Apologizing to Turkey Would Undermine Israel’s Interests Twice Over

July 23, 2011

Israel to apologize to Turkey?

Evelyn Gordon
Commentary/Contentions

22 July ’11

I’d like to add to Michael’s excellent reasons for why Israel shouldn’t apologize to Turkey about last year’s raid on a Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza. As Michael noted, apologizing won’t restore the strategic alliance, because Turkey has made a strategic foreign-policy choice that precludes alliance with Israel. But apologizing wouldn’t merely be ineffective, it would be downright harmful – to both of Israel’s stated goals.
First, Israel wants to improve relations with Turkey. But by proving that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bullying tactics work – that Ankara can actively undermine every Israeli interest while promoting vicious anti-Israel sentiment at home, and Israel will still come crawling –apologizing will ensure more of the same.
Erdogan openly supports Hamas, which he insists isn’t a terrorist organization; his government actively backed last year’s flotilla, and he now plans a state visit to Gaza. He worked to block UN sanctions on Iran, then undermined them by boosting Turkey’s gasoline exports to Tehran. He reportedly promised arms to Hezbollah. He insisted that NATO’s planned missile-defense system not give Israel information on Iran. He deemed Israel’s 2009 war with Hamas in Gaza worse than the genocide in Darfur.
He also foments anti-Israel sentiment at home. An Israeli theater was forced to cancel an appearance in Turkey after Ankara said it wouldn’t stop radical Islamists from disrupting the performance. Israel cyclists were barred from an international bike race in Turkey because Syria and Iraq said their teams wouldn’t participate if Israel did. A Turkish-Israeli concert for religious tolerance was canceled after IHH, the viciously anti-Israel group behind the flotilla, insisted. As Turkish columnist Burak Bekdil noted, these and many similar incidents aren’t coincidental; they reflect “the systematic injection of Islamist sentiments about Israel into the minds of younger, ordinary Turks, especially in the past two and a half years” of Erdogan’s reign.
By apologizing, Israel would essentially say that none of the above precludes Turkey from being a valued ally. And if so, not only would Erdogan have no incentive to change his behavior, neither would any of his successors.
Yet Israel also has a second goal: sparing its soldiers facing legal action over the nine Turks killed in the raid. Its attorney general is thus reportedly pushing for an apology, bizarrely claiming this would preclude civil or criminal suits.
In reality, however, an Israeli admission of culpability – the only kind of apology Turkey would accept (it repeatedly rejected Israel’s offer to express mere “regret”) – would make legal action more likely. Absent such an admission, Israel has a strong case: A UN report due out later this month reportedly concluded that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was legal, that it had the right to intercept the flotilla and that its soldiers opened fire in self-defense, though it also found they used excessive force. But once Israel admits culpability, it has no case. And even if Ankara promises not to pursue legal action itself, it can’t stop flotilla passengers or their relatives from doing so –which, since most belonged to IHH, they presumably would.
In short, apologizing would undermine Israel’s own interests twice over. It’s high time for Jerusalem to recognize that the clock on Turkey can’t be turned back.
via calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com


Israel to apologize to Turkey?

July 18, 2011

why doesn’t Turkey apologize for killing Kurds?

After more than a year of refusing to do so, Israel’s defenseless ‘defense minister’ wants to apologize to the Turkish Islamist terrorists who tried to murder IDF soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara in May of last year (Hat Tip: Joshua I).

Internal discussions between defense officials and Justice Ministry officials over the past few weeks have suggested that a cautious apology could stop possible lawsuits by Turkish organizations against Israel Defense Forces officers and bring the affair to an end.
A report by the UN-sponsored Palmer Committee on the incident, of which Israel received a draft earlier this month, is scheduled to be released in a few weeks. The report focuses on the events of May 31, 2010, when nine Turkish nationals were killed and dozens of participants were wounded after Israeli commandos took over the ship, which was part of a flotilla to Gaza.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been trying to reach a compromise between Turkey and Israel.
The committee has accepted Israel’s claim – as has the Turkel committee which investigated the incident (where there were two foreign observers ) – that Israel’s maritime closure of the Gaza Strip is legal, and that Israel acted lawfully in deciding to stop the flotilla.
However, the report harshly criticized the way Israel acted in doing so; these actions led to the deaths of nine Turks, members of the radical Islamic group IHH, who were shot by Israeli naval commandos aboard the Mavi Marmara.
The committee determined that Israel used excessive force and said deaths could have been prevented in several cases – although participants armed with clubs and iron rods attacked the commanders as they descended from a helicopter to the ship.

Well, look at the picture above. It’s a picture of an IHH terrorist with a live weapons. The morons at the Defense Ministry just released it last month, even though they have known about it forever (in fact, they did not want to release it at all). Was that picture before the Palmer Commission when they decided that the IDF used excessive force in response to Islamist terror?

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has recently come out publicly against an apology, which he said would humiliate Israel and serve as a blow to national pride. Defense officials counter that an apology now will prevent legal problems later for officers and soldiers.

Lieberman is right and no, it won’t. The pictures are out there. Keep reading.

Photographs of several IDF personnel involved in the raid have been posted on the Internet and are now in the hands of leftist and Islamic groups in Europe. Defense and justice officials have expressed concern that these groups will take steps similar to those of British pro-Palestinian groups, which have prevented senior Israeli officials from entering Britain for quite some time.
In this case, however, a ban would extend to young soldiers who took part in the raid, many of whom are about to be released from the army and are planning trips abroad.

So we’re going to humiliate the IDF in the hope that they can peacefully join 60,000 other Israelis doing drugs on the beaches of India? Brilliant….

Senior defense officials told Haaretz that Israel has a major stake in improving relations with Turkey in light of Turkey’s standing in the region, its past economic relationship with Israel and the opportunity to renew defense-related export to Turkey.
Although these views do not represent the Defense Ministry’s official stance, Defense Minister Ehud Barak intimated as much in an interview last week on Channel 1: “From a strategic point of view, we have an interest in smoothing things over with Turkey,” Barak said. “National pride is important [but] in the end, we have to understand that we have other interests here … Turkey can have an important role in issues relating to Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Hamas.”

After the way Turkey has behaved for the last two years, only ‘Israel’s most decorated soldier’ – who is rumored to have slept through the biggest battle of his military career – who tried to give much of the country away to Yasser Arafat in 2000-01, could believe that Islamist Turkey has a role to play on our behalf.
What could go wrong?

a lot could go wrong with an apology. There is no benefit here. Forget the direct humiliation for a second and think… what was the real purpose of the flotilla in the first place? The intent was to humiliate so that Israel’s integrity was disrespected. That was the entire reason for the altercation. Right now Israel looks pretty good to those who are not biased. by threatening or showing signs that they will apologize Israel could hurt it’s own ability in the future to protect itself and it’s citizens. This is a real problem. If you have people in the government who really think they should apologize then they really need to be thrown out of their position. Are not these the same people who agreed to force these young IDF heroes to show up on the boat with paintball guns? This is really sick to now apologize.


Apologia for the Left

August 25, 2010

In the spirit of Obama the Apologist, I have to tell you how sorry I am. But not for myself, because I’m not responsible for anything. Just like Obama, I get to pin my apology on other people.