Turkey and Israel ended their 20-year diplomatic crisis this week by announcing the restoration of full diplomatic ties. But despite the welcome denouement to this saga, this is hardly the end of the story.
If past is prologue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can be expected to continue with his outbursts. His hatred of Jews was passed on through his mother’s milk and his capricious demeanor has only gotten worse over the years. Israeli leaders are well aware of this, and a senior Israeli official told Israel Hayom that if Erdogan turns on Israel, it would know how to respond in kind.
“Just like diplomatic ties were upgraded, so too could they be downgraded if needed. But if we can now reconcile, then why not?” the official added.
While Turkey already has a de facto ambassador-level representation in Israel, Jerusalem still has to start the appointment process for its would-be ambassador. The current chargé d’affaires in Ankara, Irit Lillian, could very well be tapped for the job due to the legal constraints on a transition government just before an election, which all but prevent political appointments (although Prime Minister Yair Lapid can theoretically pursue that path).