Netanyahu Says Israel Wont Apologize to Turks Over Flotilla

JERUSALEM (AFP)–Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ruled out making an apology to Turkey over an Israeli military raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent.

“We will not apologize but express our regrets to Turkey,” the Israeli leader said in an interview with private television network Channel 10.

“We don’t want our soldiers to be possibly hauled before international tribunals. … Our soldiers acted in accordance with standards,” he said, stressing an apology could be interpreted as an admission of liability.

Netanyahu’s comments came a day after Israel’s right-wing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed Tel Aviv would not apologize to Turkey for the May 31 commando raid.

Lieberman described as “a cheek” Ankara’s demand for an apology before normalizing relations between the former allies.

“The ones who have to apologize are the government of Turkey for supporting terror,” he said. “There will be no apology” from Israel.

Speaking to Channel 10, Netanyahu explained his foreign diplomatic chief’s comments by saying: “In my coalition government, there are different points of view, but the prime minister expresses the voice of the government.”

Israel’s ties with Turkey plunged into crisis following the raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ferry carrying aid to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday that Ankara wants to turn the page on a year of difficult relations with Israel but that Tel Aviv must apologize for the deadly aid ship assault.

Thousands of Turks gave the Mavi Marmara a rapturous welcome when it docked Sunday at Istanbul’s Sarayburnu following a lengthy refit in a port along the Mediterranean.

According to the ferry’s owner, a Turkish campaign group called IHH, the boat will be part of a new flotilla that will leave for Gaza on May 31, 2011, exactly one year after the deadly raid.


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  1. Rita said:

    israel should apoligize to the individual turks they murdered, but not to turkey.

    • abraham kitsinian said:

      israel should not to poligise to a murderers of 1.500.000 armenians .

      • rita said:

        yes they should. but those were individual turks, there were also christian archbishops on this flotilla. the turkish government just exploited the incident. it doesnt make israel any less guilty. israel doesnt know what the words “international law” mean

  2. Asdig Magar said:

    If Netanyahu had courage he would tell Turkey that an apology would be considred after Turkey apologizes for the 1915 Genocide of Armenians.This is what Turkey would require if the tables were turned around.

  3. sam said:

    don;t worry mr .natanyahu the jewish lobby did a great favor to the turks about the resolution 252 not reconizing the armenian genoside they owe you one .pretty soon they’ll forget about it as a thank you

  4. Meg said:

    Say what you will, Israel has guts to stand up to Turkey. I wish other countries would. As far as the flotilla incident goes, the Turks asked for trouble and Israel gave it to them. Good for Israel.

    I know you asshole wimps at asbarez won’t post this.

  5. andrew said:

    i wonder what and how turkish troops willreact if izraelis came to lift the blokade on armenia you think the turkish soldiers will be nice to them. i say all this is a game good on you izrael dont apologize never

  6. arziv said:

    It is to be expected. Israel never apologizes, has never apologized and shall never apologize for anything either singly or collectively. The word ” apology” does not appear in any israeli vocabulary ,its use is solely and exclusively for others. Davotoglou is either naive ( which he is definitely not), or a fool ( which he is definitely not) or simply chancing his ” luck” to demand and expecting to obtain an apology from the israelis.

  7. Ray said:

    Israel should not apologize to anyone but the Armenians for not accepting the genocide and letting Turkey continue its BS propaganda about the genocide never being of existence.
    Turkey is a terrorist state which feeds terrorists behind closed doors and then they call themselves Europeans. Turks are not Europeans, nor are they alike in anyway. They are rich Muslims who have a large country that profited off of Armenian soil. Turkish days are numbered.

  8. rita said:

    those were individual people, not the turkish government. the turkish government just tried to exploit the situation. that does not mean israel is any less guilty.

    do not forget, many of us are armenian palestinians who have felt israels wrath just as much as arabs have. armenian population in holy land went from 35,000 to 2,000. let israel apologize for the ethnic cleansing of armenian palestinians as well.

  9. steve said:

    dont trust either of them, one did the genocide, one helps the other deny the genocide, and veto th others decision, both dangerous peoples.

  10. steve said:

    i hope that something happens between these two countries, the demographics needs to change in the region in favour of riteous owners.