Reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to making a deal to normalize relations with long-standing ally Turkey, and that such a deal might involve officially apologizing for the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship and the killing of nine aid workers have riled Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Top aides to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has repeatedly clashed with Netanyahu over his lack of involvement in overseas diplomacy, warned that apologizing to Turkey for the killings was a de facto surrend to “terror.”
The Mavi Marmara was carrying wheelchairs and medication to the Gaza Strip, despite an Israeli blockade barring such aid arriving by sea. Israeli commandos attacked the ship, and at the time Israeli officials insisted the ship was secretly full of al-Qaeda members.
But even though all the claims of heavily armed terrorists hiding on the ship have given way to the lack of arrests, Israel’s Foreign Ministry still insists not only that the attack was justified, but that Turkey owes Israel “compensation” for making them go to the trouble of killing the aid workers.