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    The dangers of an Israeli apology to Turkey

    August 3, 2011 Armenia, Europe, Top News, Turkey, Video 2 Comments
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    Recently, there have been renewed rumors of a possible deal to help heal the rift that developed between Israel and Turkey following the deaths of eight Turkish citizens on the ship Mavi Marmara as it sailed toward Gaza in May 2010.

    The broad outlines of the deal suggest that Israel would offer a limited apology for “operational errors,” and would pay compensation to the families of those who died. In return, Turkey would recognize the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and would agree not to seek legal action against Israeli soldiers who were involved.

    The Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey as part of a flotilla whose primary aim was to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Israel had imposed the blockade to prevent the importation of weapons and dual-use material that ultimately could be used by the Hamas government against Israeli civilians.

    The Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla and boarded the ships after they refused to turn back. As is clear from the video of the events that followed, the navy commandos – who were armed only with paintball guns and side-arms – were attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara by a group of passengers wielding iron bars, knives, and possibly guns. Several commandos were wounded in the ensuing battle, and nine members of the Turkish group IHH – which claims to be a humanitarian organization but has long supported radical Islamic groups, including Hamas – were killed. The boarding of all other ships was peaceful. It appears that the confrontation had been prepared for, and instigated by, the members of the IHH.

    The UN then established a commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and that included representatives of both Israel and Turkey, to investigate what happened. The Palmer Commission’s report was scheduled to be issued during the last week in July, but has been delayed until late August as the two countries seek to reach a compromise agreement.
    The problem with the proposed deal between Israel and Turkey is that an Israeli apology could very well exacerbate the rift between the two countries, at the same time causing a worldwide public relations nightmare for Israel.

    While the apology would refer specifically to “operational errors,” the world will not recognize such diplomatic nuances. Instead, Israel will be seen as accepting full responsibility for the deaths of the IHH “activists.” The media and UN will be flooded with self-righteous statements of “I told you so,” along with renewed allegations of a “brutal response” by Israeli commandos to “peaceful resistance.”
    An apology will also have far reaching negative ramifications for the Jewish state. It will appear to contradict Israel’s repeated assertion that its actions were a necessary response to unprovoked attacks by mercenaries bent on “martyrdom.” Israel will find it much more difficult to explain any military action as necessary and justifiable self-defense. From then on, the world will see such claims as self-serving and ultimately unreliable.

    Just as problematic, the Israeli government would be abandoning thousands of supporters who relied on Israel’s veracity and defended its actions in the face of withering external criticism. These supporters will be left swinging in the air – much like the Navy commandos who fast-roped from helicopters into the waiting clubs of the armed IHH mercenaries.

    For years, Israel has criticized the PA and Hamas for providing financial benefits to terrorists’ families. Such payments honor murderers and serve as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps. Just this past week, for example, it was revealed that the PA pays more than $5 million per month, funded by the United States and Europe, in “salaries” to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs currently imprisoned in Israel for crimes of terror; How will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distinguish the Palestinian payments to terrorists from the “compensation” he is considering paying to the families of those who died on the ship? These payments could be seen as whitewash the IHH actions and benefit the families of would-be murderers.

    Finally, an Israeli apology, no matter how limited, will call into question Israel’s fundamental claim that the Gaza blockade is necessary. Many more flotillas will then be planned, and “open season” on IDF personnel who try to stop them.

    What would Israel receive in return for an apology? Turkey’s acceptance of the blockade’s legality would be at best a hollow victory. Most of the world will not even be aware of this concession. No responsible legal authority questions Israel’s right to impose a blockade on its hostile neighbor. The Palmer Commission’s draft report indicates that neither an apology nor compensation is required from Israel for its legal actions.

    Although Turkey may keep its promise not to pursue state legal action against Israeli commandos, there is no guarantee that it will prevent private Turkish citizens or organizations from filing their own law suits.

    The most recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggest how little he is really interested in returning to the previous warm relations between the countries. He has demanded nothing short of a full lifting of the blockade, and, threatened that Turkey will become a full-fledged opponent unless Israel complies with its demand for an apology, and has even demanded an apology from the Armenians for having been slaughtered by the Turks early in the last century. Rather than trying to resolve the countries’ differences, Erdogan seems bent on exacerbating them.

    Offering a limited apology for deadly events that were precipitated by Turkish IHH passengers will provide, at best, only short-term benefits for the Israel/Turkey relationship if at all. At the same time, it could do grievous long-term harm to Israel, its supporters, and the Israel Defense For

    By Efraim Cohen
    Hudson New York

     

    Source: TertOriginial Article

    Related posts:

    1. Turkey Still Expects An Apology From Israel For Gaza Flotilla Raid
    2. Israeli FM offers plan to back Armenians for punishing Turkey
    3. Israel Must Remind Turkey of Monstrous Deeds against Armenians, Says Israeli Politician
    4. Turkey Closes Airspace To Some Israeli Flights
    5. Turkey is Offended, Israeli Consul

    Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

    1. Berge Jololian says:

      The dangers of an Israeli apology. When will Israel do the right thing?

      Turkey and Israel deserve each other. For two decades, the Israel Lobby in the US was feeding the wolf and feeding the wolf… well, … now the wolf has grown and is coming back to eat them.

      Rabbi Hillel said it best, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”

      When will the Hebrew State of Israel do the right thing and acknowledge Turkey’s crimes against humanity and the Armenian Genocide?

      The inscriptions from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC (“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” – Adolf Hitler)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hitler_Armenian_Quote.JPG

      When will the Israel Lobby (AJC, JINSA, ADL and AIPAC) stop supporting Turkey’s denial of its crime of Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians and stop blocking the US Congress from passing a resolution to acknowledge it?

      The world doesn’t take seriously what American Jewish leaders have to say about the 6 million Jews killed during World War II, not when it sees the same Jewish leaders lobby the US Congress against acknowledging the Armenian genocide and quiet everyone over the murders of 1.5 million other innocents.

      Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent, created the word “genocide” specifically to describe what had happened to the Armenians. Dr. Lemkin explained that the Turks committed genocide with the intent to annihilate.

      When will Israel acknowledge the Armenian Genocide?

    2. Berge Jololian says:

      Turkey and Israel deserve each other. For two decades, the Israel lobby in the US was feeding the wolf…now the wolf has grown and is coming back to eat them.

      Rabbi Hillel said it best, “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”

      When will the Hebrew state of Israel do the right thing and acknowledge Turkey’s crimes against humanity and for committing the Genocide of Armenians?

      The inscriptions from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington reads, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” – Adolf Hitler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hitler_Armenian_Quote.JPG)

      When will the Israel lobby (AJC, JINSA, ADL and AIPAC) stop supporting Turkey’s denial of its slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians and stop blocking the US Congress from passing a resolution to acknowledge it?

      The world doesn’t take seriously what American Jewish leaders have to say about the 6 million Jews killed during World War II, not when it sees the same Jewish leaders lobby the US Congress against acknowledging the Genocide of Armenians and quite everyone over the murders of 1.5 million other innocents.

      Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent, coined the word “genocide” specifically to describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turkish State. Dr. Lemkin explained that the Turks committed genocide with the intent to annihilate. Lemkin said “I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times, first to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action…”

      When will Israel acknowledge the Genocide of Armenians?

    Comment on this Article:







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    Recently, there have been renewed rumors of a possible deal to help heal the rift that developed between Israel and Turkey following the deaths of eight Turkish citizens on the ship Mavi Marmara as it sailed toward Gaza in May 2010.

    The broad outlines of the deal suggest that Israel would offer a limited apology for “operational errors,” and would pay compensation to the families of those who died. In return, Turkey would recognize the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and would agree not to seek legal action against Israeli soldiers who were involved.

    The Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey as part of a flotilla whose primary aim was to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Israel had imposed the blockade to prevent the importation of weapons and dual-use material that ultimately could be used by the Hamas government against Israeli civilians.

    The Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla and boarded the ships after they refused to turn back. As is clear from the video of the events that followed, the navy commandos – who were armed only with paintball guns and side-arms – were attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara by a group of passengers wielding iron bars, knives, and possibly guns. Several commandos were wounded in the ensuing battle, and nine members of the Turkish group IHH – which claims to be a humanitarian organization but has long supported radical Islamic groups, including Hamas – were killed. The boarding of all other ships was peaceful. It appears that the confrontation had been prepared for, and instigated by, the members of the IHH.

    The UN then established a commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and that included representatives of both Israel and Turkey, to investigate what happened. The Palmer Commission’s report was scheduled to be issued during the last week in July, but has been delayed until late August as the two countries seek to reach a compromise agreement.
    The problem with the proposed deal between Israel and Turkey is that an Israeli apology could very well exacerbate the rift between the two countries, at the same time causing a worldwide public relations nightmare for Israel.

    While the apology would refer specifically to “operational errors,” the world will not recognize such diplomatic nuances. Instead, Israel will be seen as accepting full responsibility for the deaths of the IHH “activists.” The media and UN will be flooded with self-righteous statements of “I told you so,” along with renewed allegations of a “brutal response” by Israeli commandos to “peaceful resistance.”
    An apology will also have far reaching negative ramifications for the Jewish state. It will appear to contradict Israel’s repeated assertion that its actions were a necessary response to unprovoked attacks by mercenaries bent on “martyrdom.” Israel will find it much more difficult to explain any military action as necessary and justifiable self-defense. From then on, the world will see such claims as self-serving and ultimately unreliable.

    Just as problematic, the Israeli government would be abandoning thousands of supporters who relied on Israel’s veracity and defended its actions in the face of withering external criticism. These supporters will be left swinging in the air – much like the Navy commandos who fast-roped from helicopters into the waiting clubs of the armed IHH mercenaries.

    For years, Israel has criticized the PA and Hamas for providing financial benefits to terrorists’ families. Such payments honor murderers and serve as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps. Just this past week, for example, it was revealed that the PA pays more than $5 million per month, funded by the United States and Europe, in “salaries” to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs currently imprisoned in Israel for crimes of terror; How will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distinguish the Palestinian payments to terrorists from the “compensation” he is considering paying to the families of those who died on the ship? These payments could be seen as whitewash the IHH actions and benefit the families of would-be murderers.

    Finally, an Israeli apology, no matter how limited, will call into question Israel’s fundamental claim that the Gaza blockade is necessary. Many more flotillas will then be planned, and “open season” on IDF personnel who try to stop them.

    What would Israel receive in return for an apology? Turkey’s acceptance of the blockade’s legality would be at best a hollow victory. Most of the world will not even be aware of this concession. No responsible legal authority questions Israel’s right to impose a blockade on its hostile neighbor. The Palmer Commission’s draft report indicates that neither an apology nor compensation is required from Israel for its legal actions.

    Although Turkey may keep its promise not to pursue state legal action against Israeli commandos, there is no guarantee that it will prevent private Turkish citizens or organizations from filing their own law suits.

    The most recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggest how little he is really interested in returning to the previous warm relations between the countries. He has demanded nothing short of a full lifting of the blockade, and, threatened that Turkey will become a full-fledged opponent unless Israel complies with its demand for an apology, and has even demanded an apology from the Armenians for having been slaughtered by the Turks early in the last century. Rather than trying to resolve the countries’ differences, Erdogan seems bent on exacerbating them.

    Offering a limited apology for deadly events that were precipitated by Turkish IHH passengers will provide, at best, only short-term benefits for the Israel/Turkey relationship if at all. At the same time, it could do grievous long-term harm to Israel, its supporters, and the Israel Defense For

    By Efraim Cohen
    Hudson New York

     

    Source: TertOriginial Article

    Related posts:

    1. Turkey Still Expects An Apology From Israel For Gaza Flotilla Raid
    2. Israeli FM offers plan to back Armenians for punishing Turkey
    3. Israel Must Remind Turkey of Monstrous Deeds against Armenians, Says Israeli Politician
    4. Turkey Closes Airspace To Some Israeli Flights
    5. Turkey is Offended, Israeli Consul

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    Recently, there have been renewed rumors of a possible deal to help heal the rift that developed between Israel and Turkey following the deaths of eight Turkish citizens on the ship Mavi Marmara as it sailed toward Gaza in May 2010.

    The broad outlines of the deal suggest that Israel would offer a limited apology for “operational errors,” and would pay compensation to the families of those who died. In return, Turkey would recognize the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and would agree not to seek legal action against Israeli soldiers who were involved.

    The Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey as part of a flotilla whose primary aim was to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Israel had imposed the blockade to prevent the importation of weapons and dual-use material that ultimately could be used by the Hamas government against Israeli civilians.

    The Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla and boarded the ships after they refused to turn back. As is clear from the video of the events that followed, the navy commandos – who were armed only with paintball guns and side-arms – were attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara by a group of passengers wielding iron bars, knives, and possibly guns. Several commandos were wounded in the ensuing battle, and nine members of the Turkish group IHH – which claims to be a humanitarian organization but has long supported radical Islamic groups, including Hamas – were killed. The boarding of all other ships was peaceful. It appears that the confrontation had been prepared for, and instigated by, the members of the IHH.

    The UN then established a commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and that included representatives of both Israel and Turkey, to investigate what happened. The Palmer Commission’s report was scheduled to be issued during the last week in July, but has been delayed until late August as the two countries seek to reach a compromise agreement.
    The problem with the proposed deal between Israel and Turkey is that an Israeli apology could very well exacerbate the rift between the two countries, at the same time causing a worldwide public relations nightmare for Israel.

    While the apology would refer specifically to “operational errors,” the world will not recognize such diplomatic nuances. Instead, Israel will be seen as accepting full responsibility for the deaths of the IHH “activists.” The media and UN will be flooded with self-righteous statements of “I told you so,” along with renewed allegations of a “brutal response” by Israeli commandos to “peaceful resistance.”
    An apology will also have far reaching negative ramifications for the Jewish state. It will appear to contradict Israel’s repeated assertion that its actions were a necessary response to unprovoked attacks by mercenaries bent on “martyrdom.” Israel will find it much more difficult to explain any military action as necessary and justifiable self-defense. From then on, the world will see such claims as self-serving and ultimately unreliable.

    Just as problematic, the Israeli government would be abandoning thousands of supporters who relied on Israel’s veracity and defended its actions in the face of withering external criticism. These supporters will be left swinging in the air – much like the Navy commandos who fast-roped from helicopters into the waiting clubs of the armed IHH mercenaries.

    For years, Israel has criticized the PA and Hamas for providing financial benefits to terrorists’ families. Such payments honor murderers and serve as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps. Just this past week, for example, it was revealed that the PA pays more than $5 million per month, funded by the United States and Europe, in “salaries” to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs currently imprisoned in Israel for crimes of terror; How will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distinguish the Palestinian payments to terrorists from the “compensation” he is considering paying to the families of those who died on the ship? These payments could be seen as whitewash the IHH actions and benefit the families of would-be murderers.

    Finally, an Israeli apology, no matter how limited, will call into question Israel’s fundamental claim that the Gaza blockade is necessary. Many more flotillas will then be planned, and “open season” on IDF personnel who try to stop them.

    What would Israel receive in return for an apology? Turkey’s acceptance of the blockade’s legality would be at best a hollow victory. Most of the world will not even be aware of this concession. No responsible legal authority questions Israel’s right to impose a blockade on its hostile neighbor. The Palmer Commission’s draft report indicates that neither an apology nor compensation is required from Israel for its legal actions.

    Although Turkey may keep its promise not to pursue state legal action against Israeli commandos, there is no guarantee that it will prevent private Turkish citizens or organizations from filing their own law suits.

    The most recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggest how little he is really interested in returning to the previous warm relations between the countries. He has demanded nothing short of a full lifting of the blockade, and, threatened that Turkey will become a full-fledged opponent unless Israel complies with its demand for an apology, and has even demanded an apology from the Armenians for having been slaughtered by the Turks early in the last century. Rather than trying to resolve the countries’ differences, Erdogan seems bent on exacerbating them.

    Offering a limited apology for deadly events that were precipitated by Turkish IHH passengers will provide, at best, only short-term benefits for the Israel/Turkey relationship if at all. At the same time, it could do grievous long-term harm to Israel, its supporters, and the Israel Defense For

    By Efraim Cohen
    Hudson New York

     

    Source: TertOriginial Article

    Related posts:

    1. Turkey Still Expects An Apology From Israel For Gaza Flotilla Raid
    2. Israeli FM offers plan to back Armenians for punishing Turkey
    3. Israel Must Remind Turkey of Monstrous Deeds against Armenians, Says Israeli Politician
    4. Turkey Closes Airspace To Some Israeli Flights
    5. Turkey is Offended, Israeli Consul

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    Recently, there have been renewed rumors of a possible deal to help heal the rift that developed between Israel and Turkey following the deaths of eight Turkish citizens on the ship Mavi Marmara as it sailed toward Gaza in May 2010.

    The broad outlines of the deal suggest that Israel would offer a limited apology for “operational errors,” and would pay compensation to the families of those who died. In return, Turkey would recognize the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and would agree not to seek legal action against Israeli soldiers who were involved.

    The Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey as part of a flotilla whose primary aim was to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Israel had imposed the blockade to prevent the importation of weapons and dual-use material that ultimately could be used by the Hamas government against Israeli civilians.

    The Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla and boarded the ships after they refused to turn back. As is clear from the video of the events that followed, the navy commandos – who were armed only with paintball guns and side-arms – were attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara by a group of passengers wielding iron bars, knives, and possibly guns. Several commandos were wounded in the ensuing battle, and nine members of the Turkish group IHH – which claims to be a humanitarian organization but has long supported radical Islamic groups, including Hamas – were killed. The boarding of all other ships was peaceful. It appears that the confrontation had been prepared for, and instigated by, the members of the IHH.

    The UN then established a commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and that included representatives of both Israel and Turkey, to investigate what happened. The Palmer Commission’s report was scheduled to be issued during the last week in July, but has been delayed until late August as the two countries seek to reach a compromise agreement.
    The problem with the proposed deal between Israel and Turkey is that an Israeli apology could very well exacerbate the rift between the two countries, at the same time causing a worldwide public relations nightmare for Israel.

    While the apology would refer specifically to “operational errors,” the world will not recognize such diplomatic nuances. Instead, Israel will be seen as accepting full responsibility for the deaths of the IHH “activists.” The media and UN will be flooded with self-righteous statements of “I told you so,” along with renewed allegations of a “brutal response” by Israeli commandos to “peaceful resistance.”
    An apology will also have far reaching negative ramifications for the Jewish state. It will appear to contradict Israel’s repeated assertion that its actions were a necessary response to unprovoked attacks by mercenaries bent on “martyrdom.” Israel will find it much more difficult to explain any military action as necessary and justifiable self-defense. From then on, the world will see such claims as self-serving and ultimately unreliable.

    Just as problematic, the Israeli government would be abandoning thousands of supporters who relied on Israel’s veracity and defended its actions in the face of withering external criticism. These supporters will be left swinging in the air – much like the Navy commandos who fast-roped from helicopters into the waiting clubs of the armed IHH mercenaries.

    For years, Israel has criticized the PA and Hamas for providing financial benefits to terrorists’ families. Such payments honor murderers and serve as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps. Just this past week, for example, it was revealed that the PA pays more than $5 million per month, funded by the United States and Europe, in “salaries” to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs currently imprisoned in Israel for crimes of terror; How will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distinguish the Palestinian payments to terrorists from the “compensation” he is considering paying to the families of those who died on the ship? These payments could be seen as whitewash the IHH actions and benefit the families of would-be murderers.

    Finally, an Israeli apology, no matter how limited, will call into question Israel’s fundamental claim that the Gaza blockade is necessary. Many more flotillas will then be planned, and “open season” on IDF personnel who try to stop them.

    What would Israel receive in return for an apology? Turkey’s acceptance of the blockade’s legality would be at best a hollow victory. Most of the world will not even be aware of this concession. No responsible legal authority questions Israel’s right to impose a blockade on its hostile neighbor. The Palmer Commission’s draft report indicates that neither an apology nor compensation is required from Israel for its legal actions.

    Although Turkey may keep its promise not to pursue state legal action against Israeli commandos, there is no guarantee that it will prevent private Turkish citizens or organizations from filing their own law suits.

    The most recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggest how little he is really interested in returning to the previous warm relations between the countries. He has demanded nothing short of a full lifting of the blockade, and, threatened that Turkey will become a full-fledged opponent unless Israel complies with its demand for an apology, and has even demanded an apology from the Armenians for having been slaughtered by the Turks early in the last century. Rather than trying to resolve the countries’ differences, Erdogan seems bent on exacerbating them.

    Offering a limited apology for deadly events that were precipitated by Turkish IHH passengers will provide, at best, only short-term benefits for the Israel/Turkey relationship if at all. At the same time, it could do grievous long-term harm to Israel, its supporters, and the Israel Defense For

    By Efraim Cohen
    Hudson New York

     

    Source: TertOriginial Article

    Related posts:

    1. Turkey Still Expects An Apology From Israel For Gaza Flotilla Raid
    2. Israeli FM offers plan to back Armenians for punishing Turkey
    3. Israel Must Remind Turkey of Monstrous Deeds against Armenians, Says Israeli Politician
    4. Turkey Closes Airspace To Some Israeli Flights
    5. Turkey is Offended, Israeli Consul

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    Recently, there have been renewed rumors of a possible deal to help heal the rift that developed between Israel and Turkey following the deaths of eight Turkish citizens on the ship Mavi Marmara as it sailed toward Gaza in May 2010.

    The broad outlines of the deal suggest that Israel would offer a limited apology for “operational errors,” and would pay compensation to the families of those who died. In return, Turkey would recognize the legality of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and would agree not to seek legal action against Israeli soldiers who were involved.

    The Mavi Marmara set sail from Turkey as part of a flotilla whose primary aim was to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza. Israel had imposed the blockade to prevent the importation of weapons and dual-use material that ultimately could be used by the Hamas government against Israeli civilians.

    The Israeli Navy interdicted the flotilla and boarded the ships after they refused to turn back. As is clear from the video of the events that followed, the navy commandos – who were armed only with paintball guns and side-arms – were attacked as they boarded the Mavi Marmara by a group of passengers wielding iron bars, knives, and possibly guns. Several commandos were wounded in the ensuing battle, and nine members of the Turkish group IHH – which claims to be a humanitarian organization but has long supported radical Islamic groups, including Hamas – were killed. The boarding of all other ships was peaceful. It appears that the confrontation had been prepared for, and instigated by, the members of the IHH.

    The UN then established a commission headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, and that included representatives of both Israel and Turkey, to investigate what happened. The Palmer Commission’s report was scheduled to be issued during the last week in July, but has been delayed until late August as the two countries seek to reach a compromise agreement.
    The problem with the proposed deal between Israel and Turkey is that an Israeli apology could very well exacerbate the rift between the two countries, at the same time causing a worldwide public relations nightmare for Israel.

    While the apology would refer specifically to “operational errors,” the world will not recognize such diplomatic nuances. Instead, Israel will be seen as accepting full responsibility for the deaths of the IHH “activists.” The media and UN will be flooded with self-righteous statements of “I told you so,” along with renewed allegations of a “brutal response” by Israeli commandos to “peaceful resistance.”
    An apology will also have far reaching negative ramifications for the Jewish state. It will appear to contradict Israel’s repeated assertion that its actions were a necessary response to unprovoked attacks by mercenaries bent on “martyrdom.” Israel will find it much more difficult to explain any military action as necessary and justifiable self-defense. From then on, the world will see such claims as self-serving and ultimately unreliable.

    Just as problematic, the Israeli government would be abandoning thousands of supporters who relied on Israel’s veracity and defended its actions in the face of withering external criticism. These supporters will be left swinging in the air – much like the Navy commandos who fast-roped from helicopters into the waiting clubs of the armed IHH mercenaries.

    For years, Israel has criticized the PA and Hamas for providing financial benefits to terrorists’ families. Such payments honor murderers and serve as incentives for others to follow in their footsteps. Just this past week, for example, it was revealed that the PA pays more than $5 million per month, funded by the United States and Europe, in “salaries” to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs currently imprisoned in Israel for crimes of terror; How will Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distinguish the Palestinian payments to terrorists from the “compensation” he is considering paying to the families of those who died on the ship? These payments could be seen as whitewash the IHH actions and benefit the families of would-be murderers.

    Finally, an Israeli apology, no matter how limited, will call into question Israel’s fundamental claim that the Gaza blockade is necessary. Many more flotillas will then be planned, and “open season” on IDF personnel who try to stop them.

    What would Israel receive in return for an apology? Turkey’s acceptance of the blockade’s legality would be at best a hollow victory. Most of the world will not even be aware of this concession. No responsible legal authority questions Israel’s right to impose a blockade on its hostile neighbor. The Palmer Commission’s draft report indicates that neither an apology nor compensation is required from Israel for its legal actions.

    Although Turkey may keep its promise not to pursue state legal action against Israeli commandos, there is no guarantee that it will prevent private Turkish citizens or organizations from filing their own law suits.

    The most recent pronouncements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggest how little he is really interested in returning to the previous warm relations between the countries. He has demanded nothing short of a full lifting of the blockade, and, threatened that Turkey will become a full-fledged opponent unless Israel complies with its demand for an apology, and has even demanded an apology from the Armenians for having been slaughtered by the Turks early in the last century. Rather than trying to resolve the countries’ differences, Erdogan seems bent on exacerbating them.

    Offering a limited apology for deadly events that were precipitated by Turkish IHH passengers will provide, at best, only short-term benefits for the Israel/Turkey relationship if at all. At the same time, it could do grievous long-term harm to Israel, its supporters, and the Israel Defense For

    By Efraim Cohen
    Hudson New York

     

    Source: TertOriginial Article

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    For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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    16:44, February 14, 2014

    With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

    The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

    Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

    “In the past, if water use conditions weren’t met, we couldn’t void the permit, but now we’re making that clear. If the state gives you a water use permit with this condition, be kind and meet this condition; otherwise, we will make the permit null and void,” he explained.

    A new requirement in the proposed package concerning the execution of drilling operations stipulates that a drilling company or individual must obtain a license so that the state can supervise its activities. “Those companies that execute drilling must have a license for drilling. That is, we are proposing to license activities,” he added.

    After the relevant state bodies discuss and submit their opinions regarding the amendments, Narimanyan says, the package will be sent to the RA Ministry of Justice, the government, then finally to parliament.

    Source: HetqOriginial Article

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    2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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    The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

    Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

    Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.

    Karabakh war veterans’ civil standoff has been unprecedented. Although, every now and then on different occasions they had complained of their social conditions and of being neglected by the state , however never before had they come out to hold systematic rallies and sitting strikes. Retired army colonel Volodya Avetisyan initiated the civil standoff in May and in October found himself behind the bars, with charges of “swindling …in large amounts”. Avetisyan’s and his comrades-in-arms claim that by bringing charges the authorities are trying to silence him. The war vets demanding increase of their pensions and various privileges have now focused their struggle on various acts of protest in Avetisyan’s support. There is another group of Karabakh war veterans presenting political demands to the government. Every Thursday they hold small rallies in Liberty Square and demand that the government resign.

    Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan’s decision to raise public bus fare by 50 percent made the hot Yerevan summer even hotter.

    The decision was immediately followed by a civil movement when numerous young activists held a variety of acts of protest during five consecutive days relentlessly struggling, rebelling against the bus fare increase and made the municipal government in the Armenian capital heed the people’s voice, forcing them to understand they would not pay more for using the overloaded, worn-out and hardly functioning minibuses.

    The unified effort yielded results and on July 26 the mayor suspended the application of his decision temporarily, meaning that the buses and minibuses continued operating for the same 100 dram fare (around 24 cents). The mayor, however, stated that if residents of Yerevan wanted to have decent public transport services, they have to be ready to pay more. Municipal officials and transport companies running the routes have repeatedly stated after the summer civil standoff that the rise of bus fare is unavoidable, grounding it by the fact that everything else has become more expensive except for public transport services, hence their expenses have grown and they are operating at a loss.

    The departing year has turned out to be rather active also in terms of public protests against controversial construction projects. In August, residents of 10 and 12 Sayat-Nova Avenue and 5 Komitas streets, in Yerevan, rebelled against construction in their neighborhoods. These people claim that the construction licenses in densely populated zones of the city are illegal, violate the seismic resistance norms, and block their light. Despite the variety of measures the residents have resorted to, even lying down in front of construction machines to block their way, no tangible results have been achieved; their struggle is ongoing (h).

    Despite a drawn-out battle to preserve unchanged Yerevan’s Pak Shuka (“Covered Market”), on the list of historical-cultural heritage and belonging to businessman MP Samvel Alexanyan, opened its doors after two years of repairs, but now as a fashionable supermarket, rather than the produce market it used to be. Although ruling Republican MP Alexanyan kept the fa

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    Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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    2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

    This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

    During the year there has been an ongoing debate in Armenia and other post-Soviet countries about whether it is expedient “to revive a new Soviet empire” under the name of a Eurasian Union. But at the end of the year plans to create such a union remain relevant – in May 2014 Armenia is going to be one of the six founders of the Eurasian Union (along with Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan).

    Before September 3, Armenia was actively engaged with Europe, stating about shared values and ‘civilizational’ approaches. Armenia even dared reproach Russia for selling offensive weapons to Azerbaijan.

    After September 3, however, Armenia suddenly remembered its centuries-old friendship with Russia as well as Russia’s ‘salutary’ role. Pro-Russian rhetoric increased and some even stated the readiness to return to the Russian Empire. In particular, publicist Zori Balayan wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, mentioning the Treaty of Gulistan of 1813, according to which, as a result of the Russian-Persian war, Persia renounced claims to Karabakh that went under Russia’s control.

    The Russia-West struggle for post-Soviet countries, including for Armenia, in 2013 came out of its passive phase and acquired the character of an open confrontation. In the course of this battle all methods were employed – from economic blackmail to high-level visits. In particular, the visit by Putin to Armenia on December 2, as some analysts say, marked Armenia’s losing another portion of its sovereignty and security to Russia.

    There have been some new developments in the Karabakh settlement process as well. In particular, on November 19, in Vienna, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, met for the first time in almost two years. During the meeting some new proposals were apparently discussed. The talks were confidential, but on the basis of available information experts assume that Russia and Turkey are promoting the project of opening the Turkish-Armenian border at the expense of Armenia’s concessions on two districts around Karabakh. The U.S. and Europe appear to insist on settlement and opening of communications while maintaining the current status quo in Karabakh.

    Partially this version was confirmed on the eve of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s visit to Yerevan on December 12 (he was attending a regional organization’s forum in the Armenian capital). The Turkish press openly reported the offer from Turkey, but President Sargsyan did not receive Davutoglu, while Minister Edward Nalbandian stated that preconditions are unacceptable in Armenian-Turkish normalization.

    The sudden change in the policy of Armenia, according to analysts, could lead to some adjustments in the positions of Armenia on relations with Turkey. At the beginning of 2013 Yerevan set up a commission to study possible legal claims to Turkey. The body was headed by the then Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepyan. It was followed by assumptions that in 2015, when the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be marked, Armenia, with the support of the West, intends to advance serious claims to Turkey. However, the commission has not yet taken any public steps, and after September 3 decisions on claims to Turkey may already be made through Moscow.

    Turkey has made no secret of its concern, especially in connection with the probability of combined Kurdish and Armenian claims. In this regard, Turkey has launched a wide-ranging process of reconciliation with the Kurds. 2013 became auspicious also for the Kurdish movement as the prospect of establishing Kurdistan became even closer.

    The agreement on the conflict in Syria became an important event of the year also for Armenia in view of the sizable ethnic Armenian community in this Middle Eastern country. In accordance with this agreement, the world power centers decided not to support any side in the Syrian conflict, to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and lead the country to democratic elections in 2014.

    An even more significant agreement was reached by the end of the year on Iran’s nuclear program, which immediately led to the lifting of a number of sanctions that had been imposed on the Islamic Republic by the West and its activation in regional politics. In particular, Iran immediately tried to offer natural gas to Armenia that would apparently be less expensive than Russia’s. Projects in energy and communication sectors have also become more relevant in view of the recent developments and Armenia may play an important role in them.

    Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

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    Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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    Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

    Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.

    Unlike a majority of Heritage members Hakobyan then was critical of Postanjyan’s behavior. Representatives of the ruling party in Armenia called her statement in Strasbourg slanderous and the parliament speaker threatened to expel her from the Armenian delegation to the PACE.

    Postanjian, meanwhile, would not be drawn into speculation about the reasons for Hakobyan’s decision either.

    Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

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