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  • Author: Zuri Linetsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the summer 2014 Gaza War Israel, Hamas, and the P.A. agreed to meet in Cairo, Egypt to discuss a long-term ceasefire. The goal of this summit was to allow for Gaza to rebuild itself, and for political changes associated with June's Unity Government deal between the P.A. and Hamas to take effect. The summit has since been postponed. However, Gaza still requires significant financial and material aid in order to function and provide for its people. This work examines the economic and security benefits to all parties involved of a long-term ceasefire between Israel, and Hamas. An economically open Gaza benefits Israel, the P.A. and Hamas, with few associated costs and creates an opportunity to reinvigorate final status negotiations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Priya Singh
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Robert O. Freedman\'s edited volume, Israel and the United States: Six Decades of U.S.-Israeli Relations, is a compilation of an interesting assortment of essays by Israeli and American scholars from various fields, contending with different aspects of a complicated and multilayered relationship that comprises not only diplomatic and economic links, but also religious, legal, military and strategic connections as well as common beliefs. The first section of the book articulates the political ties between the United States and Israel since 1948. It contends with U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations, an enquiry of the progression of the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, and an analysis of the evolution of U.S. public attitudes toward Israel. David Makovsky\'s essay, which deals with the U.S. and the Arab–Israeli conflict, emphasizes that the U.S.\'s relationship with Israel and the Arab world is not a zero-sum game and that the United States can maintain good ties with both sides. The essay reiterates that Israel has been an asset for the United States rather than a liability, which has been suggested by the likes of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Robert Freedman, in contending with the policies of George Bush and Barack Obama towards the Arab-Israeli conflict, brings to the fore the similarities in their approaches as well as the significant differences, with the former pursuing an episodic approach while the latter has adopted a more continuous line. In his essay on the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Dov Waxman discusses the ruptures and fissures that have emerged within the lobby and concludes that there is no single organization that can persuasively claim to exemplify the vast majority of American Jews; as such, its clout/influence is expected to wane. Amnon Cavari\'s essay deconstructs the shifting trends in American support for Israel, contending that a decline in support among college-educated Americans along with an upsurge in support among evangelical Christians could weaken bipartisan backing for Israel.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel
  • Author: A. Kadir Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Egypt's democratization efforts require domestic and international considerations: Domestically, the country must focus on the economy at the expense of the military's political role: While military involvement in politics is crucial to democratization, improvements in this area represents an outcome, not the cause, of the process. Discussions should concentrate on protecting lower- and middle classes, generate prosperity and create common ground between democracy and class interests. At the international level, Egypt requires countries to support democratization efforts and condemn extra-democratic actions. Meanwhile, the prominence of Islamists causes concerns for Western governments with regard to the Peace Treaty and Israel's security.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Salim Cevik
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Filistin Politikamız: Camp David'den Mavi Marmara'ya The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is presumably the most problematic and persistent theme in Middle Eastern politics. Thus, the conflict is one of the most studied topics in academic literature on the region. In this light, it is all the more surprising that the current study of Erkan Ertosun is the first book-length work on Turkey's Palestinian policy. It is also a very timely contribution as Palestine becomes an ever more central topic in Turkish foreign policy. The author claims that he has attempted a holistic analysis in which domestic, regional and international factors are integrated. However, despite this claim, the real emphasis of the book is on international affairs and rightfully so.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: WITHIN Fawaz Gerges' text, The End of America's Moment?-Obama and the Middle East, the author endeavors to examine President Obama's implementation of inherently stagnant policies towards the highly volatile and rapidly evolving Middle East. Furthermore, Gerges elaborates on the manner in which the globalists and the Israel-first school succeed in shaping public opinion in the United States about the Middle East and how this process perpetually cripples Obama.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Azzam Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THIS BOOK is an easy to read textbook that is structured to present readers with an historical overview of some of the prominent Islamic movements active in parts of the Muslim world, specifically in West and South Asia. It comprises an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion. The first chapter is about Egypt's Islamism with the main focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. The second chapter is on the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. A summary of the history of the conflict leads to a discussion of Hamas, Palestine's main Islamic group. The third chapter is on Saudi Arabia tracing the roots of Wahhabism to Najd. The fourth chapter is on Pakistan with an emphasis on Mawdudi and Jama'at-I Islami. And the fifth chapter is on Afghanistan and the rise of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Alqaida.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Nur Köprülü
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the purpose of democratization in Jordanian politics is not only a political co-optation policy to cope with the negative effects of the country's economic recession, but also to ensure the survival of the Hashemite monarchy. The process of democratization in the region has been closely tied with the notions of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. This is due to 'incomplete' national identity building formation in most parts of the Middle East. For that particular purpose, the main objective of this paper is not to re-assert the uniqueness of politics in the Arab world, but rather to engage in how politics of regime survival in the case of Jordan shape the process of democratization in the post – 1989 era. Thus this paper will examine the period following the normalization of relations with Israel in 1994, the Palestinian question, the repercussions of current social upheavals in the Arab world, and how these specific circumstances affect Jordan's democratic opening.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Ali Balcı, Tuncay Kardaş
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The present study seeks to answer the following questions: How was it possible that a state such as Turkey, which had until then pursued a low-profile policy in the Middle East, has able to forge a bold strategic alliance with the state of Israel in the 1990s? Conversely then, why was the unparalleled and positive nature of relations in the 1990s replaced by a hostile and toxic nature in the first decade of the 2000s? How can this difference in the relations between the 1990s and 2000s be explained? To answer such questions, this article uses the Copenhagen School's theory of securitization. This approach not only helps to illustrate the characteristics of different periods in Turkish-Israeli relations, it also helps to highlight the specificity of the politics of civil-military relations in foreign policy making.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: 2011 brought an opportunity for Israel and Turkey to mend their bilateral relations. The re-election of Erdoğan in June 2011, coupled with the dramatic events of the Arab Spring, provided a new political and regional context in which the relations could be reevaluated. This context enabled Turkey and Israel, with US mediation, to make progress towards drafting an agreement between them – an agreement intended to enable the two countries to restore normal working relations following the 2010 flotilla incident. However, the draft agreement was eventually rejected by the Israeli government in August 2011, leading to a new cycle of escalating tensions between the two countries. This article analyzes the Israeli decision-making process and discourse regarding the crisis with Turkey, and examines the changing circumstances of 2011, including the impact of the Arab Spring and the contrasting Israeli and Turkish reactions to it; the dynamics leading to the Israeli decision to reject the draft agreement; and the possible next phases in Israel-Turkey relations, including the conditions that can provide a new opportunity for the two former allies to become less alienated.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay is an attempt to revisit Samuel Huntington's controversial thesis about a clash of civilizations. Though the author has been an early critique of Huntington, he finds substantial evidence that corroborates Huntington's central thesis when he analyzes the American policy toward the Middle East through the prism of the clash of civilizations paradigm. He suggests that the pattern of double standards that are witnessed in American foreign policy toward the Middle East is an integral part of a world where supposedly immutable differences based on civilizations form the primary source of conflict. In order to support his argument the author draws on examples from several cases, such as the American policies toward the Israel-Palestine issue, America's position on Iran's nuclear enrichment program, American reaction to the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, as well as Turkey's longstanding candidacy for membership in the European Union. In all, he finds startling double standards that fit Huntington's paradigm, for as he pointed out double standards are an integral part of a mindset that sees conflict in terms of clashing civilizations.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Craig Larkin
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains one of the most intractable, globally sensitive and over-studied of national disputes. The past few decades have witnessed a deluge of scholarly and polemic writing covering the history, nature, and causes of the violence, as well as those exploring future obstacles to peace. While the quantity of literature often masks a paucity of academic quality, Menachem Klein's book, The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict, offers a timely and provocative prognosis of the current facts on the ground. Klein, a lecturer in political science at Israel's BarIlan University and advisor to the Israeli negotiating team during the last decade of peace talks (from Camp David in 2000 to the Geneva Accords in 2003), draws on a range of primary sources and personal insights to outline a radical shift in the nature of the conflict from a national territorial dispute to an ethnically inspired system of Israeli control over all the Palestinian territories. In so doing the author seeks to challenge the traditional “occupation” paradigms and dispel illusionary hopes of a future “unitary non-ethnic democracy” (p. 4). His critical lens is rather fixed on the stark realities of Israeli hegemony, evidenced in settlement expansion, increasing security operations and the diminishing power and influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA).The result is an empirically rich, albeit theoretically light, reading of the contemporary IsraeliPalestinian struggle, which contributes to the on-going debates surrounding future peace negotiations and permanent resolution.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, History
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Dov Friedman
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One might be forgiven for presuming that a new book called The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenship would present innovative insights about the place of Palestinian Israelis—and their stateless West Bank-dwelling brethren—in modern Israeli society. Given the long paper trail left by past scholars seeking to understand the practical and philosophical dilemmas of a codified ethno-religious identity existing alongside a liberal democratic ethos, one might reasonably anticipate new conceptual frameworks and a fresh evaluation of a long-examined problem.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Yousef Munayyer
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: If the revolutions sweeping then Arab world are in fact its “spring” then the Hamas/Fateh reconciliation deal may very well be the first buds this season produced. Whether or not this reconciliation deal will bear any fruit for the Palestinian people, however, is yet to be seen. To best understand the factors affecting the success of the deal, one must have grasp of the history of the relationship between Hamas and Fatah and the role of external actors in that relationship as well. In this commentary I lay out a history of tensions and the role of the US and Israel in driving wedges between the parties. Similar challenges will undoubtedly face this reconciliation attempt and the greatest chances of success can be achieved when both parties put the interests of the Palestinian people ahead of the demands of their external patrons.
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Jakub Wodka
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely book Alexander Murinson explores the forces behind the entente between Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan. He juxtaposes these three countries, which he characterizes as “garrison-, like-minded, 'Westernistic', secular, constitutionally nationalist and lonely states.” (p.143) Those features depict the identity construct of the three states, which on the face of it, may seem to have conflicting interests in the turbulent Eurasian region spanning the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans. Each of the three states is a sui generis actor on the global stage – post-imperial, western-oriented Turkey with global ambitions ruled by a post-Islamist party, a Jewish state encircled by Arab neighbors, and an oil-rich post-soviet republic with an autocratic regime. Thus, the author seeks to understand how the common identities of the three countries on the one hand led to the formation of this peculiar alliance, and on the other hand what factors could and in fact do undermine the Turkish-IsraeliAzeri security relationship. Departing from the more classic, neo-realist approach to international relations, where the homogenous states – the so-called billiard balls are the sole actors on the world stage, the author draws from the constructivist importance of identity as the driving force of states' behavior and their foreign policy. He looks deep into the tissue of the three states and the regional and global context to decipher the emerging patterns and trends in Ankara's relations with Israel and Azerbaijan. As “all the three states have special relations with the world hegemon,” (p.147) it is warranted to say that the United States is the “fourth leg” of this triangular axis. Washington plays a key role in regional affairs and is interested in forging cooperation between countries potentially capable of counterbalancing the regional alignment between Russia, Iran, and Syria.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: After the Israeli attack of May 31, 2010 on the Freedom Flotilla led by the Mavi Marmara, the UN Secretary General appointed a panel of inquiry to resolve the sharp legal dispute that had emerged between Turkey and Israel. The panel was chaired by Jeffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and it was hoped that the report issued would clear the diplomatic air between the two countries. In fact, the publication of the report in May had exactly the opposite effect, enraging Turkey, straining diplomatic relations still further. Turkey seemed fully justified in its response, given the departures from appropriate interpretations of international law. This commentary critically examines the process from the formation of the Palmer panel through the release of its conclusions, looking at the legal and political implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Norman G. Finkelstein
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On May 31st, 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine passengers aboard a humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza. Eight of the nine were Turkish citizens, while one was a dual U.S.-Turkish citizen. On August 2nd, 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Panel of Inquiry (POI) to “examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident,” and to “consider and recommend ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.” In September 2011, the POI's final report was unofficially released. In a finding that shocked the international community, the report concluded that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legal. Moreover, the report vilified the passengers aboard the humanitarian flotilla because they sought to publicize the illegality and inhumanity of Israel's blockade. A careful analysis of the POI report shows that it is probably the most mendacious and debased document ever issued under the aegis of the United Nations.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, United Nations
  • Author: Oded Eran
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Mavi Marmara tragic affair is viewed in Israel as part of a Turkish political maneuvering which gained momentum following the Arab Spring. According to this view Turkey under Prime Minister Erdogan has identified a vacuum created by the US phased withdrawal from the region, a decline in Egypt's traditional role and the growing European and American need for Turkey's involvement. In these circumstances, Turkey can assert itself as a regional power with domestic, regional and international political and economic returns. Championing thePalestinian cause and criticizing Israel bears hardly any price tag. Israelis and, especially, those who decide whether to accept Turkey's demand for ending the Mavi Marmara affair and restoring normal relations, question whether this is Turkey's strategy. The Arab Spring may produce major changes in the region's political map that would also affect Turkey and Israel. This is a time when a dialogue, rather than rupture and confrontation, would better serve their long term interests. Yet both governments are now entrenched in their positions. This calls for a nongovernmental initiative to prevent further deterioration and search for a process to heal the relationship.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Raymond Hinnebusch
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This slim volume examines a relationship that is pivotal for the stability of the Gulf and the wider Arab world and has major implications for Lebanon, Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the position of the US in the region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Iara Lee
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Law
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Taha Özhan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Gaza