Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lambasted his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu Sunday. “I cannot bear to hear lies and false accusations from Turkey,” Lieberman told an audience of Israeli ambassadors from the world over who are taking advantage of the holiday season to visit the homeland.
“I heard their Foreign Minister accusing us that if they have a humanitarian disaster over there, Israel will dilly-dally in giving aid, or will not give aid at all,” Lieberman said. “I am certain that if there is a disaster in Turkey, Israel will assist immediately.”
Lieberman used the word “chutzpah” to describe the Turkish demand that Israel apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident. “If anyone should apologize, it is the government of Turkey,” he added.
Davotuglu had said Saturday that Turkey seeks reconciliation with Israel, but hinted that Israel does not. “It is very difficult to achieve political will in Israel,” he explained. “It took us two minutes to decide to send the firefighting planes,” the Turkish diplomat said. “Has the case been reversed, several days would have passed until the coalition in Israel would have agreed to send a plane.”
Lieberman countered with criticism of Turkey. “We need to understand that the change in Turkey is not connected to Israel. There is a deep internal shift there that has nothing to do with Israel, just as Khomeini’s revolution in Iran had nothing to do with Israel.”
Lieberman also discussed the stalled negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. “Even if we had offered Tel Aviv as the capital of Palestine and returned to the 1948 borders, the Palestinians would have found a reason not to sign the agreement.”