Monday, November 28, 2011

  • Monday, November 28, 2011
  • Elder of Ziyon
Claire Berlinski, one of the best observers and reporters out of Turkey, has a must-read article on what happened during the negotiations between Israel and Turkey over the Palmer report on the flotilla:


The Turkish journalist Kadri Gürsel published an interesting piece the other day inMillyet about the failure of the negotiations between Turkey and Israel to normalize relations in the wake of the Mavi Marmara fiasco. Kadri Gürsel is a journalist whose work and opinions I take seriously; here, for example, he's written a thoughtful piece in Turkish Policy Quarterly that will help you locate him in the spectrum of Turkish political opinion.

Gürsel first places the blame for the failure of the negotiations on the Turkish foreign ministry's incompetence (he uses the more tactful phrase "lack of experience," but the Turkish foreign ministry is hardly inexperienced, so I assume we're to read between the lines). He then moves to what has become something of a standard narrative in Turkey and elsewhere: that the deal was "95 percent completed," but fell through only because of Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman's intransigence:
But the deal was never “100 percent complete” because in Israel, the obstacle, the extreme of the extreme Lieberman was not overcome. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not persuade Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for an apology and compensation. And the Turkey-Israel secret negotiations that started after the U.N. Investigation Panel was formed in August 2010, collapsed in June following the days when the draft agreement was prepared.
Matters in this “duplex channel” were held tight. The Israeli member of the U.N. Investigation Committee, Joseph Ciechanover and Ambassador Özdem Sanberk, who represented Turkey on the panel, were also negotiating through the duplex channel. The head of the panel Geoffrey Palmer and his deputy Alvaro Uribe, even if they were aware of that secret negotiations were conducted between the two countries, they did not know that Ciechanover and Sanberk were the participants. The “duplex channel” held meetings in Geneva, Bucharest and Rome.
Despite all, this draft agreement could be the operational basis for a new normalization process between Turkey and Israel. Of course, if it is possible to persuade Lieberman in the light of new situations in the Middle East.
I asked an Israeli official who was close to these negotiations--and who has thus far never provided me with information that has proved unreliable--for comment. This is what he said:
I've seen the "draft deal" and the formula for apology includes indeed the English word "apologize", though the phrase “operational mistakes that caused life losses and injuries to Turkish people” was preceded by an "if." (I can't remember the exact wording, but it went something like: Israel apologizes if there were any operational mistakes etc ... ) This was the mutually agreed formula, and by using the conditional mode, it was possible for us to apologize without admitting that we actually did something wrong, which of course we believe we didn't.
It is also correct that we agreed to pay compensations (through a bi-national fund, not directly), though the Turks did not specify at that point how much they thought would be reasonable. We thought the details and the sum could be worked out later on, based on mutual trust that would arise from the approval of the package deal.
Turkey, however, did not guarantee that "Turkish citizens and their legal representatives would not take legal action against Israel." It agreed to promise not to prosecute Israelis, but explained it could commit itself on behalf of private citizens in Turkey or abroad. This made some Israelis suspicious: what would happen if we endorsed the deal, and then had to face suits by members of the Turkish public, maybe even with covert assistance by the government? What guarantee did we have that the "deal" would actually end all claims and enable Israel and Turkey to reconcile and restart their relationship? This suspicion grew stronger in light of Turkey's insistence that the text should state that Israeli soldiers killed activists "intentionally." Why insist on this admission of guilt if not to enable legal action? As Gürsel himself says, this text which the Israeli government was supposed to approve was not completely agreed upon by Turkey, because they still wanted to include the intentionality wording. Even if the Israeli government had approved the draft, it would have left us with Turkish disavowal and discontent.
Another condition set forth by the Turks, and agreed to by Israel, was shelving the Palmer Report. Strange that Gürsel should say nothing of this, since he starts his discussion with the meaning of the Report to Turkey. The Turks were very keen on making the report disappear …
Finally, when it all came down to a discussion in the Israeli Cabinet, it wasn't just Lieberman who was reluctant to approve the whole package deal. Others, too, did not exactly trust Erdoğan, and raised doubts as to his real intentions: what would we get in return for the (indirect) apology, the compensations and the shelving of the report? Restoring ties with Ankara and an "end of conflict." But what if, after all was said and done, Erdoğan would claim that not all of his conditions were met? That Israel did not fulfill the requirements? All of a sudden, he speaks about lifting the siege on Gaza as a condition – but it was never mentioned in the negotiations nor in the draft! How easily it could have served as a pretext not to restore ties. And as for taking legal action against Israelis, well … With the intentionality clause still open, and with Turkey's non-commitment to stop private suits, and with the Palmer Report scrapped, where would it all lead us? Certainly not to an end of conflict, but rather to a further deterioration, with us in an inferior position.
This is the reason why quite a few ministers refused to endorse the draft. The Turkish anger at the leak of the Palmer Report, and Davutoğlu's hot-headed reaction and statements, only seemed to confirm our worst doubts: they were never in earnest to begin with.

(h/t Mike)




EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive