Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Talking Turkey

1. Talking Turkey:

Talking Turkey
By Steven Plaut | 2/4/2009
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a temper tantrum at the
Davos forum on world economics recently. He foamed at the mouth about
Israel's supposedly "massacring innocent women and children" in its recent
military operations against the genocidal Hamas terrorists in the Gaza
Strip. He walked out in demonstrative contempt when Israel's own leftwing
president, Shimon Peres, arose to speak to the delegates. He repeatedly
accused Israel of "mass murder" in Gaza. Erdogan ranted at length about
how Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into an "open-air prison."
Even more incredibly, as part of his anti-Israel ravings, Erdogan cited
two anti-Semitic ex-Israelis as "authorities" for his claims. One
"authority" cited by the Turkish Prime Minister is the notorious deranged
Holocaust Denier Gilad Atzmon. A saxophone player in the UK with ties to
German Neo-Nazis and Holocaust Deniers in other countries, Atzmon is so
openly anti-Semitic that even the most bigoted segments of the Bash-Israel
Lobby in the UK usually will have nothing to do with him. He swings back
and forth between denying altogether that there was any Holocaust of Jews
by the Germans and justifying it as something the Jews deserved. He is on
record calling for synagogues to be burned down and promotes the
anti-Semitic czarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Erdogan
cited Atzmon as saying, "Israeli barbarity is far beyond even ordinary

The other "scholar" cited by Erdogan is the Israel-hating professor Avi
Shlaim, who is on the faculty of Oxford University. Shlaim is a
pseudo-historian who has made a career out of serving up anti-Israel
propaganda, including for the extremist Jew-hating "The Nation" magazine.
Shlaim gained notoriety when it turned out he was one of the two
"academics" who prostituted themselves for Neo-Nazi Norman Finkelstein. He
served as accomplice in the attempts by Finkelstein's supporters to
maneuver DePaul University into granting Finkelstein tenure on the basis
of his anti-Semitic rants.
At Istanbul's airport thousands of people gathered to greet Erdogan when
he returned, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting "Turkey is
proud of you." In response to Erdogan's arrogant rant against Israel's
defense operations in Gaza, what can be said? Well, for one, in Turkey,
unlike in Israel, Islamists are routinely taken out back and shot. Turkey
also invaded the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, mowing down any Kurds who
got in their way, for Kurdish provocations that never came anywhere near
those of the Hamas savages, who fired 8000 rockets into Israel from Gaza.
But what else is one to make of this display of temper by the Prime
Minister of a country attempting to gain membership in the EU?
I would venture to respond to Erdogan by offering the following summary of
the conflict:
The occupation is entirely illegal and is not recognized as legitimate by
a single country on earth other than the occupying power. The occupier
carried out acts of mass expulsion and ethnic cleansing when the illegal
occupation was imposed on its victims. It transferred thousands of its own
citizens illegally as settlers into the territories it continues to
occupy. Its human rights record in the occupied territories has been
atrocious. It continues to defy all world opinion, while imposing military
control and suppression on the hapless residents of the illegally occupied
territories. Moreover, its human rights record at home is almost as
atrocious. It is an apartheid regime in which minorities are discriminated
against and openly harassed. It is a militarist entity that came into
existence through perpetration of a set of massive crimes against
humanity, including ethnic cleansing and mass murder. Indeed, it has often
been accused of having perpetrated genocide at the very moment of its
creation. There are serious doubts as to whether it even has any moral
right to exist as an independent state. Certainly its capital, a city
considered holy by many religions, may not rightfully even belong to it at
all. That city was seized from its rightful owners using military force,
and its religious shrines were looted and transformed to serve the regime.
The above paragraph of course refers to Turkey.
The occupied territories in which ethnic cleansing was perpetrated by the
Turkish occupying power refer to northern Cyprus. Turkey illegally invaded
Cyprus, an independent state (now part of NATO and the EU), in 1974, and
militarily seized about a third of the island. It then expelled the entire
Greek population from those occupied territories. Hundreds of thousands of
innocent Greek Cypriots were made homeless refugees due to the military
aggression of Turkey. Not a single country on earth recognizes the puppet
"republic" Turkey still operates there. To maintain its hold on northern
Cyprus, Turkey transferred many thousands of its own citizens to northern
Cyprus as illegal settlers.
Northern Cyprus is not even the only set of occupied territories seized
and held by modern Turkey. In the year 1939, Turkey simply marched into
the Alexandretta area of Syria, then a French protectorate, and annexed
it. The ethnic Turks in the area were a minority of the population. The
Turkish conquest was based on nothing more than Turkey's desire to take
charge of the excellent port facilities there. Syria still considers this
area as its own (of course, it also considers Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and
Cyprus also to be its own). Turkey has shown no interest in removing its
settlers from Alexandretta. Its control of other areas, such as the area
around Kars near the Armenian border or swaths of Thrace, is also based on
dubious legitimacy and questionable claims.
Turkey is a semi-democracy in which the military exercises enormous
amounts of political power. The respect for human rights in Turkey is
notable for its absence. Kurdish, Armenian, and other ethnic minorities
have been forcibly Turkified. Religious minorities, such as the Alevi, are
persecuted. Censorship is common. Kurdish areas have been subjected to
martial rule.
Brutal force has been used against Kurdish separatists and other political
groups. Indeed, the operations of the Turkish military against the Kurds
make Israel's recent incursion into the Gaza Strip (in Operation "Cast
Lead") look like a May Day picnic. Until 2003, it was forbidden to speak
Kurdish on the radio or television; the Kurdish alphabet still cannot be
used. The state of human rights in Turkey, according to numerous human
rights NGOs, continues to be atrocious. Women in Turkey are mistreated;
until very recently women students applying to universities had to pass a
virginity test. The Turkish military police routinely kill civilians.
Journalists have been assassinated.
Open-air prison, indeed.
But today's abuses in Turkey pail into insignificance when placed in the
context of the mass murders and ethnic cleansings that accompanied the
birth of modern Turkey itself. As the Ottoman Empire collapsed during
World War I, ethnic Turks led by Ataturk seized control of most of
Anatolia. The infamous mass murders, considered by some to have been
genocidal, of ethnic Armenians accompanied the Turkish campaign for
Somewhat less well known in the West is the fact that Turkey's creation
was also accompanied by the mass expulsion of almost the entire Greek
population of Anatolia. The Greeks had been living in Anatolia for
thousands of years before the first Turk even stepped foot in the place.
Homer was an Anatolian. Western Anatolia at the beginning of the twentieth
century held large areas with Greek ethnic majorities. As the Ottoman
Empire fell apart, the large Greek populations declared their own
independence from Turkey and their union with Greece. The areas around
Smyrna and parts of Thrace, with their large Greek population, were
supposed to come under Greek sovereignty in the name of
self-determination. Britain's Lloyd George was among those who had made
the promise.
Between 1919 and 1922, Greece and Turkey fought a bloody war for Western
Anatolia. No one knows how many Greeks were butchered by the Turks during
the war. But the Greeks lost and virtually the entire Greek population,
many hundreds of thousands of people, were expelled en masse by Turkey
from their ancestral homelands. Almost four times as many Greeks were
expelled from Anatolia than the number of "Palestinians" who became
refugees as a result of their fleeing the territory that became
independent Israel in 1948. The Anatolian Greeks would never be granted
any "right of return."
Then there is the little matter of Constantinople. The Greek claims to
Istanbul are at least a hundred times more legitimate than are any Arab
claims to Jerusalem. Constantinople was always a Greek city, conquered by
the Turks only in 1453. Its Greek churches were turned into mosques, and
some today are Turkish museums. Turkey has never offered to
internationalize the city nor turn half of it over to the disenfranchised
Meanwhile, an entire section of Athens consists of the Greek families
expelled from Smyrna (Izmir). Other residents of Athens are ethnic Greeks
expelled from illegally occupied northern Cyprus.
After his tantrum, Prime Minister Erdogan told the press, "My anger over
Gaza directed at Israeli government, not Jews." Well, the whole world's
disgust with this hypocrisy is directed against Erdogan and not against
the Turkish people. After all, the Turkish people deserve better.


Moral Blindness on Gaza
By Alan M. Dershowitz | Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Indicting Israel for Self-Defense
By P. David Hornik | 2/4/2009
The ceasefire announced by Hamas on January 18, never a sterling example
of the genre, further deteriorated on Sunday as over 15 rockets and mortar
shells were fired at Israel from Gaza. That night, when Israeli planes
struck back at Hamas targets, many Palestinians reported that Israel had
telephoned them warnings to evacuate. There were no casualties in the
During Operation Cast Lead, Israel reduced Palestinian casualties with
such measures as disseminating warnings in leaflets or SMS messages and
dropping small, harmless bombs on rooftops before attacks. It prompted
former British colonel Richard Kemp to say that .I don.t think there has
ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more
efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than
the IDF is doing today in Gaza..
Nevertheless, it was reported on Monday that a prosecutor at the
International Criminal Court in The Hague had announced plans to
investigate claims by Palestinian groups that Israel had committed war
crimes in Gaza by using phosphorus shells in populated areas. In 2004 the
ICC condemned Israel for building its security fence.believed by some
security officials to have saved hundreds of lives.after waves of terror
from the West Bank.
And the news about the ICC came hard on the heels of Thursday.s
announcement that a Spanish court, after granting a petition by the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was planning to try seven Israeli
security officials for .crimes against humanity. in the 2002 assassination
of Hamas kingpin Salah Shehadeh. Fourteen civilians were also killed in
the strike. Shehadeh had masterminded the killings of hundreds of Israelis
and was preparing a mega-attack at the time. The seven Israeli officials
include a former defense minister and two former chiefs of staff.
Israel, then, is between a rock and a hard place. From its complete
disengagement from Gaza in August 2005 till Operation Cast Lead was
launched in late December 2008, 6500 rockets and mortars were fired from
Gaza at predominantly civilian Israeli targets with only small, tactical
Israeli responses. Yet the world went along its way. There were no
Security Council sessions, ICC investigations, or threats by European
countries to put Hamas leaders on trial. The suffering of Sderot residents
never became a chic cause on campuses where .the Palestinians. continued
to be lionized.
Then came Operation Cast Lead, and all hell broke loose. To even mention
Israel.s extraordinary measures to avoid harming civilians was to be an
embattled polemicist citing esoteric facts. But when some unclear number
of Palestinian civilians.inevitably, given Hamas.s use of them.were
nonetheless killed or wounded, it was Israel that was in the hot seat.
Although some European leaders like German chancellor Angela Merkel and
Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg showed Israel some degree of
understanding, by the time Israel ended the operation on January 17 its
diplomatic support had dwindled to zero.
And the ICC announcement is only the most dramatic instance so far of
legal fallout from the operation. The expected wave of .lawfare. against
Israeli soldiers and officers prompted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to set
up a special team to defend them headed by the justice minister, with
legal and intelligence experts already gathering evidence related to the
fighting in Gaza. In 2005 Israeli general Doron Almog barely escaped
arrest on war-crime charges in Britain when he was warned by the Israeli
embassy not to disembark from his plane at Heathrow Airport.
With the war also having sparked fierce anti-Semitic eruptions
particularly in Venezuela and Turkey, the worldview of Israel.s outgoing of the factors behind the seemingly inhuman .restraint. in
the face of the rockets.appears more wobbly than ever. It was a worldview
in which Israel could expect reason and understanding from the nations in
light of such facts as: Israel had withdrawn from Gaza and it was no
longer occupied; Hamas is a terrorist organization that specifically
targets civilians while using its own civilians for cover; and any
country.yes, even Israel.has the right to self-defense.
The fact that, notwithstanding all that, the war has galvanized both
heightened anti-Israeli lawfare and heightened anti-Semitic agitation has
not been lost on the Israeli populace.which has, for instance, drastically
cut back on tourism to once-popular Turkey. And as the rockets continue to
fall, the need for a more sober perhaps closer to traditional
Jewish understandings of Israel.s role in the likely to prevail
in the February 10 elections.


Balancing the Bias
By Asaf Romirowsky

5. Six days before the election and - what a surprise! - Haaretz
devotes most of its "newspaper" today to trying to painting Avigdor
Lieberman as a follower of Meir Kahane. I suspect that a Nexus search of
Haaretz for the terms "Lieberman" and "racist" will show that the two are
always, but always, used together. A similar search in Haaretz for the
terms "racism" with "Ahmed Tibi" or "Azmi Bishara" or HADASH or BALAD or
RAAM (the Arab fascist political parties) will turn up zero hits.

Here is the Haaretz "scoop," front page of its print edition:
Elections 2009 / Haaretz exclusive: Avigdor Lieberman said to be ex-member
of banned radical Kach movement
By Lily Galili, Haaretz Correspondent

If you read it carefully you will see that the "evidence" for this is that
Lieberman was once years ago seen having conversations with someone in the
Kach (Kahane) offices. I suppose he may also have used the gents while in

Haaretz then runs a table on Page 2 that purports to show the similarities
between Kahane and Lieberman. Like: they both say harsh things about the
anti-Israel sentiments of Israeli Arabs. Except that one could compose a
FAR more persuasive table showing the similarity between Haaretz
editorials and the positions of the Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Kahanists, for what it is worth, deny Lieberman is or was a Kahanist:

Here is HAARETZ' idea of a news story, crayoned by Yossi Sarid, appearing
on the news page and not the Op-Ed page:

Now the funny thing is that the new party that is itself a merger of the
National Religious Party with the National Union party DOES contain one
person, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, who is an open self-proclaimed Kahanist.
Number 4 on the slate and so a sho-in for the Knesset. This is a bit
gutsy in Israel where the Leftist First Amendment has made it a criminal
offense to support Kahanism or be a member of a Kahanist group. But
Haaretz has not printed a single word about him! Not a word! Its
readers do not know he is a Kahanist! How come? Well, Haaretz is hoping
the election might produce a coalition of the Left with religious parties,
like in the good ole days, and so does not want to antagonize or demonize
the National religious Party at this point.

6. Amen:

7. The Norwegian MD who invented stories of Israeli "atrocities" in
Gaza is also a supporter of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York:,7340,L-3666579,00.html

8. The Equality of Dachau:,7340,L-3666519,00.html

9. The Martyred Moron:

10. Holes in the sand:

11. For years JTA has been less a news agency than a spokespiece for the
Jewish Left. It refuses to distribute news and columns that are not
liberal. It grants excessive coverage to the worst Jewish moonbats and
leftist anti-Semites. Now it has devoted an entire edition to the shallow
environmentalist goofballs from the "Eco-Judaism" cult of pseudo-Judaism,
and has granted them an entire subsection on its web site. Just in time
for Tu B'shvat: The "Eco-Jews" are by and
large, if not in their entirety, apologists for HAMAS terror against Jews.

Account of Israeli attack doesn't hold up to scrutiny
By Patrick Martin
Globe and Mail (Canada)
January 29, 2009

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