Israel’s Lieberman ‘plans to punish Turkey’
The foreign minister is said to be preparing a series of ‘harsh measures’ in response to Turkey`s reaction to a controversial UN report
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s foreign ministry has prepared a series of “harsh measures” to “punish” Turkey’s leadership for diplomatic slights, Israeli media reported Friday.
Israel will facilitate cooperation with the Armenians, Turkey’s historic rivals, and may even lobby for international recognition of the Armenian holocaust, the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is also planning to meet with Kurdish rebels in Europe in order to “cooperate with them and boost them in every possible area,” Yedioth’s English website said.
“We’ll exact a price from Erdogan that will prove to him that messing with Israel doesn’t pay off,” Lieberman was quoted as saying. “Turkey better treat us with respect and common decency.”
Another means in Lieberman’s “toolbox,” according to the news site Ynet, is a diplomatic campaign where Israeli missions worldwide will be instructed to report Turkish moves against minorities.
The diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Israel that was sparked by the flotilla raid took a turn for the worse in the last week, following publication of a UN probe into the incident, which found Israel’s naval blockade to be legal although it chastised Israel for using “excessive” force in the raid.
Israel has so far refused to apologize for the bloodshed and called the report’s conclusions a vindication of its stance, deeply angering Turkey.
Turkey responded to the report by expelling Israel’s ambassador, suspending military agreements with Israel and warning it was considering lodging a legal case against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, vowed to accompany any future aid flotillas to Gaza with naval warships, Al Jazeera television quoted him as saying Thursday. … Full article