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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Relations with Turkey? Yes, but not at any price

The Palmer report on last year's Mavi Marmara incident is about to be issued. Both Israel and Turkey would like changes - Israel because the report accuses it of using excessive force, and Turkey because the report says that Israel's blockade of Gaza is legal and that Turkey therefore acted illegally by sending the IHH to violate it.

The UN has agreed that it will change the report before it is issued to say whatever the parties agree they want it to say. But Turkey is holding out for an apology and that just isn't going to happen.
Minister Moshe Ya'alon who is in New York is continuing his contacts with the US and Turkey is efforts to reach an understanding over the problematic articles in the Palmer report on last year's flotilla to Gaza.

Yet Jerusalem is not holding its breath in light of Ankara's insistence to receive an apology from Jerusalem over the deaths of the nine activists killed on the Mavi Marmara last year.
And Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman feels even more strongly about not apologizing.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday he does not believe Israel should offer Turkey an official apology for the tragic outcome of the raid on the first Gaza flotilla.

Lieberman, whose position is contrary to that of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said that "There are some things I'm willing to discuss and some things I'm not willing to discuss. I will not have an apology harm Israel's national dignity and I will not see IDF soldiers humiliated."


"We are all for ending the friction with Turkey… We have no territorial dispute with Turkey and we are willing to reach a compromise on the matter today, but an apology is not a compromise," the foreign minister said. "It's humiliating and it will abandon IDF soldiers."

Speaking before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Lieberman stressed that Israel "regrets the death of activists from any country or organization. We know how far we are willing to go and we expect to see some willingness and flexibility on this compromise," he said.
I'm actually surprised that Barak is willing to humiliate the IDF by apologizing. Usually, the dignity of the IDF is the only dignity about which Barak cares.

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At 10:56 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Good relations with Turkey are desirable but not at the cost of Israel's national honor.

What could go wrong indeed

At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'excessive force' - are they suggesting that the IDF should have stuck with the paintball guns even when their lives were in danger? I hope the report will be more specific than that kind of vague slam that, on the face of it, makes no sense.

At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article; "The UN has agreed that it will change the report before it is issued to say whatever the parties agree they want it to say." ------ HUH? How much did the UN spend on this investigation? If they are just going to change it to say whatever the parties agree they want it to say, why have an investigation in the first place? Am I missing something here or is this incredibly ridiculous? And more proof of an impotent UN.

At 7:02 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

I agree, Norman. Not at any price. The best scenario would be to work behind the scenes in trade-defense and mutual desirable intel such as within Syria. Mutual diplomatic recognition is in place(although cold). No need to do anything in public, just working on issues where both sides have a common interest, and there are regions where it in both countries interests to work to together.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger biorabbi said...

Take Iran under the Shah. Good relations were had, but on a secretive basis with intel and the like. The same is right here. Also, the report shows Turks are at fault. No reason to hash over the past in my view.


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