The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made no bones about his disdain for Israel. Soon after assuming office he gave a speech at the 2009 World Economic Forum at Davos in which he harangued Israel and its policies and publicly insulted President Shimon Peres.
That speech was the beginning of a process reversing Turkey’s theretofore positive relationship with the Jewish state, though the relationship continued limping along for several months.
Then came the Israeli raid in 2010 on a Turkish ship trying to run its naval blockade of Gaza that resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and one Turkish American. After Israel refused to apologize – though it did express “regret” for the deaths – relations between the two countries came to a virtual stop. Following Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, Mr. Erdogan accused Israel of being a “terrorist state.” And this past week he outdid himself in a speech at the Alliance for Civilizations, a UN forum promoting West-Islam dialogue.
Ostensibly focusing on the evil of disrespectful attitudes toward Muslims found in certain countries, he said that “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”
According to the Associated Press, Turkey’s state-run news agency first reported the remarks in full but removed the reference to “Zionism” in a correction sent out an hour later. It said the correction was “made by the source” but gave no other explanation.
In any event, the Obama administration came down hard on Mr. Erdogan, as did the Canadian foreign minister and, eventually, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (who had not immediately reacted despite being present during Mr. Erdogan’s remarks). And certainly Prime Minister Netanyahu weighed in forcefully.
Yet it is important to appreciate where Mr. Erdogan is coming from. He is a religious Muslim seeking to carve out a role for himself in that world and sees attacking Zionism as his ticket to leadership. Indeed, before his elevation to prime minister, Turkey had been governed by a secular-minded military group that allowed for a mutually beneficial close relationship with Israel, despite the predominance of Islam among Turks.
So the issue is not only what Mr. Erdogan has to say but also that he strikes a chord with Muslims. How can the U.S. continue to view Turkey as key to the NATO alliance when Turkey’s leaders consider America’s closest Mideast ally a renegade state? And how can Israel make agreements with states like Turkey that consider the very establishment of the Jewish state a crime against humanity?
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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