Netanyahu refuses Barak's proposal to apologise to Turkey
Israeli daily, Haaretz reported that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he apologizes in person to his Turkish counterpart for the "operational errors" in the Mavi Marmara raid, but Netanyahu rejected it. Citing a source from the Foreign Ministry, Haaretz reported that Barak brought forward a proposal, taking advantage of the post-election mild atmosphere in Israel. "I am leaving politics anyway. I can apologize in person as well and am ready to be the subject of any criticism that may derive from that," Barak said, adding that it would be easier in the transition period to overcome the obstacles in an Israeli apology to Turkey. Barak also underlined the advantages of a defense minister's apology to another and characterizing the incidents as a military mishap, saying, "Accordingly, Israeli president or prime minister will not need to apologize and wider diplomatic implications will be eliminated." But the reason for Netanyahu's refusal was not revealed. Netanyahu had previously taken initiatives for an apology to Turkey, but his coalition partner Avigdor Lieberman, the former Foreign Minister, had opposed.