Israel Apologizes to Turkey for Being Attacked by Turkish Jihadists
On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and killed nine humanitarian activists who were peacefully protesting. Today, Israel officially apologizes to Turkey, whose citizens were murdered, but only grudgingly and at the behest of its longtime ally, the USA. Thanks to journalistic negligence from all the big media players (and pretty much all of the little ones, too), that's effectively the story you're being told (again) this morning.
The facts of the incident are already well-established. The passengers of the Mavi Marmara included jihadists who were there to provoke violence (ironically, one source is the Guardian):
"I am going to be a martyr. I dreamed about it," Ali Haider Banjinin, 39, from Kurdistan, told his family before leaving to join the flotilla, according to one report.
The brother-in-law of retired engineer Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, told another paper that "martyrdom suited him very much. Allah gave him a death he desired."
A third Turkish casualty, Ali Akbar Yertilmis, a father of four from Ankara, had "dreamt of becoming a martyr", a friend was quoted as saying.
"Roughly 40 people on board were jihadis who came for violence," a government official said. "They were preparing to attack, to kill and to be killed." The boat was carrying more than 600 passengers, around half of them Turkish nationals.
This was no voyage of peace. The Turks had prepared weapons and were clearly eager for a fight. Flotilla "activists" chanted an Islamic battle cry invoking the killing of Jews: "Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!". (If their jihadist credentials were not fully established by then, one Turkish Mavi Marmara humanitarian photographed posing with a machine gun alongside Islamic Jihad terrorists pretty much sealed the deal).
"Go back to Auschwitz!" the "activists" taunted the Israeli navy, which was there to enforce a legal blockade against the terrorist statelet of Gaza.
The IDF personnel who boarded the boat initially armed to the ready with paintball guns were assaulted by these "humanitarians", stabbed, bludgeoned and nearly taken captive, until they finally were forced to defend themselves against the lethal swarming.
All of this is already in the public record, but most of it came to light only after Israel had been vilified as a rogue state sending death squads on the high seas to murder peace activists. Now it's happening again, in the BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera (which took the extra step of putting quotes around 'apology' in the headline -- Israel PM 'apologises' for flotilla incident -- presumably to undermine its credibility), and countless other organizations don't bother to include any of the context above. Once more, Israel is raked over the coals and its apology is effectively thrown back in its face.
Will Israeli-Turkish relations actually improve because of any of this? Unlikely, because the Mavi Marmara was not the reason relations declined to begin with. For those with shorter memories, Elder of Ziyon provides the context from a Wikileaks report via a prominent security analyst firm:
Turkey planned on downgrading relations with Israel even before the May 2010 flotilla incident, documents published Wednesday by WikiLeaks suggest.
A leaked email from George Friedman, the head of US-based global security analysis company Stratfor, reveals that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger that at some point he would burn bridges with Israel in favor of a closer relationship with the Islamic world.
According to the Turkish newspaper Sunday Zaman, Friedman also wrote in the same email that Turkey does not get along with Israel and the United States. An attack by Israel on Iran would provide a good opportunity for Erdogan to finally cut Turkey’s ties with Israel and the US and to expand Turkey’s power, he further wrote.
The flotilla to Gaza — in which nine Turkish citizens aboard a ship heading to Gaza were killed after attacking the IDF commandos who intercepted it – was not the cause of Turkey’s new strategy but rather the opportunity Erdogan had been waiting for, Army Radio said.
The decline in relations was never about the Mavi Marmara. It was about Turkey's increasing Islamization and demonization of the Jewish state as part and parcel of a jihadist mindset. The Americans were duped and the Israelis have gone along with this charade, but unless Turkey changes its direction of aligning with jihadists against Israel and the West, any hopes of a diplomatic revival are lost at sea.
Jonathon Narvey is the Editor of The Propagandist.