The Turkish Conundrum

The Turkish Conundrum  
Monday, 07 June 2010
Baffled by the strict secular culture of their modern state and the European Union’s opposition to Turkish membership, at least not until a decade from now, more Turks feel nostalgia for the glory days of their lost Ottoman Empire. In the recent flotilla incident, off the coast of the Gaza, “a hardcore of 40 Turkish jihadists on board the Mavi Marmara was responsible for the violence that led to nine deaths and dozens of injuries on the flotilla taking aid to Gaza, the Israeli government claimed.”Perhaps, the Turks’ intention was to flex their muscles for the prospect of leadership of the Islamic Ummah and attract the attention of the Muslim world. And the shortest distance to achieve this goal is to wrestle with none other than the most despised state in the Middle East, the State of Israel.  Since time immemorial, the Jews have been victims of hatred and violence by many groups and many nations and have been used as scapegoats.

Israel, in reality, is a culmination of thousands of years of gestation during which the Jewish people, dispersed through much of the world, endured immense degrees and varieties of suffering. The Nazi murderers and their collaborators capped the crimes committed against Jewish people by brutally slaughtering six million innocent men, women and children. But today, Israel is a strong and sovereign state yet, hardly safe. She is surrounded by nations and peoples who are constantly bent on her destruction.

Since 2002, the Turkish military has been slowly losing its once strong grasp over the government of Turkey. The year 2002 was the first time in 15 years that a single party government was formed. Erdogan’s election as Prime Minster in 2002 and again in 2007 shows the huge support the AKP had gained among the Turkish population. This was followed by Abdullah Gul’s election as President in 2007, making this the first time the two most important offices of state were occupied by devout Muslims.

Despite an earlier close relationship between Israel and Turkey, it has slowly begun to fall apart.  Turkey is one of the few Muslim countries to have dealings with Israel, but relations have been strained since the Islamist-rooted AK Party was elected to power in 2002. The tension became obvious when Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off the stage

at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos after a heated debate on Gaza with Israel’s president, Shimon Peres.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

angrily told the Turkish parliament last Tuesday that the “bloody massacre” of at least four Turkish activists among nine passengers slain by Israeli naval commandos was a turning point in the long-standing alliance.

In April 2009, at a joint news conference in Turkey, President Obama

said: “I’m trying to make a statement about the importance of Turkey, not just to the United States but to the world. I think that where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation, a predominantly Muslim nation — a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents,” he continued, “that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous, that there are not tensions — inevitable tensions between cultures — which I think is extraordinarily important.”

In June 2007, the Pew Research Center polled citizens of 47 countries on their attitude toward the US. Turkey turned up at rock bottom, with 83% of respondents holding an unfavorable view of the United States and only 9% of Turks expressing a favorable view, compared to 21% of Egyptians and 29% of Indonesians. In 2000, 52% of Turks expressed a favorable view of the United States. This is not a general result. Only 46% of Nigerians held a favorable view of the United States in 2000, for example, compared to 70% in 2007. Here is the 2005 research on the Anatomy of Anti-Americanism in Turkey by the Brooking Institution

.

There is an important lesson to be learned from the drama presently unfolding in Turkey. Modern Turkey, the only democracy in the Islamic Middle East, was established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

. He abolished the caliphate in 1924, replaced Islamic rules with modern secular laws and barred the mosques from politics. Ever since, the mosque has been fighting and gradually succeeding in dragging Turkey back under its rule. Presently, what the Western mainstream media calls a “mildly Islamist” party rules Turkey under the rightfully suspicious eyes of the secularist heirs of Ataturk, the Turkish military. All kinds of Western leftists loudly proclaimed that there was nothing to worry about, that the forthcoming Turkish election that was going to install “mildly Islamists” as president as well as the Prime Minister is no cause for the millions of Turkish secularists to pour into the streets against such an outcome.

Why all the fuss? After all, the “mildly Islamists” are not all that bad and they are coming to power through free elections, the leftists keep preaching. In reality, even coining the term, “mildly Islamist” is a clear instance of the leftists’ treachery. Being “mildly Islamist” is as plausible as being mildly pregnant. There is no such a thing as mild Islam. It only starts mildly, just the way Muhammad himself started it in Mecca. Then, it builds momentum and settles for nothing less than the total imposition of its dogma and will. Being “mildly Islamist” is only the head of the camel poking into the room, wherever the head of the animal goes, if it is not chopped off, the body eventually follows. And the body of Islam is a disease-bearing body that will infect the healthy secular societies.

The Turkish people demonstrating

against creeping Islamism in their government are still a minority, a minority that has first-hand experience with both secularism and Islamism. They also see the horrors of Islamism next door in Iran and are rightfully alarmed by the ever-encroaching Islamism in their government. They know full well that they must resist the backward march of their country and must do all they can to protect their precious freedom. Do we, in America and the West, have the same sense and the will to forestall “mild Islamism” from evolving into a real Islamism?

Just a sobering note, “Mild Islamism” is already here in our country, the Muslim cab driver the of Minneapolis Airport’s refusal to ferry passengers with alcohol or even those with seeing-eye dogs; Muslim inmates’ demand to be served only halal food ; building of a 13-story high mosque at the ground zero

; Muslim students badger universities for special facilities for their meetings; and, the first ever Muslim Congressman’s oath of office by swearing on the Quran and not the Bible.

Mild Islam is not all that obtrusive, since it is similar to the early stages of pregnancy. Yet, pregnancy it is. And before long the full-term beast will make its appearance. If we don’t want to deal with the beast, we need to prevent the pregnancy in the first place.

By advocating “moderate Islam” on the Turkish model, the United States undermines the secular state founded by Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. That is perhaps the reason why many secular Turkish nationalists despise America just as much as Turkish Islamists.

We do well to pay close attention to the words of Prime Minister Erdogan himself. Speaking at Kanal D TV’s Arena program, Prime Minister Erdogan commented on the term “moderate Islam”, often used in the West to describe AKP and said, “These descriptions are very ugly; it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” And he is right.

Obama and Hamas

Obama and Hamas

By Ted Belman

President Obama is not letting the flotilla crisis go to waste. He is using it as a springboard to change U.S. policy regarding Hamas. In his words, uttered in a recent interview by Larry King, “Time to move forward and break out of the impasse,” and “the status quo is unsustainable.” Totally aside from whether it is really unsustainable, one need not wonder how Obama intends to break out of the impasse. He will bring Hamas in from the cold.
It was recently disclosed by Aaron Klein that
The group behind the Gaza flotilla that engaged in deadly clashes with Israeli commandos today counts among its top supporters the friends and associates of President Barack Obama, namely the founders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, as well as Jodie Evans, the leader of the radical activist organization Code Pink.
Barack Obama should be included in this cast of characters.
The anti-blockade movement was promoted by a Turkish “charity,” IHH, which has been designated as a supporter of Hamas by both Israel and the U.S. One of the backers of this “charity” is Tariq Ramadan, who was banned from entering the U.S. due to his financial support of Hamas. Yet Obama believes that “Turkey can have a positive voice in this whole process.”
In April of this year, Obama’s administration lifted the ban on Ramadan. A week ago, the Guardian ran this headline: “Hamas leader says American envoys making contact, but not openly.” And this was before the crises.
But the Obama-Hamas connection goes way back.
From BizzyBlog comes evidence that Obama’s church not only has anti-white, anti-American feelings, but may also have a pro-Hamas bias. The July 22, 2007 Trinity United Church of Christ bulletin reprinted an article written by Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy of the political bureau of Hamas. Originally printed in the LA Times as “Hamas’ stand“, Pastor Wright added a new title, “A Fresh View of the Palestinian Struggle”. The Times was criticized for giving a “Platform To Genocidal Terrorist.” Where does that leave Obama’s church? Marzook is a known terrorist and created an extensive Hamas network in the United States.”
Indeed, where does that leave Obama himself?
During his election campaign, Obama was aided by Hamas-controlled Palestinians manning a phone bank from Gaza. Al Jazeera reported on the story.
Seven days later, on January 27, 2009, Obama allocated $20.3 million for Palestinian migration and refugee assistance. Quite a reward. Why was he bringing Hamas terrorists to the U.S.?
But Obama’s gratitude didn’t end there. One month later, in the middle of a great economic crunch, Obama sent $900 million to Gazans, or should I say Hamas.
So how does Obama intend to end the impasse? An indication may be in President Carter’s written initiative, which he delivered to Hamas a year ago. In it, he proposed talks between the Islamist group and the U.S. without Hamas having to accept all conditions previously laid out for dialogue by the American government.
After the Hamas takeover of Gaza three years ago, the U.S. and Israel decided to impose a blockade on Gaza to bring Hamas down. Hamas started firing rockets at Israel over the next few years to force a change in this policy. This resulted in Cast Lead, in which the IDF attacked Hamas and delivered a major blow. Israel shocked everyone by ending the operation before Hamas was annihilated. It was reported that she did so at the request of President-elect Obama, who was about to be inaugurated.
For the time being, the rockets being fired by Hamas are few and far between, perhaps because Hamas has a friend in the White House. Instead, Hamas has been planning, along with friends of Obama above mentioned and Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, to break the siege with a flotilla…and to make sure to create a sufficient crisis to enable Obama to chart another course more favorable to them, they planned a violent confrontation.
“Ending the impasse” means lifting the blockade. Netanyahu in a recent speech gave Israel’s bottom line, saying, “Israel cannot permit Iran to establish a Mediterranean port a few dozen kilometers from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem.” The same, I am sure, goes for an airport in Gaza.
Let’s see how Obama squares the circle. No doubt he will propose some international inspection of cargo, certainly arriving from the Mediterranean and possibly from Egypt. But Israel need look no farther than UNSC Res 1701, which ended Lebanon War II. That resolution was to put a stop to the rearming of Hezbollah. It failed miserably. Why should better results be expected in Gaza?
Ted Belman is the editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Toronto a year ago and is now living in Jerusalem.

Turkey Responsible for Flotilla Deaths

Turkey Responsible for Flotilla Deaths

June 2, 2010 | David A. Ridenour V.P.
The National Center for Public Policy Research
The international community should be denouncing Turkey, not Israel, for the loss of life on the so-called “Freedom Flotilla.”

That’s because Turkey, the flag state of the ship, had an obligation to ensure that the ships making up the flotilla adhered to international law.

It didn’t.

Though neither Turkey nor Israel are parties to the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the treaty presumably spells out what the states ratifying the treaty believe to be acceptable rules of behavior. Many of those countries are now, rather hypocritically, denouncing Israel.

The Free Gaza Movement announced its intention to breach Israel’s barricade of Gaza – requiring it to violate Israel’s territorial waters.

Article 19 of the Law of the Sea Treaty specifies that “any act of propaganda aimed at affecting the defence or security of the coastal state” or “the loading or unloading of any commodity, currency or person contrary to the customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws or regulations of the coastal state” are deemed “prejudicial to the peace, good order or security” of that state. This flotilla – as with ones before it – would have done both if allowed to proceed.

While Article 19 only gives the coastal state the authority to act within its territorial waters, the bloodshed may well have been greater had Israel waited until then. If reports are accurate that some activists carried arms, Israeli commandos would have lost the element of surprise.

It also appears that Israel may have been within international norms in boarding the ship as all states have an obligation under Articles 109 and 110 of the treaty to stop unauthorized broadcasts (those intended for the general public, but not distress calls), including in international waters. The so-called “Freedom Flotilla” was broadcasting its voyage live.

Blood is on Turkey’s hands.

President Obama should do the right thing and recall the U.S. ambassador.

Useful Idiots Condemn Israel

Useful Idiots Condemn Israel

The left-wing blogosphere is full of useful idiots, who pretend that the flotilla which just was stopped by Israel was a humanitarian mission.If getting humanitarian supplies to Gaza really was the goal, this flotilla was not necessary. The supplies would have been off-loaded in Eqypt or Israel and then shipped in by land after being checked for hidden weapons.

And that is the rub, only sea-based shipping would provide Iran with the mechanism for almost unlimited armament of Hamas. There is a limit to the quantity and size of missiles and other armaments which can be smuggled through tunnels from Egypt. That is why the sea blockade must be broken for Iran to get what it wants.

But the useful idiots (no offense to idiots) in the left-wing blogosphere ignore this reality, and use the incident for their ultimate goal, which is the cut off of U.S. support for Israel.

Funny how the left-wing blogs always seem to take the side of Islamists against Israel, and pretend that Israeli self-defense takes place in a vacuum:

  • Glenn Greenwald is today’s Most Useful Idiot, for not only condemning Israel in absurd terms, but trying to blame Israel for a host of domestic U.S. problems: “As Americans suffer extreme cuts in education for their own children and a further deterioration in basic economic security (including Social Security), will they continue to acquiesce to the transfer of billions of dollars every year to the Israelis, who — unlike Americans — enjoy full, universal health care coverage?”
  • John Cole is not far behind Greenwald, not even trying to hide his goal of cutting off U.S. support for Israel, as if he needed this incident to make this argument: “BTW- can we have a Stupak amendment so I am no longer paying for this? That is how it works, right? All you have to do is cite your personal morals and you can get things you don’t like unfunded, right?”
  • Think Progress (it really doesn’t matter which blogger, they are fungible) compares the flotilla to the civil rights marchers of the 1960s: “Like segregation in the American South, the siege of Gaza (and the entire Israeli occupation, for that matter) is a moral abomination that should be intolerable to anyone claiming progressive values. It’s sad that it should require the deaths of non-Palestinians to finally shake the international community from apathy and inaction, but, as with the tragic murders of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner, if it contributes to ending the situation then that’s a positive outcome.”

This is just some quick low-hanging fruit. In comparison, Juan Cole — often the first to go off the Israel-bashing deep end — seems downright reasonable in his analysis that there may have been an overreaction by both sides.

What don’t these fools understand about the fact that they are being used, and using themselves, to support the Iranian backed Islamist movements which want only to destroy Israel.

Or maybe they do understand.

Updates:
John Hawkins has even more reaction from the blogosphere.
Doug Ross, exposes Gaza ‘Humanitarian’ Flotilla: a Ruse for a ‘Martyrdom Operation’
The New Ledger, Blood Libel Against Israel analyzes the video showing the peaceful “activists” trying to kill Israelis as they boarded the ship:

Video Close-Up Footage of Mavi Marmara Passengers Attacking IDF Soldiers (With Sound)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LulDJh4fWI&feature=player_embedded

Meanwhile, Palestinian Media Watch has the video showing the peaceful intent and high-minded thoughts of those freedom-loving flotilla participants:

video Gaza flotilla participants invoked killing of Jews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3L7OV414Kk&feature=player_embedded

The flotilla was organized by the Islamist government in Turkey to aid Hamas with the goal of opening up shipping channels for Turkey’s new friend, Iran, to ship more and better weapons as it is doing to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is busy turning Lebanon and Syria into one large missile launching pad against Israel, and a southern base in Gaza will complete the encirclement of Israel for the coming crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.

The Europeans on the ships were cover, and the placement of an 18-month old child on these ships was the utmost cynical use of a human shield.

Gaza Flotilla Organizer Puts Lie To “Humanitarian” Purpose

Gaza Flotilla Organizer Puts Lie To “Humanitarian” Purpose

Adam Shapiro, one of the organizers of flotillas to break the sea blockade of Gaza in 2009 and again in 2010, was interviewed on PBS. In the interview, Shapiro made clear that the primary purpose of the flotilla was political.

Only upon prompting by Gwen Ifill did Shapiro even mention a supposed humanitarian purpose:

see video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJoKlLOHPcY&feature=player_embedded#!

Shapiro was right to the extent that he recognizes the blockade as political, and the flotilla’s purpose primarily as political. The shipping of humanitarian supplies merely was the excuse and the tactic.

Much like the internationalists who have aligned themselves with Islamists on the West Bank to protest the barrier built by Israel to stop suicide bombers, the goal is the destruction of Israel.

Whatever it takes they will do, and it if means putting civilians in harms way to gain publicity and international condemnation of Israel, they will do that.

Turkish Jihadists Attack Israel

Turkish Jihadists Attack Israel

Posted By Phyllis Chesler On June 1, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 46 Comments

Visit NewsReal [1]

One may describe Hitler as a “vegetarian” (which he apparently was) but he was still a genocidally exterminationist Jew-hater whose relentless racism and imperial ambitions led to the death of more than 60 million people.

One may also describe the Turks on board the “freedom flotilla” (Orwell himself could not have suggested a better logo) as “humanitarian activists.” But they are still pro-terrorist Turkish jihadists whose mission was to kill Jews, one way or the other. This was a mission which aimed to further demonize the already shamefully tarnished reputation of the Jewish state. This mission planned to force a violent confrontation; were Israeli soldiers to dare defend themselves and if Muslims are therefore martyred—even better public relations, even better for international lawfare against the Israel.

The so-called “humanitarians,” at least on one boat, came armed with metal bars and knives. They were fighters, not pacifists, and they called out traditional Islamic battle cries: “[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!” According to Palestinian Media Watch [2]:

“Khaibar is the name of the last Jewish village defeated by Muhammad’s army in 628. Many Jews were killed in that battle, which marked the end of Jewish presence in Arabia. There are Muslims who see that as a precursor for future wars against Jews. At gatherings and rallies of extremists, this chant is often heard as a threat to Jews to expect to be defeated and killed again by Muslims.”

“This video [3] shows Israeli soldiers being beaten with long and heavy metal rods on one of the Turkish boats. Jeff Dunetz (“YidWithLid [4]”) has a series of disturbing and informative videos in which we can see the planned nature and intensity of the Turkish-Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers—an attack which involved stabbings, beatings, firebombing attempts, throwing soldiers overboard, etc.”

Earlier today, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon [5] said that the Turkish-led flotilla was: “An armada of hate and violence in support of Hamas’ terror organization and was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well known for their ties with global jihad, Al-Qaeda, and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror. On board the ship we found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces. The organizers intent was violent, their method was violent, and the results were unfortunately violent. Israel regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome.”

Indeed, the death count currently stands at an estimated nine (mainly Turkish) dead and 34 wounded. Predictably, the Arab, European, and liberal media are viewing Israel as the vicious aggressor; as committing “obscene [6]” acts. Al-Jazeera’s website [7] calls what happened “a massacre.” They refer to the dead as “martyrs.”

Some say that the Israeli commandos could have used taser guns, rubber bullets, or simply sent far more soldiers onto each boat. But the Israelis initially boarded the boats armed with paintball guns. And one wonders: How many Israeli soldiers can fit on a boat? One Israeli now suggests that Israel should have surrounded all the boats, stopped them dead in their tracks, shot out their motors.

Said I: And then done what with them?

Said he: Negotiate.

Said I: Are you crazy? Negotiate with terrorists? And then feed them, house them, coddle them—terrorists who would not even agree to bring food and a note to Gilad Shalit? Incredibly, Israel has been doing just that, treating the wounded terrorists in Israeli hospitals [8] and preparing to intern the remaining “activists” in air-conditioned tents [9] in Ashdod.

Said he: There should have been better military planning.

I am sure that Monday morning quarterbacking is always more ingenious than what happens in the moment of battle. The problem is that, once again, the Israelis are being attacked for having defended themselves and the jihadists are still being seen as “martyrs.”

Why did Turkey attack Israel? How much Iranian support did they have? Turkey was once a haven for Jews in flight from the Christian Inquisition.

Once, long ago, Muslim Turkey gave asylum to Dona Gracia HaNasi [10], the noble and generous leader of the Jews who had fled from Christian Spain and Portugal. Dona Gracia, a widow, was the wealthiest Jew of her time and, after living in Italy, found final refuge in Constantinople in 1552. Some wealthy Jews still live in Turkey today—yes, despite the bombing [11] of two Turkish synagogues in 2003. I wonder how safe they are and for how long.

As to women? Locked up in harems—but if they were lucky/most unlucky, perhaps in the Sultan’s own harem or seraglio. For example, in 1784, a French girl, Aimee Dubucq de Rivery, [12] was kidnapped on the open seas by Algerian pirates who sold her into the Turkish Sultan’s harem. Aimee became known as “Naksh,” The Beautiful One, for her fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. Improbably, incredibly, Aimee became the mother of the next Sultan, whose name was Sultan Mahmoud II, the Reformer. Some see [13] the influence of the Sultan Valideh (The Veiled Sultan) in Selim’s letter of friendship to King Louis XVI—and in other pro-European gestures and customs.

Myths [14] die hard. People still believe that Jews, Christians and other infidels lived safe and happy lives in Muslims lands. This is a Big Lie [15].

As a matter of historical fact, the Turks have a long and bloody history of cruelty and genocide. They colonized the entire Middle East, forced conversions or murdered those who resisted. Islamic gender and religious apartheid flourished.

To this day, the Turks continue to deny the Armenian genocide. And, the days of Kemal Ataturk are long gone. In the early 1920s, Ataturk imposed a secular democracy upon the Islamists and unveiled the women. Now, the Islamists are winning again: Women are veiling, honor killings are on the rise (both in Turkey and among Turks in Europe). Recently, a father and grandfather heartlessly buried [16] a 16-year-old daughter and granddaughter alive for the “crime” of presumably talking to boys. I have also written about a great Turkish feminist hero, my friend Seyran Ates [17], here; Ates was shot for her work among Turkish immigrant girls and women in Berlin. Her 15-year-old client died. Ates, a lawyer, was left for dead—but miraculously survived.

And we nearly admitted Turkey into the European Union. One wonders if they would have intensified their anti-Israel Islamism had they been accepted as “Europeans,” or whether their candidacy was merely a calculated move in tandem with pre-existing pro-Iranian plans. For years, Turkey has opposed [18] sanctioning Iran for its nuclear program. Turkey was among the first to congratulate Ahmadinejad [19] on his re-election victory. During 2009, Turkey improved its economic ties to Iran.

I am waiting for the United Nations and for the United States to condemn this unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation.