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?
Leader of group that funded 2010 Gaza flotilla suspected of diverting funds to infamous terror group (ynet)Is the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) linked to al-Qaeda? IHH director Bulent Yildirim is reportedly being investigated by Turkish authorities for allegedly creating a financial partnership with the infamous terror group. Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily reported Friday that Yildirim has allegedly been transferring funds to al-Qaeda through his organization. The probe, led by special taskforce appointed by Ankara, accuses Yildirim of “providing financial aid to al-Qaeda via his foundation with absolute secrecy.” Prosecutors claim to have evidence suggesting that efforts were made by the IHH to conduct the financial transactions sans the official numbering and identification needed for wire transfers. The IHH, headed by Yildirim, largely funded the 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla. He has recently been able negotiate the release of two Turkish journalists kidnapped in Syria, as well as the release of 11 Iranians last February that were kidnapped by the Free Syrian Army.
I’m sure Turkey will still insist on an apology from the Israelis
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.
The Free Gaza movement welcomed on Sunday a call from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging Israel to end its blockade on Gaza, but responded to his call on world nations to stop the Gaza aid flotillas by insisting the mission would go ahead as planned.
via matzav.com AND more at Arutz Sheva
So it’s official now –
the Gaza “blockade” is over.
No more need for the flotillas
full of club-wielding humanitarians
and outdated medical supplies…. um…. maybe not
How’s this for a diplomatic incident in the making? Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son has joined the IHH. I can tell you this much for sure: If he shows up on a boat trying to run the Gaza blockade, he will not be treated differently than anyone else
Give him a cabin next to Cynthia McKinney and he will be a Zionist by the end of the voyage
IHH Leader Yildirim: “We Will Not Hesitate to Sacrifice Shaheeds to Achieve the Flotilla’s Objective”May 19, 2011
As the world gears up for Freedom Flotilla 2, the latest waterborne rescue convoy for the beleaugured Palestinian enclave of Gaza, it seems a good time for a review of certain pertinent facts:
- There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza
- Even before the first “Freedom Flotilla”, there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza
- Gaza has a higher standard of living than Egypt
- Israel supports democracy both for itself and for all nations of the Middle East
- Hamas attacks pro-democracy protesters
- Israel’s blockade of Gaza is perfectly legal, “according to the law of blockade which was derived from customary international law and codified in the 1909 Declaration of London”
- Some of the main organizers of these flotillas are radical Islamist IHH terrorists in league with Al Qaeda
- Gaza flotilla participants have chanted about killing Jews
- Before boarding the Mavi Marmara, the IDF politely warned those on board that they were approaching a naval blockade and offered escort to a port where aid could be unloaded. The response: “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz” and “We’re helping Arabs go against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11.”
- Those terrorists and their thuggish “humanitarian aid worker” friends tried to murder Israeli personnel with iron bars, knives and five-on-one beatings (so much for peaceful civil disobedience)
- If the flotilla organizers really, really want to get their aid into Gaza (and don’t want to put the stuff on Israeli trucks that already ship in tons of material goods every day), they could just dock at Egypt. The military junta in charge of the newly, er, democratic country has decided that it’s a good idea to fling open the border to an Islamist terror statelet (What could possibly go wrong?).
Guardian approved anti-Semitic cartoonist, Carlos Latuff, graces the halls of UN Human Rights CouncilMarch 26, 2011
At a recent session of the UN Human Rights Council a UN-accredited NGO with terrorist affiliations (IHH) distributed a publication containing the following picture:
This image (published during the flotilla incident in June) – of a demonic Israel, with the swastika substituted for the star of David on the Israeli flag, as an octopus strangling freedom-loving innocents – was created by the notorious anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff.
Latuff is an extreme left-wing political activist who won second place in the notorious Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Competition, and is one of the more prolific anti-Israel cartoonists on the web, with a staggering amount of work dedicated to advancing explicitly anti-Semitic political imagery – and frequently illustrates comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.
(Also, of note, a regular blogger at the site, Mondoweiss, posted, in early June, the very same “Octopus” cartoon shown above.)
As we noted previously, Latuff’s work has been posted on various radical left websites and blogs, as well as several terrorist affiliated websites such as ‘The Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance’ (JAMI) magazine.
So Latuff’s hateful depictions have been employed by quite a wide range of extremists: the anti-Zionist Jewish left, radical Islamist NGOs, and even publications of Islamist terrorist movements.
Latuff is also the same “artist” published by the Guardian during their “Palestine Papers” series to depict Mahmoud Abbas as a gun-toting sinister-looking Orthodox Jewish “settler”, to advance the view that Abbas was a traitor for allegedly showing a willingness to make concessions with Israel – a cartoon which reinforced the abhorrent pejorative depictions of Orthodox Jews used frequently in anti-Semitic caricatures throughout the Middle East.
Here’s Latuff’s Tweet of the cartoon:
The Guardian sure keeps very interesting company.