Another look at the Israel-Turkey reconciliation deal

Anne's Opinions

A billboard in Turkey advertises the Israel-Turkey agreement

Despite my deep misgivings, not to mention moral objections, to the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey, it is important to take note of other views, particularly those which don’t see the deal as a disaster but rather as an important diplomatic gain for Israel.

I’ll start with Evelyn Gordon, whose views I deeply respect and who is certainly never given to delusional flights of fancy like the left-wing are wont to take. Her article speaks about “Turkey and the value of saying No“:

The Israel-Turkey reconciliation agreement announced this week is an object lesson in the importance of being willing to walk away from negotiations. For six years, the Israeli chattering classes and the international community urged Israel to simply accept Turkey’s terms, arguing that Ankara wasn’t going to soften its demands and that Israel desperately needed good…

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Inaccuracies in BBC diplomatic correspondent’s description of Mavi Marmara

BBC Watch

Turkey’s recent diplomatic moves – including the agreement signed with Israel – were the subject of an article by the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus which appeared in the ‘Features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page on June 29th under the headline “Turkey plays diplomatic chess in Middle East“.

Explaining the former nature of ties between Turkey and Israel and what caused the six-year-long rift, Marcus told readers that:

Marcus art Mavi MarmaraIn fact, in May 2010 the Mavi Marmara was not “Turkish-flagged” but was registered in Comoros and flew that flag of convenience at the time.

MM registrationNeither was the Mavi Marmara an “aid vessel”: it was a passenger ship (carrying 546 passengers) which formed part of a flotilla of six vessels, only three of which were carrying ‘aid’, as the Palmer report noted (p 47):Marcus Turkey art

“If the flotilla had been a purely humanitarian mission it is…

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Times of London again suggests that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital (Update)

UK Media Watch

In 2014, we prompted a correction to a Times of London print article falsely claiming that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital – an error that other news outlets, including the Guardianhave been forced to retract over the years.

Today, we noticed that Times of London made a similar error in anarticle on Turkey’s recent reconciliation with Israel (Isolated Turkey mends ties with Russia, Israel and perhaps Egypt, June 28th.)

Here are the relevant passages:

Times tel aviv (1)

second tel aviv ref

As we’ve noted repeatedly, though most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv (for diplomatic reasons pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict), this doesn’t mean that Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital.  Even if Times of London editors want to avoid acknowledging that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, they simply can’t deny that this is the city where the prime minister’s office, the Knesset, the Supreme Court and most institutions of government are located. 

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BBC News puts words in the Turkish president’s mouth

BBC Watch

The BBC News website’s main article about the June 28th terror attack in Turkey – “Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 41 dead and more than 230 hurt” – includes the following:

Erdogan statementInterestingly, two earlier versions of the article informed readers that:

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack, calling for a “joint fight” against terrorism.”

The word ‘terrorism’ was then removed and the article was amended to read as above.

So did the Turkish president really use the BBC favoured euphemistic terminology “militant groups” just hours after his country (and its important tourism industry) had been hit by a major terror attack?

Not according to the Guardian:

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on all governments, especially in the west, to join forces in taking a “firm stand against terror”.

“The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city…

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BBC News ignores latest Temple Mount rioting

BBC Watch

Those getting their news from the BBC News website will not be aware of the fact that Palestinians recently engaged in pre-planned rioting on Temple Mount over a period of three consecutive days.

The violence began on the morning of June 26th.Kotel at night 2

“Mayhem ensued on the Temple Mount Sunday morning, when a group of masked Arab assailants threw rocks, shoes, metal objects, and chairs at a group of Jewish visitors at the contested compound during the first of the last 10 days of Ramadan.

According to police, who provided video of the disturbance, the group of 11 observant Jews were targeted shortly after entering the compound at approximately 9 a.m. in what appeared to be a premeditated attack.”

The rioting continued the next day.

“Police had deployed additional forces there as a precaution after learning, it said, that “Arab youths, some of them masked, barricaded themselves during…

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A story serially avoided by the BBC comes home to roost

BBC Watch

On June 27th the BBC News website’s Middle East page published an article titled “Israel and Turkey end rift over Gaza flotilla killings” which has since undergone extensive amendment.Turkey deal art

Among the report’s notable features are:

1) The use of euphemistic language to describe those killed in the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara and the concealment of their Islamist links.

“Israel and Turkey have normalised relations, ending a six-year rift over the killing by Israeli troops of 10 Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound ship.”

Ten pro-Palestinian Turkish activists, one of them a dual American citizen, were killed and dozens wounded as clashes broke out after the commandos boarded the ship, descending on ropes from helicopters.” [emphasis added]

2) The promotion of a ‘he said-she said’ account of the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara which ignores the existence of video evidence and witness accounts

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Guardian: Raid on Entebbe sowed seeds of right-wing Israeli militarism

UK Media Watch

Saul David’s book ‘Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 And The Raid On Entebbe Airport’ (read by this writer) is an extremely informative, carefully researched and, at times, gripping account of one of the most daring hostage rescue missions of all time. David’s comprehensive, hour-by-hour retelling of the eight days in late June and early July 1976 – from the moment the Paris bound plane was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists to the stunning lightning raid by Israeli commandos on the airport in Uganda – was based on archival documents and interviews with major participants.

operation-thunderbolt-by-saul-davidAlmost without exception, there was little if any sign of ideological bias in David’s historical account of this extraordinary event.

We say “almost”, because his postscript includes this extremely curious rumination:

Most Israelis are understandably proud of what their soldiers achieved at Entebbe. But are they aware of the raid’s long-term political consequences? Did it make…

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