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.