U.S. Jews Trying to Salvage Turkish Relationships

| June 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

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Jewish leaders in the United States are working quietly to preserve diplomatic links with Turkey. Relations have been strained over the past months, with the situation hitting crisis level when Israeli military personnel boarded the Mavi Marmara on May 31.

The Turkish registered ship, which claimed to be on a humanitarian mission, was attempting to breach the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Israeli military personnel boarded the ship in international waters after repeated warnings to the Mavi Marmara, and as a result, 9 Turkish passengers were killed and seven Israeli personnel were wounded.

Turkey’s response the action was outrage and an escalation in vitriolic words from the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan blasted Israel for the attack, saying the attack was unwarranted and calling for an international inquiry.

The Prime Minister’s statement is the most recent in months of escalating tension. Earlier this year, Erdogan criticized Israeli officials on their actions toward Gaza, which is not controlled by the terrorist group Hamas.

But US Jewish leaders, including Jason Isaacson, the director of international affairs for the American Jewish Committee, think that dialog and diplomacy are still viable with Turkey moving forward. Isaacson and others are working to maintain cooperative and productive relationships with their Turkish contacts given the current strained climate between the two countries.

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Category: Global News

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