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Monday, July 25, 2011

Palmer report delayed, Obama takes Turkey's side

The destruction of the Jewish village of Migron (see previous post below) wasn't the only thing delayed on Sunday. The United Nations decided to delay the Palmer report on the Mavi Marmara incident for another month in the hope that Israel and Turkey can reach some sort of modus vivendi.
According to the officials, the report – which was to be submitted to UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday – will now not be submitted until the end of August. The report was originally to be released on May 15, but was postponed at Turkey’s request. And then again on July 7, another day that came and went without its release.

The report – whose details have been widely reported – upholds the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, but takes the IDF to task for using disproportionate force in enforcing the blockade.

Turkey is keen to bury the report, because while far from being a pro-Israel document, by upholding the legality of the blockade it places some of the responsibility for the flotilla fiasco on Turkey’s shoulders.

Turkey is demanding Israel apologize for the incident, pay compensation to the families of the victims, and lift the blockade of Gaza.

Israel has so far refused to apologize, although there is discussion about Israel apologizing for “operational mishaps” that led to the loss of lives. Nine Turkish citizens were killed on the Mavi Marmara when some of the passengers on the ship attacked IDF commandos who landed on it to enforce the blockade.
That apmeans another month of pressure on Israel to apologize to the Turkish Nazis. And guess whose side the man whose middle name is Hussein has taken?
An Israeli refusal to apologize to the Turks will not only result in Turkish wrath, but also US anger, diplomatic officials said Sunday, explaining that the US is pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept a formula that would allow Israeli-Turkish relations to return to semi-normalcy.

The US, these officials said, see Israeli-Turkish cooperation as an important element in the Middle East, and one they are very keen to renew.

According to the officials, the US wants Netanyahu to back a formula that would include the following elements: an apology for “operational mishaps” in the Mavi Marmara incident that resulted in the loss of Turkish lives, a willingness to pay compensation through a fund to be set up by the Turkish government, a Turkish commitment that this ends the story and there will be no legal claims against Israel, the soldiers or officers involved and an agreement to bury the Palmer Commission report.
But so far, at least, Israel's inner cabinet is not allowing the Muslim-loving American President to sway them.
Among those ministers, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Bennie Begin and Interior Minister Eli Yishai are all believed to be opposed to an apology. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor in favor, and Netanyahu’s position is not known.
That's 5-3 so that even if rumors about Netanyahu being at odds with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz over the housing crisis (which are being denied this morning) turn out to be true, and Netanyahu were to try to fire Steinitz (think Ariel Sharon here - he fired ministers who voted against him) a vote on an apology would still fail.

What could go wrong?

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At 1:22 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hmmmmm......Let me guess the 'release' of the report will coincide with the Palestinian statehood vote?

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's Obama's game this time? Has he not noticed that everything he touches in the Middle East turns to salt? Why doesn't he just butt out?

At 3:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The reason an apology an apology would fail is Turkey does not want reconciliation with Israel, it wants the Jewish State to humiliate itself and admit was wrong to defend itself from Turkish aggression. I have not seen a single good reason from the pro-Turkish supporters in Israel for an apology. A sovereign country does not betray its soldiers and its national interest. The Turks are not willing to let bygones be bygones and moreover they want Israel to lift the blockade as a condition for restored relations. An apology would resolve nothing and would not turn a new leaf in Turkish-Israel relations.

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama, a reflexively appeasing, ad hoc dithering betrayer-in-stages of Israel, truly has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns into a broke muffler. By not supporting Israel after the IHH attack he set Israel up for isolation and now this pretentious lickspittle wishes to "bury" the Palmer Commission report because it de jure affirms Israel's right to defense and identifies Turkeys' dangerous provocation of an international maritime incident?


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