2011-09-02

Turkey / Israel Rift

Turkey / Israel rift. MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari has had it with Turkey, and has called on FM Avidgor Lieberman to declare Turkey an enemy state and send its ambassador packing. Turkey says it will take legal action against Israel and prosecute Israelis for actions taken during the Mavi Marmara raid in May of 2010. Israel says, We're not sorry. Turkey says fine, we don't like you either.

Commentary. Claire Berlinski:

Turkey has announced that it's suspending military agreements with Israel and reducing diplomatic relations to "Second Secretary" level. I read the Palmer Report last night. As far as I know, it hasn't been translated into Turkish. Judith, do you know if it's been translated into Hebrew?

If it hasn't been translated into either language, we can conclude that popular debate about it is taking place among journalists, academics, diplomats, Americans, and on Twitter. It takes even a very fluent reader of English who has followed this story closely since it began about two hours to read it carefully.

All of this could make one quite despairing ...

Follow the Istanbul-dwelling American expat Berlinski for the latest. Here's some info on the Palmer Report:

The much-delayed UN report, by a committee lead by former NZ Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, into the deadly Israeli action against a Gaza-bound flotilla on May 31 2010 has been leaked to the New York Times prior to its official release, expected today.

The report find that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza is legal and appropriate but the force used in the raid was excessive and unreasonable.

Summary

On 31 May 2010 at 4.26 a.m. a flotilla of six vessels was boarded and taken over by Israeli Defense Forces 72 nautical miles from land. The vessels were carrying people and humanitarian supplies. The flotilla had been directed to change course by the Israeli forces who stated that the coast of Gaza was under a naval blockade. Nine passengers lost their lives and many others were wounded as a result of the use of force during the take-over operation by Israeli forces.

The Secretary-General established the Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident on 2 August 2010. ...

Full text of the Palmer Report (pdf).