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Zev Chafets

The Knesset Should Go Ahead and Say the G-Word

The recent arrest of two Israelis in Turkey is a reminder that Israel has catered to Turkish sensitivies for too long. 

Will he say the G-word? 

Will he say the G-word? 

Photographer: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg

Last week, Turkish police arrested two Israeli tourists in Istanbul under suspicion that they were spies. A husband and wife, they were held in separate prisons and interrogated for taking pictures. The country’s interior minister announced that they would face Turkish justice, a chilling prospect.

Israel was indignant. “They are arrested for no reason,” Justice Minister Gideon Saar protested Tuesday. Israeli papers quoted travelers and Israeli residents in Turkey saying they feared being targeted. Then on Wednesday night the tourists were let go without explanation. The incident has sparked debate about whether often rocky Israeli-Turkish relations have suddenly grown chillier. And it comes just as a bill has been introduced to the Knesset that would see Israel recognize the Armenian genocide, a move sure to anger Turkey.