Israel Palestine Infos
March 30, 2013
SO, FINALLY our Prime Minister has apologized to
It took him two years and ten months to do so.
But the real apology should not have been addressed to the Turks, but to the Israelis. And not just for the mistakes committed by the soldiers.
THE ENTIRE affair was an act of pure idiocy, from beginning to end. Right from its inception.
It is easy to say so with hindsight. But my friends and I pointed to the stupidity of the action publicly, before it all started.
As we said at the time, the damage inherent in stopping the Turkish ship was much more serious than the damage – if any – that would have been caused by letting it sail to its destination.
After all, what is the worst that could have happened? The ship would have
anchored opposite the
Officially, the blockade was imposed by the Israeli navy for the sole purpose of
preventing arms reaching the Hamas-governed
From then on, it became solely a matter of prestige. Of childish political or personal ego. In short, of idiocy.
In a military action, one never knows what can happen. Things never proceed as planned. Casualties must be expected. And, as has been said, the plan itself is the first casualty in any war.
So the plan went awry. Instead of meekly submitting to the attack in international waters, the Turks had the incredible impudence of attacking the soldiers with sticks and such. The poor soldiers had no choice but to shoot them dead.
The reasonable thing would have been to apologize immediately to the victims’ families, pay generous compensation and let the whole affair simmer down.
But no, not we Israelis. Because We Were In The Right. We always are. It’s in our nature. We can’t help it.
(I remember a driving school of the British army in
So we mistreated the passengers, stole their cameras and other belongings, and let them go only after a thorough humiliation. We accused them of being dangerous terrorists. We came near to demanding indemnities for our soldiers, who were, after all, the real victims.
THE SHEER stupidity of all this was illustrated by the fact that
The two militaries had established very close relations. The intelligence services of the two countries were Siamese twins. We sold them huge amounts of military equipment and services. We held joint military maneuvers.
Between the two peoples, relations were even more cordial. Every year, half a
million Israelis spent their vacation on the Turkish
The Turkish-Israeli honeymoon started right from the beginning, when David
Ben-Gurion created the “strategy of the periphery” – alliances with non-Arab
countries surrounding the Arab world. Turkey was to play an important role in
it, together with the Shah’s Iran, Ethiopia,
What went wrong? Apologists of the idiocrats assert that relations would have
deteriorated even without the Mavi Marmara. Having been rebuffed and humiliated
by the European Union,
Instead, our Deputy Foreign Minister, one Danny Ayalon, did something so colossally idiotic that it should be taught in diplomacy school. He summoned the Turkish ambassador to deliver a rebuke, offered him a seat markedly lower than his own and publicized the humiliation.
What actually happened was that Ayalon held the meeting in his Knesset room. In all these rooms – including mine, long ago – there is one standard chair, and a low sofa. The Turkish diplomat felt quite comfortable and did not feel insulted. But when Ayalon asked the journalists in and told them to notice the humiliation, they published it and caused the Turkish public to explode in anger.
The text of the apology was already formulated more than two years ago. The Israeli army begged the government to accept it. But our then Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, put all his considerable weight on the scales and vetoed the move. We are a proud nation with a proud army, consisting of proud soldiers.
Israelis don’t apologize. Ever.
FEARING LIEBERMAN, Binyamin Netanyahu had to be very circumspect.
Lieberman is now a minister-on-hold. He cannot regain his ministerial office until after – and if – he is acquitted of the bribery charges for which he has been indicted. But he is still the chief of a party on which Netanyahu has to depend for parliamentary support.
So an elaborate maneuver had to be enacted. The apology was agreed upon with the
Turks long ago. President Obama’s visit to
Why? Simply to allow Netanyahu to pretend that it was all done on the spur of the moment, in a telephone conversation initiated by Obama. This being so, he could not possibly have consulted with his cabinet and with Lieberman, could he?
Childish? Infantile? Indeed.
It is a frightening thought, and therefore unacceptable to most people. They like to believe that their fate rests in the hands of responsible leaders endowed with superior intelligence. Much as they refuse to believe that the sky is empty, and no almighty Super-Father with unlimited compassion is waiting there to answer their prayers.
The first historical example of utter incompetence that springs to my mind is the outbreak of World War I. A group of nationalist Serbs killed the Austrian heir to the throne. A deplorable incident, but certainly no reason for a war in which several million human beings perish miserably.
But the nincompoops surrounding the 84-year old emperor in
Could all these leaders have been complete fools? Was
In any case, I have known in my life so many normal people who, upon assuming power, did so many utterly stupid things, that the latter must be the case.
I WISH I had the will-power to resist telling again the classic Jewish joke about the Turks, which I quoted immediately after the Mavi Marmara incident.
It’s about the Jewish mother in 19th century
“But what if the Turk kills me?” the boy interjects.
“Kill you?” responds the mother in horrified surprise, “But Why? What have you done to him?!”
Kill a Turk and apologize…