Posted on 03/24/2013 by Juan Cole
The one diplomatic success of President Obama’s mainly pro forma visit to Israel and Jordan was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s pro forma apology to Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan for killing 8 Turkish nationals and 1 American citizen of Turkish heritage aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship trying to succor the Palestinians of Gaza in 2010.
The Guardian reports that
“The prime minister made it clear that the tragic results regarding the Mavi Marmara were unintentional, and that Israel expresses regret over injuries and loss of life. In light of the Israeli investigation into the incident, which pointed out several operational errors, Netanyahu apologised to the Turkish people for any errors that could have led to loss of life and agreed to complete the agreement on compensation.”
Erdogan appears to have grudgingly accepted the apology (Israel will pay roughly $6 million to the victims’ families), and the two leaders agreed that normal diplomatic relations would be restored, though Erdogan later said it would be a gradual process.