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March 28, 2013

Righteousness of our cause – apology be damned

Op-ed: MK Lieberman explains why he objected to Israeli apology for Turkish deaths during Gaza flotilla raid

Avigdor Lieberman, YNET NEWS

Shortly after the Six-Day War ended, then-IDF chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin delivered a speech that will be remembered as the “Tzidkat Haderech (righteousness of our cause)” address. In his speech, he spoke of the “recognition of the IDF’s superiority of spirit and morals, as was revealed in the heat of war.”

Rabin said: “It all starts and ends with the spirit. Our soldiers prevailed not by their weapons but by their awareness of their supreme mission, by their awareness of the righteousness of their cause, by their deep love for their homeland and by their recognition of the difficult task laid upon them – to ensure the existence of our people in our homeland.”


Throughout history it has been proven that every victory on the battlefield, as well as every diplomatic victory, is achieved primarily due to the victorious side’s stronger belief in the righteousness of its cause and the deep sense that it is fighting for a noble and just cause. This is why we have seen countries with superior militaries lose wars to weaker rivals. This was the case in the War of Independence, when the small Jewish Yishuv defeated the Arab armies. Similarly, the mighty United States lost the Vietnam War when it was torn by an internal struggle over the righteousness of the war.

This is the main reason for my objection to the Israeli apology to Turkey. Even if at a certain point in time something appears to be a valuable diplomatic or political interest, it hurts the basic sense of the righteousness of the cause and of the nation’s morality. The long-term damage is far greater than the momentary benefit, which is presented as diplomatic wisdom.

I think of the IDF commandos who risked their lives on the “Mavi Marmara” ship and of how they must have felt upon hearing of Israel’s apology. The apology turned them into the guilty party. By apologizing to Turkey, the State abandoned these soldiers, who risked their lives and acted in self-defense during a mission they were sent on by the State. Israel’s willingness to compensate the families of the Turkish nationals who were killed during the raid constitutes an admission of guilt and determines that the battle against terrorist groups that are sent to harm the country is not just. Such feelings among soldiers and the people are destructive to the nation’s survival capabilities.

As for the diplomatic-political significance of the apology, we must keep in mind that the deterioration of the relations between Israel and Turley did not begin on the Marmara, and not even on the low chair of the ambassador. It began long before these incidents and was the result of a strategic decision and the ideology of the Turkish regime, headed by PM Erdogan and FM Davutoglu. The first noticeable public expression of this deterioration came during Ehud Olmert’s term as prime minister, when Erdogan stormed out of a debate at the Davos conference while leveling harsh accusations at President Peres. This was followed by a series of additional aggressive measures, such as the Turkish television series which was aired on a state-owned network and depicted IDF soldiers as baby killers. Just a few weeks ago Erdogan equated Zionism with racism and called it a crime against humanity. Even after Israel’s apology and the “reconciliation,” Erdogan has yet to apologize for this statement.

On numerous occasions in the past I have said, in both closed and open discussions, that I agree to an Israeli expression of regret over the death of Turkish civilians aboard the Marmara, just as the US expressed its regret to Pakistan. Despite the vast differences between the cases – the US killed 24 Pakistani soldiers due to a misunderstanding about the true location of Pakistani military units, while our soldiers were defending themselves against activists belonging to a terror organization (IHH is recognized as a terror organization in European countries as well, including Germany and Holland) who wanted to kill them and breach Israel’s borders illegally. The fact that Erdogan refused to accept this wording and the manner in which the Israeli apology was accepted and interpreted in the east Jerusalem-based newspapers, as well as in Ramallah, Gaza, Lebanon – and by Erdogan himself – is a testament to the importance of the difference between expressing regret and apologizing.

Even more important is how the apology was perceived by Greece, Cyprus, the Gulf States, the Kurds and by moderate and secular elements in Turkey. From their standpoint, the apology shows that rather than cooperate with Israel, it is preferable to bypass the Jewish state and reach agreements with Erdogan and Davutoglu. The apology proves to them that Israel cannot be counted on when it comes to cooperation on issues related to the bolstering of moderate elements in the Middle East. This is a long-term strategic blow, the results of which we will experience in the coming years.

In conclusion, it is important for me to once again tell the IDF soldiers what the prime minister of Israel told them during the Naval Officers’ Course graduation ceremony two years ago: “The nation of Israel is proud of you; we are proud of you.”

Posted by Ted Belman @ 1:09 pm | 14 Comments »



14 Responses to Righteousness of our cause – apology be damned

  1. NormanF says:

    The Prime Minister’s pride in the IDF Naval Infantry lasted until his fear of Obama compelled him to withdraw it.

  2. Yidvocate says:

    This act of infamy by BB will also bolster the growing and wide spread antisemitism world wide, for it demonstrates that the Jew has no self-respect and therefore only deserves the disdain of others.

  3. Bernard Ross says:

    This is the main reason for my objection to the Israeli apology to Turkey. Even if at a certain point in time something appears to be a valuable diplomatic or political interest,..

    I expect there was a military/security interest re Syria, Hezbullah and Iran; an interest in facilitating the weakening of syria and Hezbullah by 3rd parties controlled by Sauds/Qatar/turkey/US. A weakening that Israel does not have to invest lives into.

    .. it hurts the basic sense of the righteousness of the cause and of the nation’s morality. The long-term damage is far greater than the momentary benefit, which is presented as diplomatic wisdom.

    -The righteousness I do not see is the righteousness of the Jews legal and historical rights to live in YS.
    -The righteousness I do not see is the immorality of the internationals reneging on their legal agreements with the Jewish people to “encourage close settlement west of the Jordan River”
    -The righteousness I do not see is the allowance, and non addressing, of the ethnic cleansing of jews from the arab nations after the advent of the geneva conventions.
    -The righteousness I do not see is the JEW FREE areas of every inch of arab controlled areas of the former Palestine mandate territory of Gaza, PA and Jordan
    -The righteousness I do not see is the preventing of Jews from worshiping freely in the state of the Jewish people by the succeeding govts of Israel.
    -The righteousness I do not see is the daily blood libleing and swindling of the Jewish people and the state of Israel by the 2000 year chronic, serial, culturally congenital Jew killers and swindlers of Europe.

    this minor apology is a tactical move of little importance. However, every one of the points I mentioned above is a matter of deep principle which remains as a stain of immorality on the state and govt of Israel and on Mr. Lieberman. I would like to see some righteous indignation over the points mentioned above, yet I see and hear nothing regarding these righteous PRINCIPLES.

  4. Honey Bee says:

    @ Bernard Ross:

    We are pitied when we die ,and hated when we win!

  5. Bernard Ross says:

    Honey Bee Said:

    We are pitied when we die ,and hated when we win!

    Perhaps we should stop caring so much about what others see and think and act in our own interest; without the double standards which characterize much of how others see us. EG people like Livni would like to make policy based on how Israel looks to the Jew killers and swindlers, and what they might think.

  6. Paul says:

    I agree with the spirit in which Lieberman speaks, but I disagree that it is a conviction of righteousness alone that drives victory. It is not enough to be righteously convinced, you must be convinced in something that is genuinely righteous.

    The example of Vietnam is revealing. Yes, there was skepticism in the US about what the US was doing in Vietnam that undermined the war effort. But in substance, there was plenty to be skeptical about, even if many in the US didn’t really understand what was going on. The US cruelly betrayed Vietnam’s struggle for national independence from colonial France and France cruelly betrayed the US by posing the issue as being strictly a struggle against communism. And even with fierce opposition to the role of the US in the Vietnam War, it managed to drop more bombs on Vietnam than it dropped in all of WWII. The righteous conviction was there, but the conviction in something righteous was weak.

    There is no substitute for being right. All the passion and glory in the world will not obscure the weakness of identity motivated by beliefs with no foundations close to reality. Israel will endure, not just because of righteous conviction, but because the convictions of the Jewish people are so close to the heart of reality. The soldiers of the IDF are passionate in the protection of Israel, because their cause is just in fact. It is not belief alone that gives it weight.

    Netanyahu’s apology will not undermine the righteousness of Israel’s cause in a world steeped in lies and hysteria about Israel. It was the wrong thing to do, but even in Lieberman’s article here and in other criticism I have seen over the apology, there is reluctance to blame Netanyahu. This deserves more discussion, how did Bibi come to decide to do this?

  7. Honey Bee says:

    Bernard Ross Said:

    Perhaps we should stop caring so much about what others see and think and act in our own interes

    Dear Heart, that been the gist of all my comments. My mind,what lias been little there is, has been distroyed by house cleaning ” Man goes through ife carring his possesion on his back” H.D. Therou. Have you ever been to Walden Pond?

  8. Honey Bee says:

    @ Honey Bee:

    Do notice what I learn to do? You have created a monster!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Laura says:

    @ Honey Bee:
    I would rather win and be hated.

  10. Honey Bee says:

    Laura Said:

    I would rather win and be hated

    Everyone loves a winner,Jews and Israel included!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Mike Packer says:

    @ Bernard Ross:Amen, brother Amen!

  12. John M Collins says:

    Alas! It is not true that everyone loves a winner. The hatred of Israel outside the Arab States started when Israel won the Six Day War. Jealousy may be more potent than love.

  13. Honey Bee says:

    John M Collins Said:

    Jealousy may be more potent than love.

    Shakespere’s OTHELO

  14. Canuck Frank says:

    Honey Bee Said:

    John M Collins Said:
    Jealousy may be more potent than love.
    Shakespere’s OTHELO

    Jealousy – the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on? Potent, indeed!

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