Livni: We Need to 'Swallow' Turkish Bluster

Justice Minister explains, "Sometimes we have to swallow harsh rhetoric by one Arab leader or another."

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Gil Ronen,

Minister Tzipi Livni
Minister Tzipi Livni
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni expressed her support Sunday for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident and explained that it was necessitated by the situation in the Middle East.

"Syria is crumbling, with chemical weapons," she noted in a Channel 2 interview.

Livni said that she was not surprised by Turkey's continued aggressive talk after the prime minister's apology. "The apology is the right step," she explained. "It is a correct move and it is a good thing that it was made."

"Sometimes there is a need to swallow harsh rhetoric by one Arab leader or another," she said – apparently ignoring the fact that Turks, while Muslim, are not Arabs.

Livni also noted that the resumption of diplomatic relations with Turkey would involve the cancellation of legal steps against IDF officers in Turkey.

She said that the apology does not hurt the IDF soldiers who operated on board the Mavi Marmara. "Any apology by Israel does not include any aspersions regarding the legitimacy of the military action for stopping the Turkish flotilla. The apology does not detract from the moral nature of the operation undertaken by the naval commando soldiers."