Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press


Three papers comment on various issues regarding the Turkish-Israeli relations in wake of the recent seizure of the Mavi Marmara:
Yediot Aharonot says that „the Turkish government knew exactly who was on the ‘Marmara,” and adds, „It wanted provocation.” The author suggests that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to take his anti-Israel line due to a perceived change in American policy towards Israel, since the Obama administration took office. The paper believes that „the Turks – like the Syrians – understand that the ally, Israel’s main diplomatic support, has weakened. There is not even one area in which US foreign policy has succeeded in the past year. The world is beginning to thumb its nose at the Americans… and we are the fly on the elephant’s back.”
Ma’ariv declares, „Anyone who is not blind and deaf understands that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become an efficient and destructive source of incitement and hatred,” and adds, „He is a dangerous and sly demagogue who will use any method and sharpens his rhetoric on an hourly basis.” The author believes that „Erdogan is a strategic disaster that is taking shape before our eyes,” and cites a senior diplomatic source who referred to him as „the second Ahmadinejad.” The paper accuses him of liquidating Kemal Ataturk’s legacy and says that, „Erdogan wants to go down in history as the one who turned back the clock and restored the Turkish Empire to its glory days.” The author asserts that the Turkish Prime Minister sees Israel-bashing as a key component of his policy and avers that, „Security sources in Israel are convinced that the trap that was laid for the naval commandos on board the Marmara was Erdogan’s idea.” The paper urges the Government to take a determined line against Erdogan, but to also to „manage the crisis wisely.”
Yisrael Hayom avers that, „Erdogan, who has already said that he is closer to Hamas than to Fatah, is exploiting hostility to the Jewish state in order to pave his way towards establishing an Islamic republic, which would erase the progress embodied in Ataturk’s legacy.”
The Jerusalem Post comments on the Supreme Court’s rejection of petitions ensuing from the interception of the Gaza-bound flotilla: „The decision of this court to unequivocally and in the strongest terms uphold the state’s legal right to impede sea passage to Hamas-controlled Gaza should be heard and respected by democracies worldwide.” There is particular importance to the fact that Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch staunchly defended Israel’s right „to prevent direct access to Gaza, including to impose a naval blockade to thwart the smuggling of weapons and ammunition to Hamas, which for years has shelled Israel and launched terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.” Noting that Israel offered to transport the ships’ cargo to Gaza via Ashdod, Beinisch added that during the takeover of the Mavi Marmara „IDF soldiers were attacked with knives, clubs and metal rods. Attempts were made to snatch their personal weapons and to violently injure them. One of the soldiers was even thrown overboard.” Beinisch is no yes-woman. Indeed, her conclusions should reasonably be regarded as being as credible as those of an impartial fact-finding inquiry. She is certainly more objective than any neo-Goldstone inquisitor the UN might appoint.
Haaretz criticizes the Israel government’s policies which have been „scorching the diplomatic relations we built up with such effort” and concludes: „Netanyahu must fundamentally change his government’s aggressive and inward-looking approach. A thorough investigation of the Mavi Marmara incident and the lifting of the siege against civilians in Gaza are essential steps, but they are certainly not sufficient. If Israel is to break out of the international siege and strategic catastrophe it now faces, it urgently needs a different policy.”