A couple of days ago, I argued that it was a mistake for Israel to apologize to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident.
Prime Minister Netanyahu called Prime Minister Erdogan at the behest of President Obama on Friday. Netanyahu apologized and Erdogan accepted. Relations between Israel and Turkey were to be normalized. This has been presented as a diplomatic triumph for Obama.
Well, Erdogan is saying not so fast. He says the apology is insufficient without compensation to the families of those who died on the Mavi Marmara and a removal of the naval blockade on Gaza. Turkey will not be sending its ambassador back to Tel Aviv anytime soon. So much for the Israeli-Turkish rapprochement.
So let’s sum this up. Obama tells Bibi to apologize to Erdogan. This gives Erdogan both the opportunity to boast about the apology and then tell Bibi (and by extension Obama) to take the apology and to shove it.
A rapprochement is a two way street and Erdogan never had any intention of crossing it.
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