Friday, June 1, 2012

Turkish Claims: Ben-Meir Tells Israel to Apologize

Sir, - Alon Ben-Meir is cited in your editorial as recommending that Israel apologize to Turkey about the Mavi Marmara affair. We are informed that he made this recommendation in an op-ed that appeared in a Turkish daily newspaper and that he claimed that "Turkey has repeatedly reaffirmed that once Israel apologizes, Ankara will resume full diplomatic relations."

However, both through continuous belligerent rhetoric and anti-Israel diplomacy, Turkish behavior clearly indicates that Ben-Meir's claims lack validity, are indeed far removed from reality, and that he seems to be alone in hearing the claimed Turkish pledges concerning a restoration of diplomatic relations. In addition he chooses to be oblivious to the fact that at no time did Turkey abandon its tri-partite demands, consisting of an Israeli apology, plus compensation to the victims in addition to the outrageous requirement of lifting the blockade of Gaza. Thus, Turkey attempted to not only put the total onus on Israel for the unfortunate turn of events, but to frontally assault the State of Israel's sovereignty.

Ben-Meir's recommendations could have grave consequences for Israel if acted upon, especially if an Israeli apology resulted not in restored relations, but was exploited by the Turks to demonstrate the injustice of Israel's claims concerning the right to defend itself and its borders from outside incursions. His assertions at best reflect misdirected naive wishful thinking, and at worst a cavalier and gross irresponsibility.

Petach Tikva