Director of Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan
The new unprecedented
degree of closeness between Israel and Turkey has become a
significant feature of the contemporary international dynamics
of the Middle East. Efraim Inbars The Israeli-Turkish
Entente is the first comprehensive study that explains the
timing of the entente, its present substance, and its impact
on the regional environment.
The book argues
that the entente with Israel was part of a re-orientation
of Turkeys foreign policy as a result of the emergence
of a new international constellation, following the demise
of the Soviet Union. While it was free to adopt a more assertive
foreign policy than before, Turkey perceived itself encircled
by areas of instability and threatened by dangerous neighbours.
Relations with Israel were considered useful in facing Turkeys
new challenges. While no classic military alliance, the Israeli-Turkish
entente renders each side military benefits. The partnership
is useful in dealing with a variety of common challenges,
such as the adversary relationship with Syria, the security
risks emanating from Iraq and Iran, particularly concerning
weapons of mass destruction; Islamic extremism; the future
of Central Asia. Turkey and Israel also share a problematic
relationship with Europe and suspicions of a resurgent Russia.
This alignment strengthens the peace process between Israel
and its neighbours, which is predicated upon a strong Israel,
deters radical states, such as Iran, Iraq and Syria and enhances
the influence of the US in the region.
Finally, the book
evaluates the resilience of the new Israeli-Turkish entente
in light of domestic and international constraints and argues
that despite the potential limitations, the common interests
are likely to make the entente durable.
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