Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Changing Power Dynamics in Middle East

Much has been happening in Middle East lately. The political circumstances are changing rapidly and there are evident signs of many important developments in the region. The current conflict that seems to be rising between Israel and Turkey will definitely have considerable resonance in the power dynamics of the region. Turkey this month suspended its military ties with Israel, expelled top Israeli diplomats, pledged to campaign in support of the Palestinians' statehood bid and vowed to send the Turkish navy to escort Gaza-bound aid ships in the future.

Turkey considers that the mounting conflict between the two countries has been because of the Israel's raid on aid flotilla last year and Israel's refusal to apologize for their 'mistake'.

Recently, before and during his visit to Egypt, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clearly mentioned that Israel is responsible for the tension in the relations and that Turkey would defend Palestinian bid for statehood in the U.N. He is reported to have said, "It (flotilla raid) is a cause of war, but we decided to act in line with Turkey's grandeur and showed patience."

Erdogan's current visit to Egypt comes at a time when the relations between Egypt and Israel are going through severe trouble after the mob attack on the Israeli embassy that caused a panic on a large extent.

The Arab Spring in general and the political change in Egypt in particular have greatly influenced the Egypt-Israel relations though there has been peace treaty between the two countries. This change in relation will greatly affect Israel and the political developments in the region.

Turkey, after their strong stand against Israel and exclusive support for Palestinian statehood bid and the changes towards democracy in Arab Spring is in a great position to lead the Arab world and staunch Israel's dominancy in the region.

Israel at the moment is going through many challenges at a time – It has to face deteriorating situation with Egypt and Turkey and will be tested by the Palestinian bid for statehood. Definitely, Israel does not seem in a position to afford growing tensions in the relations with Turkey and Egypt and the current circumstances would definitely cause them a feeling of isolation in the regional diplomacy.

Israel, as an answer to the Turkey's stand has clearly mentioned that it has not to apologize for the 'flotilla raid' as it was to safeguard the boundary laws of the country.

Further, Israel is not the reason of the growing tension in Israel-Turkey relationships. An Israeli Cabinet Minister, Gilad Erdan has said, "With Turkey, we had a very close relationship in the past, and we still hope that we can improve the relationship with Turkey, but it wasn't our decision to deteriorate the relationship."

In short Israel does not seem to see the relations getting worse with both Turkey and Egypt but at the same time it definitely has its attentions focused on the rising position of Turkey in the region.

As far as the possible bid of statehood from Palestine is concerned, Israel does not seem in a compromising position.

There has been clear indication from Israeli authorities that any unilateral attempt on the part of Palestine will only worsen the situation.

Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman has said, "From the moment they pass a unilateral decision there will be harsh and grave consequences. I hope that we shall not come to those harsh and grave consequences and that common sense will prevail in all decisions taken."

There are clear indications that the situation in Middle East will have to go through important changes in the times to come, but it should be made certain by all the parties involved that severe conflicts and wars should be avoided as much as possible so that more attention should be preserved for the positive political developments in the region.