Nearly three years ago, Israeli commandos raided a Turkish ship on its way to the Gaza Strip and killed nine, including one American. The incident led to a schism in the relatively cozy relationship between Israel and Turkey and the relative stability and peace that relationship fostered in the region. Turkey subsequently demanded a full apology in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations and Israel steadfastly refused. Both parties were cowing to strong domestic pressure not to flinch. It took Barack Obama to nudge Binyamin Netanyahu to pick up the phone and apologize to Ankara.

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