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Friday, July 08, 2011

UN delays Mavi Marmara report

I started this post at 1:32 am, and eventually woke up long enough to get into bed without finishing it. So let's finish it.

The United Nations is delaying the release of its report on the Mavi Marmara incident for three weeks at the request of the United States in the hope that Israel and Turkey can reach an agreement on what it should say so as not to make their reconciliation impossible.
The report was originally scheduled to have been released on May 15, but was postponed at the request of the Turks, apparently concerned about the impact the report – which reportedly holds Turkey responsible to a large degree for the events – would have on the Turkish public before the June 12 elections there.

Both sides wrote an appendix to the original report, responding to specific points in it.

The commission is headed by former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer, and co-chaired by former Colombian president Alvar Uribe.

Israel is represented on the panel by Joseph Ciechanover, and the Turks by Ozden Sanberk.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has directed Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon to continue contacts with the Turks. Ya’alon met earlier this week in New York with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu to hammer out a formula, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement.

While the Turks are demanding an Israeli apology and compensation to the families of the nine people killed in the incident, Israel has said that while it was willing to pay compensation – as long as it was done in a way that would not enable future legal claims – it would not apologize.

Rather, Jerusalem has said it would be willing to express regret for the loss of life.
From what I understand, we really do have the upper hand here. Although the report does take us to task for using 'excessive force,' it also concludes - according to Israel Radio - that IDF soldiers acted in self-defense. Once you're acting in self-defense in that kind of situation, it's kind of hard to draw a line where force becomes excessive.

Maybe this combined with seeing what their Syrian friends are really like will get the Turks to stop being so ... you know what I mean.

When this incident first happened, I used to get a lot of comments on this blog, mostly hostile, from Turkey. There hasn't been anyone who has come on here to defend Turkey's actions in a long time. We're looking pretty good.

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