Turkey has expressed its disappointment with the United States’ defense of Israel during the ongoing conflict with Hamas, stating that it has damaged America’s reputation and put the global community in a difficult position. During a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ankara conveyed its concerns and urged the US to change its stance.
Turkey’s criticism comes amidst heightened tensions between Turkey and Israel, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” in Gaza and condemning its ground assault as “an open, vicious massacre.” In response, Israel has maintained that its objective is to defeat Hamas, which launched a surprise attack on the country.
During the meeting between Fidan and Blinken, Turkish officials reportedly provided a clear explanation of the situation in Gaza and expressed their disappointment with the US’ refusal to call for a ceasefire. Turkey argued that the US’ steadfast support of Israel was causing trouble and tarnishing America’s image as it is seen as the patron of Israel’s actions.
Despite the concerns raised by Turkey, no joint statement was issued after the meeting, and no joint press conference was held. However, Blinken described the conversation as “productive” and highlighted the need for increased humanitarian assistance to Gaza while urging both sides to avoid further escalation.
US President Joe Biden had previously called for a humanitarian “pause” in the hostilities, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated a willingness to consider “little pauses” in the fighting. However, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has claimed the lives of over 10,000 Palestinians and more than 1,400 Israelis.
In addition to Turkey’s criticism, a group of low- and mid-level US diplomats reportedly urged the Biden administration to condemn Israel’s targeting of civilians and demand an immediate ceasefire. These diplomats argued that the US’ failure to do so contributes to the perception that America is biased and dishonest in its approach to the conflict.
As the situation in the Middle East continues to escalate, the international community remains divided in its response. Turkey’s criticism of the US’ defense of Israel highlights the challenges faced by the global community in finding a solution to the ongoing conflict. It remains to be seen how the US will respond to these concerns and whether any changes in their stance will occur.