Turks Boycott Yad VaShem in Response to Gaza Flotilla Raid

Diplomatic relations between Ankara and Jerusalem have deteriorated to a new low: Turkey has cancelled its planned participation in a conference organized by Yad VaShem due to the deadly confrontation that took place during the navy’s raid on the Gaza-bound boats,

According to a report by the Voice of Israel, the Turkish delegation announced two weeks ago that it wasn’t coming to the conference on International Holocaust Education, this  immediately following the violent scuffle at sea in which nine activists were killed.

The delegation was supposed to include representatives from the Turkish foreign ministry, education ministry, and the national security council, as well as two professors from the University of Ankara. Israel’s Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, two took part in the gala opening last night in Jerusalem among 200 participants from 39 countries, expressed disappointment about the decision and sharply attacked the Turks’ conduct.

“We are witnessing today a new anti Semitism which is advancing through the delegitimization of the Jewish State, whereas classical anti Semitism focused itself against the Jewish nation,” Sa’ar told the Voice of Israel.

At the same time, the two sides are continuing their battle for public opinion. This weekend, new video clips were published that a passenger on the Gaza flotilla had taken on the Marmara. The pictures show the passengers getting ready for the arrival of the Navy Seals with clubs and knives, and the soldiers approaching on a dinghy.

The passengers on the boat even show a video clip of a notebook taken from the soldiers, in it written the names of the passengers on the flotilla with their pictures. The IDF claimed that it was a list of activists whose identities were published by the media, and they did not know of other activists on the boat in advance—the ones that attacked the soldiers.