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Barak: We Must Apologize To Turkey

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Friday, following meetings with US administration officials, that Israel must reach a compromise with Turkey – even if this meant the Jewish state would have to apologize for the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla last year.

“I’m not talking about an apology for the blockade or an apology for the flotilla, but about saying that if any errors were made during the operation – we regret them,” he explained.

“I don’t like it,” the defense minister admitted in a press briefing, “but it’s not a bad thing to have reasonable relations with Turkey in a region which has instability in Egypt, downsizing in Saudi Arabia and a hostile Iran.”

According to Barak, senior legal experts in the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry believe Israel must reach an understanding with Turkey if it wishes to defend its soldiers.

Barak met Thursday with US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon.

This series of meetings reinforced the defense minister’s view that the conflict with Ankara must be resolved. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, on the other hand, is strongly opposed to any apology on Israel’s part.

On Friday, Barak is expected to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the Palmer Report probing the flotilla raid.

“On the one hand, the report includes very important conclusions for Israel, which put Turkey in the corner in terms of the justification for the blockade, the justification for stopping the flotilla and the justification for using force,” Barak said.

“On the other hand,” he added, “there is a problematic element dealing with what happened during the operation. We don’t agree with some of things, but we must make a choice between a problematic report and reaching an understanding with Turkey, so that the things that bother us are clarified and there are no lawsuits across the world on the part of Turkey and Turks against Israel and against officers and commanders.”


3 Responses

  1. Barak you are a fool and a puppet of Obama, Israel has nothing to apologize for, Israel acted within the law of the land and within international law. It is YOU Barak who should apologize to the Israeli people whom you have prevented from building homes in all the holy Land of Israel and created hardships for our people.

  2. It would be a terrible mistake to apologize to Turkey. That would legitimize any other flotilla in the future. Turkey knew what they were doing and that time and it was their choice to allow it or not. To apologize for defending themselves against a bunch of gun wielding and stick wielding terrorists is ludicrous.

  3. I have posted what I think the apology should be and in short it goes something like this:

    We apologize to Turkey that they sent ships into our sovereign waters and that the folks on the ship showed their TRUE intentions, which was a fight with us. We are sorry they resisted with weapons and we had no choice but to defend ourselves.

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