In the wake of ever-present Israeli-Arab tensions, the Jewish state has elected, for the first time in history, a female #muslim diplomat for its mission in #Turkey. The newly appointed diplomat, Rasha Atamny, studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, then served as a youth representative of #Israel at the UN.

Impact on US-Israeli relations

This choice may be an attempt to improve the Israeli image in the US following President Trump's backpedaling on the question of relocating the US embassy from Israel's former capital city of Tel-Aviv to the new internationally unrecognized, and controversial, capital of Jerusalem.

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Trump seems to have backed away from the controversy after Israel expanded construction of new settlements just days after the Presidential inauguration.

In an interview with Israel Hayom on the question of the embassy, Donald Trump responded: "I am thinking about the embassy, I am studying the embassy issue, and we will see what happens. The embassy is not an easy decision. It has obviously been out there for many, many years, and nobody has wanted to make that decision. I'm thinking about it very seriously, and we will see what happens."

This statement came only a month after Trump's team supported the idea of moving the embassy, which would serve to signal US recognition of the new capital. For those who don't know, the Israeli side says Jerusalem should be Israel's capital on the grounds that it's the historic capital.

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On the other side, the Palestinian side protests the move because Jerusalem is split between Israel and Palestine, and thus moving the capital there is just another move hindering the much talked about two-state solution.

Will she be able to handle Turkey?

Atamny will be entering Israel almost a year after the two nations reached an agreement to normalize ties. Previously tensions were high after IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers raided 6 civilian ships during what's known as "the Gaza flotilla raid" in international waters. The operation resulted in the deaths of 9 Turkish activists, including one US citizen.

As things currently stand, Turkey's geopolitical situation is complicated. Fighting ISIS, subduing the Kurdish independence movement, trying to improve relations with the EU while being accused of authoritarian rule, being a US ally while trying not to get on Russia's bad side, etc. A diplomatic job in Ankara seems like quite a task.

The real reason this situation is sparking international interest is that this is the first time Israel has picked a female Muslim representative for a foreign position. Furthermore, they picked Turkey to be the recipient of this new diplomat, a country ranked 68th on the gender-equality index. Some might call this a controversial move in and of itself.