(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of diplomatic negotiations,
praised the agreement reached between Israel and Turkey on Friday, expressing
hope that the deal will lead to normalization with other countries in the
Livni said the pact was strategically smart and an excellent
final note on which to end US President Barack Obama’s visit to
“This is a very important step, and the right one,” Livni said.
“In these times, especially looking at what is happening in Syria, there are
mutual security interests between Israel, Turkey and the United States,” Livni
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed Livni and Defense
Minister Moshe Ya’alon of the deal in advance, but kept Finance Minister Yair
Lapid and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett in the dark – reportedly
because he feared they would leak the news prematurely.
Lapid and Bennett
made a point of not reacting to the announcement.
Lapid released a
lengthy statement that made no reference to Turkey, while Bennett’s office said
he was waiting for a security cabinet meeting before judging the
Nevertheless, Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Chetboun, who is close to
Bennett and fought in recent IDF operations, slammed the agreement.
apology to the Turks is a knife in the back of IDF soldiers and their officers,”
“It sets a bad precedent that encourages anti-Zionist
groups to continue their efforts to delegitimize Israel.”
Balad MK Hanin
Zoabi, who was on the Mavi Marmara, criticized the agreement from the opposite
“It sends a wrong message that a price does not have to be paid for
crimes like Israel did on the Marmara,” she said.
Minister Silvan Shalom praised the agreement and expressed satisfaction that
Israel did not have to stop the blockade of Gaza.
Labor leader Shelly
Yacimovich also praised Netanyahu’s apology, saying it is “best to swallow one’s
pride and do what is beneficial for the state.”
with the Turks after three years is the first step towards a new policy of
strengthening Israel’s diplomatic and strategic standing,” Yacimovich said in a