They never expected it. Neither did they really want it to come. But when Israel’s formal apology for the Mavi Marmara raid did arrive they were caught off guard. And when Erdoğan went ahead and accepted the apology they were deeply perturbed.
What made the matter even more disturbing for them was the fact that the Israeli apology was accepted only days after Erdoğan had equated Zionism with racism, saying it should be considered “a crime against humanity,” much to the joy of the Turkish members of the international Muslim Brotherhood.
As if this was not bad enough, one of the principle activists on the Mavi Marmara, the actor Sinan Albayrak, came out in remarks to daily Akşam after the Israel apology saying he wished the government had prevented them from trying to break Israel’s Gaza blockade in the first place.
“What is the importance of the apology? ‘We killed nine people and are sorry’ – of course it sounds ridiculous. I say this is what the state should have done. If only it had prevented this at the start. But we asked for it. We went there ourselves.”
This is what Albayrak said. Confused as his remarks appear to be, they nevertheless express a regret that cannot have gone down well in Islamist circles. Especially the bit about “We asked for it.” Some are suggesting now that those who were on the Mavi Marmara when it was raided by Israeli commandoes should bring charges against the Turkish state, seeing as a prominent personality on the ship now says it could have prevented them from trying to breach the Israeli blockade.
#Turkish #Marmara activist: "We asked for it" #Flotilla #Israel #Palestine #Turkey #Islam #Hamas #GazaApril 11, 2013
This article is one which anyone concerned about Israel should read. Is a translation of an article written by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the Zionist prophet.
“We constantly and very loudly apologize… Instead of turning our backs to the accusers, as there is nothing to apologize for, and nobody to apologize to, we swear again and again that it is not our fault… Isn’t it long overdue to respond to all these and all future accusations, reproaches, suspicions, slanders and denunciations by simply folding our arms and loudly, clearly, coldly and calmly answer with the only argument that is understandable and accessible to this public: ‘Go to Hell!’?
Who are we, to make excuses to them; who are they to interrogate us? What is the purpose of this mock trial over the entire people where the sentence is known in advance? Our habit of constantly and zealously answering to any rabble has already done us a lot of harm and will do much more. … The situation that has been created as a result, tragically confirms a well known saying: “Qui s’excuse s’accuse.” We ourselves have acquainted our neighbors with the thought that for every embezzling Jew it is possible to drag the entire ancient people to answer, a people that was already legislating at the time when the neighbors had not even invented a bast shoe. Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, ‘why are they so afraid of everything?’ Apparently their conscience is not clear.’ Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among the people an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets, will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are–we do not have anything to hide! This is a terrible mistake. The real gentlemen are the people that will not allow anyone for any reason to search their apartment, their pockets or their soul. Only a person under surveillance is ready for a search at every moment…. This is the only one inevitable conclusion from our maniac reaction to every reproach–to accept responsibility as a people for every action of a Jew, and to make excuses in front of everybody including hell knows who. I consider this system to be false to its very root. We are hated not because we are blamed for everything, but we are blamed for everything because we are not loved…
We may apologize only in rare, unique and extremely important moments when we are completely confident that the Areopagus in front of us really has just intentions and proper competence. We do not have to apologize for anything. We are a people as all other peoples; we do not have any intentions to be better than the rest. As one of the first conditions for equality we demand the right to have our own villains, exactly as other people have them. Yes, we do have provocateurs and draft dodgers, and it is even strange that we have so few of them under current conditions. Other people have also these kind of “good,” and, in addition, they have embezzlers, and pogrom-makers, and torturers–so what– the neighbors live and are not ashamed…. Do our neighbors blush for the Christians in Kishinyov who hammered nails into Jewish babies’ eyes?” Not in the least,– they walk with head raised high and look everybody in the face; they are absolutely right, and this is how it must be, as the persona of a people is royal, and not responsible and is not obliged to apologize…
We do not have to account to anybody, we are not to sit for anybody’s examination and nobody is old enough to call on us to answer. We came before them and will leave after them. We are what we are, we are good for ourselves, we will not change and we do not want to.”
These are the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
Ottomans and Zionists explains why Israel apologized to Turkey.
Because it is – in my view – Turkey that changed its mind on reconciling, I focused on the Turkish side of things in the FA piece, so I thought I’d now write a little bit about the Israeli side. From Israel’s perspective, making up with Turkey has made sense for awhile now, and the reasons to do so only grew stronger with each passing day. First, there is the regional dynamic in the Middle East, which is hardly trending in Israel’s favor post-Arab Spring. While I do not think that Israel has anything to fear from new governments in the region, the upheaval has opened up power vacuums in the Sinai and Syria that allow hostile non-state actors to operate with impunity. Add to this the existing threats from Hamas and Hizballah and the distinct possibility that the Jordanian government falls, and Israel desperately needs any friend who will have her. Making up with Turkey means that at least Israel is not entirely alone in the region, and being able to coordinate with Turkey and with Jordan (so long as King Abdullah remains in power) will be extremely helpful in containing the spillover threat from Syria. While I highlighted the urgency for Turkey in my FA piece, Israel’s biggest concern with regard to the Syrian civil war has always been the transfer of chemical weapons to hostile non-state actors, and now that the chatter around chemical weapons has increased, apologizing to Turkey took on an urgency for Jerusalem that was absent before.
Second, Turkey has successfully blocked Israel from NATO military activities and summits, and the ability to get back in the game has always been important to the Israeli government. While the Noble Dina naval exercises with Greece and the U.S. that Israel began doing in 2011 are nice, they are a poor substitute for Israel being able to use the vast Turkish airspace for aerial training or being able to participate in NATO military exercises. Israel has attempted to ramp up its military relations with Greece and Cyprus in response to the freeze in relations with Turkey but this has always been a suboptimal solution, and Israel has felt this acutely as the government has become increasingly preoccupied with possible threats from Iran. Furthermore, Israel’s defense industry has had billions of dollars in contracts with Turkey suspended by Ankara, and being able to resume sales to Turkey should provide a nice jolt to the Israeli economy.
Nobody should expect Israel and Turkey to go back to where they once were. Turkey does not feel as alone in the region as it once did, there is still a benefit from having cool relations with Israel, and too much has taken place between the two, from Davos to the Mavi Marmara to the “Zionism is equal to fascism” kerfuffle of a month ago. It is unfortunately not surprising to already see Erdoğan backing away from his commitment to normalize relations, although it will happen sooner rather than later since this is only Erdoğan playing politics in response to some hardline domestic criticism over the deal with Israel. Exchanging ambassadors and resuming limited military and intelligence cooperation does not negate the fact that bashing Israel will remain a potent element in Erdoğan’s box of tricks, and I expect to see issues big and small arise between the two countries, particularly as things remain static on the Israeli-Palestinian front and settlement building in the West Bank continues. Nevertheless, this restoring of formal ties is good for both sides, and I hope that both countries can get over their past issues and begin work on developing a healthier relationship.
Caroline Glick disagrees.
Given the situation, the main questions that arise from Israel’s apology to Turkey are as follows: Is it truly a declaration with little intrinsic meaning, as Peres intimated? Should it simply be viewed as a means of overcoming a technical block to renewing Israel’s strategic alliance with Turkey? In other words, will the apology facilitate Turkish cooperation in stemming the rise of jihadist forces in Syria, and blocking the transfer of chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles to such actors? Finally, what does Obama’s central role in producing Israel’s apology say about his relationship with the Jewish state and the consequences of his visit on Israel’s alliance with the US and its position in the region? And finally, what steps should Israel consider in light of these consequences?
On Saturday, the Arab League convened in Doha, Qatar and discussed Israel’s apology to Turkey and its ramifications for pan-Arab policy. The Arab League member states considered the prospect of demanding similar apologies for its military operations in Lebanon, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
The Arab League’s discussions point to the true ramifications of the apology for Israel. By apologizing for responding lawfully to unlawful aggression against the State of Israel and its armed forces, Israel did two things. First, Israel humiliated itself and its soldiers, and so projected an image of profound weakness. Due to this projected image, Israel has opened itself up to further demands for it to apologize for its other responses to acts of unlawful war and aggression against the state, its territory and its citizens from other aggressors. The Arab League like most of its member nations is in an official state of war with Israel. The Arabs wish to see Israel destroyed. Kicking a nation when it is down is a perfectly rational way for states that wish other states ill to behave. And so the Arab League’s action was eminently predictable.
As for the future of Israel-Turkish cooperation on Syria, two things must be borne in mind. First, on Saturday Erdogan claimed that Netanyahu’s apology was insufficient to restore Turkish-Israel relations. He claimed that before he could take any concrete actions to restore relations, Israel would first have to compensate the families of the passengers from the Mavi Marmara killed while assaulting IDF soldiers with deadly force.
Beyond that, it is far from clear that Turkey shares Israel’s interests in preventing the rise of a jihadist regime in Syria allied with al-Qaeda. More than any other actor, Erdogan has played a central role in enabling the early jihadist penetration and domination of the ranks of the US-supported Syrian opposition forces. It is far from clear that the man who enabled these jihadists to rise to power shares Israel’s interest in preventing them from seizing Syria’s weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, if Turkey does share Israel’s interest in preventing the Syrian opposition from taking control over the said arsenals, it would cooperate with Israel in accomplishing this goal with or without an Israeli apology for its takeover of the Mavi Marmara.
I think the apology was a mistake. Netanyahu, who is notoriously pliable, came under pressure from Obama and could not resist.
I don’t believe Israel will reap any benefits from the apology. If we’re really lucky, maybe it won’t come back to haunt us.
I’d like to squash Obama like a bug. He’s a smug bully. His day will come soon.
In an interview with CNN Turk, Davutoglu said that Turkey will not make any concessions on its terms for ending the bilateral crisis: an Israeli apology for the killing of nine Turks during the 2010 raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, payment of compensation to the families of the dead and wounded, and a removal of the Gaza blockade.
“It was an informal meeting,” said Davutoglu of the Turkish-Israeli encounter in Geneva last week. “We are prepared to talk if the Israelis say they are prepared to fulfill our conditions.”
Haaretz reported over the weekend that the special envoy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Joseph Ciechanover, and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu met last week in Geneva to try to come up with a formula that would end the rift between the two countries, which began after Operation Cast Lead and became a total rupture after the May 2010 Israel Defense Forces raid on the Mavi Marmara, which was attempting to breach the Gaza blockade.
The Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, which is close to Islamic elements in that country, reported yesterday that during the Geneva conversation Ciechanover said Israel is prepared to apologize to Turkey for killing nine Turkish citizens on the ship and would pay compensation to the victims’ families.
Ciechanover reportedly told Sinirlioglu that Israel expects, in return for these steps, that Turkey will normalize relations between the countries, return its ambassador to Tel Aviv and allow the Israeli ambassador to return to Ankara. According to the Turkish report, Ciechanover told Sinirlioglu of Israel’s concern that even if it did what Turkey was demanding, it would not receive an appropriate quid pro quo and relations would not return to what they had been before.
Sinirlioglu reportedly responded that if Israel met Turkish demands, the government in Ankara would regard it as a “new leaf” in bilateral relations, and would respond as Israel requests. With that, Sinirlioglu stressed that in addition to an apology and the payment of compensation, Turkey is demanding that Israel move toward removing the Gaza blockade.
According to the report, Ciechanover did not categorically reject the proposal regarding the blockade. He noted it was a process that would take time, and that in any case Israel would need to receive guarantees from Turkey that removing the blockade would not undermine Israel’s security.
The compensation is nothing new – Israel offered that two years ago, although frankly it was ridiculous then and is even more ridiculous now. But until now the apology was not going to happen (Israel suggested other language that fell short of the Turkish demands) and opening the Gaza blockade was out of the question.
The fact that Israel is even considering doing this is absurd. We’ve been vindicated by two blue-ribbon panels – our own and the UN’s. It makes absolutely no sense to undermine our position this way. Turkey is not going to side with us against Iran or allow us to use their airspace.
What could go wrong?
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.
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.