Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Avigdor Lieberman is right again

28 December '10

News item:

In the harshest public words by an Israeli minister toward Turkey in months, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that Ankara’s demand for an apology over the Mavi Marmara incident is “beyond chutzpa.”

“There will be no apologies, and if so, we’re waiting for one from Turkey,” Lieberman said at an annual gathering of Israel’s ambassadors and counsel-generals at the Foreign Ministry. Ankara needed to apologize for its cooperation with terrorists, such as the IHH – which organized the violent incident aboard the Mavi Marmara – Hamas and Hizbullah, he said…

Lieberman’s comments came on the same day that some 10,000 people welcomed the Mavi Marmara back to Istanbul. Hundreds of balloons were released as the ship sailed into Istanbul’s Sarayburnu port, following repairs at a port on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The activists, mostly members of pro-Islamic groups, waved Palestinian and Turkish flags and chanted “Down with Israel” and “Allah is Great” as they greeted the vessel. Protesters also boarded boats to welcome the approaching ship, which was adorned with a poster of the nine Turks killed during the raid.

Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog [Labor Party] took issue with Lieberman’s comments, issuing a statement saying that as foreign minister Lieberman does not understand that his job was to “open doors,” not slam them shut.

Herzog said that [Turkish FM] Davutoglu’s comments in their entirety showed that he was interested in reconciliation with Israel and indicated that a “window of opportunity has been opened to renew relations between the two countries.”

Herzog said Israel did not have the “privilege” to miss this opportunity, even if it “demands Israeli flexibility,” and that a way to repair ties with Turkey needed to be found, even if it entailed “bypassing” Lieberman.

In many ways nations aren’t like people. Applying ideas that normally apply to relations between individuals to relations between nations can be what philosophers call a ‘category mistake’.

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