June 4th 2010 [43 years of occupation]

An open letter from Israel to friends and colleagues in Turkey

It is with great worry and sadness that I am witnessing the deteriorating relationship between Turkey and Israel. It is with horror and pain that I follow the unfolding dangerous betrayal of Israel’s own good by its political rulers and military establishment. Turkey, with its own unique location and history, could have been the crucial bridge between Israel and the Arab world. And it was precisely at the moment when Turkey had been willing to play such a historic role, that the Israeli regime begun to do whatever it can to burn this bridge. On the Israeli side, we are witnessing a deliberate attempt – triggered by the true nature of the Israeli establishment – to eliminate any chance of peace in the Middle East. The truth must be said: The Israeli regime is not interested in peace. The current Israeli regime is firmly grounded in a fascist and xenophobic outlook, one which is bound to bring a calamity to the whole region, including Israel.

At this historical moment, at this juncture, I wish to express my personal apology to Turkey for the recent murderous attack on its citizens.

The media does not cover such events. On the night that a few fascist brigands burnt the flag of Turkey in front of its embassy in Tel Aviv, a thousand of us stood in front of the Ministry of Defense, mourning and denouncing the attack on the Mavi Marmara. Only the former event had been reported. I am not speaking on anyone else’s behalf. Yet I wish to convey to you that there are quite a few of us here, Israeli Jews and Arabs, who keep on protesting and demonstrating and writing and expressing our views against the current regime.

In peace and friendship,

Ronen Shamir

Ronen Shamir is a professor of sociology & law and chairs the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University.

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