Turkey dropped its ban on cooperating with Israel as a third-nation NATO partner at the 28-member alliance meeting in Brussels on Dec. 4, in response to a reprimand from Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that the ban had “created a lack of confidence among the partners.” The same meeting approved the deployment of Patriots on the Turkish border with Syria.
Turkey’s consent to effectively revive its strategic cooperation with Israel represents a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. As he runs for reelection on Jan. 22, he is constantly accused by opposition leaders of bringing Israel into deep international isolation. Turkey and NATO have undercut that charge.
President Barack Obama has strived hard to restore Turkish ties with Israel – and not only on Israel’s behalf, but as a prop for his burgeoning Sunni Muslim Middle East bloc, headed by Egypt, and a step on the path toward resuscitating the Israel-Palestinian peace process.
The two scenarios are part of a four-point understanding which President Obama and Netanyahu quietly concluded last fall when the US president was campaigning for reelection and which were made known to America’s European allies, as well as Moscow, Tehran and Ramallah.
DEBKAfile outlines those four points: