Victor Davis Hanson
Memo to Ambassador Tan
The Turkish ambassador to the United States has a long op-ed in the Washington Post asking for Israel to apologize to Turkey for the Gaza flotilla incident, and urging the U.S. to pressure Israel to act accordingly. It is an important document since Amb. Tan couches his argument in moral terms — Israel illegally detained a ship on the high seas of civilian peace activists and human rights workers, killed Turkish citizens, and violated international law.
There is, of course, no mention by Tan of the origins and nature of the Turkish “peace” group that organized the gambit. Only in passing does the ambassador mention the rallying cries of the protestors (e.g., “Whatever the aid carriers may have chanted in opposition to Israel, this was a humanitarian initiative.”), after failing to note the chants, in fact, included both calls for a new holocaust (“Shut up, go back to Auschwitz” ) and glee about Americans killed on 9/11 (“Don’t forget 9/11″).
If anyone might be offering apologies, it should be Ambassador Tan, or at least an explanation for why a ship left a Turkish port headed for a planned confrontation. A ship, it should be added, staffed in large part by the Insani Yardim Vakfi organization, which according to American and European intelligence chiefs is a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda — an apparent conclusion that formerly a Turkish government used to share when it periodically raided the IHH’s compounds.