A dear friend once gave me excellent advice: If someone says he has been hurt by something I did or said, even if I had no intention of hurting him, it is my duty to apologize and ask for forgiveness.
Israel did not intend on harming its relations with Turkey, or human life, when it decided to prevent the Marmara's entry to Gaza. The fact is that the commando fighters were not equipped with lethal weapons when they slid down to the ship from ropes. On the contrary, they were the ones who were attacked. In other words, it's clear that raiding the ship, even if some say it was wrong, was not aimed at killing or conquering the mountain.
But as soon as the Turks were offended, it was Israel's duty to find the way, time and place to apologize for the loss of human life and compensate the casualties' families. Unfortunately, things were just dragged out.
Too Little, Too Late?
Netanyahu already apologized for Marmara incident, but Turkey is in no rush to forgive or forget. ‘Israel apologized too late,’ Turkish President Abdullah Gul tells Yedioth Ahronoth. Senior Turkish advisor: As long as Erdogan is in power, things will not change
Eventually, immoderate American pressure, intensive mediation and a three-way call from US President Barack Obama's cell phone between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan led to the anticipated apology.
Israel was not wrong to apologize. In light of the waves of Arab Spring surrounding us, the economic collapse in Iran on the one hand and the American rapprochement with both Syria and Iran – it is important for Israel to have an Islamic power by its side. And Turkey is that kind of power. Moreover, the European decision against male circumcision may lead to interesting cooperation between Israel and Muslim countries, led by Turkey.
Israel's interest does not stop here. There are also economic and tourism-related reasons which strengthen the justification of an apology. While before the Marmara affair the military ties, including the security exports to Turkey, were tight and productive, since the Marmara this entire cooperation came to a halt. Military cooperation with Turkey, which shares a border with Iran, is highly important.
And finally, it's good that we apologized, because we love the "all-inclusive" in Turkey. And it will be fun going back there not as outcasts, but as wanted guests.