The conflict between Israel and Palestine last month have changed the balances in the Middle East again. There were countries and leaders who were strengthened and there were also regimes and politicians who became relevant again just as it seemed their political star might be fading. Conflicts have changed U.S. President Joe Biden’s priorities in Middle East policy and paved the way for him to ‘stretch’ the policies he pursues.
A week has nearly passed since the ceasefire that ended the conflict. Now, it’s time for the consequences. Netanyahu’ s 12-year rule hanging by a thread.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was fueled with chaos recently, seems like he has come to an end. This time, the conflict seems not to have saved Netanyahu, who provoked it with instructions given to the police and with legislative proposals he brought up at the Parliament that can be considered ‘racist’.
There was some news that Naftali Benett, a right-wing politician in the political spectrum – even further right than Netanyahu – came to an agreement with center-right politician Yair Lapid after a to-ing and fro-ing process to form a coalition government. The agreement is based on a four-year period before new elections, in which both Benett and Lapid will become prime ministers for two years, respectively.
Arab deputies in the Israeli Knesset also seem to support this new coalition rather than the possibility that Netanyahu could lead the country into a new election. This means the end of Netanyahu’s political life. The Biden administration invited Israeli President Rivlin to an official visit. This has revealed that Netanyahu isn’t respected that much in the eyes of Washington. Normally, Israeli Prime Ministers are invited to the White House first. Biden chose Rivlin instead of Netanyahu this time, although Rivlin’s Presidential term will end in July, indicating that Biden has withdrawn his support for Netanyahu.
SISI BECAME A SHINING STAR
The Israel-Palestine conflict turned Egyptian Leader Sisi into a ‘shining star’ in the international arena. Sisi took credit for the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, and the U.S. President called him not once but twice.
In fact, Biden was expected to put push the democracy issue as a ‘precondition’ in U.S.-Egypt relations and keep his distance from the Sisi administration due to ongoing anti-democratic moves and human rights violations. Biden seems like he has stretched this policy thin due to the positive role Egypt played in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Mahmud Abbas back on the international stage Prior to the conflict, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas had been considered as a politician ‘at the end of his career’. However, the Hamas administration in Gaza came to the forefront in the conflict, and this has changed the thought of the international community, notably Arab countries, which haven’t previously accepted Abbas as relevant. An unnamed international movement led by the U.S. is now attempting to isolate Hamas. Even Palestinian journalists began to write that the phones of Abbas’ office in Ramallah, which had never rung, have started to ring continuously after Biden called him. The King of Saudi Arabia and Secretary- General of the United Nations also called him. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a visit to Ramallah and met Abbas in person. The Foreign Ministers of the UK, France, Germany, Jordan and Egypt followed in Blinken’s steps and visited Abbas.
TURKEY TRIED TO SOLVE THE CRISIS BUT IT UNDERWHELMED
Turkey also got into the action during the Israel-Palestine conflict. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call with almost all member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. However, Turkey’s efforts underwhelmed during the ceasefire process when Egypt came to the forefront.
The Turkish Foreign Minister couldn’t meet with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv and also couldn’t come knocking at Abbas’ door due to the tension with Israel.
The President Biden has not changed his policy toward the Erdogan administration in terms of democracy and human rights as preconditions for collaboration, which he had ‘stretched’ for the Sisi administration due to the Israel-Palestine conflict process. Blinken went on a diplomatic excursion to regional countries while Biden chose to send the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State to Ankara. Moreover, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman who paid a visit to Turkey, about human rights, limited personal liberties and democracy at most during the meetings in Ankara and Istanbul.
Another piece of bad news for Ankara is that Turkey’s name isn’t mentioned at all in the rebuilding process of Palestine. A rebuilding campaign under the leadership of the U.S. has been launched for Gaza, where the infrastructure collapsed as a result of Israel’s attacks on hospitals and trade centers. Egypt seems to be taking the lion’s share. In fact, the U.S. Secretary of State, who did not pay a visit to Ankara but went to Cairo, emphasized the ‘key role of Egypt in the rebuilding of Gaza’ at all meetings.
Unfortunately, the outcome is negative for Turkey.Struggling with an economic crisis, Turkey is also losing both its skill at evaluating possibilities that might arise from the crisis and its influence in the international arena day by day due to the aggressive foreign policy pursued by the AK Party government.