As The Jewish Press pointed out several weeks ago, it was perhaps inevitable that the blame for Turkey’s current woes was going to wind up being pinned on the Jews.
But where originally code words were being used – the “financial lobby” and one could still be accused of excessive paranoia for saying out loud that a modern day, non-Arab, largely-westernized state was going to point to the ultimate scapegoats as the source of their current woes, rather than at their own very bad decisions, we are currently in full-blown anti-Semitic, blame the Jews mode in the Republic of Turkey.
For those who find grim humor in watching those who, in spite of themselves, believe that one of history’s smallest peoples numerically, and least cohesive intellectually, politically and religiously, are capable of causing global turmoil, this latest creative effort to pin someone’s disaster on the utterly unrelated actions of a completely non-united “Jewish people,” is impressive.
The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank, is the current address at which intellectual Jews are metaphorically described as circling their spoons in a cauldron containing a venomous brew. This time the Jews “caused” the Turkish stock market to plunge, the Turkish youth and intellectuals to turn against their benevolent leader, and the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to look an awful lot like the stock version of a Middle East tyrant.
AEI’s public policy blog describes the situation in an entry it labeled, “AEI vs. Erdoğan.”
AEI’s director of foreign policy, Danielle Pletka, addressed the claims making the rounds in parts of the Turkish press that the anti-government protests in Turkey were the result of a plot hatched at AEI, and that the plotters are, of course, Jews. The accounts mention Michael Rubin, William Kristol (not affiliated with AEI), Bernard Lewis (also not affiliated with AEI and now 97 years old, it is unlikely he is doing much hatching of global or other plots these days), John Bolton (he is affiliated with AEI but he is not Jewish), and others. And, of course, the meeting was, according to the Turkish press reports, paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Council.
Rubin, who has long been a serious student of Turkey, was particularly singled out as a prime mover of the alleged plot. He also responded with tongue firmly in cheek in a posting he called, “A little bit of crazy from Turkey.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can’t even get Jewish conspiracies right: doesn’t he know that on Sundays, we control the banks. On Mondays, we control the newspapers. On Tuesdays, we think about how we can stage terrorist attacks and blame al Qaeda. On Wednesdays, we attend meetings with George Soros to discuss interest rates. On Thursdays, we plan atrocities and then order the international media to broadcast cooking shows so no one need see the violence. On Fridays, we hunt Christian children so we can use their blood to make matzoh. On Saturdays, exhausted, we rest.
There are Jews who work at AEI, Pletka being one of them, but the idea that there was some secret meeting at which the plot was hatched was so ludicrous that Pletka had to pull on her best try-not-to-laugh face and state: “I have to admit this didn’t happen. No meeting. No plot. No Jewish cabal.”
On the other hand, Pletka did take the opportunity to express her views about what Erdoğan has done to the modern Turkish state:
Reporters are in prison, the army has been emasculated, and secular freedoms are under siege. The Turkish people are standing up to Erdoğan because they see what has become of their once-proud nation, and they won’t stand for it. Kudos to them.
Rubin, echoing Pletka, suggested where Turkey’s leader should look if he wants to know who is responsible for Turkey’s unrest: “If Erdoğan wants to know who is causing these protests, all he needs to do is look in the mirror.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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