Commentary Magazine


Turk Donates Israeli Compensation to Terrorists

Lest anyone need a reminder of just who was on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship which Israel lawfully stopped in international waters as it tried to run Israel’s blockade, the Turkish press is running a story today about how one of the families to whom the Israeli government is paying compensation are donating the Israeli money to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. That money will most likely be used not to build industry or establish scholarships, but rather to subsidize further terrorism. Neither Hamas nor Islamic Jihad try to hide the fact that their goals are maximalist and genocidal. That these are the people that the Turkish government supports says a lot about the reality of Turkey.

Perhaps Israelis believe that the apology ends the dispute. Not so fast. It looks like the Turks are currently engaged in a bait-and-switch. As the Hürriyet Daily News reports:

The families have not yet made their final decision as to whether accept the compensation that will eventually be offered by Israel and withdraw from cases against Israeli soldiers, according to sources.  [Deputy Prime Minister Bülent] Arınç said yesterday that the families had said that “any words about compensation would sadden them. The core of the issue is the apology and lifting of the embargo [on the Gaza Strip]. The government’s work on compensation would be right for them as well.”

In other words, the Turkish government will pocket the apology, but might still allow the lawsuits which the Israeli government fears to proceed.

Benjamin Netanyahu once positioned himself as serious about counterterrorism. His 2001 book, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists, urged a tough line. Who would have thought, just 12 years later, his government would effectively be subsidizing them.