June 4: More on the flotilla

We must recognize certain truths after this incident: Turkey is no friend. Its leadership is intent upon using every possible chance to discredit and malign Israel.

More on the flotilla
Sir, – While many would-be generals and admirals are criticizing Israel’s operation, we should in fact congratulate the commando forces for successfully and relatively peacefully taking over five ships.
Suggestions that we should have disabled the boats while at anchor in Cyprus or at sea are themselves fraught with risk. How many times will Cyprus allow Israeli military operations in its harbors before cutting relations and demanding UN condemnations, or disallowing Israeli planes into Cypriot air space? And what if we had disabled the ships while at sea? We would have had to tow them to Ashdod, where the same militants would have attacked our commandos. That’s hardly a strategy for mitigating bad media exposure.
We must recognize certain truths after this incident: Turkey is no friend. Its leadership is intent upon using every possible chance to discredit and malign Israel. It exploited this so-called humanitarian flotilla for that purpose. Rather than creating an atmosphere conducive to peaceful relations, it, like the PA’s current leadership, intends to squeeze concessions from Israel to weaken it through incitement and embarrassment. It is not interested in peace. It’s time to send the Turkish ambassador home.
    GAPE HARPAZ    Jerusalem
Sir, – All sides are wrong in the flotilla flare-up. The activists were nothing more than instigators who succeeded in drawing Israel into a trap. The inept Israeli leadership, including the prime minister and his military planners, must be on the same page or this incident will be repeated again and again.
The real answer: Get to the peace table as quickly as possible!
    HERBERT W. STARK    Massapequa, New York
Turkish hypocrisy
Sir, – Turkey, now under a radical Islamist PM, has become a violent, hypocritical and treacherous nation (“Israel needs to keep Turkey in the West,” June 3). Forgotten are the words “Long live Israel! A thousand blessings on you, we will never forget how you came to save us,” which reverberated throughout Turkey in August 1999 after a disastrous earthquake of 7.6 in magnitude devastated cities and villages.
Within 24-48 hours, 250 medical staff, search and rescue teams and equipment to set up two hospitals were in Turkey with food, clothing and blankets generously donated by the Israeli public in a spirit of friendship and goodwill. These people accomplished miracles, earning the admiration of the world.
Today, Turkey spearheads the list of Israel-hating countries andconstantly vilifies and denigrates us at every opportunity. But thenremember a murderous Turkish regime once slaughtered over a millionArmenians without compunction, so what can you expect!
Sir, – Re: “Accusing Israel of murder, Ankara pushes for censure at UNSecurity Council” (June 1), Jews have remained silent for far too longwith respect of that blackest of days in Istanbul, when on February 23,1942, the SS Struma, without a working engine, wastowed into the Black Sea, where it was left to sink with the loss of765 Jewish refugee passengers, including 100 children.
At his next press conference, Turkish Prime Minister Recep TayyipErdogan must be confronted with this, and with the behavior of his ownfather, maritime Captain Ahmet Erdogan, and that of his father’s fellowIstanbul port workers, for their failure to oppose and prevent theperpetration of this Turkish war crime.
Horovitz for
PR czar
Sir, –David Horovitz, the editor of The JerusalemPost, has the ability to take a complicated situation andexplain it in a nutshell and in perfect English. We need someone now,today, this minute, to speak on our behalf.
David Horovitz, would you volunteer for the job? The image of the State of Israel is worth saving!
    Kfar Shmaryahu