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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Netanyahu tells Clinton Israel won't apologize to Turkey

Prime Minister Netanyahu has told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Israel will not apologize to Turkey for last year's Mavi Marmara incident. That's final - for now.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused requests by US Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton on Tuesday to apologize to Turkey for the deaths of nine IHH activists aboard the Mavi Marmara in May 2010, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.

Netanyahu said that Israel does not plan to apologize to Turkey at the moment because it is still waiting for the publication of the Palmer report, Army Radio said.

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.


An Israeli refusal to apologize to the Turks will not only result in Turkish wrath, but also US anger, diplomatic officials said, explaining that the US is pressuring 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.
Am I the only one who suspects that there are things we have not been told about this report and that when it comes out it is going to be more pro-Israel than previously advertised? Could that be why everyone else is so anxious to bury it?


In any event, not apologizing is the right move.

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At 5:55 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

One can understand why the Turks want to bury the Palmer Report. The big mystery is why Israel also wants to keep it from ever seeing the light of day.

What could go wrong indeed

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am baffled by the desire of the US to bury the report. Wasn't it the US that strong-armed Israel into participating in the investigation? Is it not the only affirmation from the UN of the legality of the blockade? Wouldn't it provide the needed factual and reasonable counterbalance to the UNHRC hatchet job?

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, this isn't about Israeli-Turkish relations but about President Obama's reflexive need to truckle to Levantine intransigents. It isn't enough for him to apologize, now his allies/targets have to apologize along with him.


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