Netanyahu: Israel will not apologize to Turkey

Israel will not apologize to Turkey for the interception of and loss of life on board a Gaza-bound ship.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview on national television Monday night that Israel would express regret, however.

“We need to understand that they want an apology and, of course, we do not want to apologize.  We are prepared to express regret as we expressed it over the loss of life,” Netanyahu said during an interview on Israel Channel 10. “But what do we want?  We want one thing.  We want – first of all – to protect our soldiers and commanders.  They are being accused of war crimes.  They could be arrested worldwide.  First of all, we want this to stop.  And there should be Turkish recognition that Israel did not act maliciously and that IDF soldiers acted out of self-defense.”

He continued: “There is still no compromise formula.  We are continuing to try, and I think that it is our interest to try to resolve this.  I think that public remarks on this issue are not helpful.”

The interview came after inflammatory statements from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who on Sunday called Turkey’s continued insistence on an apology from Israel for the incident “beyond rude.” Lieberman said that Turkey should apologize to Israel for supporting terrorists.

He was responding to comments made the previous day by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who said that Turkey “has the will to make peace with Israel,” but was unable to, since it “is “very difficult to establish political will in Israel.”

Turkey and Israel began discussing reestablishing ties after Turkey sent assistance to Israel earlier this month to battle the Carmel fire.

‘Tis the season to be sorry

Just so you should know, the reason I did it the way I did was because I didn’t want to get into it. Really, what was the point? It’s not my job in life to change people or tell them where they’ve gone wrong. Besides, people don’t really want to hear about their faults anyway.

So that’s why, seemingly out of the blue, I ended it with Josh with no explanation, save the vague, “I just don’t feel we’re exactly right for each other.”

And I did it on his voice mail.

Before you say anything, let me tell you that this guy was mean. He’d said some questionable things on the first date (“I found your writing amusing”), elaborated on it on the second date (“What did you want me to do, lie? Did you want me to say that I fell on the floor laughing? I mean, we all have dating stories!”) and was too critical to merit a third. But it took me a while to figure this out, so when he first called me after to tell me what a wonderful time he’d had (with whom?) I said, “Me, too.”

I lied.

Then I called back and left that vague message on his answering machine. Another lie — maybe a white one, but what was I supposed to say? “You’re a critical idiot with a Napoleonic complex, and your money doesn’t impress me!”? Still, I feel bad. I feel bad that Josh thought it was going so well and then this.

I’m sorry for that.

I’m also sorry I said I wouldn’t write about him, but I am.

It’s the season to be sorry. It’s that time of year when we go over all of our deeds, things we have done to others, to God, to ourselves and ask for forgiveness — and grant it to those who need it from us.

What does it mean to forgive someone? “Let it go,” is the big New Age mantra. “If you don’t forgive someone, it’s like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person,” these Zen people proclaim. And it’s good advice in relationships to forgive our loved ones. But in the dating world — in this modern day of fly-by-night, I-can’t-remember-your-name, didn’t-we-go-out-once-already? dating — miscommunications, slights, insults and downright mistreatments can pile up in a year.

So how do you repent with people you’ll never talk to again?

Sometimes you just talk to them.

For example, Jon tried to contact me a number of times in the year since we split, but I avoided him; he’d lied to me. But when he wrote me an e-mail beginning with, “I really hope you’ll read this,” saying how he was really sorry, and he knew he messed up, I said it was OK.

And it was. Somewhere along the way, I’d realized he was only being his messed-up self and wasn’t doing anything to me. I was just in the path of his tornado.

But forgiveness has its limits too; I absolved Jon, but I wouldn’t date him again.

Eric, on the other hand, I not only forgave, but became his friend. He’d never lied to me or anything; just sort of neglected for a while to tell me we were breaking up, hoping I’d get the message the passive-aggressive way. That stung pretty bad, too, but after a couple of weeks of wailing to friends about the crappiness of it all, the hellishness of dating and whether or not I lost weight in the ordeal, I realized it was just Eric’s way of being.

OK, I’m not really that centered. What happened was that Eric called me and said he really, really wanted to be friends, and I went out with him with the hopes that maybe we’d get back together. Somewhere during our téte-a-téte, I realized he wasn’t interested, and that I was OK with that. It was the rejection, not the loss of him, that had bothered me, and besides, there was someone else I was involved with who was about to reject me.

I’m joking. Not everyone rejects me. I do my fair share of rejecting, too. If I am going to be honest — and you can’t really lie in during the Days of Awe — I also do my share of rejecting, insulting, snubbing, avoiding, flaking, slandering and (white) lying, too.

And for these things, I ask forgiveness. Just as I will search inside myself for all those petty hurts that have built up over this year of dating and release them, I hope others will do the same for me. And while all this chest-beating over my past is cleansing, the most important step is the future.

Because teshuvah — real repentance — means admitting what you have done wrong, apologizing for it, and vowing never to do it again.

Of course I have little control over how others behave toward me. Nevertheless, this Yom Kippur I vow to behave better toward them. And hope that it will be my last year of dating.


Ghanaian Kicks It Up for Israel Fans

World Cup viewers were confronted with more than one big surprise on Saturday when Ghana defeated the Czech Republic 2-0 in what was perhaps the greatest upset of the tournament so far. The second shocker came when Ghanaian defender John Pantsil pulled an Israeli flag out of his sock during Ghana’s celebrations of its two goals.

The gesture has been greeted by an array of reactions all over the world. While some call Pantsil, a religious Christian, a hero, others say he acted with na?veté and foolishness.

But Pantsil, who isn’t Israeli, told one Israeli sports Web site that his actions were motivated by good-hearted intentions: “I love the fans in Israel. I have played at Hapoel [Haifa] and Maccabi Tel Aviv, and the fans always made me happy so I wanted to make them happy.”

Pantsil is one of three Ghanaian players who play in the Israeli Premier League.

The Ghanaian Football Association issued an apology on Monday in response to outrage in the Arab world caused by Pantsil’s action: “He is obviously unaware of the implications of what he did. He’s unaware of international politics,” Randy Abbey, spokesman of the Ghanaian FA, said at a press conference.

“We apologize to anybody who was offended and we promise that it will never happen again. He did not act out of malice for the Arab people or in support of Israel. He was naïve.”

But FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup, said that it had no problem with Pantsil’s actions.

Meanwhile, Israeli Sports Minister Ofir Pines-Paz has been quoted as saying, “We have an Israeli at the World Cup. Pantsil’s gesture has warmed our hearts and many Israelis have now become supporters of Ghana.”


Sorry for the Sin

Yom Kippur’s on deck, boys — so you better bust out your little black book. No, not the machzor. Your other little black book — the one where you keep all your digits.

Pull out your PalmPilot, run through your phone sheet, sift through the scribbled notes on the back of crumpled coasters. It’s time to scrounge up all your numbers and call all your babes.

Yom Kippur is a booty-free zone, so you’re not calling to schedule a mid-Mincha make-out session. You’re calling to apologize.

You’re calling to say you’re sorry for being such a guy. You’re calling to repent for being such a jerk. And you’re doing it all before sundown this Sunday. Because in Judaism, there’s no get-out-of-jail-free card. Before you ask forgiveness from God for sins you committed against another person, you must first ask forgiveness from the person whom you sinned against. And I don’t know a single single who hasn’t sinned against a chick or done his date wrong.

In fact, the Hollywood bar scene on Saturday night is like the L.A. shul scene on Kol Nidre — packed with sinners in Armani suits. Single men, by nature, are men behaving badly. It’s like transgressions earn men double points in the frequent-flirting program. Men sin when they forget to tell their date they have a girlfriend. And men sin when they forget to tell their girlfriend they have a date. Men sin when they tell a girl they’ll call, but don’t. And men sin when they say they’ll show up, but won’t. And the tekiah gedolah — men sin when they dip apples in honey all around town. Men commit major sins and minor sins, intentional sins and accidental sins. And men should be calling to apologize for all of them.

Yet, once again, I’m left waiting by the phone. I’m shampooing with the water off, so I don’t miss a ring. But like a shofar on Shabbat, my phone is silent. Ring. C’mon. Ring. Where have all my suitors gone? Why aren’t they calling to apologize? They should be begging for my forgiveness. I want you on your knees, boys.

Perhaps they’re waiting for me to call them. Maybe they expect me to initiate the apology. After all, when it comes to dating, we single women have more than few a sins up our sleeves.

We Act perversely. We Blame it on beer goggles. We Cheat. We Dump you over voice mail. We Expect you to read our minds. We Fake it. We Google our blind dates. We’re High maintenance. We Insist you change your shirt. We Juggle multiple men. We Kvetch about your boys’ nights out. We Lie about our weight on JDate. We Mess with your heads. We Noodge you about a ring. We Order just a salad — then eat all your fries. We Play hard to get. We Quit when we should we commit. We Read the letters from your ex you keep hidden in your desk. We Stuff our bras. We Talk while you’re watching the game. We Use our curves to get what we want. We’re Vixens. We’re Yentas. We Work it. We booty call our eX-es. We Zone out when you talk about keeping things casual.

Dating is like fasting — difficult. But of course, dating often involves food. And fasting never involves food. So my analogy — like most of my relationships — doesn’t work. Which brings me to my point: Dating rarely works. Dating is really hard. So why do we make it harder? Why do we fill our dates with scams and charades? Why do we follow random rules and play foolish games? Because we’re trying to cover the relationship spread. We want to be devoted, but not smothering. We want to be engaging, but not aggressive. We want to be challenging, but not difficult. We want to seem interested, but not desperate. We want to be friendly, but not just friends. But by working every angle, we only work over each other. Dating in Los Angeles is an extreme sport, but we don’t have to play dirty. OK, we can play dirty. But we should also play nice.

What singletons fail to realize is that when we’re sinning against other singles, we’re also sinning ourselves. When we play all these games, we’re not being honest with ourselves. We’re not being fair to ourselves. We pretend to care less than we do. We pretend to hurt less than we do. And in the end, we get less than we want. Silly daters, games are for kids. So this Yom Kippur, let’s repent our mistakes, review our relationships and renew our approach.

In that spirit, I’d like to ask for forgiveness. I want to apologize to all the men I dated this year. Right now. Publicly. In front of 200,000 readers. To all the boys I’ve liked before: I’m sorry if I manipulated, mistreated or deceived you. I’m sorry if I was annoying, aggravating or just a frustrating tease. I’m sorry I played games. I’m sorry I talked too much. I’m sorry you thought you were going to get some. I’m sorry I kept your red sweatshirt as a trophy. I’m sorry I hogged the blanket. I’m sorry I didn’t give you your space. I’m sorry I drank all your beer. I’m sorry I never told you how I really feel. I am truly sorry for all the sins I committed against you. And I deeply regret all the sins I committed with you. Well, actually, those I kind of enjoyed.

Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at and will be speaking with three other Journal Singles columnists on Oct. 10 at Friday Night Live at Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood.