An Israeli ambassador described Turkey’s prime minister as a “fundamentalist” who hates the Jewish state on religious grounds, according a U.S. diplomatic cable recently released.
“Levy dismissed political calculation as a motivator for Erdogan’s hostility, arguing the prime minister’s party had not gained a single point in the polls from his bashing of Israel,” says the cable, which was sent by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Israeli-Turkish relations, which deteriorated after Turkey criticized Israel’s 2008-09 war in Gaza, collapsed last year after nine Turks were killed in a melee with Israeli commandos aboard a ship seeking to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In advance of the release of a U.N. report on the deadly incident, Israeli and Turkish negotiators have been working on a formula for resuming relations that would satisfy Turkish demands for an Israeli apology.
Israel reportedly is concerned that, if the talks fail, Turkey will not approve a replacement for Mr. Levy, whose term is scheduled to expire in a week. Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv immediately after the shipboard skirmish.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Reflections on raising families in a holistic way -- with a focus on nutrition and alternative health.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall