Hyped emotions, and political opportunism aside, the Israel-Turkey normalization deal, signed on June 27 is unfavorable for Palestinians – and for Gazans, in particular.
There is much that is being said to blame Turkey or placate the damage of seeing Turkey – which has for years been one of the most visible backers of Palestinian Resistance – reaching out to Israel. Yet, no amount of text, statements and press releases can diminish the psychological defeat felt in Gaza following the announcement.
Gazans are emotionally exhausted after ten years of siege, dotted by devastating wars and the lack of any political horizon. Aside from their resistance, undying faith and legendary steadfastness, Palestinians in Gaza have looked up with much hope and anticipation to a few friends. One was Turkey.
The relationship was cemented in May 2010, when Israeli commandos raided the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ in international waters, killing nine Turkish humanitarian activists aboard the ‘MV Mavi Marmara’. A tenth activist died later from his wounds. Since then, many Palestinians, as well as many Turks, have felt that the relationship between Palestine and Turkey entered a new phase, not that of words, but deeds. They had more in common than sentimental gestures of friendship, now, blood and tears.
There is no question that Turkey, an important NATO member and an American ally in the region, has been under much pressure since it demoted its diplomatic ties with Israel in…