Sunday, March 24, 2013

Apology Excepted:
Obama’s Turkish Twist

Following up on yesterday’s post about how the American media disappeared a Palestinian dissident and an American victim of Israeli aggression in one fell swoop of ideological misrecognition.

No apology
Furkan Dorgan in Turkey before he was killed by the IDF 

As this story in the New York Times (NYT) describes, in a dramatic last-minute, on-the-tarmac-before-takeoff telephone negotiation, Obama went out of his way to “broker” a deal whereby Israel would give an apology (one of those sorry for “any mistakes” non-apology apologies, to be sure) to Turkey for the killing of nine people during the 2010 Israeli raid the on the Turkish-flagged vessel Mavi Marmara in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in exchange for Turkey’s restoration of full diplomatic ties with Israel. 

Restoring what historically has been a friendly relationship between Israel and Turkey is, you see, good for Israel. As both the NYT and the Jerusalem Post (JP) report, it means that Turkey will drop its criminal indictments against Israeli military officials, and it will open the door for Israel “to upgrade its ties with NATO, something that Turkey, as a NATO member, had continuously vetoed.“ It will also help the American-Israeli effort to, as the NYT so delicately puts it, “confront Syria’s civil war.”  Indeed, the JP reports that Syria was the decisive factor for Netanyahu, who posted that: “The fact that the crisis in Syria is getting worse by the minute was the central consideration in my eyes.”  As Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser, Yaakov Amidror, puts it: “What we wanted is to get to a situation where the relationship will be upgraded so that we can cooperate more regarding Syria, and will give Israel more freedom of action in the Middle East and elsewhere.”

More (?!) “freedom of action” for Israel. (N.B. NATO, “and elsewhere”?!!)  Just the formula for peace that the world needs.

So, in order to restore Israel’s beneficial relation to Turkey, open the door for Israel’s de facto integration into NATO, bring everyone on the same page for destroying the Syrian State, and, generally, everywhere, ”give Israel more freedom of action,” Obama used his newly-lauded “talent for arm-twisting” to get the Israeli Prime Minister to apologize to Turkey for an incident in which an American citizen was also killed – but nary a twist, tweak, word or suggestion about an apology to the United States, Israel’s uniquely generous patron. Love is never having to say you’re sorry. Or, the American Israel lobby would never allow that.
As Dave Lindorff points out in this cogent post, the American media “are full of glowing reports and praise” for Obama’s display of tough-minded diplomatic prowess.  Of course, neither would the American president “bother to demand that Netanyahu include an apology, weak or otherwise, to the American people for the killing of an American national,” nor would the American media bother to notice that he hadn’t.  Not allowed.

Some might find “the idea that this president cannot demand even a mild apology from an Israeli prime minister for the brutal slaughter of an unarmed US citizen, even as he is brokering such an apology for the killing of nine Turkish citizens … beyond appalling.”  “Some,” who will not be found – will not be allowed – in the Democratic or Republican parties, or in the mainstream media.

So after being killed by the IDF with “two shots to the face fired at close range …as he lay already gravely wounded … having been already shot in the back, leg and foot,” Furkan Dorgan, along with Rachel Corrie and the sailors of the USS Liberty, officially joins the ranks of Americans with whom, when it comes to Israel’s “freedom of action,” the President of the United States and the American media cannot be bothered.

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