71% of Israelis: Apologizing to Turkey Was a Mistake

By July 7, 2013

A new poll commissioned by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies reveals that the majority of Israelis (71 percent) believe that the Israeli apology to Turkey in the aftermath of the Mavi Marmara incident and Turkish flotilla to Gaza in May 2010 was not justified. Only 29 percent think that this apology was justified.

Only 28 percent of Israelis believe that relations between Turkey under the rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyid Erdoğan and Israel will improve in the near future. Forty-two percent believe that the relations will stay the same, and 30 percent think that relations will deteriorate further.

An absolute majority (85 percent) of people estimate that the chance that they will go on vacation to Turkey in the near future is unlikely to very low. Ten percent estimate their chances are intermediary to high, and only 5 percent estimate their chances as very high to definite.

This poll was commissioned by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in advance of its upcoming conference “Turkey – Whereto?” which will be held this Wednesday, July 10 from 2:00-5:30 pm at Bar-Ilan University, in Building 301 (Feldman Conference Center). The conference will explore the changing domestic and international politics in Turkey, and involves BESA Center research associates, Turkish university professors and journalists, and American and Israeli experts on Turkey. Prof. Jacob Landau of Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Ambassador Pinhas Avivi, Senior Deputy Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will serve as panel chairs.

The conference is open to the public and will be held in English, with simultaneous Hebrew translation available.

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The poll was conducted by the Maagar Mochot agency (Prof. Yitzhak Katz) over the telephone on June 16-19, 2013 with 605 participants, ages 18 and above.