Apologize to Turkey? Netanyahu Tells Clinton, ‘No Thanks’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has turned down U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s requests and will not apologize to Turkey for the IDF’s counter terrorist action that killed nine IHH terror activists in the flotilla clash a year ago, Army Radio reported Wednesday.
Senior members of the Cabinet have strongly opposed the apology that Turkey has demanded and they said that if anyone should say he is sorry, it should be Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His country has funded and encouraged the IHH-terror linked organization in its effort to engage the IDF in conflict on the high seas by trying to challenge Israel’s sovereignty over the coastal waters of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Likud Ministers Benny Begin and Moshe Ya’alon, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu and Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas have said that Israel has nothing to apologize for.
The Obama administration has been anxious to improve ties between Jerusalem and Ankara, which was friendly with Israel for two decades until the three-week counter terrorist Operation Cast Lead campaign in the winter of 2008-2009.
A United Nations report by the Palmer investigation committee is due to be published next week, but previously released reports stated that it determined Israel’s actions as legal but disproportionate. The report also is expected to partly blame Turkey for the confrontation, a charge that has caused Erdogan to work to suppress the report.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to apologize is bound to anger the Obama administration, but its foreign policy clout continues to be diminished. President Barack Obama so far has failed to keep the Palestinian Authority from moving ahead with its proposal to ask the United Nations to recognize it is an independent country, a move that would officially negate the moribund American-led diplomatic process.
Washington also has failed to have any effect on Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose army and secret police continue to brutalize the civilian uprising now that began more than three months ago. His forces have murdered at least 2,000 people and arrested more than 20,000, many of them having “disappeared.”
At the beginning of the uprising, Clinton called Assad a “reformer.”