Saturday, March 23, 2013


In what was apparently a gesture for Obama's sake, Netanyahu called up Turkish premier Erdogan to apologize for the 9 deaths on the flotilla a few years ago:
In a dramatic development that occurred just as US President Barack Obama was leaving the country, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan for the first time since the Israeli prime minister took power in 2009.

Netanyahu voiced regret for the loss of life in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, apologizing for any mistakes that led to the death of nine Turkish activists. Breaking a three-year deadlock, the two agreed to normalize relations.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed an apology to the Turkish people for any error that may have led to the loss of life, and agreed to complete the agreement for compensation," the statement said.

The conversation was facilitated by US President Barack Obama, taking place during Obama's prolonged meeting with Netanyahu on Friday afternoon. [...]

Erdogan had told Denmark’s Politiken newspaper that he would not take back his comments from several weeks ago that Zionism was a crime against humanity. He did, however, try to explain them as a misunderstanding.“My several statements openly condemning anti-Semitism clearly display my position on this issue. In this context, I stand behind my remarks in Vienna,” said Erdogan in the interview, which was published Wednesday.
What statements condemning hatred did he make? I don't think he's ever made any.

As Ben Shapiro reminds:
[...] The Marmara passengers resisted by beating Israeli troops with iron bars and knives. Nine activists were killed in the ensuing chaos. Even the United Nations found that the blockade by Israel was legal. Turkish attempts to break the Israeli blockade were clearly in violation of international law.

But President Obama, seeking to inject himself into a dispute on behalf of Islamists everywhere, told Netanyahu to call up Erdogan. Netanyahu reportedly told Erdogan that the State of Israel regretted the loss of life and that any loss of life was unintentional. Meanwhile, Erdogan said that he “valued centuries-long strong friendship and cooperation between the Turkish and Jewish nations.” He did not say that he valued friendship with the Jewish state.
What Netanyahu's done - all for Obama's sake - is extremely irresponsible and will not avail Israel's relations with Turkey for long. All it does is encourage Erdogan and company to think they can exploit Israel as they please. This is a very grave error on Netanyahu's part, something he could have avoided, and sadly, he didn't.

Update: Avigdor Lieberman's slammed Netanyahu for his act of dhimmitude:
In response, Lieberman said in a statement, “Anyone who saw the photos taken on the Mavi Marmara understands beyond any doubt that IDF soldiers acted in self-defense against the activists of the IHH organization, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Europe.

"Such an apology harms IDF soldiers' motivation and their willingness to go out on future missions, and strengthens the radical elements in the region,” said the former Foreign Minister.

"Worse still is the fact that the apology also affects Israel’s uncompromising struggle for righteousness, morality and for the morality of its soldiers," Lieberman said, adding that he appreciates the good relations that existed for many years between the Jewish people and the Turkish people, but the current leadership in Turkey under Erdogan is solely responsible for the deterioration of relations between the two countries.

“Erdogan’s tirades against Israel whenever possible, starting with the attack on President Peres in 2009 at the Davos conference and until his statement a few weeks ago that Zionism is racism and a crime against humanity, along with his refusal to apologize for this statement, violate the dignity and status of Israel in the region and the entire world,” concluded Lieberman.
Netanyahu has only resulted in serious embarrassment. Is it any wonder the Likud didn't do very well in the last election?

Update 2: one of Bayit Yehudi's MKs has responded too:
"And yet, Israel does not have the privilege to apologize for its soldiers actions, when they acted in accordance with the principles of the IDF's ethical code and its definition of 'the purity of arms.' The apology amounts to a knife-stab in the back of the IDF's combat soldiers and commanders. It sends a grave message to our soldiers, 'we don't have your backs.' As a soldier and commander in all sectors of warfare I can testify that government backing is critical for the soldier at the front."

The apology to Turkey will cause more damage than good, the new MK said. "What is more, it constitutes a dangerous precedent that will encourage anti-Zionist organizations to continue [operating] the mechanism of delegitimizing Israel in general and the IDF in particular."
Netanyahu has done a grave disservice to the army. I think I know where his next apology should go to.

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