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Turkish and Israeli representatives held two days of talks - on Sunday and Monday - in Geneva to discuss a resolution to the Turkish-Israeli diplomatic crisis. There has been a lot of coverage and speculation about this in Turkish and world media this week.

One of the most interesting things I have noticed is that there has been a complete lack of any mention that the IDF commandos were ‘just defending themselves’ when they shot and killed nine people and wounded dozens more on the Mavi Marmara during the IDF’s attack and seizure of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

The reports I have read and heard state that the talks are not about whether Israel would apologize and pay compensation but about how it would.

This is a summary of what I have read and heard in the past two days.

In these talks, according to an Israeli diplomatic source, "above all [Israeli PM Netanyahu] is determined to see that IDF soldiers and officers will not be open to lawsuits and arrests around the world."

The U.S. has proposed a formula where the Israeli government would apologize not to the Turkish government but to the families of those killed by IDF commandos during the attack and seizure.

According to an Israeli official, the Israel government is searching for wording to include in any statement it made that would state that Israel "did not act in malice" or "wantonly" when the IDF commandos attacked and seized the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

According to Turkish officials, Israel has agreed to pay compensation to the families of those who were killed and damages to those who were wounded, and Israel has also offered to very formally express its ‘regrets’ to Turkey and the Turkish people about what happened because the Israeli government feels that this would be acceptable to the Israeli people.  

Turkish PM Erdogan has made several statements that the Turkish government is willing to improve ties with Israel but the government also maintains its position that Israel needs to officially apologize to the Turkish government, pay compensation, immediately submit its report to the U.N. Panel of Inquiry, and lift the embargoes on Gaza.

The families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara have all stated that they are not interested in an Israeli apology or compensation. They insist that they want those responsible for the deaths of their family members be brought to justice.

The family members have also stated that if Israel were to pay compensation it would have to be ‘a punishingly large amount which Israel would feel the pain of paying’ and it would be used to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. The families also stated that it would be most appropriate for this aid, which would be bought with money paid by Israel as compensation to the families, to be delivered to Gaza by a flotilla.

---

The Jerusalem Post reports that:

Sources close to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, said that an apology to Turkey would be no less than a "surrender to terrorism."

"Israel needs to ask for a Turkish apology, and for it to pay compensation for the aid it gave those supporting terrorists and the IHH, which countries such as Germany have called a terrorist organization."

---

UPDATE - Two new items were just posted on Turkish newspapers’ websites.

Silvan Shalom, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister, in a radio interview in Israel today is reported to have said that apologizing to Turkey is ‘unthinkable’ and that the Mavi Marmara was going to Gaza in order to incite Israel and that if an apology was to be made it should be made by Ankara, and on the subject of compensation, both sides should pay it because Israel also suffered damage in the flotilla affair. He is also reported to have said that the Turkish-Israeli relationship was important and dialog between the two counties was always a positive thing.

Ron Dermer, an advisor to PM Netanyahu, in an interview with the Associated Press today is reported to have said that Turkey and Israel are working on an agreement which is ‘acceptable to both sides’, that Tel Aviv and Ankara are in continuing contact, and that Israel has asked Turkey to send the Turkish ambassador back to Israel.

---

My analysis: The Turkish people and government are willing to restore ties with Israel, but only if Israel meets certain conditions.

Also, a general election is going to be held in Turkey in about six months, and even though the CHP has been growing stronger recently, it seems right now that the AKP will probably be able to win enough seats and stay in power with a small majority. But this is by no means definite; the election could end in a coalition government’s having to be formed.

Keeping this in mind it is easy to understand that PM Erdogan doesn’t need to be very flexible or even actively pursue these talks because:

- Not restoring ties with Israel will neither win nor lose the ruling AKP any votes. The current situation has been going on for 6 months and has already had any effect it might have on voters.

- Restoring ties with Israel, without Israel clearly agreeing to the stated conditions, could easily lose the ruling AKP 5%, and possibly as much as 15%, of the vote to religious and nationalist parties.

- Restoring ties with Israel, with Israel clearly agreeing to the stated conditions, could only win the ruling AKP from 2% to 5% of the vote.

---

On a different subject -

I have heard this U.S. law being discussed concerning any legal actions which the U.S. might take against those involved in the IDF’s attack on and seizure of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla - especially in regard to any IDF officers and commandos involved in it who hold both U.S. and Israeli citizenship.

Does anyone have any thoughts about it?

§ 1652. Citizens as pirates

Whoever, being a citizen of the United States, commits any murder or robbery, or any act of hostility against the United States, or against any citizen thereof, on the high seas, under color of any commission from any foreign prince, or state, or on pretense of authority from any person, is a pirate, and shall be imprisoned for life.

Originally posted to InAntalya on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 06:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Using US law AGAINST IDF? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, InAntalya

    The only thing I've seen are calls to investigate the participants onboard the flotilla.

    “The IHH, the flotilla's sponsoring organization, has long been known for its affiliations with terrorist organizations, including Hamas and al-Qaida,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). “It is the responsibility of our government to ensure that terrorists, and those who support terrorist activities, not be allowed to enter the United States.”

    Nadler was joined by Reps. Eliot Engel, Carolyn Maloney, Anthony Weiner and Charles Rangel, all Democrats from New York...

  •  Thanks for the news, but from here (4+ / 0-)

    it looks like a Turkish capitulation.  Wonder what we're pressuring Turkey with.  Time for another Wikileak?

  •  Hmm (6+ / 0-)

    Your sources seem to read differently from the Israeli papers.

    You say:

    One of the most interesting things I have noticed is that there has been a complete lack of any mention that the IDF commandos were ‘just defending themselves’ when they shot and killed nine people and wounded dozens more on the Mavi Marmara during the IDF’s attack and seizure of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

    The reports I have read and heard state that the talks are not about whether Israel would apologize and pay compensation but about how it would.

    Haaretz says:

    Israel to Turkey: Admit IDF raid on Gaza flotilla had no malicious intent

    Israel has demanded that Turkey admit that the Israel Defense Forces raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla had no malicious intent, a condition which is part of the recent endeavor between Israel and Turkey to reach an agreement to put an end to the crisis in their relations.

    If not exactly opposite, the two statements are still pretty far apart.  

    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:24:52 AM PST

    •  The paragraphs you cite are my general (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weasel, zannie, sofia

      observations.

      Also

      Israel has demanded that Turkey admit that the Israel Defense Forces raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla had no malicious intent

      is much different from the position that was promoted for so long that IDF commandos were ‘just defending themselves’ and they 'needed' to shoot all these people.

      the diaries that time put in a safe place

      by InAntalya on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:33:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  odd framing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      what leverage do they have to 'demand'?

      "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

      by zannie on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:10:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Israel cannot be trusted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Peacenick, InAntalya

    The only way for a Palestine State is for the Palestinian too go too the UN and get thier independence granted thier ,just like the UN ,established the country of Israel, Argentina Brazil and Uraguay has already recognize Palestine independence, the people of Israel cannot be trusted as honest and sincere about the establishment of a independent Palestinian  country and the  world should recognize that as fact and   help with the final liberation of the Palestinian by all legal mean

    •  Actually the UN already voted on this (1+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Mets102
      Hidden by:
      Fire bad tree pretty

      specifically, to create a Palestinian State, on Nov. 29, 1947. Every Arab country voted no because the same vote created a Jewish state. And on May 15, 1948, five Arab countries invaded what had been Palestine, not to create a Palestinian State, but to drive the Jews into the sea and to divide what had been the Palestine Mandate up among themselves. One of those Arab states, Iraq, remains in a state of "hot war" with Israel. But in any case there should be no need for a UN vote; Abbas and Fayyad can simply declare independence and I suspect most of the states of the world will recognize the new state, 63 years late.

      •  More specifically... (0+ / 0-)

        ....it voted to create another "Arab" state in the region.  The opponents of Israel then were very vehement in stating that there was no such thing as "Palestine."

        If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

        by JPhurst on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:18:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hiderated for (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weasel, Rusty Pipes, zannie, sofia

        to drive the Jews into the sea

        In fact, just the opposite happened, with Palestinians from Haifa being driven into the sea by Jewish forces. There was a basic injustice done in Palestine in 1947. Palestinians were not given the right to any kind of self-determination, only the minority Jewish population, which, as Ben Gurion's words attest, accepted partition only as a stepping stone to fighting for more land after partition and transferring out the Palestinians. This is the environment in which Palestinians reacted against the creation of the jewish state, not out of anti-semitism or an attempt to make the land free of Jews, which is only slightly better than your usual 'judenrien' construction for which you have been warned about before.

        Stop misrepresenting legitimate Palestinian political grievances as hateful and racist acts.

        "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

        by Fire bad tree pretty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:55:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated for HR Abuse... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        See here. The source cited in the article is Benny Morris.

        Congress shall make no law...

        by Mets102 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 10:38:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah yes, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zannie, sofia

          the same Benny Morris who approves of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. You do realize that charlie has been warned about this by admin before and even wrote a mea culpa diary about it?

          People all over the place make Nazis/Palestinians/Israelis comparisons. We do not allow that to happen on this website. What part of that do you not understand?

          "I have a vision of our rights as indigenous people. We didn't migrate to Israel; it is Israel that migrated to us." Haneen Zoabi, interview in the New Stateman

          by Fire bad tree pretty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:15:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He was warned about a specific comparison... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1

            which was in violation of site I/P rules as far as I know. Nothing more. Nothing less. I see no such comparison here.

            Congress shall make no law...

            by Mets102 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 12:09:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  i've written MB (2+ / 0-)

            for some reason my TU is gone this morning, not sure why or i would have hr'd this myself. thanks for bringing this to our attention, i must have just skimmed charlie's comment earlier or i would have caught it.

            this isn't the place to peddling gruesome myths. extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and wiki's link (the one mets provided) makes the claim and cites #32 which then leads to benny morris's wiki page, which offers no explanation of this. if morris wrote this he could have been citing someone else (like some israeli politician) so the context is completely relevant. using wiki as a source for all thing i/p should only be allowed in cases where wiki is properly sourced.

            either way i hope MB weighs in because these kinds of vile talking pts should not be allowed here, ever.

            "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

            by zannie on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:16:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  false (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fire bad tree pretty

          The source cited in the article is Benny Morris.

          it is not an article it is wiki, the source cited for wiki looks like this:

          ^ a b c Benny Morris (2008), p.396.

          and it leads back to benny morris's wiki page, not an 'article'. i'm sure you've read The right's latest weapon: 'Zionist editing' on Wikipedia.

          so cough it up. there is no article cited by benny morris, at all.

          here is what citing benny morris looks like. i want the context of that alleged statement by benny morris or access to it, you have provided neither.

          your uprate is bogus and the statement is a lie.

          "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

          by zannie on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 05:47:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you look at the notes section... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1

            you'll notice that for all authors cited who have a Wikipedia article it links to their article. And then if you proceed to go down to the References section, which is immediately below the Notes section, you'll find the following works listed:

            Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
            Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, Yale University Press, 2008.

            You'll also once again find that Morris' name links to his Wikipedia article, which is similar to every other author referenced who has a Wikipedia article, namely that clicking on their name leads to their Wikipedia article.

            Congress shall make no law...

            by Mets102 on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 06:32:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's not good enough (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fire bad tree pretty

              here's wiki"

              After the Partition vote, Arab leaders threatened the Jewish population of Palestine. They spoke of "driving the Jews into the sea" and ridding Palestine "of the Zionist Plague".[31

              there's no context here, according to whom? according to morris or according to morris's citation of someone else? are you asserting morris claimed arab leaders said this? 5 inflammatory words is called cherry-picking.

              wiki is not an unbiased source, you must realize that. this is an extraordinary claim and if you or anyone is are going to cite this it requires more context, especially now that we know of 'Zionist editing' on Wikipedia'.

              find another source, wiki is unacceptable wrt this kind of inflammation and you know it.

              "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

              by zannie on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 07:59:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  here's your quote: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fire bad tree pretty

              The Arab war aim, in both stages of the hostilities, was, at a minimum, to abort the emergence of a Jewish state or to destroy it at inception. The Arab states hoped to accomplish this by conquering all or large parts of the territory allotted to the Jews by the United Nations. And some Arab leaders spoke of driving the Jews into the sea and ridding Palestine "of the Zionist plague."

              j post.

              can you see the difference? notice how there are no quotes around morris's assertion, unlike the reference to "of the Zionist plague."

              do you know what this means? it means he is paraphrasing. it means he has no quote.

              and notice how wiki puts quotes around this as it does w/cited quotes?

              The source cited in the article is Benny Morris.

              no, there is no source cited in an article by morris, none whatsoever.

              this is nothing more than repeating morris's claim, one he has the good sense not to quote, because there is no quote to be had. wiki lied when they place quotes around an unsourced unquoted allegation, and you know it:

              After the Partition vote, Arab leaders threatened the Jewish population of Palestine. They spoke of "driving the Jews into the sea" and ridding Palestine "of the Zionist Plague".[

              here's another copy of the article same thing, no quotation marks. why did wiki lie? why did they make up quotation marks where there were none?

              "As Israel treats Jerusalem, so shall the world treat Israel. As Jerusalem goes, so goes Israel." - B. Burston/Ha'aretz

              by zannie on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 08:21:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The goal is peace, not just a Palestinian state (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      The basic premise has been "land for peace."  

      Seems like your proposal would completely avoid the "peace" part of it.

    •  U.S. has shown it can't be trusted to be an (6+ / 0-)

      honest broker on this issue either.

      Other parties need to step in.  With U.S. power in such rapid decline, maybe they will soon be able to do so.  Those three South American countries recognizing the Palestinian state under '67 boundaries is one more sign of disappearing U.S. clout, even in a traditional sphere of influence like Latin America.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:20:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "US mediation monopoly collapsing" (4+ / 0-)

        US mediation monopoly collapsing

        by Sam Bahour

        . . .An alternative to the Quartet would be to create a properly mandated UN Security Council mediation team in which no member would be allowed to exercise veto power. The team would be equipped with the necessary resources to bring Israel (the occupier) and the Palestinians (the occupied) to the table with the agenda of ending the 43-year Israeli military occupation of Palestinians. The basis for an end to the occupation would be dictated as prescribed in international and humanitarian law. This mediation team would have the authority to deploy a specified number of multinational peacekeeping forces should they be required. . . .

  •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zannie, jrooth, InAntalya

    for this interesting diary, InAntalya.

    If you'd like to crosspost it on European Tribune, you'd be most welcome.

  •  It is more likely that the US would prosecute (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carboloaded

    the US citizens on the flotilla, as (1) they were trying to get goods to a terrorist organization (Hamas), and (2) the IDF was enforcing a legal blockade.

    I hope that Israel and Turkey do patch things up, but Israel will NOT let go of its right to enforce a blockade by force.

  •  What would be the consequences of a CHP victory (4+ / 0-)

    should that happen? It seems to be more like the kind of center-left party with which most of us on DKos would tend to ally.

    •  The CHP is much more center-left on many (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artisan, volleyboy1, charliehall2

      points.

      It has also been, for a while, the party of 'intellectuals' and lost some of its base.

      The new leadership of the party is working hard to open up the party especially to younger voters.

      The CHP is also very 'nationalistic' - by that I mean very commited to Ataturk's principles.

      I'll write more a little later - I'm in a meeting now.

      the diaries that time put in a safe place

      by InAntalya on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 08:54:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Financial Times had a scathing article on CHP (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, InAntalya

        yesterday.  Apparently, some of the Wikileaks cables show U.S. diplomats highly critical of the party.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:17:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks would love to hear more. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya
        •  The CHP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          supports strong relationships between Turkey and the U.S., Europe and NATO.

          They are strongly secular but would probably continue to work with Iran, if in power, because a peaceful solution to the 'nuclear problem' is good for Turkey. Whether or not Iran will want to work with the CHP, I don't know.

          CHP would also support strong Turkish-Israeli relations but would probably also insist on similar conditions from Israel, although probably with a different approach, in regard to the Mavi Marmara.

          the diaries that time put in a safe place

          by InAntalya on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 01:35:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just like Israel after the USS Liberty attack. (5+ / 0-)

    Payments, but no admission of wrongdoing.  (Just a "mistake".)

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 09:18:23 AM PST

    •  It was no "mistake" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weasel

      but it was in the interests of both Israel and the US to push it under the rug. We forget that Israel was NOT a US ally at that point in history; the Liberty might well have been giving information to Egypt, and that after the six day war as most of the Arab world moved toward the Soviet orbit the US needed Israel more than Israel needed the US.

  •  Turkish State Minister and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rusty Pipes, sofia, volleyboy1, Mets102

    Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has replied to Israeli FM Lieberman's statements.

    He is reported to have said that Lieberman still thinks he's a Moldovan nightclub bouncer and should get over the effects of the career he had in his youth and begin behaving like a statesman.

    the diaries that time put in a safe place

    by InAntalya on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:57:07 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary, InAntalya! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    "Trolling is a sad reality of internet life...Directly replying to the content of a trollish message is usually a waste of time"

    by Rusty Pipes on Thu Dec 09, 2010 at 11:43:07 AM PST

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