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


UN Human Rights Council welcomes latest member to the Club…Syria.

April 28, 2011

(La,la land) Syria is not a democratic country, the only time in history where the people voted for their leaders (freely that is) was between 1946 and 1949. Since 1949 Syria has known only Military rule. The current incumbent Bashar al-Assad is the son of Hafez al-Assad who took power (via a coup) in 1970. During the Assad dynasty, Human rights hasn’t been on the top of the list of things to do. Which kind of explains why opposition groups were simply wiped off the face of the map when it came to complaints against the system, Something the Syrian government accomplished in the city of Hama in 1982 when they killed up to 40,000 people because they could.
Currently the Syrian Government is trying to do likewise with the general populace of the country and to date they have despatched around 400 people to the great mosque in the sky. What I’m trying to point out here, is that when it comes to Human rights Syria is way back there at the end of the queue.
Which brings me to the United Nation Human Rights Council.(UNHRC) Which since it’s inception has only had eyes for..Israel (That country in the Middle East contrary to the neighbours,doesn’t have the Death Penalty, affords equality to: Women,Gays,different Faiths etc..) is deciding to inaugurate ‘Syria’ as its newest member.

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

No doubt, the UNHRC will issue a declaration of ‘no genocide’ in Syria just like it did in 2005 when its then member ‘Sudan’ was accused of genocide in Darfur. That accolade is only reserved for ‘Israel’.


The United Nations Human Rights Council plans to hold a special session on Syria this Friday in Geneva to urge its government to stop attacking civilian protesters.

“The international community has been shocked by the killing of hundreds of civilians in connection with peaceful political protests [in Syria] in the past week,” said US Ambassador to the UNHRC, Eileen Donahoe, on Wednesday.

Her country filed a request for a special session on behalf of 15 other member states, including: Belgium, France, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Korea, Moldova, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Zambia.

“At the special session, we expect Human Rights Council members will call on the government of Syria to meet its responsibility to protect its population and stop these attacks,” Donahoe said in a statement she issued to the press.

It marks the first time that a special session has been held on the human rights situation in Syria, which has submitted a bid to become a UNHRC member. On May 20, the UN General Assembly in New York is expected to hold an election for 15 of the council’s 47-member seats.

On February 25, the UNHRC held a special session on Libya, in which it condemned the human-rights violations. It also urged the General Assembly so suspend Libya council membership.

The Assembly did so on March 1.

The text of the Syria resolution has not been finalized yet. The US would not comment on the substance of the text, or whether it would include a call for the UN General Assembly to reject Syria’s candidacy for the UNHRC.

On Wednesday, an international collation of 17 humanrights groups led by UN Watch, called on the UNHRC to include such a call in its Syria resolution.

Earlier this week the group launched its campaign to bar Syria from the UNHRC.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said, “if the council this week declares President Bashar al-Assad unwelcome as a member, it would sound the death knell for Syria’s cynical candidacy to be elected a global judge of human rights.”

The coalition of human rights groups, he said, has called for leadership on this issue from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton, Ban Ki-moon and UN rights chief Navi Pillay.

Neuer said that his organization condemns a recent statement by Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Zamir Akram, that Syria’s actions do not merit a special session. He threatened that members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference would use the meeting to focus on Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

Diplomats, however, explained that resolutions introduced at a country-specific special session must be focused on the country in question.

Syrians living in Jordan shout slogans as they protest in solidarity
with anti-government protesters in Syria,
outside the Syrian embassy in Amman April 2, 2011.
(REUTERS/Majed Jaber)

But they added, there is nothing in the procedures that would prevent countries which take the floor at the UNHRC from bringing up other issues in their statements.

Friday’s Geneva meeting will be the 16th special session held by the Human Rights Council in the last five years.

The Syrian Revolution 2011: First Protest Shooting in Damascus

Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters?

Some sober analysis of the “Arab Spring”

Syrian soldiers have been shot by security forces after refusing to fire on protesters, witnesses said, as a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations intensified:…The Arab Spring can never bloom if the people can not be heard because of Saudi fears.