Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a good point when, a day after a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed 38 people on Dec. 10, he said that he condemned all terrorism in Turkey and expected that Turkey did the same when terror targeted Israel. “The fight against terrorism must be mutual,” Netanyahu said. “It must be mutual in condemnation and in countermeasures, and this is what the State of Israel expects from all countries it is in contact with, including Turkey,” Netanyahu said a day before Ankara and Jerusalem formally normalized their frozen diplomatic relations. Netanyahu’s expectation was legitimate but not realistic, especially with Turkey.
A few days later, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued an order outlawing the Istanbul-based International Kanadil Institute for Humanitarian Aid, a Turkish aid group, accusing it of funnelling money to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. “The Kanadil foundation is identified with Hamas and with the Muslim Brotherhood and in recent years had been used as a main pipeline for funding projects by Hamas in Jerusalem,” Lieberman’s spokesperson said in a statement. Turkey’s logistical and political support for its ideological next of kin, Hamas, did not come as a surprise, despite normalization with Israel: for Turkey’s rulers, there are terrorists, and terrorists who go with fancy tags.
In a November interview with Israel’s Channel 2, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he does not view Hamas as a terrorist organization. He called it instead a “political movement born from [a] national resurrection.” He also said he meets with Hamas “all the time.”
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