Netanyahu shouldn’t have apologized to Turkey, most Israelis say
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Netanyahu shouldn’t have apologized to Turkey, most Israelis say

Over 70 percent tell pollsters that Jerusalem's attempt to mend ties with Ankara over Mavi Marmara deaths was futile

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Activists on the 'Mavi Marmara' preparing to attack IDF soldiers (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Activists on the 'Mavi Marmara' preparing to attack IDF soldiers (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

A majority of Israelis think the country’s recent decision to apologize to Turkey over the deaths of nine activists aboard a blockade-busting ship to Gaza in 2010 was misguided, a poll released Sunday found.

The poll, released by the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar-Ilan University, found that 71 percent of Israelis think Benjamin Netanyahu should not have called Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for the deaths, which occurred during a clash with IDF troops aboard the Mavi Marmara in May 2010.

The apology, which was prompted by visiting US President Barack Obama, was supposed to lead to a thawing of relations with Ankara — once Israel’s closest regional ally — but relations have remained chilly since the phone call as Israel hashes out details of compensation for the deaths with the families of the victims.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents supported Jerusalem’s decision to apologize to Ankara.

Sunday’s poll also found that only 28% of Israelis think the relationship with Turkey will improve in the upcoming years, while 85% of the respondents said they wouldn’t travel to Turkey for a vacation in the near future.

While 42% of those questioned in the survey thought the relationship between the countries would remain the same over the next few years, 28% thought it would improve under Erdogan’s government and 30% thought it would deteriorate.

The survey was conducted by the Maagar Mochot polling firm in mid-June, with 605 respondents.

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