Several Arab states reportedly warned Israel about Turkish influence in Jerusalem.
The Israeli information outlet Haaretz published an article over the weekend claiming that Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority all shared their worries with Tel Aviv about Turkey’s growing influence in the Holy City. According to the publication, they warned how Ankara is using Islamic charities, protesters, and quiet real estate purchases to become a significant soft power leader in the area, drawing particular attention to how the collective result of its efforts has been to make Turkey a silent stakeholder in Palestine, much to their dismay. These three Arab governments’ alliance with Israel and their supposed anti-Turkish stances align with the model that geopolitical analyst Adam Garrie unveiled late last year in describing the contemporary Mideast as being divided into Northern and Southern Blocs.
The first-mentioned one includes Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, while the second counts Israel and the Gulf States as members. What’s important to highlight here is that the indigenous non-Arab Great Powers of Turkey and Iran are strategically facing off against the Arab Great Power of Saudi Arabia, the latter of which is working together with its Emirati ally to propagate a warped form of Arab Nationalism that contradicts its very anti-Zionist basis by redirecting regional anger away from Israel’s occupation of Palestine and towards Turkey and Iran’s regional activities instead. This is nothing less than the weaponization of historical memory coupled with an implicit ethnic bias very similar to the brainwashing model presently in use against Russia in Central & Eastern Europe, though it nevertheless has the potential to be startlingly effective in diverting people’s attention from the Palestinian cause.
Irrespective of its eventual effectiveness, the quadrilateral coordination between the Southern Bloc’s Arab members and Israel speaks to Turkey’s multipolar credibility and success in positioning itself as a serious player in Mideast affairs. On top of that, given that Trump will soon unveil his so-called “deal of the century” for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli issue that most people expect will be a Southern Bloc-endorsed sell-out of the former, Turkey is importantly becoming the torchbearer of this cause, proving that it was never about ethnic solidarity between Arabs but about justice in the true sense of the word. Having said that, it’s predictable that this weaponization of historical memory will go into overdrive trying to equate President Erdogan to a modern-day Sultan, but it remains to be seen whether people will buy into this narrative.