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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘apology’

eBay Apologizes for Nazi Memorabilia

Monday, November 4th, 2013

The online auction website eBay apologized for allowing Nazi memorabilia to be sold under its auspices.

The site removed about 30 items for sale within hours of an investigative report published in the Sunday edition of the Daily Mail. The report went up on the newspaper’s website late Saturday night.

“We are very sorry these items have been listed on eBay and we are removing them,” eBay said in a statement Sunday. “We don’t allow listings of this nature, and dedicate thousands of staff to policing our site and use the latest technology to detect items that shouldn’t be for sale.

“We very much regret that we didn’t live up to our own standards. We have made a donation to charity to reflect our concern.”

The site in its rules rejects the sale of Nazi memorabilia.

Among the items being offered for sale were a complete Auschwitz uniform, yellow Stars of David armbands worn by Jews during World War II, a Holocaust victim’s suitcase and a pair of shoes belonging to a death camp victim.

eBay makes 10 percent of the final sale of items auctioned on its site.

On Second Thought, Maybe Israel’s Apology to Turkey was a Good Idea

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

I was appalled to learn a week ago that the Israeli prime minister had apologized to his Turkish counterpart for his government’s actions during the Mavi Marmara incident, seeing this as feeding the Turkish government’s inflated sense of grandeur and power.

That prediction was borne out in spades.

The municipality of Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, put up billboards on city streets reveling in the Israeli apology. They are not subtle, showing a sad-looking Netanyahu beneath a larger, buoyant Erdoğan, separated by the Mavi Marmara itself. Addressing Erdoğan, they read: “Israel apologized to Turkey. Dear Prime Minister, we are grateful that you let our country experience this pride.”

Erdogan himself claims not only that the apology has changed the balance of power in the Arab-Israeli conflict but that it obligates Israel to work with Ankara in its diplomacy with the Palestinians. He told parliament:

The point we have arrived at as a result of our consultations with all our brothers in Palestine and peripheral countries is increasing our responsibility with regard to solving the Palestinian question and thus is bringing about a new equation.

Erdogan also claimed that Israel agreed to cooperate with Turkey on talks with the Palestinians. Hürriyet Daily News goes on to paraphrase Erdoğan:

He said all his regional interlocutors, including Khaled Mashaal of the Hamas, admit that a new era has begun in the Middle East what they all call after Turkish victory on Israeli apology.

No less notable is Erdogan’s petty put down of the Israeli side:

Erdogan said his conversation with Netanyahu took place under the witness of Obama but he wanted first to talk with the US President as he missed his voice. “I talked to him and we have reviewed the text and confirmed the [apology] process. we have therefore accomplished this process under Obama’s witness,” Erdogan said, adding this phone conversation has also been recorded alongside with written statements issued from all three sides.

Ryan Mauro sums up Turkish actions over the past week:

Erdogan is extending his time in the spotlight by demanding that Israel pay $1 million to each of the nine casualties’ families, ten times the amount Israel has offered. He isn’t yet dropping his case against the Israeli generals involved in the raid, nor is he fully restoring diplomatic ties with Israel. And he’s announced that he will visit the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in what is a thinly-concealed victory lap.

Indeed, the Turkish gloating has been so conspicuous and extended that it may have prompted to a healthy sense of reality. So long as the Mavi Marmara incident hung over their relations with Ankara, Israelis and others could believe that an apology would magically undo the past decade. The illusion could persist that the Turks, however unreasonably, just needed to put this unpleasantness aside and things would revert to the good old days.

Now that Israelis humiliated themselves and Erdogan is rampaging ahead, some are awakening to the fact that this apology only made matters worse. Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of economy and trade, slammed the Turkish response:

Since the apology was made public, it appears Erdogan is doing everything he can to make Israel regret it, while conducting a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israel-Turkey relations. Let there be no doubt — no nation is doing Israel a favor by renewing ties with it. It should also be clear to Erdogan that if Israel encounters in the future any terrorism directed against us, our response will be no less severe.

Boaz Bismuth of Israel Hayom colorfully notes that Israelis “didn’t expect to feel that only several days after Israel’s apology, Erdogan would already be making us feel that we had eaten a frog along with our matzah this year.”

Perhaps after all the apology was a good thing. For a relatively inexpensive price – some words – Israelis and others have gained a better insight into the Turkish leadership’s mentality. It’s not that they suffer from hurt pride but that they are Islamist ideologues with an ambitious agenda. If the misguided apology makes this evident to more observers, it has its compensations and possibly could turn out to be a net plus.

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and The National Review Online, The Corner under the title, “On Second Thought … Maybe that Israeli Apology to Turkey was a Good Idea,” March 29, 2013.

Erdogan Ups the Ante

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey hasn’t been enough to satisfy the appetite of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Netanyahu’s offer of putting nearly a million dollars into a fund for the nine Turkish activists killed when they attacked IDF soldiers boarding the Mavi Marmara who were illegally trying to break the blockade on Gaza, hasn’t been sufficient for Erdogan either.

Erdogan told the Turkish parliament that he expects a million dollars for each activist killed, and a lifting of the naval blockade against Gaza.

Not lifting the blockade would be a deal breaker, he claimed.

It is unlikely that Netanyahu would lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is currently controlled by Hamas terrorists.

Minister Naftali Bennett posted on his Facebook page that Erdogan has done everything in his power to make Israel regret the apology, as he [Erdogan] runs a personal campaign against Turkish-Israel relations.

An Israeli Apology to Turkey

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

On Feb. 27, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a conference in Vienna, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.” His calling the Jewish nationalist movement that built the State of Israel a “crime against humanity” prompted widespread criticism, including by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

On Mar. 19, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced, “I stand behind my remarks in Vienna.” Nonetheless, on Mar. 22, Binyamin Netanyahu issued the long-awaited apology to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident. His statement made it clear “that the tragic results regarding the Mavi Marmara were unintentional and that Israel expresses regret over injuries and loss of life. In light of the Israeli investigation into the incident, which pointed out several operational errors, Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people for any errors that could have led to loss of life and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation.”

My take: Erdoğan’s government has mastered the art of provocation and is being rewarded for it. The Israelis should not have apologized but should have demanded an apology from Ankara for its support to the terrorist-connected group that undertook this aggressive act.

Now that the deed is done, can we expect a change in Turkish policy toward Israel, an end to its aggressive statements and support for its enemies? That would surprise me. Rather, I expect the AKP government to pocket this apology and use as a building block for its neo-Ottoman empire. (March 22, 2013)

Originally published at DanielPipes.org and The National Review Online, The Corner, March 22, 2013.

Did Israel `Apologize’ to Turkey? Well, No, Not Exactly

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Israel apologizes to Turkey, reads every headline. That simply isn’t true in the sense it is taken to imply. To understand what happened one must examine the long negotiations on this issue.

The issue began when several ships were sent to break the Israeli sanctions on the Gaza Strip in May 2010. These sanctions were put on by Israel—Egypt, then under the government of President Husni Mubarak, had its own restrictions—against a radical Islamist regime in the Gaza Strip that openly rejected peace, used terrorism, and called for genocide against the Jews and the elimination of Israel.

This flotilla was not interested in helping the people of Gaza. It refused to land the cargos in Israel and have them passed across the border after inspection. Rather, the goal was to help Hamas. A key role in the flotilla was played by the IHH, an Islamist group that has been involved in terrorism, backed by Turkey’s government.

These ships were intercepted by Israel’s navy and after warnings were seized. On all of the ships this happened without any injuries except on the Mavi Marmara, where radical jihadists with weapons had sworn to fight. They attacked the arriving soldiers, injured several, and took a couple of soldiers hostage. At that time the soldiers opened fire and several Turkish citizens were killed.

It is important to understand that the flotilla issue was not the cause of Israel-Turkish problems, which had begun long before. The real basis was the election of an Islamist government in Turkey. Discussions inside the Israeli government for years had known Prime Minister Erdogan’s hatred for Israel but did not want to be seen as responsible for any breakdown of relations.

During the talks, Erdogan made three demands:

  • * Israel must apologize completely.
  • * Such an apology implies a legal responsibility to pay reparations.
  • * Erdogan insisted that Israel drop the embargo against the Gaza Strip.

Israel rejected these demands and instead offered:

* To say it regretted the clash and the loss of life. This is like saying: If I offended anyone I’m sorry.
* It offered to pay voluntarily as a humanitarian gesture, not as part of a guilty plea, the families of those killed.
* Israel rejected any change on its policy toward the Gaza Strip.

Erdogan angrily rejected Israel’s offer.

Now, a compromise has been reached, apparently with some help from President Barack Obama. The agreement, which includes restoring normal bilateral relations, has been portrayed as some sort of Israeli surrender.

That is simply not true. The agreement is much closer to Israel’s position. There is no change on Israel’s strategic policy toward the Gaza Strip at all. While the word “apology” appears in Netanyahu’s statement, it is notably directed at the Turkish people, not the government and is of the sorry if your feelings were hurt variety.

Moreover, Israel denied that it killed the Turkish citizens intentionally, a situation quite different from what Erdogan wanted, and offered to pay humanitarian assistance to families.

Should Israel have expressed regret when it should instead receive an apology from the Turkish government for helping to send terrorists to create a confrontation?

On purely moral grounds, no. Yet as I pointed out Israel did not abandon its long-standing position on the issue. It does not want an antagonism with the Turkish people nor one that will continue long after Erdogan and his regime are long out of office. Perhaps this was undertaken to make Obama happy and in exchange for U.S. benefits. But what has happened is far more complex than onlookers seem to be realizing.

Perhaps these seeming word games and niceties are beyond the interest or comprehension of many people, but everyone involved directly on this issue knows exactly what is happening. Erdogan knows very well that this was not a Turkish victory—except in public relations– though Israel won’t object to letting it be claimed as such.

Israel acted to try to reduce the tension with Turkey but without any illusions that the Erdogan regime would now be friendly. Indeed, there were implications that Erdogan was breaking his commitment on the deal. Immediately afterward, he said that a legal case against Israeli officers for alleged responsibility in the death of the Turks would continue and he was not yet sending back his ambassador to Israel. This might be posturing for a few hours or a real deal-breaker. We will see.

Obama’s role in this deal is not clear. (I have made clear to readers that I’m not just bashing Obama reflexively but I will also continue to analyze his actions as accurately as possible.) Did he put any pressure on Erdogan or Netanyahu? Did he promise either or both sides some benefits for making a deal? Not yet clear.

The danger is that this is the kind of arrangement that is all too common in the region. The media proclaim progress; the political leaders say what they want; but nothing changes in reality. One possibility is that Obama doesn’t understand (or doesn’t care) how deeply Erdogan’s anti-Israel feeling runs just as he doesn’t understand how deeply that is true for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Still, this deal is clearly in U.S. interests since it supposedly heals a rift between two countries that are close allies to itself in Washington’s eyes. As I said above, let’s see if this deal sticks or if there is any progress in fixing Israel-Turkey relations in the coming weeks.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

UPDATED It’s On: Israel Demands Times Apologize for Blood Libel

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Israel is demanding an apology from London’s The Sunday Times for publishing a cartoon showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall cemented with Palestinian blood.

Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador in London told The Times of Israel that “We generally think that a red line has been crossed and the obligation on the newspaper is to correct that.”

Jon Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, stated: “The cartoon is shockingly reminiscent of the blood libel imagery more usually found in parts of the virulently anti-Semitic Arab press. Its use is all the more disgusting on Holocaust Memorial Day, given the similar tropes leveled against Jews by the Nazis.”

The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe was published Sunday, which also happened to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu building a wall with the blood and bodies of Palestinian women and children who are screaming in pain.

The Sunday Times has so far denied that the cartoon was anti-Semitic. In a statement, the News International title described Scarfe’s imagery as “typically robust,” and added: “It is aimed squarely at Mr. Netanyahu and his policies, not at Israel, let alone at Jewish people. It appeared yesterday because Mr. Netanyahu won the Israeli election last week.

“The Sunday Times condemns anti-Semitism, as is clear in the excellent article in yesterday’s magazine which exposes the Holocaust-denying tours of concentration camps organized by David Irving.”

Martin Ivens, the newspaper’s incoming editor in chief, said: “The last thing I or anyone connected with the Sunday Times would countenance would be insulting the memory of the Shoah or invoking the blood libel. The paper has long written strongly in defense of Israel and its security concerns, as have I as a columnist. We are, however, reminded of the sensitivities in this area by the reaction to the cartoon and I will of course bear them very carefully in mind in future.”

Middle East envoy Tony Blair, a former British prime minister, met with Netanyahu on Monday and said he deplored the caricature, a statement from the prime minister’s office said.

Rupert Murdoch whose News Corp. company owns the British newspaper, said via Twitter that the newspaper owes “a major apology for the grotesque, offensive cartoon,” The Jerusalem Post said.

British Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks condemned the cartoon, saying “Whatever the intention, the danger of such images is that they reinforce a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime against the Palestinians. Not only is this manifestly untrue, it is also inflammatory and deeply dangerous.”

 

UPDATE: According to a BBC Report, on Tuesday, January 29, the acting editor of the Sunday Times apologized for the grotesque cartoon published in his paper.  Martin Ivens told a group of British Jewish leadership and community members who met with him to express their outrage over the cartoon, “On behalf of the paper I’d like to apologize unreservedly for the offense we clearly caused. This was a terrible mistake.”

Ivens went on to say “You will know that the Sunday Times abhors anti-Semitism and would never set out to cause offence to the Jewish people – or any other ethnic or religious group. That was not the intention last Sunday.”

In addition, Ivens castigated the cartoonist, who was not present at the meeting.  He said, “Everyone knows that Gerald Scarfe is consistently brutal and bloody in his depictions, but last weekend – by his own admission – he crossed a line.”

Scarfe put up his own response on his website, apologizing abjectly for the timing of the publication of his cartoon, and insisting that he was harpooning Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, but not the Jewish people.

His message stated that he was “stupidly completely unaware that it would be printed on Holocaust Day, and I apologise for the very unfortunate timing.”

The British Jewish communal leadership accepted the apologies and suggested it was time to “move on.”

 

A Christian Living in New Zealand Apologizing for his Government’s Divestment

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Last week, a New Zealand government fund divested from three Israeli companies because of their involvement in the construction of Judea and Samaria settlements. Elbit, Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, and Shikun & Binui were excluded from the $23.5 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the New Zealand Herald reported last week.

In a statement, Anne-Maree O’Connor, the fund’s manager for responsible investment, said, “Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund’s decision to exclude the companies. The fund also factored in votes by New Zealand for UN Security Council resolutions demanding the cessation and dismantling of the separation barrier, and the cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

As a Christian living in New Zealand I would like to apologize for the actions of the New Zealand government. In 1948 we stood by the Jewish people but now, for the sake of oil and meat sales, things have changed.

Much has been said about the dividing wall that Israel has built between the Jewish People and the Arab People, but very little has been asked about why it is there.

In 1992, a Policeman was kidnapped in Israel by a terrorist organization. They negotiated his freedom for the release of some of their own people. However, it was discovered that while the negotiations were going on he was already dead. Following this there were many kidnappings and killings of young soldiers as they hitchhiked across the country. Schoolgirls were attack in the schools and an older man waiting for a bus was murdered. Each time these attacks occurred the border between Israel and the “West Bank” was closed but when the situation cleared it was reopened. Finally in March 1993 Israel had had enough and with the coming of the Oslo Accords, which called for a separation of the two people, they closed the border. A month later, two terrorists trying to kidnap a busload of people, murdered two ladies. This confirmed to the Israel Government the closure should remain.

About this time, the Bus bombs started and many Israelis died, men, women and children all going about their general business. The bombs occurred in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and at bus stops throughout the country. The closure stayed in place. Then there was the bombing of the restaurant where the young lady who was to marry the next day, died with her father.

The problem with this closure was that it was like a sieve, the closure was only on the main roads and these check points were very easy to bypass. Once I traveled north to Jenin from Bethlehem, to take one of our boys home for the holidays. As the taxi was coming from Ramalah to Jerusalem, there was a large queue of vehicles waiting to pass through the checkpoint. The driver turned right and went up through the housing area, out onto a dry wadi and across several hundred meters of open ground, then turned back onto the main road and continued into Jerusalem, bypassing the checkpoint. This is how easy it was for bombers to enter into the cities of Israel.

Hundreds of Israelis have been killed or maimed for life since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords. There have been more than 70 Palestinian bomb attacks aimed at Israelis since September 2000. On February 25, 2005, four people were killed and at least 30 injured in a bomb blast outside a night club in Tel Aviv, weeks after Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a truce. We’ve lost count of the bombings that occurred when we were living there. A friend of ours survived a bombing but died from thyroid cancer, caused by the blast, 5 years later.

Since the building of the separation barrier, there have been about three attacks on Israelis, and all because the bombers cannot reach their planned targets. Of course this barrier is frustrating to the local people, but it is even more frustrating to the people carrying bombs; that is why they want it removed. It is difficult to pass through the checkpoint of the wall at times but it stops people from both sides being killed. The last time I passed through the wall it took about an hour, but this is a small price to pay when you think of the alternative. Nobody wants the wall, not Israel as it has caused them much bad publicity, not the Arabs because of the problems it can cause them just getting to work. The Orthodox Jews do not want it as it gives legitimacy to the West Bank, – Samaria and Judea the Biblical heart land of Israel – being given away to the very people who are trying to destroy the State of Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization Charter written in 1964 three years before Israel took over the West Bank and still in force today, calls for the destruction of Israel. The left wing Israelis don’t want it because they say it is an obstacle to peace.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-christian-living-in-new-zealand-apologizing-for-his-governments-divestment/2012/12/20/

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