I read with fascination that if some Turkish prosecutor has his way, my boss - Amos Yadlin, the immediate past head of Israeli military intelligence - could be put away for a minimum of 133 years, if not hundreds more, for his alleged part in the Mavi Marmara affair.
Two years ago next week, May 31, 2010, in an operation that went horribly wrong from the start, Israeli naval commandos tried to take over the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of a much broader flotilla of supposed peace activists attempting to demonstratively break the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
Instead of peace activists, however, the commandos ran into violent opposition, mainly from a group of organized Turkish thugs who had pre-boarded the ship secretly in southern Turkey to avoid detection, and with the express intent of preventing any Israeli attempt to take over the vessel.
The result: nine people killed, eight of them Turks and one with dual American- Turkish citizenship, when the vastly outnumbered and overpowered Israelis had to fight for their lives.
The Turks demanded that Jerusalem apologize. Israel expressed regret at the loss of life, but refused to apologize for an incident not of its making, and things have gone downhill ever since.
After we had thought we had seen the worst, on Wednesday the Turkish media presented us with the news of the prosecutor's 144-page indictment against four top Israeli officers at the time, sentencing them each not only to individual life sentences, but another 18,000 years collectively for alleged crimes against the flotilla.
May we only live that long.
The whole thing is a joke of course, and still has to go through an arduous judicial process before becoming a reality. Somewhat unfortunately, however, the news came out on exactly the same day my wife pointed to a colorful fullpage advertisement in one of the Hebrew papers offering Turkey as a tourist destination for Israelis again. The price was low, the resorts great, it was close. Why not? What sank in me when news of the 18,000-years-plus-four-life sentences came out was a fleeting moment of hope the ad had stirred in me that somehow Israel and Turkey could get back to the type of relationship these two countries should be engaged in, rather than this petulance-driven dynamic in play at the moment.