Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some Initial Thoughts on the Israeli Apology

Here is an excerpt of my latest in Today's Zaman (24 March 2013):

Almost three years have passed since the Israeli operation on the Gaza flotilla in which nine Turkish citizens (one possessing both US and Turkish citizenship) were killed. From the outset, it was clear that this was a botched operation and that the Israeli government and forces had made a major miscalculation; in place of working for a diplomatic solution, they opted to board the ship in which a group of passengers from among the Turkish contingent were clearly set on provoking the Israeli forces, resulting in tragedy. Without a doubt, this event marked the lowest point in the history of Turkish-Israeli relations, as Turkey demanded from Israel an apology, compensation and the end of the Gaza blockade.

As the price of strained relations became evident, support for issuing an apology started to emerge in Israel -- not only among the opposition, but also among members of the Israeli government. However, with time it became clear that as long as Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose hard core politics managed to isolate Israel worldwide on numerous issues, was in office that this would not be possible, as he staunchly objected to any Turkish demand. The fact that Lieberman has temporarily relieved himself of ministerial duties due to an ongoing court case, which could find him guilty of corruption, opened the way for the apology; not surprisingly, just hours after the apology Lieberman vented his anger calling it a grave mistake.

To continue reading, here is the link

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