Two of the United States’ closest traditional allies in the Middle East, Israel and Turkey, have a tumultuous relationship. Once-strong relations soured in the last decade, with the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in 2010 marking its nadir. Repeated attempts by the United States to mediate have helped move the parties closer together, but the gap is still wide, hindering regional security and impacting U.S. interests. Questions remain about whether the ties between the two former allies be mended and what role the United States can play in managing the relationship.
On March 23, in conjunction with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP) at Brookings hosted a discussion examining the relationship between Israel and Turkey. The discussion built on an ongoing dialogue between the Israeli think tank Mitvim, and the Turkish Global Political Trends Center, sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, as well as ongoing work by Brookings experts.