Turkish President stands firm on Israeli responsibility for Flotilla fiasco

An Associated Press report published in Haaretz informs us that: “Turkish President Abdullah Gul said late Monday that Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla would have sparked war ‘in old times’.”


Gul repeated his country’s demand, made following the Israeli naval attack at sea on the Freedom Flotilla in the Eastern Mediterranean, that Israel “must adhere to international law and take public responsibility for the attack”.

In an interview with AP in New York, where Gul is one of many world leaders attending a special high-level session of the UN General Assembly, he said: “It is not possible to act as though this incident did not take place … In the old world, in the old times, if such an incident were to take place, wars would follow … But in our world today, it is international law that has to be taken into consideration … It is up to Israel. They have to do what is necessary since they are the ones that created the incident,” he added”.

The AP report said that senior Israeli sources had confirmed that Gul had made an Israeli apology a condition for meeting Israel’s President Shimon Peres in New York. Gul did not tell AP that this was a Turkish condition, but AP noted that “Peres said … that the planned meeting was scrapped because Turkey had set unacceptable conditions”.

This report is published here.

Peres had a very public confrontation with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan in a similar high-profile meeting of global leaders at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January 2009, just after the massive three-week IDF Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Erdogan harshly criticized the Israeli military operation as “barbaric” (but denied rebuking Peres personally). Erdogan also said that David Ignatius, the Washington Post moderator of the panel on which the two leaders had participated, had given Peres extra time beyond what each person had been allocated. (Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and UNSG BAN Ki-Moon were the other two participants on that panel in Davos.) It was later reported that Peres called to apologize and smooth things over.

Meanwhile, another Haaretz report from the UN in New York by Shlomo Shamir, about the cancellation due to disagreement of a scheduled press conference with Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad after a periodic meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee committee, said — surprisingly — that “The joint press conference was expected to include a statement calling to put an end to the Gaza-bound aid flotillas from around the world“. This story is posted here.

For an account of the same reported Ayalon-Fayyad disagreement that focuses more fully on another angle — the issue of recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State” (or as the “state of the Jewish people”) — see our sister site, Palestine-Mandate.com.

In related news, the most senior international law expert on the Israeli-appointed Turkel commission looking into the Flotilla fiasco, Shabtai Rosenne, has died at age 93.

14 thoughts on “Turkish President stands firm on Israeli responsibility for Flotilla fiasco”

  1. This post is another example of how anti-Israeli based blogger can distort reality by selective inclusion of information and by omitting other information, that lead to the presentation of events in favor of one side.

    Let’s take example of last part about Aylon-Fayyad blown-up press conference.

    You ignored several important facts about what was the source of this event.
    The source of the problem was Fayyad’s reluctance to add to the meeting summary the words “two states for two peoples.”
    This is the principal Palestinian design that shed light on their position on future vision of the Israeli-Palestinian relations.

    “NEW YORK — Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad angrily left a UN Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting and canceled a scheduled subsequent press conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York on Tuesday, after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said “two states” but did not include the words “two states for two peoples.”

    “What I say is that if the Palestinians are not willing to talk about two states for two peoples, let alone a Jewish state for Israel, then there’s nothing to talk about,” Ayalon told the Post in a telephone interview. “And also, I said if the Palestinians mean, at the end of the process, to have one Palestinian state and one bi-national state, this will not happen.”

    When asked if he was surprised by Fayyad’s abrupt exit, Ayalon responded, “Yes, very.”

    “I was very surprised that there was apparently no acceptance of the idea of two states for two peoples,” Ayalon told the Post. “I also said that I don’t need the Palestinians to say Israel is a Jewish state in Hebrew. I need them to say it in Arabic to their own people.”

    “If the Palestinians think that they can create one Palestinian state and one dual-nationality state, this will not happen,” Ayalon added.

    “What will happen next is we’ll see what are the results of the negotiations that are taking place now,” Ayalon told the Post. “But Israel will not accept an all or nothing approach, or any ultimatums or any preconditions.”

    The Post spoke to Ayalon following a Clinton Global Initiative program in which Israeli President Shimon Peres and Fayyad participated on a panel, headed by former US President Bill Clinton, discussing the regional economy’s potential in the event peace were to be achieved.

    Despite Clinton’s deliberate strategy of avoiding all talk of the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the panel discussion, it did not go unnoticed that Peres and Fayyad, though sitting next to one another, did not shake hands or speak to one another at the panel’s conclusion.

    “With all due respect to the Palestinian economy, it all depends on the security situation, and Israel will not gamble on the life of its citizens,” Ayalon told the Post.

    “We are very much for improvement of the Palestinian economy, and I recited all the things we have been doing,” Ayalon told the Post, referencing his discussions at the UN meeting, “but I also urged them to fight and eliminate terrorism.”

    the source: http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/107771/fayyad-storms-out-of-new-york-meeting-with-ayalon-.html

  2. This is the part that bothers me:
    This post is another example of how anti-Israeli based blogger can distort reality by selective inclusion of information and by omitting other information, that lead to the presentation of events in favor of one side“.

  3. I’m sorry, Marian, that this part bothered you.
    But analysing your post, anyone cannot say you wrote the essential facts, describing the very core reason of the story about canceling Avalon-Fayyad press conference.
    That makes your readers to get distorted version of reality.

  4. What an artful way of using the word “sorry”, and still not apologizing! As in, “I’m sorry, but I’m right and you’re wrong”.

    I was wondering if you would keep your word — to “apologise [sic]” if I showed you exactly what part of your comment was insulting and offensive and bullying… and you did not.

    The problem here is this: nobody has to write exactly what you want, Nikkor1, to be considered accurate or anything else that any of your definitions in the comments here complain about (the latest being something like: “you failed to write the essential facts, describing the very core reason of the story … That makes your reader … get distorted version of reality”.

    That is simply as insulting as it is wrong.

    I chose to write here about the Turkish position on the Flotilla fiasco — not about the reported Ayalon-Fayyad dust-up, which was only mentioned because of the last sentence in the Haaretz report suggesting that these two guys were somehow going to agree, if they actually had had a joint press conference, to call jointly for an end to the Flotillas. That is a very surprising assertion, and it deserves fuller investigation.

    This post was not about whether or not Fayyad agreed with Ayalon’s definition of a two-state solution (which sounds suspiciously like “one state for the exclusive use of each people”, with all the population transfer and “ethnic cleansing” that such a concept would necessarily entail [returning 500,000 Israeli Jewish settlers to the Jewish state of Israel, and moving 1.5 million Israeli Palestinian Arabs to the West Bank and/or — maybe — or to Gaza, or anywhere else in the world they may wish to go]). This is almost too awful to contemplate. Somebody like Ayalon should think carefully about the potential consequences. If he did, he might realize what an inconceivable misery and injustice it would cause in the present-day world. I am not here arguing the cause of the settlers. But any responsible person knows that a solution should be human, and humane. And any responsible person knows that a just peace cannot be built upon a foundation of injustice.

    [Interestingly, if you transpose this argument from the Israeli settlers, who do also talk like this, to the Palestinians, you immediately lose the Israeli left and center, who say: “Too bad, they just have to suffer”, and the Israeli left thus easily disposes of the present and the future of both the settlers (who most Palestinians and some others believe are guilty of perpetrating war crimes) as well as almost all the Palestinians alive in the world today…]

    Coming back to your non-apology, Nikkor1, it is only natural and normal that I continue to be offended by your assertion that my readers are getting a distorted version of reality.

    But, just to make this perfectly absolutely and totally crystal clear, I added a link in the body of my post as well to the story I wrote before your comments arrived on my other blog (Palestine-Mandate.com)…

    I consider these to be two separate stories.

  5. Marian wrote:
    “Ayalon’s definition of a two-state solution (which sounds suspiciously like “one state for the exclusive use of each people”, with all the population transfer and “ethnic cleansing” that such a concept would necessarily entail [returning 500,000 Israeli Jewish settlers to the Jewish state of Israel, and moving 1.5 million Israeli Palestinian ”

    Those spooky nonsense leave for Arabic propaganda sites: the only people will be transferred are Jews settlers, approximately 40k to 60k of them, that living in non-swapping territories. Nobody have intentions to transfer Israeli Arabs: and don’t even mention Evet- he don’t means transfer but territories and population living on that territory exchange on agreed conditions.

    Arab’s psyche can’t recognise Jewish State- that will ruin all their mental concepts: on their believes there is no place for the Jews in Palestine. That’s why Fayyad stormed out.


    Don’t take my comments personally: this site is not personal diary.
    It’s about fair coverage of the conflict.


    If you have posted link to your syster-site in the first place, that will be objective coverage, but go figure what was in your mind?

  6. Yul, thanks — a very interesting link.

    But I don’t think I agree with Clinton on this one … why did he mention Russian immigrants, for example (many of whom are secular and pragmatic), and not Americans (some of whom are messianic thugs with religious-nationalist supremacist views, and guns and an unspoken permission to use them as they please)?

    I am trying to make my own mental model or image of the spectrum of views on this among Israelis (including the 500,000 in the West Bank), and after a night’s sleep I want to amend my latest ideas already…

    For example, some in the Israeli left (of all origins) are actually very harsh (an English-language word Israelis use in a particularly interesting way) on the settlers, and say that every last one of them should be dragged out ASAP…

  7. To Nikkor1 — again, my post was about the Turkish position on the Flotilla fiasco, not on the issue of accepting Israel as a Jewish state.

    Here, I think, I can decide what to include or not in what I write. Since you made the mental leap of combining the two parts of the same event, I realized in retrospect that it might be useful to add the link to what I wrote on my other blog.

    But, sorry, you are no judge of what is “objective”, or “fair coverage of the conflict” — so stop already with that (even though that may be your main raison d’etre).

    Also, stop the insulting nonsense about “Arab propaganda sites” .

    And, FYI, I wrote, at the start of the Annapolis process (search the archives here, using keywords “Jewish state” probably) , the Palestinians had already accepted Israel as a Jewish state, so they could only lose by being difficult about this matter now, or trying to bargain.

    Unfortunately, I failed to persuade most people, and I even lost a number of friends, and gained a number of enemies… Too bad — because, I believe the Palestinians are wrong on this one, I keep trying to understand why they don’t see it, and keep trying to urge them to ask for guarantees against what they say they fear.

  8. Marian
    But you forgot where the votes come from – those with dual loyalties and rights to vote for a Senator every 6 yrs or a President every 4 yrs. Needs to foresee who in the family will run for a seat in some 10 or 20 yrs.

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