Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Bibi Apologizes for Turkish Flotilla Incident

Netanyahu admits that there were “operational mistakes”

Print Email

More highlights from this story to come, but for now we know that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s phone call to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan contained in it an apology for the 2010 Turkish flotilla incident in which nine civilians died.

Netanyahu has long held out on handing over such an apology given that the Mavi Marmara sought to break Israel’s naval blockade and that IDF soldiers were brutally attacked when they boarded the ship. Nevertheless, Netanyahu acknowledged “operational mistakes,” according to an official quoted in the White House Press Pool. Erdogan was quick to accept the apology.

Whether you agree with this or not, this is an important moment.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Turkey’s Prime Minister has spent no small amount of his time in office highlighting his hatred of Jews. His latest anti-Semitic double-dish of “Zionism equals Racism” shows the Islamist leader’s true colors.

It will be a cold day in hell before Erdogan is trusted by Jews again.

    oaklandj says:

    Israel is happy to deal with him again. Israel is happy to accept the unflinching support of dispensationalist Christians.
    Unhealthy alliances. Is it really worth it in the long run?

      Lynne T says:

      Happy, not so much, but practically speaking, with the meltdown occurring on Israel’s and Turkey’s respective doorsteps (Syria), it’s not surprising Obama was able to broker something, and Erdogan partially ate his words, in so far as he acknowledged Israel’s right to exist.

        oaklandj says:

        Yes, maybe. It’s hard to trust any nation that still adamantly denies it killed millions of Armenians. They’re happy living with a fiction.

Poupic says:

Barack Hussein got his pound of flesh and gave nothing in return for Israel to support “our friend and ally” Turkey’s erdogan that supports Islamic terror such as Hitzbollah and Hamas. Barack Hussein his laughing all the way to Washington while Israel is crying in shame for Bibi’s betrayal. It is upon Israel’s tourists to now visit Cyprus (not occupied north Cyprus by Turkey) and not Turkey ever again until it is again a decent democracy.

    oaklandj says:

    Blaming Turkey and Erdogan’s shameful behavior on Obama? A new low, even for you.

silverbackV says:

Pretty sad when you are unable to protect your own sovereignty as a country. Next time, sink the ship before you apologize.

Turkey is not only a member of NATO, but was one of the only countries in the Middle East that not only never tried to kill Israel, but actively cooperated with it. If saying they’re sorry was what Netanyahu had to do to get a friend like that back, it was 100% completely worth it.

    silverbackV says:

    The IF starting your second sentence is deafening. Erdogan has been in power since 2003. Since then he has moved steadily into the Muslim fold. He isn’t interested in being a friend of Israels and Obama isn’t either.

Bill Robbins says:

The Apologizer in Chief sprinkled some of his pixie dust on Bibi before blowing town. The “operational mistake” was not boarding the ship with overwhelming force. Next time, either no such mistake will be made, or no boarding should be ordered, so as to avoid the need for apologies.

Jacob Arnon says:

This is not a game. Netanyahu did what he had to do to safeguard the well being of his country. Turkey is in the hands of an Islamic junta but it is not Iran which has threatened Israel with nuclear weapons (should it ever get them). Then there is the very real possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Syria.

At least the Turkish and Israeli government have some things in common as both leaders recognized. Israel didn’t give in. It said that mistakes were made and it took responsibility for them. Turkey accepted that and that was it. We shall see what the future holds for the region.

I hope we can get back to the days of yore when dictators was all that Israel had to deal with.

    silverbackV says:

    How’s the dream world? The mistakes that were made, were made by Turkey. It was a mistake to allow that ship to sail. It was a mistake to try to break Israels blockade. It was a mistake to violate Israel’s sovereignty. They shouldn’t be dealt with softly, they will turn it on you. They hold no good will toward the Jews.

      Jacob Arnon says:

      Netanyahu did the right thing this time. He said what is in the best interest of Israel.

        silverbackV says:

        He says a lot of things he doesn’t mean (Obama), I pray he is correct.

    Beatrix17 says:

    You’ve offered a realistic analysis and I agree with you.

Jacob Arnon says:

Israel has more important and more powerful enemies like Iran to deal with at the moment.

SIX DAYS LATER THE MOMENT DOES NOT SEEM SO “IMPORTANT” in fact, it’s looking more and more like a fruitless scam by Obama to gain him some PR points. Force the Israeli PM to apologize, pretend that the crisis is over, and move on before anyone notices that the Turks are hardly ready to renew relations with Israel.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Bibi Apologizes for Turkish Flotilla Incident

Netanyahu admits that there were “operational mistakes”

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview