Background: Israel needs Turkey. Turkey doesn't need Israel. Turkey has been making friends all over the place. Erdogan stood up to Peres last year at Davos over Operation Cast Lead. In typically myopic Israeli style, everything is always about Israel and Israel's glass feelings. So when a Turkish television drama depicted Israeli security forces kidnapping children and shooting old men -- a depiction supported by conspiracy facts on the ground, lest we forget Operation Cast Lead and organ stealing, just two recent examples of genocidal behavior -- Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon could not resist behaving like a seventh grader while meeting Turkish ambassador Ahmet Oguz Celikkol in Jerusalem.
At the beginning of the conversation with the Turkish envoy on Monday, Ayalon told cameramen in Hebrew: "Pay attention that he is sitting in a lower chair ... that there is only an Israeli flag on the table and that we are not smiling."And does anyone have the sense to say, you know, maybe that's not a good idea? NO! In fact they all seem to think this is a splendid smack-down. The Israeli dailies splashed the news all over the front pages. We hazed that fucker, boo-yah! High fives.
One Turkish source said that Ayalon "set a trap" for Celikkol, and that the envoy had no idea that he was being humiliated until afterward when Ayalon's words to the cameramen were broadcast. The source also mentioned that Ayalon did shake his hand, but not in front of the cameras.
TEL AVIV - Israeli newspapers on Tuesday played up what they called the "hazing" of Turkey's ambassador by Israel, in an incident likely to ratchet up already high tensions between the two allies.Some people in Ayalon's party, sensing the faux pas, say he ruined his career. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1263147877256
The media highlighted the fact that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon made Ambassador Ahmet Celikkol sit on a low couch while the Israelis sat on high chairs.
Rather than summoning Celikkol to the ministry as is the norm, Ayalon saw him in his parliamentary office after making him wait in the corridor and telling staff to remove the Turkish flag and refreshments that were on the table. "The important thing is that people see that he's sitting low down and we're high and that there is one flag," Israeli television aired Ayalon as telling invited photographers and camera crews.
Israeli dailies all splashed the story on the front page, with Maariv headlining: "The ambassador gets a hazing" above a picture showing the Turkish envoy sitting much lower than Ayalon and looking uncomfortable.
"He is finished politically," an Israel Beiteinu official said. "This ruins his reputation as a diplomat. It is a stain that cannot be erased. He damaged Lieberman and first and foremost himself. It is too soon to say if it will completely disqualify him, but people in the party will no doubt remember this if a decision would be made on who should be acting foreign minister. This erases the notion that he is the obvious front-runner."But *those* people make up a small minority! Far MORE people consider Ayalon da bomb!
..."We have enough problems with the Muslim world without picking a fight with a country that has 72 million Muslims," Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio from India, where he is on an official visit. "When I met with the Turks [in November], I told them what needed to be said privately. This is not the way [to do things]; it is the way to get the entire Muslim world against us. Whoever wants the entire Muslim world against us, well, the best of luck to him."
Former deputy foreign minister Majallie Whbee of Kadima called for "the diplomat Ayalon to fix the damage of the politician Ayalon as soon as possible, apologize to the ambassador, and promise to put the agenda of the country ahead of that of his party from now on."
Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to summon Ayalon to his office and put him on a low chair, "so he will see how low Israeli diplomacy has stooped." He said Netanyahu should replace Lieberman before he does even more damage to Israel's image internationally.
Ayalon's associates responded that the messages of praise he had received from inside and outside his party outnumbered the condemnations by a ratio of eight to one. They stressed that everything he did was coordinated with Lieberman.Not enough rope? Wait there's more. There's the non-apology apology -- actually several:
"The party seems to be behind him on this," an Ayalon associate said. "Our phones and fax were ringing off the hook, he got great support on Facebook, and he was received very warmly on a lunch visit to a humous restaurant in the [capital's] Mahaneh Yehuda market. There has of course been criticism, but the support has been overwhelming."
Ayalon, before the statement was released, told Army Radio that he would not apologize. "It's the Turks who should - for what [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan said and for the television series," Ayalon said. "We are merely setting boundaries."So there. Neener neener to you too. And the truth of the matter: Israel does not like Turkey's friends. Israel decided to give Turkey a little spanking.
..."The prime minister believes that the foreign ministry's protest to the Turkish ambassador was just in its essence but should have been conveyed in an acceptable diplomatic manner," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.
Netanyahu expressed concern at the deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey. In talks behind closed doors, he said that during the past two years "Turkey has been steadily and systematically slipping eastward toward Syria and Iran," instead of westward, toward Europe and the United States. "This is a trend that should really trouble Israel," Netanyahu was quoted as saying.Aha, still smarting over Erdogan standing up to Peres in Davos. And now Barak has to go to Turkey and make all kiss kiss hug hug. Ha good luck with that.
Sources in the Israeli Prime Minister's Bureau said Tuesday the decision to invite the Turkish ambassador for a reprimand by Ayalon was made together with Lieberman. They noted that the Israeli PM was not aware of the way the reprimand would be carried out, "but the minute it happened the prime minister [gave] the foreign minister his full backing."
Official sources in Tel Aviv said Erdogan had changed his attitude towards Israel since Operation Cast Lead. "This process started when Erdogan abandoned a debate with President Shimon Peres (in Davos), so actually what is being done in Jerusalem is less important than what is happening in Ankara," one source said.
BEIRUT- Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will head to Ankara over the weekend for talks with Turkish leaders including Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and senior military officials , an official in Barak's office told AFP on Tuesday, as tension between the longstanding allies again spike.Clarification: The tensions erupted after Israel's obnoxious leaders could no longer maintain diplomatic protocols and revealed their true petty nature for the world to see.
He added that the visit would take place despite the rising tension, which erupted on Monday after [SPIN:] Israel complained to Ankara over the broadcasting of a television series portraying Mossad agents as baby snatchers.
"We give this visit much importance. The ties between the two countries are important, and they must be maintained even if there are ups and downs," the official said.
They dropped the mask.