Israel’s Minister of Defence has criticised his country’s Prime Minister for the escalating diplomatic crisis with Turkey. Media sources in Israel say that Ehud Barak has for the first time criticised Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the Freedom Flotilla crisis and claimed that it was possible to heal the rift with Ankara.
According to the Jewish newspaper Haaretz, Barak said that the Prime Minister “made a mistake” when he “bowed to pressure” from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. “He was heading towards a solution to the problem,” he said, “but Lieberman obstructed his efforts.”
Lieberman and the Deputy Prime Minister, Moshe Yaalon, have both been leading opponents of the demand from Turkey for an apology for the killing of nine Turkish civilians by Israeli commandos in their attack against the flotilla at the end of May 2010. Ehud Barak, on the other hand, has called repeatedly on Netanyahu to find a compromise that would restore good relations between Israel and Turkey.