Between crises and cooperation: the future of Turkish-Israeli relations
Bilateral relations between Turkey and Israel nosedived after the recent Israeli operation in Gaza, and both countries tested each other's red lines at the height of the crisis from January to mid-February 2009. The verbal spat between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Davos and, later, an undiplomatic statement by the Israeli Ground Forces commander, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahl, led many observers to believe that the strategic relationship between Turkey and Israel had been dealt a fatal blow. However, diplomats and statesmen have already started mending diplomatic ties, while military cooperation between the two countries continued routinely. The latest crisis confirmed two oft-repeated conjectures regarding the pattern in bilateral ties: first, Turkey's partnership with Israel is fundamentally pegged to Israel's attitude toward the Palestinians, and, second, the profundity of the partnership has reached a level that makes a divorce quite complicated and difficult.