ADL Alarmed at the Level of Turkey's Intensifying Animosity Toward Israel

New York, NY, November 13, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called the decision by the Turkish government to try senior Israeli military officials over their involvement in the 2010 flotilla incident a "politically motivated perversion of justice" and said that that and other recent signals from the government called into question its efforts to repair the relationship with Israel.

Last week, court proceedings began in Turkey to try four senior Israeli military officials in absentia over their involvement in the Israeli military raid aboard the Mavi Marmara, which led to a violent confrontation and the deaths of nine people. This followed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recently announced intention to visit Gaza in a show of solidary with Hamas, the terrorist organization that took control of the territory in 2007.

"In the last few years we have grown increasingly disappointed and alarmed by the deterioration of the relationship, particularly by Turkey's intensifying animosity towards Israel," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "The Istanbul court proceeding against four senior Israeli military officials over their involvement in the Mavi Marmara incident calls into question Turkey's commitment to that relationship."

In a Nov. 9 letter to Prime Minister Erdogan, ADL called the court proceedings against Israeli military officials "a politically motivated perversion of justice if there ever was one," and Mr. Foxman wrote that, "While I certainly understand the pain felt by the Turkish people at the loss of life suffered aboard the Mavi Marmara, this trial has raised serious questions about your commitment to repairing Turkey's ties with Israel."

ADL's letter also pointed to the prime minister's Nov. 2 announcement of his plans to visit Gaza, which would make him one of the first international heads of state to visit Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. 

"Such a visit by you would directly contradict the approach of the U.S. and much of the international community and undermine longstanding international efforts to apply pressure on Hamas to moderate its extremist positions, and only further isolate Turkey from the U.S. and Israel," Mr. Foxman wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.