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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sometimes it really is more important to be right than to be wise

Hagai Segal on the final meltdown of relations between Israel and Turkey.
Contrary to its prior commitments, Ankara has yet to return its ambassador to Israel, but it benefits from the thousands of Israeli tourists who returned to Antalya. At this juncture, Turkey can be considered Israel’s most bitter enemy in the region after Iran.

What does this prove? That in contrast to the familiar mantra, sometimes it is more important to be right than to be wise. The Israeli instinct to sacrifice values and assets for the sake of good relations with the neighbors is leading it from one failure to another. Netanyahu and Amidror relinquished our honor for the sake of peace, but in the end we were left with neither honor nor peace.
Erdogan interpreted their apology as an act of weakness and concluded from it that he can continue his assault on us. Now one can only hope that we too will reach some conclusions of our own. The apology to Turkey cannot be withdrawn, but we can still take a tougher stance with regards to the European boycott of the settlements. For example, the government can take a deep breath and declare that it is banning the “Horizon 2000” program as long as Europe continues to ban Israeli projects in Judea and Samaria. Europe will think twice before declaring another boycott. It may even cause Erdogan to rethink his attitude towards Israel.

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