Sunday, March 24, 2013

Barry Rubin: Netanyahu Did Not Actually "Apologize" To Erdogan

In response to the media coverage of Netanyahu's apology to Turkey's Erdogan over the Mavi Marmara, Barry Rubin writes Did Israel `Apologize’ to Turkey? Well, No, Not Exactly, going back to the original disagreement between Erdogan and Israel:
During the talks, Erdogan made three demands:

  • Israel must apologize completely.
  • Such an apology implies a legal responsibility to pay reparations.
  • Erdogan insisted that Israel drop the embargo against the Gaza Strip.
Israel rejected these demands and instead offered:
  • To say it regretted the clash and the loss of life. This is like saying: If I offended anyone I’m sorry.
  • It offered to pay voluntarily, as a humanitarian gesture not as part of a guilty plea, the families of those killed.
  • Israel rejected any change on its policy toward the Gaza Strip.
Erdogan angrily rejected Israel’s offer.
The apology that Netanyahu has now made, Rubin notes, is in keeping with his original offer of an apology from the beginning.

Read the whole thing.

The media, of course, will interpret this as a capitulation by Israel, as a necessary step towards progress in the resolution of tensions between Israel and Turkey.

What, if anything, will actually change remains to be seen -- especially considering Erdogan's apparent backtracking.

If -- as some have claimed -- the apology was orchestrated by Obama while he was in Israel, this incident may very well serve as one more example of Obama's failure in his foreign policy in the Middle East.

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