This article originally appeared in the Times of Israel
Honorable Prime Minister
Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu
RE: Open Letter Concerning Your Apology to Turkey
If we need to apologize for every type of defense to which we are entitled: forward defense, active defense and passive defense, with what are we left? It appears that your recent acquiescence in regard to Turkey has not strengthened our security, but rather compromised it.
I strongly object to the government of Israel paying compensation from my tax monies to the families of those who attacked our soldiers. This proposal lacks moral justification. If anyone in the State of Israel needs to apologize and pay compensation to these families, it should be those who encouraged the provocative actions of the Marmara flotilla: such as MK Hanin Zoabi. Let Zoabi take responsibility for her actions and pay the compensation from her pocket, not from mine.
Mr. Prime Minister, you promised the electorate to strengthen the security of the State of Israel, and not to compromise it by buckling under the pressure of foreign leaders, including the President of the United States. Had you rejected President Obama’s request to appease Turkey, you would have kept your promise to those who elected you, and would not have lost either the support of the American people or their representatives in Congress.
Two weeks before you apologized in our name to the Turkish Prime Minister, he went out of his way to equate Zionism with crimes against humanity. It is clear that our tiny nation is surrounded by Islamic states that speak the language of aggression, and compete among themselves to see who will be the first to break our resolve.
What have we gained from such apologies and acquiescence to foreign pressure in recent years? We were told that peace was attainable if we would simply retreat and dismantle our forward defense in the buffer zones of Southern Lebanon and Gaza. You, Mr. Prime Minister, were wise enough to fervently oppose these moves, understanding that every such concession would only encourage radical elements to attack us again. Unfortunately, you were right. In consideration for these concessions, we attained “peace” in the form of showers of missiles.
After Israeli citizens had suffered through years of omnipresent bomb sirens and missile strikes, you asserted our right to active defense. You sent our best soldiers into Gaza to destroy the missile launching capabilities of the Hamas. In response, Erdogan and his friends in the Arab League and the UN declared that our right to self-defense was a crime against humanity. Nevertheless, you stood the test. In the face of relentless international criticism, you took every step to restore peace, quiet and safety to our lives.
Those who define our right to a forward defense and an active defense as a heinous crime are saying, in essence, that the Jewish State does not have the right to exist. Accordingly, we should not be surprised when these same voices object to our right to a passive defense, such as the use of a naval blockade. The fact that the Israeli Navy seized a number of ships en route from Iran to Gaza with freight consisting of hundreds of tons of military ammunition, certainly does not trouble them. Indeed, it coincides with their goal to peel back, slowly but surely, every layer of defense from the Jewish State, until it will be possible to wipe us from the map once and for all.
How is it possible to delegitimize passive defense in the eyes of the enlightened world? Obviously, by carrying out an act of aggression under the guise of a humanitarian mission. When Turkey sent from her ports a flotilla of armed activists, intent on ambushing and assaulting our soldiers with rods and knives, she instigated a direct attack upon our security. If President Obama was a true friend, he would demand an apology from Erdogan to you, not the opposite.
Two more questions:
Did it not disturb you that on the same day in which you agreed to President Obama’s request to appease the Prime Minister of Turkey, your friend, Obama, exhorted our youngsters to oppose your policies, and to pressure you to abandon critical interests of the State of Israel? This troubled me.
Does it not disturb you that while the government of Israel is negotiating how much compensation to pay the Marmara families, the Prime Minister of Turkey has affirmed his resolve to coordinate a diplomatic visit to the Hamas leaders in Gaza, while ignoring the strong disapproval of the USA towards such a move? This troubles me.
More power to you.