Syrian rebels rejected Israeli assistance; Lieberman talks turkey to Turkish reportersFor those of you who think that Israel ought to be assisting the Syrian 'rebels,' fuhggedaboutit. For those of you who think that a government of the Syrian 'rebels' is going to be any less hostile to Israel, you can probably forget about that too. The Syrian rebels have rejected any assistance from Israel.
"We offered humanitarian assistance but they rejected it," he told the Turkish journalists in Jerusalem Sunday. "Everybody has told us that it is much better to keep the distance.”Lieberman's meeting with the Turkish media was the first since the Mavi Marmara incident.
The foreign minister added: “We don’t want to impose ourselves on the Syrian opposition. It is impossible to impose ourselves on somebody. We can only suggest but cannot impose," Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted him as saying.
Turkey's Daily Hurriyet has a more complete account of Lieberman's meeting with the delegation of eight senior Turkish journalists, who were brought to Israel by the foreign ministry. Lieberman was very straight with them.
Describing the Mavi Marmara attack as “an accident,” Lieberman said the dispute with Turkey had not started with the current Israeli government but with the “dovish” ex-prime minister, Ehud Olmert.I wonder how many Turks recognize the truth.
The row, which brought Turkey’s ties with Israel to their historic low level, stemmed from “a strategic decision” by Erdoğan and Davutoğlu, Lieberman said. “[Erdoğan] thinks the best way to be the leader of the Islamic world is to confront Israel. It is the same regarding the issue of the Gaza blockade,” he said.
Turkey vociferously criticized Israel under Olmert after Tel Aviv launched an operation against Gaza in late 2007.
In the past two years, Erdoğan’s speeches on Israel have gone beyond criticism to the point of insult, he said. “[Still] we are really trying to keep silent despite every verbal attack against Israel from Mr. Erdoğan and Mr. Davutoğlu, and we are still trying not to create unnecessary tensions.”
Asked how the deadlock would end, he pointed to the healing power of time. “Sometimes, it will take more years, sometimes less. Even if we have disputes, we can resolve disputes in different ways but not [in a way] like cutting diplomatic relations, or calling ambassadors back to the capitals, or provoking each other.”
For Turkey and Israel, there are more reasons for returning to normal relations, Lieberman said. “The demand of an apology is only an excuse.”