Gulf News (Editorial)
September 8, 2011 - 12:00am

The arrogant vacuity of Benjamin Netanyahu's government in Israel is being devastatingly exposed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's insistence that Israel should apologise, or at the very least take some responsibility, for the nine Turkish deaths and using excessive violence when Israeli forces stormed a Turkish ship trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in May 2010.

Although Netanyahu has said that his government regrets the deaths, he has aggressively added that Israel "need not apologise for the fact that naval commandos defended their lives against violent activists".

This dangerous refusal to acknowledge any wrong-doing is all part of Israel's reaction to being increasingly isolated on the wider political spectrum over its unrelenting stance against looking at a peace plan, and its insistence that the only way forward is to reinforce Israeli control of the West Bank and to continue to marginalise the Palestinians.

It is a matter of great regret that Turkey is leading the charge against Israel at the moment, rather than any Arab state. For decades the Arabs have been at the forefront of fighting Israeli aggression and occupation, but just as the Palestinians prepare to take their case to be recognised as a state by the United Nations, they seem to be distracted from the struggle, choosing to focus more on their own internal convulsions and forgetting their wider responsibilities.

However, it is an indication of how significant Egypt is that Erdogan is flying to Cairo next week for talks with the interim Egyptian military regime, seeking to convince Egypt to expel the Israeli ambassador from Cairo, like the Turks have done.

And it is an example of how Israel is feeling the impact of its rejections by the Turks, that it has rushed off to sign a defence pact with Greece, Turkey's long-standing enemy.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017