The Mavi Marmara was an eminently predictable fight. The Turkish group that hired the boat was an al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkish NGO named IHH. In 1999, the Turkish government was so wary of IHH that it barred the group from participating in relief efforts following a devastating earthquake. IHH's fortunes shifted with the rise of its fellow Islamists in the AKP Justice and Development Party led by Recep Tayip Erdogan. The AKP won the 2002 elections and has since been reelected twice. By 2010, Prime Minster Erdogan had a long track record of anti-Israel actions. Indeed, by 2010, Erdogan had effectively destroyed the strategic alliance Israel had developed with Turkey since 1949. In 2006, Erdogan was the first major international leader and NATO member to host Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh. The same year he allowed Iran to use Turkish territory to transfer weaponry to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.
The Meaning and Consequences of Israel's Apology to Turkey
US President Barack Obama was on the line when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish protesters aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010.
For those who don't remember, the Mavi Marmara was a Turkish ship that set sail in a bid to break Israel's lawful maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza's coastline. When Israeli naval commandos boarded the ship to interdict it, passengers on deck attacked them ≠ in breach of international maritime law. Soldiers were stabbed, bludgeoned and thrown overboard. In a misguided attempt to show the good faith of Israeli actions, the naval commandos were sent aboard the ship armed with paintball guns. As a consequence, the soldiers were hard-pressed to defend themselves. In the hand-to-hand combat that ensued, nine of the Turkish attackers were killed.
The Mavi Marmara was an eminently predictable fight. The Turkish group that hired the boat was an al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkish NGO named IHH. In 1999, the Turkish government was so wary of IHH that it barred the group from participating in relief efforts following a devastating earthquake.
IHH's fortunes shifted with the rise of its fellow Islamists in the AKP Justice and Development Party led by Recep Tayip Erdogan. The AKP won the 2002 elections and has since been reelected twice.
By 2010, Prime Minster Erdogan had a long track record of anti-Israel actions. Indeed, by 2010, Erdogan had effectively destroyed the strategic alliance Israel had developed with Turkey since 1949. In 2006, Erdogan was the first major international leader and NATO member to host Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh. The same year he allowed Iran to use Turkish territory to transfer weaponry to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War.
In 2008, Erdogan openly sided with Hamas against Israel in Operation Cast Lead. In 2009, he called President Shimon Peres a murderer to his face.
By the time the flotilla to Gaza was organized, Erdogan had used Turkey's position as a NATO member to effectively end the US-led alliance's cooperative relationship with Israel, by refusing to participate in military exercises with Israel.
Following the incident, rather than apologize for his allied NGO's gross violation of international maritime law and acts of wanton aggression against Israeli forces, Erdogan doubled down. He removed Turkey's ambassador from Israel. He demanded an apology as a condition for the restoration of relations. He had his court system open show trials against IDF soldiers and commanders. He stepped up his exploitation of Turkey's NATO membership to block substantive military cooperation between Israel and NATO. And he cultivated close economic and political ties with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.
At the same time, Erdogan has cultivated close ties with President Barack Obama and his administration, and has spent millions of dollars on lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill to neutralize congressional opposition to his hostile behavior towards Israel and the US.
For three years Israel refused to apologize to Turkey. And then Obama came to Israel for a visit, and before he left the country, he had Netanyahu on the phone with Erdogan, apologizing for the loss of life of the Turkish protesters who stabbed and bludgeoned Israeli soldiers. Netanyahu also offered restitution to their families.
Israeli President Shimon Peres sought to silence the public outcry in Israel against Netanyahu's action by soothingly saying that it was done to bury the past and move on to a better day in relations with Turkey. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz publicly backed Netanyahu's actions, saying it was necessary to cultivate Turkish cooperation for dealing with the situation in Syria, which is rapidly spiraling out of control. Israeli and international concerns that all or parts of Syria's massive arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, as well as its ballistic missiles, will fall into the hands of jihadist forces have risen as jihadists, allied with al-Qaeda, have come to dominate the opposition to the Syrian regime.
Israel's own concerns regarding the civil war in Syria have also escalated as rebel forces affiliated with al-Qaeda have taken over sections of the border region. UN observer forces deployed along Israel's border with Syria since 1974 have been fleeing in droves, for Israel and Jordan. Earlier in the month, rebel forces took dozens of observer forces from the Philippines hostage for several days.
Given the situation, the main questions that arise from Israel's apology to Turkey are as follows: Is it truly a declaration with little intrinsic meaning, as Peres intimated? Should it simply be viewed as a means of overcoming a technical block to renewing Israel's strategic alliance with Turkey? In other words, will the apology facilitate Turkish cooperation in stemming the rise of jihadist forces in Syria, and blocking the transfer of chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles to such actors? Finally, what does Obama's central role in producing Israel's apology say about his relationship with the Jewish state and the consequences of his visit on Israel's alliance with the US and its position in the region? And finally, what steps should Israel consider in light of these consequences?
On Saturday, the Arab League convened in Doha, Qatar and discussed Israel's apology to Turkey and its ramifications for pan-Arab policy. The Arab League member states considered the prospect of demanding similar apologies for its military operations in Lebanon, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
The Arab League's discussions point to the true ramifications of the apology for Israel. By apologizing for responding lawfully to unlawful aggression against the State of Israel and its armed forces, Israel did two things. First, Israel humiliated itself and its soldiers, and so projected an image of profound weakness. Due to this projected image, Israel has opened itself up to further demands for it to apologize for its other responses to acts of unlawful war and aggression against the state, its territory and its citizens from other aggressors. The Arab League like most of its member nations is in an official state of war with Israel. The Arabs wish to see Israel destroyed. Kicking a nation when it is down is a perfectly rational way for states that wish other states ill to behave. And so the Arab League's action was eminently predictable.
As for the future of Israel-Turkish cooperation on Syria, two things must be borne in mind. First, on Saturday Erdogan claimed that Netanyahu's apology was insufficient to restore Turkish-Israel relations. He claimed that before he could take any concrete actions to restore relations, Israel would first have to compensate the families of the passengers from the Mavi Marmara killed while assaulting IDF soldiers with deadly force.
Beyond that, it is far from clear that Turkey shares Israel's interests in preventing the rise of a jihadist regime in Syria allied with al-Qaeda. More than any other actor, Erdogan has played a central role in enabling the early jihadist penetration and domination of the ranks of the US-supported Syrian opposition forces. It is far from clear that the man who enabled these jihadists to rise to power shares Israel's interest in preventing them from seizing Syria's weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, if Turkey does share Israel's interest in preventing the Syrian opposition from taking control over the said arsenals, it would cooperate with Israel in accomplishing this goal with or without an Israeli apology for its takeover of the Mavi Marmara.
So if interests, rather than sentiments dictate Turkey's actions on Syria, as they dictate the interests of the Arab League in kicking Israel when it is perceived as being down, what does Obama's central role in compelling Israel to apologize to Turkey tell us about his attitude towards Israel and how his attitude towards Israel is perceived by Israel's neighbors, including Iran?
By forcing Israel to apologize to Turkey, Obama effectively forced Israel to acknowledge that it is in the wrong for lawful actions by its military taken in defense of international law and of Israel's national security. That is, Obama sided with the aggressor Turkey ≠ over the victim Israel. And in so doing, he signaled, deliberately or inadvertently, to the rest of Israel's neighbors that the US is no longer siding with Israel in regional disputes. As a consequence, they now feel that it is reasonable for them to press their advantage and demand further Israeli apologies for daring to defend itself from their aggression.
Whether or not Obama meant to send this message, this is a direct consequence of his visit. Now Israel needs to consider its options for moving forward. For Israel's allies in Congress, it is important to take a strong position on the issue. Members of Congress and Senate would do well to pass resolutions stating their conviction that Israel, while within its own rights to apologize, operated with reasonable force and wholly in accordance with international law in its interdiction of the Mavi Marmara, which was on an illegal voyage to provide aid and comfort for an internationally recognized terrorist organization in contravention of binding UN Security Council resolution 1379 from September 2001, which prohibits the proffering of such aid. Congress should enjoin the administration to issue a declaration noting US support for Israel in its actions to defend itself from aggression in all forms, including from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Second, Israel should scale back the level of military assistance it receives from the US. While Obama was in Israel, he pledged to expand US military assistance to Israel in the coming years. By unilaterally scaling back US assistance and developing its domestic military industries, Israel would send a strong signal to its neighbors that it is not completely dependent on the US and as a consequence, the level of US support for Israel does not determine Israel's capacity to continue to defend itself.
On a wider level, it is important for Israel to develop the means to end its dependency on the US. Under Obama, despite the support of the great majority of the public, the US has become an undependable ally to Israel, and indeed to the rest of the US's allies as well. The more quickly Israel can minimize its dependence, the better it will be for Israel, for the US and for the stability of the region. The apology to Turkey was a strategic error. To minimize its consequences, Israel must boldly assert its interests in Syria, Iran, and throughout the region.
See Latma's "We Con the World" as a reminder of who we're dealing with when it comes to the Gaza Flotilla participants. Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle
Caroline Glick is an American-born Israeli journalist, newspaper editor, and writer. She writes for Makor Rishon and is the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. She is also the Senior Fellow for Middle East Affairs of the Washington, DC-based Center for Security Policy. She grew up in Chicagoís ultra-liberal Hyde Park neighborhood; made aliyah to Israel in 1991; joined the Israel Defense Forces and served as an officer for five and a half years. As an IDF captain from 1994-1996, she served as Coordinator of Negotiations with the PLO in the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and was a core member of Israelís negotiating team with the Palestinians. In 1997 and 1998 she served as assistant foreign policy advisor Binyamin Netayahu during his first stint as Prime Minister. Read More of her Biography
Article courtesy of Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
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The government of Israel has evacuated Amona Ė Does the Left or the world like us any better? Do they respect us more? Isnít it better to apply the law in Judea and Samaria, to absorb exactly the same condemnations that we get in any case, but to do it to rescue the Land of Israel and Amona as part of it?
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An Israeli public opinion poll, released on the eve of President Trumpís Inauguration, shows an overwhelming majority of Israelis are ready for sovereignty Ė now. The vast majority of the Israeli population would like to see Israeli sovereignty being applied over Judea and Samaria. Only seven percent of the public is interested in establishing a Palestinian state in these areas.
Barack Obamaís decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last weekís vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for whatís left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the presidentís style from the beginning. Israelis arenít the only people to feel betrayed by the results.
Proponents of the bill argue that Israel needs to ensure the primacy of the Knesset. They further argue that there is no point in bowing to the will of an international community that is constitutionally incapable of ever standing with Israel.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]