Israel is the one that should mend ties

June 19, 2011

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STEPHEN KINZER wrote an excellent essay on the challenges Turkey faces after its recent elections (Op-ed, June 14). Yet he really needs to explain why it is so incumbent upon Turkey to mend ties with Israel, and not the other way around. It was not, after all, Turkey that humiliated the Israeli ambassador; it was the other way around. It was not Turkish armed forces that stormed a flotilla of civilian Israeli boats; it was the other way around. It is not Turkey that is occupying and blockading Gaza; it is Israel that is responsible for these actions that are illegal under international law. Nor was it Turkey that destroyed Gaza and killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. It was Israel.

Given Israel’s contempt for the region, for Arab countries, for Muslims worldwide, and for the international community, I think it is incumbent upon the Jewish state to mend fences with Turkey, its neighbors, and other countries throughout the world, not the other way around.

Israel is down to its last powerful patron, which may well veto the Palestinian quest for nationhood in September at the United Nations. But it will be against an otherwise lopsided vote.

James Toth