Photo: (Reuters)
Photo: (Reuters)

Erdogan the hypocrite

Op-ed: Turkish prime minister has gall to preach to Israel while massacring the Kurds

An apology, returning the vessels that took part in the flotilla, compensating the casualties and their families, lifting the Gaza blockade, and Israeli acquiescence to an international probe – these were the Turkish demands from Israel a few weeks after the Marmara events, so that the Turks won’t slam the door in our face and be kind enough to return the Turkish ambassador to Tel Aviv.


Yet now, after their hopes were dashed, with the international committee that the Turks so much wanted failing to meet Turkey’s incredibly impudent demand for an anti-Israeli legal document, Erdogan has no option left but to raise the bar of threats and sanctions.


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And so, in the finest tradition of the Turkish crescendo, Erdogan’s threats and sanctions had been growing since the Palmer Report; it appears that it’s only a matter of time and some current excuse that would prompt the successor of the Ottoman Empire to demand that we hand over parts of the Land of Israel.


Erdogan’s appearances and repeated threats are reminiscent of parodies about neighborhood thugs who do everything they can to sow fear in their environment, even if they fail to understand where their words lead to or whether they can deliver on every rash pledge.


Yet in his own eyes, Erdogan is no less than a Pasha who wishes to restore the Ottoman glory days, as long as everyone follows his decrees and threats. All of this is of course done in the spirit of Islam, which Barak Obama characterized in his 2009 Cairo speech as offering “justice, progress, tolerance and respect for the dignity of all human beings.”


Given these noble Islamic principles, we can understand why the current Pasha, in his role as the regional guardian of morality, sees fit to preach to Israel and explain how terrible it is to violate the incredibly important commandment “thou shalt not murder.”


Erdogan’s memory lapse

Yet somehow, Erdogan forgot a few trivial facts along the way. For example, that only two weeks after his “thou shalt not murder” speech he threatened the Kurds with extermination, some 95 years after his forefathers did the same, in practice, to the Armenians while completely denying their actions. He also forgot Turkey’s war against these Kurdish rebels, the use of chemical weapons, the detention of many Kurdish political leaders, and the utilization of the secret police against opposition groups.


Indeed, only last month, Turkey launched a massive bombardment of Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, including population centers, while killing civilians indiscriminately.


Almost every indication shows that Erdogan has decided to grant Israel a divorce, yet despite this there are quite a few Israelis who lament and criticize the “reckless” act of not apologizing – even if the Turkish demand for apology is only meant to bring Israel down to its knees, thereby glorifying Ankara. Of course, later there will be another excuse in order to trample Israel’s honor, and mostly tie its hands vis-à-vis the Palestinians.


And so, based on the same logical lapse that prompted many Israelis to say that “we must make peace, because without it the situation is unbearable” – while wholly relaying on wishful thinking - today we are hearing apology fans asserting that “we must apologize, because a rift vis-à-vis Turkey is intolerable,” assuming that “appeasing the Turks is possible because we really want it.”


At times, a bad option is unavoidable, for the simple reason that all other options are worse.




פרסום ראשון: 09.07.11, 18:00
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