Inside the Middle East
December 27, 2010
Posted: 1059 GMT

Despite overtures from Turkey, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday that his country will not apologize to Turkey over the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard an aid flotilla headed for Gaza in May.

Israeli troops board a ship in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31.
Israeli troops board a ship in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31.

"The ones who need to apologize is the Turkish government for supporting terror regarding the IHH (a Turkish charity tied to the flotilla), Hamas and Hezbollah," he told a gathering of Israeli ambassadors from around the world.

"There will be no apology, and if there is one, we are expecting it from Ankara and not vice versa," he added.

A day earlier, Turkey's foreign minister continued to press for an apology from Israel over the incident, as the boat that set off the row between the two countries was scheduled to arrive in Istanbul. Read more...

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mavigozler   December 27th, 2010 6:02 pm ET

I think this proves just how extremely psychotic the Israeli government has become. It murders humanitarians on the high seas-one of them American-and like any nation wanting to be an international pariah, it digs itself deeper.

Many apologists for the IDF and the criminal state that Israel has become claim that the humanitarians were ferrying weapons to the Palestinians: if they truly were ferrying weapons to kill IDF commandos, then why would they not grab those weapons and use directly on the illegally boarding commandos, since it would be their dream-come-true to be able to directly shoot the IDF members, rather than supply arms to those in Palestine to do it?

There have been too many inconsistencies in the statements of the Israeli government, combined with their refusal to release all the raw, unedited video they say that they took to show evidence of what they were doing! The totality of inconsistencies and the withholding of evidence and the refusal to submit to an international commission amount to one thing: LYING on the part of the Israelis.

The Israelis have few friends in the world because of their arrogance and conceit as a nation, and Turkey was virtually the ONLY friend they had in the Muslim world. The peace with Egypt and other Arab states is not a real friendship: it is merely a non-aggression pact these days. Anwar Sadat wanted true friendship, but the terrorist Menachem Begin only wanted domination and no Arab hand to touch his. Yitzhak Rabin wanted friendship with the Palestinians, but the creep Yasser Arafat could not get enough. These men of true and sincere peace were assassinated by their own, while rotten men were allowed to live out their lives and die without conscience in their beds. The same will be so for Netanyahu, who is not even as virulently extreme and right-wing as his own ministers. His own ministers prefer ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The people running Israel now are criminals against the peace, and criminals against humanity. They must be stopped by a just world.

proud zionist   December 27th, 2010 9:48 pm ET


did you see the demonstration in istanbul" death to the jews"? where did I hear this before?

Sid Dartha   December 28th, 2010 12:20 am ET

Funny how the once oppressed become the oppressor. Hitler would be very proud of the stormtroopers that murdered the peace activists on the Turkish ship.

miriam   December 28th, 2010 1:17 pm ET

Davutoglu continues to cry out about issues that have been clearly explained.

Under the rules of armed conflict, as is the relationship between Hamas controlled Gaza and Israel, it is legal to maintain a naval blockade.
Israel can therefore control shipping heading to Gaza even when in international waters.
A ship that clearly intends to breach a blockade can be boarded, searched and captured within international waters.

Under ICRC safety and security guidelines for humanitarian volunteers in conflict areas, relief convoys have to receive consent from those responsible for the passage of aid. Abuse of humanitarian action for political ends poses the risk of blurring the neutral humanitarian action with military or foreign policy endevours causing humanitarian staff to be viewed as legitimate targets.

The guidebook instructs humanitarian aid workers to avoid heroics, not to use physical violence or verbal aggression and not to be armed. Deliberately ignoring warnings is not advised and camaras, camcorders and cell-phones with camaras should not be taken.

Besides the fact that many on board the Mavi Marmara had deliberate political and "heroic" motives, carried camaras etc, ignored warnings and used physical violence and verbal abuse, the ship contained virtually no aid, most being on board the other boats in the flotilla that were intercepted with no trouble.

The UNHRC has long been discredited, being a political organization which protects the abusers of human rights and is obsessive in its attacks on Israel.

idanalhadjri   December 28th, 2010 6:30 pm ET

it's funny that the turkish government demanded a formal apology over the incident to israel. there's no way israel's going to do that. their pride is very high. even if they're wrong. very wrong.

miriam   December 29th, 2010 2:10 pm ET


Nobody claims that the boat was ferrying weapons to Gaza since there was very little on the boat other than a bunch of politically motivated, terrorist-supporting, trouble-makers taking advantage of a few well-meaning but indoctrinated humanitarian aid-workers.

However, many boats carrying weapons to Gaza have been intercepted on the "high-seas" and it is Israel's legal right and obligation to stop any boat attempting to illegally break the legal naval blockade when there is the suspicion that it may be transporting weapons.

Arrogance is strictly in the Turkish court if you are aware of the statements coming out of the country's ("we want to return our empire") leadership.

Begin and Israel's peace with Egypt was genuine and still respected today .The relationship is clearly just a convenience for Egypt, securing US funding to retain its Arab world dominance, for the time being. When will Mubarak make the official visit?

At least you admit the fact that Netanyahu's political position is not extreme, evident by the fact that his proposals are to the left of any of those put opinioned by Rabin.

The Israeli leadership is democratically elected and reflects the will of the people who live in the country, subjected to wars, terrorism, internal realities in addition to the "normal" issues every democracy has to deal with.

The "just" world doesn't have to worry about the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
If there is a "just" world that is able to operate independently and free from political considerations and deceitful propaganda, then there are many theocracies, dictatorships, absolute monarchies and anti-democracies in the world whose policies should be "stopped".

Young and Proud   December 29th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

It's is not by coincidence that Israel is hated all over the world. Israel is giving peace-loving jews a bad name. It is a disgrace!

jbloombe   December 29th, 2010 10:57 pm ET

The flotilla's main goal was not to deliver ANY type of supplies to Gazans, but to draw Israel into a conflict that would be highly publicized internationally to draw attention to the Gazan blockage. The Israelis in my opinion are only culpable of falling into this trap. The flotilla wanted, welcomed, and incited the Israeli intervention. I don't think that they wanted anybody killed but they clearly were there to incite Israel and make themy look bad publicly. I do not claim to know what happened once the military boarded the vessel but I do believe that it is very possible that some of the "humanitarians" initiated the violence in order to intensify what would be condtrued as "Israeli bullying".

James   December 30th, 2010 9:18 am ET

Miriam, the fact remains that the IDF unlawfully killed a number of Turkish citizens, and the UNHCR has only been "discredit.ed" by the Israeli right wing.

In the last 2 decades Israel has acted increasingly arrogant to many of its friends aside from Turkey, such as spying in the US and stealing the identities of Australian citizens. Both these latter countries have often protected Israel at great cost, and in Australia at least the lack of contrition has reduced public support for Israel.

Now you can bluster and say that Israel doesn't need your friends, but you do need us.

proud zionist   December 30th, 2010 2:14 pm ET

the IDF unlawfully killed a number of Turkish citizens,

Oh yeah? Then why did some of those "Turkish citizens" leave vidoe wills just as the muslim suicide bombers do? why, tell me, if you can.

innocent turkish citizens, my foot!

miriam   December 30th, 2010 3:18 pm ET


It is absolutely clear form the attacks on the Israeli commandos which included stabbing and gunshot wounds and being thrown several meters down from the upper deck of the ship and over-board, that the commandos had the lawful right to act in self-defence in which Turkish citizens were killed.

There is nothing "unlawful" in killing in self-defence.

In fact, if you consult with the Turks, they will have to justify why they believe why it is lawful to kill and attempt murder offensively.

The UNHRC has been discredited by many around the world, first and foremost by the victims of human-rights abuses whose voices are ignored and continue to suffer from the policies of the very same countries who sit on the committee.

Spying is an activity which is persued by every state and singling out Israel for criticism is arrogant, ignorant and bigoted.

Check out the ASIS!

Becket   December 30th, 2010 5:18 pm ET


With friends like that who needs enemies? The Turks have found out that the Israelis were false friends. The Turks also have no Israeli lobbies in their political spectrum as have the American supporters, to negate every effort made against Israel’s war mongering. The making and interpreting of International by Miriam’s rants on these blogs are the norm and just an example of the extreme obsession these Zionists have. Their motto is, DENY, DENY and DENY some more..............

john   December 31st, 2010 5:36 pm ET


There is nothing in international law, in any way, shape or form, that would make illegal killing someone attacking soldiers boarding a ship trying to run a legal blockade.

Under maritime law, given an open state of war between Israel and Hamas, Israel has a LEGAL right to stop ships trying to run that blockade.

Maritime law allows force to be used, and Israel would have been within their LEGAL rights to sink the ship if they refused to heave to.

Soldiers carrying out a legal mission have no responsibility to avoid killing anyone attacking them with lethal force.

And, if you think that security forces and spies for most countries don't routinely "borrow" passports from other countries, you're living in a dream world. Israel is not unique in this.

And, frankly, why shouldn't Israel assassinate a terrorist given respite by another state? The guy had significant blood on his hands.

4Benji   December 31st, 2010 5:46 pm ET

Turkey is today Iran's best friend. The Turks have turned radical after an Islamist Government took the vote of the people.
Israel should not apologize to the Turks or to the Terrorists that Turkey is keeping under its wings.
The Israeli Foreign Minister may put that in blunt undiplomatic language, with that it is not playing around with serving sweets to terrorists.

tzahal48   January 1st, 2011 7:51 am ET

Good, there is no reason for Israel to apologize as it did nothing wrong. If anyone should apologize, it should be the Turks for turning their backs on the West and supporting terrorists. The people aboard the ship knew what they were getting themselves into and they attacked the Israelis. It amazes me how stupid people are today. If you are trying to break a military blockade, don't expect that they are just going to let you waltz into the territory. Yet, when Israel protects itself, the whole world gets up in arms. The situation in Gaza is not as bad as the media portrays it to be. There are worse, a lot worse, places in the world, and the whole world seems to ignore those places.

The thing about the UNHRC is it is controlled by countries who openly commit human rights crimes, yet blame countries who actually treat their citizens humanely (Israel). Arabs, complain they are treated unfairly in Israel, which is false. Their unfair treatment is that they can't control Israel and turn it into an Arab state. However, go to any Arab country and if you are a non-muslim citizen you are treated terribly. Think of the KKK running the US, State, and local governments, only worse.

wait   January 1st, 2011 9:26 am ET

Turkey postpones, does not forget.
Thy love your neighbour.

Ariely   January 1st, 2011 12:52 pm ET

** Was ATATURK dream for Turkey to integrate into global Islamism?

** Erdugan good organizer but -NOT ATTATURK LEGACY **

Turkey was several years ago the hope and a model of a different Muslim country, other to follow.
However Erdugan despite being a good organizer leads Turkey into a new and dangerous pat the Islamism.

Who are Erdogan political partners?
1:Endogen considers Hamas a sister party
Hamas agenda is Islam rules the world and kill Jews- fight all
Hamas chart: search

2: Erdugan government shelters IHH which is part of the global Jihad network
According to Danish and French intelligence reports:
IHH helped AL QAIDA attack on LA airport, send manpower, arms and money to areas engaged by Islamist
Some of Marmaris passengers were known Al Qaida supporters. In addition terror supporters armed with machetes, knifes prepared in advance to confront Israel.
All terrorist supporters should know that the defending Israel will defend itself

3:Turkey intelligence knew that they are preparing a confrontation and despite thisErdugan offered help to Marmaris activist ahead of departure.

4:The Israeli soldiers embarked the ship armed with pinpoint guns were attacked, wounded – thrown in the see- some of the wounded soldiers captured and locked..
Only later the Israeli army embarked and fight the terror activists.

5:Erdugan is binding Turkey to the Iran Islamist theocratic regime.
Declared that the hidden Imman has arrived and the final war is due to begin.
Shia will rule the world.
The Iranian theocratic rulers desire to replace the western civilization- including the end of democracy, no human rights- no woman equality.
3 decades ago, the slogans on Iran streets calling "death to the USA satin", where considered gimmicks by the west.

6:What the Arabs and Israel done for turkey
* The teaching of modern sciences in Turkey was established by 300 Jewish professors (read the Jews of Bosporus
* After the Earth quick disasters Israel provided massive help to Turkey
* The Arabs revolt was one of the key factors in WW1 Turkey defeat * Arabs help to Turkey was insignificant

** Was ATATURK dream for Turkey to integrate into global Islamism?
** Erdugan good organizer but -NOT ATTATURK LEGACY **

Palestinian Princess   January 2nd, 2011 9:21 am ET

Israelis are very rude and therefore it is not surprising that they will not apologize .

miriam   January 2nd, 2011 6:02 pm ET

Palestinian Princess,

Your problem is an inability to recognize different cultural traditions. Western culture does not obsess over apology/regret/ as in day-to-day Arab/Islamic society.
Interestingly though, Arab/Islamic society is rather selective in its willingness to apologize and in its demands for apology.
Similarly, they have no problem insulting other cultures, inventing myths and distorting reality.

miriam   January 2nd, 2011 6:19 pm ET


It's fortunate that Israel does obsess about international law.
At least she can support and justify her actions.

It's too bad her adversaries distort international law with false rhetoric and repeated mantras, not forgetting undeniably illegal hostile actions.

proud zionist   January 2nd, 2011 8:46 pm ET

Palestinian Princess

But Palestinian terrorists are polite, they announce in advance that they want to murder all Jews, so nobody will be surprised

Palestinian Princess   January 3rd, 2011 2:51 pm ET

proud zionist, you're a liar baby, nobody will be surprised.

Shmuel   January 4th, 2011 8:45 am ET

Go Avigdor! I am glad I voted for you, and will again.

The Turkish government was criminally complicit in aiding and abetting the terrorist organization IHH to participate in the flotilla provocation. They got what they deserved.

proud zionist   January 4th, 2011 3:04 pm ET

Palestinian Princess
I am a liar? Is it not true that the Hamas charter as well as the PLO charter calls for the murder of Jews? Is it not true that Hamas keeps sending mortars and rockets into Israel on an almost daily basis? Is it not true that Hamas is not willing to enter any peace agreements with Israel, offering " Hudna" and if you are indeed Arab you know exactly what that means!

Now who is the liar? Princess? My foot!

miriam   January 4th, 2011 3:07 pm ET


So just who are the Palestinians proudly training in front of TV camaras and announcing at rallies, on kids TV and in mosques that it is their duty to die as shuhada killing as many Jews in the process?

Some recently revealed cables support the evidence that Erdogan was upping the anti-Israel rhetoric long before the flotilla incident to attract the popular vote, leaving his assistants scrambling to repair the damage.

The flotilla was a provocation that went too far, with Erdogan's internal political desperation damaging Turkey's foreign relations valued by many in his country and elsewhere.

James   January 5th, 2011 9:26 pm ET

John, while other countries may forge passports of other countries, in this case Israel stole the identities of actual Australian citizens. This was after Australia, a long time friend of Israel, specifically asked Israel not to steal passports. This was particularly hurtful considering that Australian soldiers had been put at risk taking out those Scud sites Sadaam had aimed at Israel during the early hours of the invasion of Iraq.

As for whether the IDFs actions were legal or not, thats still up for interpretation. Exactly what weapons were found on the ships they boarded and, if they were so certain of the legality of their actions, did they seize all cameras from the press contingent?

My main point is that no matter how you defend Israel using whatever subjective legal or moral argument you want, if Israel continues to treat its friends arrogantly, they can't expect those friendships to remain. Or do you think countries like Australia should compromise our security because Israel tells us to?

miriam   January 6th, 2011 8:46 pm ET


You seem good at assumptions.

You assume it was Israel who stole identities although there is no proof.

You assume that Aussie soldiers were deployed, at risk, to protect Israel, while their role was in fact to secure the region where Scuds were positioned and were actually involved in other missions.

You assume that international law is open for interpretation, whereas it is very clear that Israel acted legally in boarding the boats.

You assume that Israel is arrogant and dictates to others countries what they should do. Actually, Israel holds her citizens' security as a priority and refuses to be bought out or sold out by her enemies whether through war, terror or rhetorical legal innaccuracies and moral double standards.

proud zionist   January 7th, 2011 7:23 pm ET


you are delirious. Australian soldiers had been put at risk takiung out those scud sites? That is absol;ute bull. You do not have one shred of evidence for that allegation. The truth is that Israel wanted to put out those scud sites but wrere not allowed to do so by Austaralians and Americans. The truth is that that war was not Israel's and Saddam nvertheless attacked israel. The truth is that YOU ignorant idiots did not allow Israel to defend itself against criminal agression. You should be asamed of yourself instead of attacking Israel. you nitwit hypocrite!

Danny   February 16th, 2011 2:04 pm ET

Dont try and argue with an israeli they ar in a world of their owna nd not part of teh global community! The US is soon to be part of this outside extremism, it will become a case of US?Israel versus the rest fo teh world and the US and Jews beleive in a nuclear holocaust therefore tehy will press the button to prove their point!

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