NATO Member Rolls Out Red Carpet For Hamas Chief

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Apr 22, 2024 - 07:25 PM

As head of NATO's second largest military, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has continued to stir controversy among allies by his Hamas-sympathetic stance. As early as last October, just on the heels of the Oct.7 Hamas terror attack, he was bluntly expressing that "Hamas is not a terror organization" but is a "liberation group" rightfully fighting to protect Palestinian lands.

But this weekend he went far beyond mere verbal praise as Turkey's president played official host to Hamas Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul.

Turkish Presidency via Anadolu

The Saturday meeting saw Erdogan vow to the Hamas chief that Turkey is committed to raising awareness of the plight of the Palestinians on a global stage. He said Turkey will lead the way toward seeing an independent State of Palestine achieved.

"The strongest response to Israel and the path to victory lie in unity and integrity," Erdoğan said, referencing Palestinian political unity at this sensitive moment.

Hamas is the main political rival to Fatah - which is the faction that forms the core of the Palestinian Authority (PA) overseeing the West Bank. While the secular-leaning PA is favored as the Palestinians' representative in the West (and at the UN), Hamas is a designated terror organization in the United States and European Union. So in essence Erdogan just held a state visit for a US-designated terrorist.

Last Wednesday upon officially announcing the Hamas leader's visit, Erdogan had said, "Even if only I, Tayyip Erdogan, remain, I will continue as long as God gives me my life, to defend the Palestinian struggle and to be the voice of the oppressed Palestinian people."

From Tel Aviv's perspective, Erdogan's ratcheting rhetoric in denouncing Israeli 'genocidal' actions will likely been seen as unforgiveable, even after this current crisis is over. Turkey and Israel have long clashed over the Palestinian issue, and these tensions have exploded back into full force. Ties between the two countries are at a historical low point, and have even led to Turkey imposing an export ban on key products for Israel.

Erdogan has all along continued seeking to get Israel branded as a "war criminal" state on the world stage, and is pursuing a case submitted before the the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

On Saturday Hamas' Haniyeh said Israel is solely to blame for the near collapse of Qatar-mediated truce talks...

In October, as the Gaza war kicked off, Erdogan confirmed he had canceled a planned trip to Israel where he was expected to meet with his Israeli counterpart. This was part of a normalization and restoration of ties effort, which is clearly now indefinitely on ice. It could be years or even decades before ties are healed between the two countries.