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announced Israel’s foreign ministry on June 4, 2010.“That the request for an apology by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan came from Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington rather than through Erdogan himself was a big surprise to us,” the Israeli officials remarked.
Is it because of pressure from NATO, of which Turkey is a key member, or from the EU, which Turkey is longing to join, that caused Erdogan and his ministers to relent?
Earlier on Monday, ultra-Orthodox Shas MK Arye Deri responded to news of the relationship by saying, “If God forbid it’s true, then woe to us, woe to us.” Deri told the Kol Barama radio station the relationship was no mere personal matter because Netanyahu is a “symbol of the Jewish people.” “I know friends of mine who invest tens of millions and more, hundreds of millions to fight assimilation in the world,” Deri said.
By contrast, Rabbi Amnon Bazak of the Har Etzion yeshiva defended the prime minister and expressed the hope that should Yair choose to wed his present girlfriend, Leikanger would undergo a conversion to Judaism prior to the nuptials.
Erdogan, who initially threatened to attach an escort of Turkish warships to accompany the Gaza-bound Rachel Corrie Ship, never made good on his threat.
Instead, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogu, standing in front of a portrait of secular Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, (a Jew of Sephardic origin), announced that “calm must replace anger,” and that Turkey “is ready to normalize relations with Israel.” Doing his best to placate the Zionist forces that Turkey is beholden to, Davutogu added: “The security of families of Israeli diplomats in Turkey is our nation’s honor.