Netanyahu phones Erdogan to apologize for flotilla incident – and some reminder videos

March 22, 2013

A “peace activist” aboard the boat Marmara brandishes a knife



[Note by Tom Gross]

Below, is a press release just sent by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office.

Netanyahu phoned Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan today for the first time since the flotilla fiasco in 2010. Netanyahu made the call just before President Obama got on his plane to leave Israel, presumably after being pressured to do so by Obama.

As far as we know, Erdogan did not apologize for the slew of vile anti-Semitic comments he has made over the last decade, including several recently.

Here is a reminder that many of the Turkish activists on the boat in question were in fact armed, and indeed several Israelis were injured and at least one was thrown off the top deck of the boat.

Videos and text here.

If the situation between Israel and Turkey really were now to improve, this could have major implications for regional policies on the Iranian and Syrian questions, and of course also be beneficial to both Israel and Turkey, as well as to the U.S.

Press release


(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today (Friday, 22 March 2013), with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two men agreed to restore normalization between Israel and Turkey, including the dispatch of ambassadors and the cancellation of legal steps against IDF soldiers.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that he had good talks with US President Barack Obama on the issue of regional cooperation and the importance of Israeli-Turkish relations. The Prime Minister expressed regret over the deterioration in bilateral relations and noted his commitment to working out the disagreements in order to advance peace and regional stability.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he saw Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's recent interview in a Danish newspaper and expressed his appreciation for the latter's remarks. The Prime Minister made it clear that the tragic results regarding the Mavi Marmara were unintentional and that Israel expresses regret over injuries and loss of life. In light of the Israeli investigation into the incident, which pointed out several operational errors, Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people for any errors that could have led to loss of life and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also noted that Israel has already lifted several restrictions on the movement of civilians and goods to all of the Palestinian territories, including Gaza, and added that this will continue as long as the quiet is maintained. The two leaders agreed to continue to work on improving the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.


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