Don’t kill the relationship
Avi Yesawich
Published: 08.09.11, 00:10
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1. Turkey's the cause of all the problems
MARK KLEIN, M.D. ,   OAKLAND,CA   (09.08.11)
Turkey is like the spouse demanding a divorce regardless of the consequences to the family.
2. Turkish hypocrite
Steve ,   London   (09.08.11)
The leftist author is wrong -Israel has nothing to apologise for. Even the UN report did not say that an apology was required. Turkey is descending into another extremist hate mongering Islamic state. It is a hypocritical country that condemns Israel whilst killing kurds and civilians. Why does no-one talk about this? There is nothing Israel can do to apease the Turks as they do not want good relations.
3. you mean, not to damage further, until israel has a governme
eporue ,   europe   (09.08.11)
nt which is ready and willing to apologize ? yes, in general i agree... but it would only be fair, when those responsible in israel would be send to ankara to apologize for their mistake ! the people dont have to pay for this ! nor the troops, nor your economy... im stunned...how long will it take, until you realize that you just have to get rid of this extremist government... instead, you authors are pondering all sort of things, doing all sort of twists, going to great length to distort the facts... no, im shocked...
4. What Turkey fears most
sk ,   USA   (09.08.11)
What Turkey fears most is not Israel, but the 25% of its population, the Kurdish people. Turkey is deathly afraid of Kurdish people raising their voices for a nation and demanding reparations for what the Turks did to the Kurdish people in a failed genocide attempt. And there are more Kurdish people in other nations; Iraq, Iran, and Syria ... this is what gives Erdogan and his cohorts nightmares.
5. interesting article... but nothing that hasn't already been
Rafi ,   US   (09.08.11)
... said over the past week.
6. This is a strategic decision of Erdogan
Shalom Freedman ,   Jerusalem Israel   (09.08.11)
It is not simply that an incident happened and this incident was responsible for the downgrading of relations. It is rather that the downgrading began much earlier than the incident and the incident was used as pretext for accelerating the downgrading. Erdogan has made a strategic decision to go with a strong anti- Israel line. The reasons can be conjectured upon but the behavior is unfortunately extremely clear.
7. Turkey as never an ally
Takan ,   Elat   (09.08.11)
Since Erdogan came to power, Turkey has found every excuse to distance itself from the cooperation with Israel. Turkey with a muslim government will never be a friend of Israel. It's better to have an ennemy you know than a friend you can't trust.
8. Yuk
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (09.08.11)
It would appear that most of us do not wish to "repair" the relationship. Duh.
9. #8 How So?
Avi Yesawich   (09.08.11)
it appears that way based on what evidence, exactly?
10. 8 - you can maximum talk on behalf of the mentaly ill
Eitan ,   TA   (09.08.11)
not Israeli citizens.
11. TURKEY Why not Plan ...Z ?
sam   (09.08.11)
Israel is GOD's own and must survive.
12. #3, #8
solomon ,   bklyn   (09.08.11)
If there is to be mediation, each side must take steps towards the other. Israel cannot apologize for something that they did in self-defense, but they did express regret. But that is not enough for Turkey which is behaving like the "Palestinians" who want what they want with no compromise whatsoever. To bow down to Turkey would make the situation even worse; Erdogan would only denigrate Israel even more and would want more in the bargain. Israel has taken a step towards Turkey with it’s statement of regret. It is now Turkey’s turn. (Kol ha'kavod to the author (A. Yesawich) in entering this TB. It doesn't happen often enough.)
13. Another leftist attempting to rewrite laws
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (09.08.11)
Our boarding in international waters is fully supported by international law and even the Palmer Report stated that. But because it was a political decision we had to be criticized for 'excessive force' which has no meaning in international law, nor were we required to give a final warning. After a verbal then physical warning we were within international law to sink the vessel. So in short we chose the most moderate response instead and for that we are criticized. The fault lies entirely with Turkey and they are the ones that are pushing the issue. As for legal action, well unless we agree to go to the apartheid ICJ there will be no case. The UN can't take there, because their own investigation shows it to be legal and the only other method is if both parties agree to go.
14. #13 - I'm not a lefitst, and I'm not re-writing Laws
Avi Yesawich   (09.08.11)
Your post is full of straw man arguments, I will dispel all of them. Yes, the report stated that Israel can enforce the blockade in international waters. However, the report mentions nothing about the legality of raiding a ship unannounced in international waters, an action which is legally questionable according to established norms of international law. I never mentioned the excessive force clause in this article, it was irrelevant to my central argument: the importance of repairing a damaged relationship. I never claimed that Turkey wasn't at fault for the Mavi Marmara incident. Your addition about the ICJ action is correct, a point I made in the original argument which was removed by the editors for length reasons. No disagreement here. How is suggesting increased mediation and reconciliation efforts for an important political relationship "leftist" in even the slightest sense of the word? Turkey has very high strategic importance to the State of Israel, and we should continue to work to maintain it, not flush the entire relationship down the political drain.
15. ICJ is a Turkish red herring
Ian ,   Newcastle upon Tyne   (09.08.11)
The Turkish government can bluster as much as it wants about taking the matter to the International Court of Justice.The fact is that the ICJ can only adjudicate on contentious issues between two States if both States agree to it. If Israel doesn't agree to it,that's that. THREE CHEERS FOR ISRAEL!!!
16. Avi Yesawich #14 wrong again
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (09.08.11)
I have listened the radio calls - yes multiple calls and heard the Turkish answer of 'Fuck you". So how many times do we have to announce it? According to those international laws - once is all we have to do. There is no questionable legality - go read the San Remo Maritime Treaty. It says it in black and white print. Straw man - you aren't even making claims that strong. Yesterday Turkey threatened Cyprus with war. Turkey just announced that it was going to use warships to force the blockade, an act of war. What kind reconciliation is going to fix that? The first attempt with the Turkish governments help was an act of war too. How many times are they going to declare war before we are allowed to defend ourselves? Tell us all. Tell me do you see a pattern here? That maybe just maybe Turkey is looking for a war? Please tell us all how anything we do could fix that? Do you really think begging will work any better with the Turks than it has with the Arabs?
17. #14 avi
solomon ,   bklyn   (09.08.11)
As an aside to the main discussion, anytime I hear "established norms of international law", "according to international law", or some such, I have begun to take it as a given that there is no such "international law" as that has become a way to describe one's feeling or opinion but not a law (having failed to find one that is relevant).
18. #16
Avi Yesawich   (09.09.11)
Many of my responses to your initial post weren't refuted, so I am assuming we have at least some common ground. Although I admit that I haven't heard the radio calls, the fact still remains that IDF forces did not announce that they were boarding the ship when they executed the raid, which is standard protocol for such operations and opened to legal interpretation. Why mention Cyprus? Turkey threatened Cyprus with war over disputed territory - amongst other longstanding problems with Cyprus/Greece - that have nothing to do with Israel. I clearly identify in the article that the Turkish threat to send warships to accompany future flotillas is highly problematic and discouraging. But where did I say that Israel shouldn't defend itself? In fact, most of my articles declare quite clearly that Israel should defend itself without apologies or regard for the positions of the international community, as they do not face the threats that we face. For clarification, "Straw man" refers to arguments that you declare that I've made, but in fact are a misrepresentation of my actual points. I believe that you do genuinely misrepresent my article by adding arguments I didn't make. I see the pattern you've specified, but I never claimed that Israel should "beg" for reconciliation. However, why should we let the situation continue to degenerate with an important strategic ally such as Turkey? I would hope you agree there is significant strategic value in repairing the relationship. Certainly we should make an effort. If those efforts prove futile and attaining middle ground is impossible, then we will inexorably explore other options of handling the situation. You really believe that Turkey potentially wants war with Israel? As a NATO member, that seems highly unlikely and would have severe political repercussions, outside of outright war and destruction - that Turkey may consider unacceptable. However, I never claimed that such a scenario was impossible.
19. Israel has no control
Mahlon Drumgoole ,   Newark NJ USA   (09.09.11)
The only way that Turkish/Israeli relations will improve is if Erdogan loses power and a secular and moderate government replaces him. Erdogan knew exactly what his aims were about Israel when he entered office. He needed time to cement his position and purge pro-Israel officers from the military and he has accomplished this goal. Now the islamist, Erdogan is showing his true megalomaniac and anti-Israel intentions. It was Turkey that sent the terrorists and attacked the Israeli commandoes. It was Turkey that ended the relationship and it is Turkey that is threatening to send warships to escort weapons ships to Gaza.
20. #8 snaps her bubble gum yet again
mea   (09.09.11)
21. Israel has no control over Erdogan - he is insane
This is Erdogan's doing. He is the cause of the problem. He is the problem. Stop the hand-wringing - Israel has not done anything wrong.
22. Avi Yesawich #18
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (09.09.11)
This is from your article 'Before storming the ship, Israel issued the Turkish vessel no final warning, giving the passengers on board legal pretext to defend themselves against Navy Commandoes.' and now you state 'the fact still remains that IDF forces did not announce that they were boarding the ship when they executed the raid, which is standard protocol for such operations' but that doesn't make it a legal REQUIREMENT. The Israeli Navy made over 20 attempts by radio and signal lights and was rebuffed every time. Legally the Navy could have at that moment just sunk the Mavi Marmara but didn't. Again showing that not only do we adhere to international law - but exceed it's requirements and still we are criticized for it. I mentioned Cyprus because it is part of Erdogen's pattern of megalomania and bullying that he is currently doing. He has occupations of Cyprus and Iraq and a territorial dispute with Armenia. He has purged his military of non-Islamic officers. In short his actions are very similar to Stalin, yet you refer to Turkey as a "strategic ally". Some ally - I think there might be more appropriate terms than ally. As for repairing - well it takes two to tango and so far I have only seen that we are the ones that even want a relationship at all. I truly believe that Erdogen is looking for a war with somebody. The Lira is tanking and his economy is even weaker than Greece's. He needs a war to secure his position. I do think that we have shut up in the face of threats, lies and criminal acts by our neighbors all in hopes of improving that relationship and that appeasement hasn't work and will never work. That is what I think.
23. Israel/Turkey
J PAPADOPOULOS ,   Brussels Belgium   (09.09.11)
Turkey may want an escalation in the crisis to justify the future acquisition of nuclear weapons and long-term position as the "atomic caliph" in Middle East. they will not go to war but they will claim compensation such as heavy as the atom can give...
24. Yasawich is right
John R ,   NYC USA   (09.09.11)
Harry Truman had the most successful foreign policy of any US President. It was composed of three principles: Foreign aid, humility and a willingness to use force only if it became necessary. Israel's policy toward Gaza is not only not to give humanitarian foreign aid but to prevent other countries from doing it. The word humility is not in the Hebrew language apparently. Hence they always have a necessity to use force. Had the Gaza blockade been only to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas, the world could be sympathetic. Instead Israel chose a comprehensive blockage which limited food, medical equipment, water, sewage treatment, electric power, foreign humanitarian aid etc. All this was to get rid of Hamas which obviously failed. As an Israeli cabinet minister said"We will put Gaza on a diet". Never mind they violated article 33 of the Geneva Convention and incited the entire Muslim world. The UN said a military equipment blockade was justified but excessive force was used in this operation. Considering billions in trade and a crucially important ally is at stake with years of good will in the balance, naturally Israel is incapable of an apology. Instead they exacerbate the situation to the brink of war. What is remarkable is why so many talkbackers think Israel is doing an intelligent thing. I feel sorry for this author who is simply defending a sane approach.
25. #23 No substantial disagreement between us
Avi Yesawich   (09.09.11)
You left out the last part of my sentence, which says "which is standard protocol for such operations, and is open to legal interpretation." The Palmer report is curiously silent on this issue, yet some experts in international law have made the case that it was illegal. Even still, I never argue that Israel didn't adhere to international law anywhere in the article, and I agree that Israel does its best to adhere to it. I simply stated that the passengers had a reasonable legal pretext to defend themselves in this scenario. The Turkish army is one of the strongest in the region, and if it were turned against us, we would see devastating and wide-reaching consequences. I believe we should be trying vigorously to prevent such a scenario. I also agree that Turkey sounds increasingly belligerent in its tone and bold in its actions against Israel. I don't argue otherwise anywhere in my article or our responses. As I stated previously, if reconciliation proves to be impossible and all mediaton options are exhausted, then we will explore alternative routes, no matter how grim or unfavorable they may be. In the end, we aren't really in any disagreement other than on a small point of the legality of the actual raid. Either way, it's irrelevant to my argument: don't be quick to kill the relationship. try reconciliation and if all else fails, we'll implement our own Plan B.
26. Downgrading of ties not Israeli Choice
Chris Papageorgiou ,   Athens, Greece   (09.09.11)
Avi, While I agree with a lot of what you say about Turkey's importance to Israel, the truth is that the decision to downgrade ties was not Israel's choice but a decision of the currentTurkish Government. The flotilla was just the icing on the cake on what appears to be a decision of the Turkish Prime Minister to play the anti - Israeli card in order to gain a leadership role in the Arab World beginning with the verbal attack on President Peres at Davos in 2009. Nobody told the Turks to send militant activists into a confrontation with the IDF off the shores of Gaza and you can't blame Israel for a UN report which essentially upholds the blockade's legality.
27. #22 One last correction
Avi Yesawich ,   Tel Aviv   (09.10.11)
Turkish economy is booming and is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The comparison to Greece's economic position is simply fallacious. Also, My #23 comment was addressed to you, not J Papadopoulos.
28. To N 14
Luiz F Haddad ,   Niteroi, Brazil   (09.10.11)
Dear Avi Yesawich. You have all reasons. However Turkey has erred, She is much important to Israelian peace and security. As a friend of yours, I am able to recommend strength and patience. Congratulations.
29. Turkey
Clearsighted   (09.10.11)
"International law" is irrelevant. Turkey knows that the blockade is legal and that Israel did nothing illegal. They just don't care. Erdogan's goal is the resurrection of the Ottoman Empire and restoration of the \ s [ a m i c Khalifa. To that end, Jewish sovereignty over any land which was EVER part of the ummah is not tolerable. This is a matter of faith for Erdogan and his ilk. Matters of faith are not amenable to negotiation or mediation. As long as Erdogan believes he has the power to destroy the Jewish state you will never talk him down. Only superior firepower would reign him in. The sooner Israel realizes that Erdogan really does seek the destruction of the Jewish State simply because if is "Jewish" the better so it can stop wasting time and plan an intelligent defense. Don't believe me. Just Google "Khaybar" and learn what they have planned for you.
30. Turkey
Clearsighted   (09.10.11)
"International law" is irrelevant. Turkey knows that the blockade is legal and that Israel did nothing illegal. They just don't care. Erdogan's goal is the resurrection of the Ottoman Empire and restoration of the Khalifa.
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