Recently released documents reveal that in 1972, the Japanese government offered an apology to Israel after members of the Japanese Red Army attacked Lod airport in Tel Aviv and killed 24 people. The act of apologizing because people from one’s nation killed innocent humans might be viewed as a generous act of humanity, but to Arab nations in 1972, the apology was viewed as support for Israel and threatened to endanger Japanese relations with Middle Eastern nations. A Japanese diplomat met with Prime Minister Golda Meir, apologized and offered $1.5 million as compensation to families of the dead. This simple act of decency aroused fury in Arab capitals. Syria sent a blistering telegram saying: “the weak point for Israel arising from its inhumane actions(invading Arab nations) will be erased by he Japanese apology.”
The Egyptian government inquired “is there a need for the Japanese government to make such an apology for the actions of three Japanese?” The reality is Arab nations invariably stand by the actions of terrorists when it comes to killing Israelis and are infuriated when Israel kills Arabs. In a sense, this attitude is one piece of the puzzle as to why there is no peace in the Middle East. Perhaps, if Arab nations accepted responsibility for the actions of terrorists, and were as concerned for the deaths of any innocent civilians, the Middle East might be a safer region today.