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Despite Netanyahu’s strong statement that there will be no further apologies from Israel after Ayalon’s mild clarification of his chastisement of the Turkish ambassador, the deputy FM issued a new, written apology just in the nick of time before the Turkish ultimatum went into effect.

Humiliatingly, Israel succumbed to Turkey’s undiplomatic threat to recall its ambassador. Turkey thus won on all counts: it got away with airing anti-Semitic TV shows, with Erdogan’s virulently anti-Israeli remarks in Lebanon, and with issuing an ultimatum to Israel. In the Muslim world, Erdogan became a new hero who had prevailed over Israel. “Israel understands only Turkish” is now a typical headline from Arab media.

January 2010
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