Netanyahu publicly placed his reputation and his country’s pride on the line in order to appease Obama and improve relations with Turkey; by ignoring its already agreed upon terms, Erdogan will make the Israeli people less likely to support another far-reaching agreement. By Aaron Magid At the end of a much-anticipated trip to Israel in March, US President Barak Obama achieved a major diplomatic breakthrough. Following years of tension between Turkey and Israel -- two key American allies in the region -- Obama orchestrated a reconciliation agreement between the two sides, which promised to reduce animosity. Although Israeli Prime Minister…Read More... | 25 Comments
Former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was spotted at an Istanbul airport this morning (Saturday). Barak was accompanied by his wife and a security guard. The trio was in transit and spent four hours in an airline lounge. Barak served as defense minister during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 and the 2010 flotilla offensive, in which nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli commandos onboard the Mavi Marmara. Both events led to a severe deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations, which were partly mended recently when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the incident. Negotiations over…Read More... | 6 Comments
The Turkel Committee seems to be quietly telling the government, 'We've let it slide, this time, but goddamit, you shouldn't expect such a miracle next time. Here's a bunch of recommendations you'd better implement if you want a chance, should you find yourself in front of a real committee.' By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz There's reason to welcome the second part of the Turkel Committee's report – you remember the Turkel Committee, the one created to investigate the killing on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Well, almost three years after the event, the Committee published the second…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Turkel Committee, appointed following the deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara, determined that the IDF didn’t follow its own procedures in cases of Palestinian civilian casualties. However, the committee also believes that the IDF should continue to be the one probing its own actions. The Turkel Committee, which was appointed to examine the events surrounding the deadly IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara in 2010 has submitted the second part of its report yesterday. The committee declared that the IDF is capable of investigating alleged crimes perpetrated by soldiers (and policemen under army supervision), but had some major recommendations…Read More... | 3 Comments
Despite its leaders’ efforts to broker an agreement, Turkey seems to be accepting the possibility of an attack on Iran as a last resort. Now its priority is to prepare for that eventuality, so that a military conflict does not take it by surprise. By Aylin Gurzel FAMAGUSTA – Turkey has tried to broker negotiations between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program. But, with talks repeatedly failing to generate any substantive progress, Turkey’s leaders are beginning to consider how a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would affect their country’s interests. When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to…Read More... | 5 Comments
Today's state comptroller's report on the deadly 2010 flotilla raid treats it as a bureaucratic issue with no moral dimension. There's so much to say about the raid on the Turkish flotilla bound for Gaza two years ago, so much that has been said, and what's the big, long-awaited, explosive indictment in today's state comptroller's report on the event? "The prime minister's decision-making was made without proper coordination, documentation, or preparation..." He didn't hold enough meetings, or he didn't hold the right kind of meetings. He didn't "internalize' the defense establishment's warnings that there would be violent resistance on board. Would it have changed anything if Bibi had…Read More... | 24 Comments
Why does Israel still refuse to show us the full footage from the Mavi Marmara? Perhaps because it knows what we’ll see Last weekend saw the release of the Palmer Report (which can be read here – a PDF file) dealing the Flotilla incident and the assault on the Mavi Marmara last year. To make a simplistic summary, the report reaches two conclusions: That Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal, which means is entitled (in fact, required) to enforce it; and that the assault on the Mavi Marmara was wild and lacked proportion. The Israeli government, naturally,…Read More... | 23 Comments
Ever since the latest terror attack, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the Egyptian demand for Israel to apologize for shooting five of its soldiers during the chase after the terrorists. Israel probably could apologize, yes. As usual, it was trigger happy. But hey - how about some reciprocity? Wouldn’t it be nice if Egypt apologized for the lack security in Sinai since the fall of Mubarak? For the inaction on its part which is most probably the reason terrorists are taking over the peninsula? And what’s the deal with all this sudden need for apologies? First Turkey, now…Read More... | 55 Comments
The Israeli Prime Minister has sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart calling for a renewed state of positive relations between the two countries. It follows secretly held talks by the governments of Netanyahu and Erdogan to renew their strained relations, which sunk to an unprecedented low one year ago. The restaurant is called 'Istanbul,' as indicated by the sign on its exterior. But it’s located in heart of central Tel Aviv. Essentially, it is Turkey’s biggest city exported to Israel. Inside at midday, locals pour in for a taste of Turkish kebab, Israeli-style. It’s kosher, so no yoghurt on…Read More... | 4 Comments
The leader of the flotilla incident investigation committee castigates government, media – and exposes his committee as a sham Former Supreme Court Judge, Ya’akov Turkel, harshly criticized both the government and Israeli media today (Hebrew). Turkel claimed the government “doesn’t know how to do Hasbara properly” (inarticulateness in the original), and that its Hasbara organs “have abandoned our judicial Hasbara too quickly. We have more to say, aside from Biblical rights and security reasons”. He also lambasted the Israeli media, who according to him “did not act in accordance with what was good for Israel.” Turkel is 76, so his…Read More... | 4 Comments
IHH’s deputy chairman, Huseyin Oruc: "This siege is illegal. It was illegal and it was right of all of the peoples, all the NGOs, all the civilians to go to Gaza” Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of an Israeli raid on a group of ships in the Mediterranean that left nine Turkish nationals dead. The ships, known as the Freedom Flotilla, were bound for Gaza and said to be containing $20 million dollars worth of aid for the Palestinian territory. But with Gaza’s shores blocked by Israel, many predicted - correctly- that a confrontation was inevitable. On this one…Read More... | 14 Comments
Every country has its cinematic bad guy. For the Turks, it’s us Just a few days after the Turkel committee cleared the IDF of any wrongdoings during its raid of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, the most expensive Turkish film ever made hit the theaters across Turkey and the rest of Europe. The film, “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine”, is the second in a series of movies depicting the dashing Polat Alemdar taking on bad guys - and winning. The movies are based on a very successful TV series, which in the past have caused much tension in the already-strained relations…Read More... | 20 Comments
After weeks in which Israel refused to release the media confiscated form the journalists on the Gaza-bound flotilla, a short clip is posted on the IDF radio site, just at the perfect timing for Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's needs Israeli chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi testified this week before the Turkel committee, the investigating panel Israel has formed to look into the events surrounding the deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla. In what seemed like a strange coincident, while Ashkenazy was testifying, IDF Radio released another short clip from the videos taken on the the Mavi Marmara and later…Read More...
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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