Israpundit Daily Digest


Recent Comments



Please send checks payable to Ted Belman, Hagdud Haivri #1, Jerusalem, 92344, ISRAEL

Or go to Israel Institute for Strategic Studies and use your credit card. Mention "Israpundit".

Donators to IISS will get a US tax deductible receipt.

  • March 28, 2013

    Israel’s apology to Turkey was a mistake

    by Efraim Inbar, The Jerusalem Post

    Israel’s apology to Turkey for “operational errors” in the Mavi Marmara incident is a diplomatic mistake both in terms of substance and timing. It’s hard to understand or justify Israel’s weekend apology to Turkey. While the use of Israeli force in the Mavi Marmara “flotilla” incident was not very elegant, it was perfectly legitimate – as the UN-appointed “Palmer Commission” unequivocally determined. Moreover, the incident was a Turkish provocation that warrants a Turkish apology, not an Israeli one.

    Worse still, the hopes in Jerusalem for a new era in Israeli-Turkish relations in exchange for the apology are simply illusory.

    The Israeli apology will hardly stop Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regular Israel-bashing rhetoric. Nor has it secured a clear Turkish commitment for the resumption of full diplomatic relations.

    Moreover, Erdogan already has conveyed his intention to visit Hamas-ruled Gaza. Such a visit is a slap in the face to both Jerusalem and Washington.

    Turkey, under the AKP, an Islamist party, has gradually adopted a new foreign policy, fueled by neo-Ottoman and Islamist impulses, whose goal is to gain a leadership role in the Middle East and the Islamic world.

    Attaining this objective requires harsh criticism of Israel, which has generated great popularity for Erdogan and Turkey. Unfortunately, vicious attacks on Israel come easily for Erdogan, who is plainly and simply an anti-Semite.

    Israel has failed to fully grasp Turkey’s new Islamist direction. For several years already, we no longer have a pro-Western Turkey with which Israel can cooperate in the turbulent Middle East. Ankara and Jerusalem have very different views on a variety of issues. While Turkey is truly an important and powerful player in regional politics, its behavior over the past decade actually harms Israeli interests. It does not follow the US policy on Iran and helps circumvent the international sanctions imposed on Tehran. As a matter of fact, Turkey helps Iran, a country with genocidal intentions toward Israel, to progress in its nuclear program.

    Turkey also sides with Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, and helps it entrench its rule in Gaza and gain international support and recognition.

    Turkey is also actively helping radical Islamic Sunni elements take over Syria. It also supports the idea of violent opposition against Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights. As such, the hope that Israel and Turkey can cooperate together with the US in limiting the damage from a disintegrating Syria has little validity.

    Furthermore, Turkey, still a NATO member, is obstructing the efforts of Israel in developing its ties with this organization. The Turkish position in NATO also hinders the Western alliance’s ability to deal more effectively with the Iranian nuclear challenge.

    Turkey’s policy in the Mediterranean similarly clashes with Israeli vital interests. Its bullying of Cyprus interferes with Israel’s plans to export via this island its newly found gas riches to an energy- thirsty Europe. Turkey, that sees itself as an energy bridge to Europe, does not want the Israeli competition. It may even use military force to maintain its role in the energy market.

    What is also important is how the Israeli apology will be perceived in a region whose prism on international relations is power politics. Inevitably, Israel under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be seen as weak, bowing to American pressure. Public regrets about use of force erode deterrence and project weakness.

    Perceived weakness usually invites aggression in our tough neighborhood.

    This is also what Ankara thinks, which is very problematic for Israel. Moreover, Tehran and Cairo, both ruled by radical Islamists, cherish the Turkish victory over the Zionist entity.

    The Israeli-initiated apology is an American diplomatic success, but reflects a dangerous American misperception of Turkey as representing “moderate Islam,” which is incredible naïve. Turkey is distancing itself from the West and its values.

    Nowadays, more journalists are in jail in Turkey than in China.

    Israel’s friends in Turkey, part of the democratic opposition, must be bewildered as Israel hands Erdogan a diplomatic achievement, buttressing the grip of the Islamist AKP on Turkish politics.

    The timing is particularly troubling.

    Turkish foreign policy is in crisis because its much-heralded approach to the Middle East (“zero problems with its neighbors”) is in shambles. Turkey needed a diplomatic success here more than Israel did. Israel could have negotiated a better formula to end the impasse in bilateral relations.

    Only very recently, we heard Erdogan call Zionism a crime against humanity. He did not apologize, as he should have, but told a Danish newspaper that he was misunderstood.

    This was part of a concerted effort on part of Turkey to prevent additional international criticism on this issue. Nevertheless, the pressure was on Ankara, not Jerusalem.

    Furthermore, an apology to a Hamas supporter, just a day after Hamas again launched rockets against Israel, communicates terrible weakness. Sanctioning an Erdogan victory trip to Gaza at this particular moment is terribly foolish, too, particularly when Israel is seeking to bolster the standing of the rival Palestinian Authority.

    It is highly unlikely that we will see a reversal or a turnaround in Turkey’s anti-Western and anti- Israeli policies. The apology from Jerusalem only enhances Turkish ambitions and weakens Israel’s deterrence.

    Efraim Inbar is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, the director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 8:26 pm | 20 Comments »

    20 Comments to Israel’s apology to Turkey was a mistake

    1. NormanF says:

      Netanyahu is not the kind of man to resign over such a fiasco.

      Look on the bright side though – his bolstering of Hamas’ Turkish friend and his decision to allow Turkey to send aid to and be a patron to its Hamas’ client makes peace impossible.

      Abu Bluff can’t compete with it.

    2. yamit82 says:

      Published on Mar 13, 2013

      good thing this came out after he got confirmed

      Hagel Israel’s nukes more of a threat than Iran

      Comments of this clip are as enlightening.

    3. SHmuel HaLevi says:

      And lets get ready for an, (ever growing in gravity), avalanche of well planned “mistakes”.
      I wonder what makes those that still believe that Netanyahu has secret and pristine goals in mind, function. Netanyahu will “mistake” in terrible crimes reaching for “his nobel”.
      Resiging? No way. That element does not resign. He must be resigned out.
      My son tells me that Maccabi beat yesterday a Turkish basketball team. The dark joke going around is that the speechster is about to apologize to Turkey as well for that.

    4. Leon Kushner says:

      The truth is that even though I agree that apologizing to Turkey was a mistake, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter all that much. Turkey will continue to hate us as long as Edrogan is in power. As will all of Israel’s neighbours, just like they always have. Netanyahu will continue to cut deals with his enemies and life will go on. Say what you will about Netanyahu, but he is not an idiot. In time we will find out exactly what deal Obama promised him in exchange for an apology. It’s all in G-d’s plan.

    5. Honey Bee says:

      yamit82 Said:

      good thing this came out after he got confirmed

      Have you seen him on Fox, he looks like “The Walking Dead”. He can barely string two together.

    6. Honey Bee says:

      SHmuel HaLevi Said:

      Maccabi beat yesterday a Turkish basketball team.


    7. Mickey Oberman says:

      It is never too late to rescind, revoke, cancel, repeal, back out of what was said.

      The muslims do it all the time as a matter of course.

    8. yamit82 says:

      Mladen Andrijasevic Said:

      Israel’s apology to Turkey. An explanation.

      That’s no explanation. It’s more like a prayer and a hope that our leaders are not totally in the can for Obama and financial interests that want that Turkish gas pipeline. Every-time something incomprehensible happens with our leaders and a lot of spin is thrown at us, much of it conflicting I always like to see if there is big money involved and here there is just that… big money IS involved.

    9. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:

      You have triffeling with my affections Yamit 82. You you would tell me why you dislikse Bibi. Now how USA cheated the Bristish out of the monies they invested in the cattle buisness.

      1. The Winchester repeater rifle: It re moved the plains of two impediments to the open range:
      a. Hostile Amer. Indian tribes
      b. Large umanageable buffalo herds
      To be contnued:

    10. Mickey Oberman says:

      @ Honey Bee:

      Please, no further comment, even with tongue in cheek on the glorious American victories over the first nations.

      The world, those that care, are aware of the genocides, the destruction of native cultures and religions and the theft of native lands
      by the “brave” American troops.

      The near total elimination by Americans of the massive buffalo herds solely to starve into submission the hundreds of thousands of people who relied upon them for a major food source.

      The many broken treaties and promises by the American government and the forcing of the remaining native peoples into “reservations” which are tantamount to the Nazi “ghettos” and Islamic and UN “refugee camps” are also well known.

      Please do not continue.

    11. Honey Bee says:

      @ Mickey Oberman

      The USA “victory over the Amer. Indian was hardly glorious. I’am only stating some very horrible fact. Yes the the northern plains tribes were consided hostile by the greedy land owners. Mickey Oberman Said:

      the hundreds of thousands of people

      Not that many Souix [generic term] and others such as Cheyenne,Blackfeet and Arapahoe. It was estamated there were 10,000 at the encampment at the Little Big Horn 3,000 were able warriors.
      The land was cleared to enable the Bristish to inverst in beef as the had done in England [for sheep] a century before.
      I am very aware of the genocide that took place and know that German agent studies the ” Removel acts

    12. Honey Bee says:

      @ Mickey Oberman:

      I know may Amer. Indian people as human being and the curio shop figues the tourist love to buy.

    13. Honey Bee says:

      Mickey Oberman Said:

      tantamount to the Nazi “ghettos” and Islamic and UN “refugee camps</blockquote

      Many of the "reservations" are consided "scared lands" [eg. the Dine of NM and AR] and managed by tribal leaders. one reason for the povery on there reservations is the refusal of the Bureau of Land Managment to allow the Tribes to controll them own funds, often gained through gas, coal and oil deposites. Things are changing due to the efforts of the last and ,greatly missed President, of the Blackfeet Tribe.

    14. Mickey Oberman says:

      @ Honey Bee:

      You have taken a small bit of what I said, added your own near illiterate words and made it look as if they were mine.


    15. Honey Bee says:

      @ Mickey Oberman:

      What bits!!!!!!!!!!!

    16. Honey Bee says:

      Untill the Wincester Repeater Rifle the warrior could effectively hold his own using arrows. Once the warrior had Winchester it was to late the northern plains tribes were decimated by disease, staration and intertribal waefare. It is a disgracefull history Americans must bare,along with salvery. , Quanah Parker, the last Chief of the Commanches, was wise enough to lay down his arms and make peace,thus saving his people.

    17. Mickey Oberman says:

      @ Honey Bee:

      This bit.

      “…are tantamount to the Nazi “ghettos” and Islamic and UN “refugee camps” are also well known.”

    18. Honey Bee says:

      @ Mickey Oberman:
      Thank you for explaining yourself to me. I wrote a response that seem to be in moderation. Once again most of the reservation west of the Mississippi are on land that is consider scared to the tibes living at those location. The Lakota still hold right to the Black Hills[but they have been stolen], the Dine live within the Four scared moutains, the various Tewas live in their ancient pueblos. The Kickapos were move from Iowa to the Tex/Mex border. and Cherokkees and southeastern tribes were moved with great crultety, repeatedly. So we are both correct. But mosly many northern plains tribes live in their ancient lands. Blackfeet,Absokora,Hunkpapa,Oglala. Arapahoe and Shoshonie were move to Wyo. Many of these tribes have colleges that could use instrutors,look into to it.

    19. Mickey Oberman says:

      I wrote my original letter to try to return the topic back to its original thread from your unwarranted and unwanted side trip to unrelated American history.

      In your buzzy little mind, Honey Bee, all of this has some relevance to Netanyahu’s apology to Morsi.

      Have you been sipping too much nectar?

      Anyway I failed to stay the course of the heroic American expansion of its great west.

      Could we now doff our 10 gallon Stetsons, put on our yarmulkas and you your burka, and return to the Middle East please?

    Site Membership


    Blog Traffic


    Pages|Hits |Unique

    • Last 24 hours: 17,318
    • Last 7 days: 64,600
    • Last 30 days: 226,598
    • Online now: 52
    garcinia cambogia effets secondaires

    Miscellaneous Info

      All Politic Sites