdogan has been revealed
"We will tell the whole world that Israel is a war criminal. We are making preparations for this. We will declare Israel a war criminal," he said
As diplomats were recalled from Turkey and Israel, it became clear that the "front" Erdogan once maintained for a heated relationship between Israel and Turkey was just that, a "front."
Israel is a "terrorist state", he claimed two weeks ago, calling its military efforts in Gaza "the most insidious attacks in human history".
Its attacks were not only aimed at Israel, it actually attacked any country expressing any form of support for the Jewish state, including the "West" as a whole.
"Those who feel indebted to Israel cannot speak freely. We did not go through the Holocaust process. We don't have to face such a situation because our respect for humanity is different," Erdogan said in mid-November during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Last week, Erdogan told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Israel "continues to shamelessly violate international law, the laws of war and international humanitarian law" and therefore must "be held accountable for the crimes it committed before international law. "
Finally, on Monday, he told the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) committee in Istanbul that "Israel is not only a murderer but also a thief" and that Netanyahu should be tried as a war criminal because he is "the butcher of Gaza. "
Disaster to Israel-Turkey relations after Erdogan's statements
While Israel was seeing some semblance of a growing relationship with Turkey after a long period of strained relations caused by the 2008 crisis in their relations, and while Israel was willing to put Erdogan's previous bizarre comments behind him in order to facilitate an overheating of ties, his recent statements signal a rift that will not be mended anytime soon.
It is one thing to criticize the actions of the Israeli government during this war, or even before the war, and quite another to declare that the State of Israel and its leader are war criminals as they wage a defensive war forced upon them by a terrorist group that just committed the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
There is plenty of room for legitimate criticism in international relations, but this is not criticism, it is the desperate cry of a leader who believes his actions will have no consequences.
It is time for Israel and the international community to show him that this is not the case.
Belhara's "Greece time" has arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean
In view of the above, we understand that Israel-Turkey relations have reached a hostile level, which favours Greek interests in the SE Mediterranean.
Our country, being a stable and reliable ally with the US-Israel, should take steps to further strengthen relations with Tel Aviv, by integrating the Greek and Israeli air defence, with the Belhara frigates, while thanks to its Rafale fighters, it can play a key role in the Greek-Israeli aeronautical dominance in the SE Mediterranean.