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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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The Turks Walk Back their Promises

Israel's 'apology' to Turkey will not improve relations with Turkey because relations are poor as a result of a deliberate strategy, not an unpleasant incident.
Posters of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan outside a kebab restaurant in East Jerusalem.

Posters of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan outside a kebab restaurant in East Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Uri lenz/FLASH90

Reactions to the surprise ‘apology’ from Israel to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident are coming in and they are interesting.

Barry Rubin points out that the actual statement by Israel does not accept blame for the deaths of nine ‘activists’, but merely refers to “operational mistakes,” apologizes for “any error which may have led to the loss of life,” and offers compensation.

All true, but who cares? It is being reported as an admission of guilt by Israel, an affirmation of the anti-Israel narrative of the incident, in which Israel deliberately killed “peace activists” when it “committed war crimes” by “attacking” the ship.

One correspondent writes to me that he does not trust Erdoğan, but “this is a strategic decision, and if this can help Israel, I accept. At least this is the position of the israeli army commanders. Everybody today recognizes that the Marmara issue was very badly handled.” In other words, if this will improve relations between Israel and Turkey (and Obama?) then it’s worth a little embarrassment.

I don’t buy it. First, it will not improve relations with Turkey (indeed, see the end of this post!) because relations are poor as a result of a deliberate strategy, not an unpleasant incident. Relations have deteriorated consistently since Erdoğan’s AKP came to power in 2003. Erdoğan hosted Hamas leaders in Ankara, and humiliated Israeli President Shimon Peres on the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2009. And of course, remember that Erdoğan’s regime orchestrated the Mavi Marmara incident as a deliberate provocation — and Israel fell right into the trap.

Second, it is not merely ‘a little embarrassment’. It squanders the diplomatic gains Israel achieved when the U.N.’s own Palmer Commission found that Israel’s blockade of Gaza and its boarding of the ships of the flotilla were legal and justified (although it did criticize Israel’s ‘excessive’ use of force). It constitutes a loss of honor in the honor-obsessed Middle East (did any Arab leader ever apologize for anything?) And it is an invitation for further blockade-breaking flotillas. This is in addition to playing into the growing meme that Jews or Israel may not defend themselves, while supporters of ‘Palestine’ arepermitted any atrocity in the name of the oppressed.

Technically, the ‘apology’ does none of these things. ‘Technically’ and about $3 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks in Fresno.

But what about improved relations with Turkey? Didn’t Erdoğan promise to exchange ambassadors, and drop legal actions against IDF soldiers and Israeli officials? Well, it turns out that it may be a bit early for that:

“We will see what will be put into practice during the process. If [the Israelis] move forward in a promising way, we will make our contribution. Then, there would be an exchange of ambassadors,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying, in remarks at an opening ceremony for a high-speed railway line in the central Turkish province of Eskişehir…

Erdoğan told reporters that it wasn’t yet time to talk about dropping the case in which four IDF generals stand accused of war crimes over the incident. The indictment, prepared last summer, sought ten aggravated life sentences for each officer ostensibly involved in the 2010 raid — including former chief of the IDF General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former head of military intelligence Amos Yadlin…

Despite the formal apology issued by Netanyahu on Friday in the presence of U.S. President Barack Obama, Erdoğan’s Saturday statement indicated that Ankara was not entirely prepared to let bygones be bygones. He stressed that during his conversation with him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised to improve the humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian territories.

“I accepted the apology in the name of the Turkish people,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying, adding that he was planning to visit Gaza in April. (Times of Israel)

Will Israel get anything out of this deal? I doubt it. And what’s been lost is lost. Same story, over and over.

About the Author: Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.


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20 Responses to “The Turks Walk Back their Promises”

  1. Dvorah Bee says:

    If anything hatred for Israel has been strengthened, it shows we can abase ourselves, and be a political inferior. It doesn't take a degree in poly sci to figure this one out.

  2. Dvorah Bee says:

    If anything hatred for Israel has been strengthened, it shows we can abase ourselves, and be a political inferior. It doesn't take a degree in poly sci to figure this one out.

  3. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Basically, the PM and MKs in the Israeli government are suffering from the wife beating syndrome. Without any moral ethical backbone, the beatings continue, concessions grow while Israel gets smaller thus giving incentives to the “wild beast of a man” (פרא אדם) to hit harder and more often.

  4. Ilknur Diyye says:

    yes, they certainly did ATTACK those ships for no reason and KILLED innocent people just because they felt like it. COWARD BASTARDS, may all of you burn in hell!

  5. Yehuda Cohen says:

    To the editor of the Jewish Press: Why do you allow violent ignorance children under 13 years old to show the public that they have a severe inferiority complex and are living in a world of illusions?

  6. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Hala Yahudi doktor sen doğduğunda annenin tokat başınızın üzerinde düştü altüst ediyorsunuz?

  7. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    ilky is pissed that it is the "global Jew owned media" that continues to keep the ottoman genocide of the Armenian Christians in the headlines.

  8. Don Mcglaun says:

    One moment Netanyuha is strong, the next weak. Sir, do u really think sucking up to Obama is adviseable?? He's not exactly revered here at home for his leadership skills or fidelity to campaign promises!!!!!

  9. Anya Khan says:

    ID you are a scum liar who practices al tayqqa Forget you scum mbag and Israel protected itself from scum terrrorist who worship a pedeophile

  10. Ilknur Diyye says:

    STOP REPEATING YOURSELF Hhhaahhaha imbecile

  11. Nathan Warszawski says:

    All me

  12. They were in the trailer for an hour. It would be interesting to know.
    more about that conversation. Otherwise, I share Vic's analysis and feelings.

  13. With a lot of work and years of education – you too might reach the level of an imbecile.

    The Navy should have sunk the damn terrorist flotilla and then charged Turkey with the cost.

    Turkey is just another cowardly Islamofascist regime. Hell they're even afraid of Syria. NATO has to protect them from the Civil War they are part of.

  14. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Ilknur Diyye Still pissed ilkye? Jew Media still won't let the world forget your genocide of the Armenians and Kurds

  15. To ms diyye, you must be a slimey turkey moron. I wish Israel would have killed 900 of you cowardly a-holes. You muslim racist pigs will all burn in hell with your pedifile prophet and his 75000 virgin whores. You and your kind can go to hell where you belong.

  16. Ilknur Diyye says:

    u might want to do a little research you ignorant self righteous Griffith and then maybe you'll talk the truth

  17. Ilknur Diyye says:

    we will see who will burn in hell mr rosenborg :)

  18. Ilknur Diyye says:

    I see your ****ting your pants over there Hehehhee

  19. Ilknur Diyye is a mental hospital patient Why you give him a Word?
    He needs ECT treatment, not polite discussion.

  20. Ilknur Diyye says:

    another 'super intelligent, einstien-like jew' speaks…….WaaHooooooo

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