Should Israel Apologize To Turkey?

The Turks don’t seem to be losing any momentum in their international campaign to demonize Israel.

Not content with having withdrawn their ambassador to the country and using every international forum available to raise the specter of the Jewish  ” state terrorism” , Turkey is now demanding an apology for the deaths aboard the Mavi Marmara on the morning May 30 when the Turkish registered boat sought to breach the Gaza blockade.

Now the Turks, having acknowledged that the Government of Israel recognizes that ” mistakes” were made in the attempt to interdict the passage of the ship, have made it clear that they will accept nothing short of a full apology for the eleven deaths which resulted from the confrontation.

Such an apology would be nothing  short of a diplomatic catastrophe for the Jewish state.  To acknowledge that the nation was somehow at fault for this commission of political theater, would be to essentially acknowledge guilt – yet there can be no question of Israel’s liability for the violence which broke out that morning , which was pre-planned and pre-meditated and designed to achieve exactly its result.    Israel would gain nothing but further opprobrium and it would make the likelihood of future passage of such violations of Israeli sovereignty even more certain.

The Turks know something about how to manage international campaigns of this order.  For 95 years , successive Turkish governments have denied the role of  the state in facilitating the deaths of close to one million Armenian Turkish citizens during the First World War.   No Turkish leader has been prepared to acknowledge this enormous crime against humanity and  for a very good reason.  To do so would open the country to compensatory claims and property right legal suits that could stretch on for generations.  Not only that, but the history of modern Turkey would  inevitably be colored by the  dark hues of racism and bigotry, almost impossible to erase from memory and reputation, as many Germans can today attest.

The difference between Turkey and Israel in these two instances is that Israel did not kill a million people in a pre-planned genocidal campaign and has not sought to deny the truth behind the incidents which occurred in May, 2010 – releasing video footage which shows clearly that the Navy Seals who boarded the boat,  were first brutally attacked  and fired their guns only to defend their lives.  The Turks, on the other hand, will not open their archives to reveal the truth about the events of 1915 –  which could not have been conducted in self defense – and insist in applying tremendous pressure on Western governments to resist Armenian pressure to declare those events a genocide.

Perhaps Israel then would be better off  not seeking to mollify the anti-Israel government of Turkey but in reversing its long held policy of not pushing for world wide recognition of the Armenian genocide.  Perhaps then, in the diplomatic shell game the Turks are now playing, they will begin to learn that they have exposure on an issue far more internationally damaging any ” crime ” the Israelis have ever committed.

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