web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mavi Marmara’

Turkey’s Erdogan: Lift Gaza Sea Blockade or No Relations with Israel

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Turkey, until only recently one of the few secular, economically vibrant democracies in the Muslim world, has been in a tailspin for some time.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s forceful prime minister, several years ago began backsliding on secularism. Once that pebble began rolling down the hill, it grabbed with it chunks of the other indicia of democracy, such as press freedom and the right to peaceful protests.

There are now more jailed journalists in Turkey than anywhere else in the world.

When peaceful protests broke out against the government last spring in Teksim Gezi Park, and again throughout the fall and winter, the Turkish government’s startlingly harsh response was closer to what happens in Iran or Russia, than in the western democracies Turkey has been compared to over the past several decades.

Erdoğan’s internal political difficulties include a widespread governmental corruption probe, a plummeting economy and an open feud with a very powerful former ally, Fethullah Gülen.

Turkey’s growing derailment has drawn down with it the formerly positive relations between Israel and Turkey.

Recent hopeful-sounding hints at renewed positive relations between Israel and Turkey were just dashed again by Turkey’s leader.

On Tuesday, Erdoğan publicly stated that Turkey will never normalize relations with Israel so long as Israel maintains its blockade of Gaza.

“As long as the siege on Gaza isn’t lifted, it [an agreement] won’t happen,” Erdoğan told reporters at an Istanbul press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 11. “The siege must be lifted and that must be part of the protocol, signed and agreed upon.”

WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE TWO ALLIES

The chill between the two former allies, Israel and Turkey, first went public over Turkey’s support for a breach of Israel’s lawful naval blockade of Gaza.

That came to a head on May 31, 2010, when Israeli naval commandos boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara, a flotilla run by the Turkish “charity” the IHH, on which pro-Palestinian Arabs were attempting to breach that naval blockade. The Israelis landed on the deck of the ship, seeking to peacefully convince the protesters to change directions and deposit any charitable goods they hoped to deliver to Gaza, via an Israeli port. Those goods could then be transported legally over land to the border entrance into Gaza.

Instead, as was captured on film and in photographs, the hostile Mavi Marmara crew attacked the Israelis with metal rods and other dangerous weapons. Israel Defense Force troops were forced to defend their colleagues using live fire. Nine Turkish protesters died in the clashes and 10 Israelis were wounded.

Weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010

Weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010

Turkey blamed Israel for the violence, and withdrew its ambassador from Israel, then expelled Israel’s ambassador to Turkey. Hostilities between the two countries has been pronounced since then.

But when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Israel in the spring of 2013, he persuaded Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize to Erdoğan in a telephone call. After lengthy persuasive discussions between the two allies, Netanyahu agreed that Israel would pay Turkey compensation for the Turks who died on the Mavi Marmara.

On Sunday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave an interview that suggested the thaw was nearly complete.

“We are living through a period where our relationship is closest to normalizing since Mavi Marmara,” Davutoglu told a Turkish television station. “We’re in touch for a final meeting, compensation will be another step and there may be concrete developments to get aid to Gaza and Palestine.”

But Erdoğan, whose criticism of Israel seems as reflexive as those of other intractable haters of the Jews, consistently blames Israel for all kinds of unacceptable (to him) situations. He blamed former Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi’s ouster, in part, on Israel, and he blamed the widespread Turkish protests in June, in part, on Israel. It will be a terrible thing if there is an outbreak of some dreaded disease in Turkey, but no doubt should that happen, Erdoğan would also blame that on Israel.

Erdoğan’s very close relationship with the ousted Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamad Morsi helps to explain the Turkish leader’s strong interest in assisting Gaza, which is run by Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.

It is highly unlikely Israel will agree to relax the blockade of Gaza, for several reasons. The most important one of which is that there is no such thing as a relaxed blockade. A legal blockade, and the international community has deemed Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be legal, so only as long as there is not a single breach. Once breached, a legal blockade becomes illegal.

An additional reason Israel must not relax the naval blockade is the only reason there is one in the first place: without it, weapons smuggling into Gaza from countries and regimes hostile to Israel would pour in. Those weapons, very bad and only worse, would reasonably be expected to be used in an attempt to destroy Israel.

Turkish Court Rejects Claim Against Israel for Mavi Marmara

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

On Wednesday, Dec. 25, a Turkish court rejected a claim for compensation from the state of Israel by the relatives of a man who died during the battle between Israeli soldiers and anti-Israel protesters who were attempting to breach the internationally-recognized legal blockade of Gaza.

The family of Furkan Doğan, one of nine who died aboard the ship during the raid by Israeli soldiers in May, 2010, was seeking four million Turkish Liras in compensation from Israel, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.

The basis for denying the claim, the judge wrote, is that Israel, a sovereign nation, cannot be tried in Turkish courts. Most western countries have laws known as “sovereign immunity,” which means sovereign nations and their representatives cannot be sued in courts outside of their own jurisdiction. An example of that on a very local level is that ambassadors from other nations cannot be tried for traffic or other criminal infractions in U.S. courts.

The ruling comes at a time when Israel and Turkey are engaged in discussing compensation Israel voluntarily agreed to pay – with strong “guidance” from the United States government – to the Turkish families of those who died.

The head of the local IHH, the organization behind the anti-Israel protesters attempted breach of Israel’s legal blockade, said that the plaintiffs will appeal the ruling.

In May, 2010, several organized anti-Israel groups boarded several boats, forming a flotilla, in an attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.  When other sea vessels had attempted to breach the blockade, the Israeli navy gave repeated warnings and was able to persuade sailors to dock at an Israeli gate near Gaza.  Any humanitarian goods carried by the seafaring protesters were then brought on land, through the checkpoints, and distributed in Gaza.

The passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara refused to turn back and in order to prevent the blockade from being breached, Israeli soldiers were dropped down a rope onto the deck of the boat, where they were beaten.

If a legal blockade is breached even once, it can no longer be enforced.

A September 2011 UN report stated that Israeli soldiers responded with weapons only after those soldiers who were descending onto the sip were met with an “extreme level of violence” from the protesters on the ship.

“The soldiers from the first helicopter were met with an extreme level of violence from a group of passengers on the vessel. They were shot at and attacked with clubs, iron rods, slingshots and knives,” according to the report, which followed Israel’s own investigation.

It said the Israeli soldiers resorted to lethal weapons “in response to the violent resistance faced.”

Turkish Jews Fleeing

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Turkey has long been a vacation destination for Israelis.  But with increasing tension between the current Turkish government and Israel, and what some describe as a level of anti-Semitism condoned by the highest levels of the current government, the tiny population of Jews who live in Turkey is rapidly dwindling.

According to figures from 2013, there are approximately 17,400 Jews in Turkey, a mere .02 percent of the population. The Jewish Virtual Library counts 23 active Turkish synagogues, of which 16 are in Istanbul.

Even tourism has been affected.

Tourism from Israel to, for example, the Mediterranean city of Antalya is back up to approximately 50,000 this past summer, which was down as low as 10,000 following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident in which nine Turks died while attempting to violate the Israeli blockade on Gaza. Although the Turks on the boat brutally attacked the Israeli soldiers before any Israelis resorted to violence, Turkey insisted that Israel apologize and financially compensate the families of those who died.

The Mavi Marmara episode was just one in a string of incidents in which previously warm relations between the two westernized Middle Eastern countries became brusque.

An earler incident occurred during the Davos Conference of 2009.  Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised his voice at the placid, peaceful Israeli President Shimon Peres, accusing him (Israel) of murdering children on the beach and of Israeli prime ministers having told him “we feel happy when we go into Palestine with our tanks and weapons.”  Erdogan refused to yield the floor despite far extending the bounds of time and courtesy.

And let’s not forget last February, when Erdoğan allegedly called Zionism a “crime against humanity.”

And finally, the recent alleged disclosure of the identity of ten Iranians who had been spying on Iran for the Israeli intelligence service, followed by the fury that the Turkish intelligence chief should be blamed for this leak has brought what had been a lot of background noise to a crescendo.

And now, according to the head of the Turkish community in Israel, Nesim Güveniş, the Jews of Turkey are getting out.

“Anti-Semitism, triggered by harsh statements from the Turkish government, has led to the migration of hundreds of Jewish youngsters from Turkey to the U.S. or Europe,” Güveniş told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.

With only a smattering over 17,000 Jews still living in Turkey, it won’t be long before the only Jews left are the few Israelis vacationers.  Until something ominous interrupts that pastime as well.

 

Erdogan Has His Ticket to Gaza Pulled by Egypt

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Due to the very close relationship between Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and ousted Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamad Morsi, the Egyptian authorities have apparently canceled a long-planned visit to Gaza by the Turkish Prime Minister.

Erdogan announced he would be visiting the Gaza Strip shortly after President Barack Obama traveled to Israel and persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize for the deaths of nine Turks who were aboard the Turkish ship the Mavi Marmara which attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip on May 31, 2010.

When those aboard the Mavi Marmara refused to listen to Israeli warnings and turn back, Israelis boarded the Turkish ship armed only with paint guns.  The Turks attacked the Israeli soldiers with lead pipes and other weapons and in response Israeli soldiers eventually shot and killed the aggressors.

Last week the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Hatem Seif Al-Nasr called on Turkish Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali to object to his country’s stance towards recent events in Egypt.

Since the most recent uprisings in Egypt and the ouster of Morsi, the Turkish government has been extremely critical of Egypt’s activities.  Erdogan gave a speech during an iftar dinner in Ankara expressing his discontent with recent events in Egypt and criticising Defence Minister Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, blaming him for violence and political unrest.

And in a widely reported interview given on July 14, Erdogan said that Morsi was the only legitimate president of Egypt.

In addition to the current Egyptian leadership’s hostility towards Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister is also saddled with ongoing political unrest in his own country.

The Motive Cover Up of the Boston Bombings Begins

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Now that the two (main at least) terrorists from the Boston Marathon attack have been killed or captured we enter a new phase, the phase in which the dominant politically correct (but factually incorrect) forces try to explain away the attack.

Can this be done? Will they really try? Well, yes. True, as one of my correspondents remarked it is much easier to obfuscate far distant Benghazi than the total shutdown and horror in the middle of a major American city. Yet the spin-masters are already at work.

The first step must be, in part, a stalling technique but it sets the pattern for what is to come. As, in the words of a Reuters story, the “Boston Marathon bombing investigation turns to motive,” the motive must be obfuscated.

The Reuters piece is a good start. The article spends seven paragraphs discussing the parents claim that the two brothers were framed. This suggests that the mass media and politicians will not shrink from suggesting—perhaps I should say, gives fair hearing—to bizarre conspiracy theories and doubts. People shouldn’t believe these completely, is the theme, but you just can’t be too sure that two young Muslims would have any reason to harm Americans.

Indeed, there are now witnesses who heard the two terrorists’ mother claiming that September 11 was a U.S. plot to make people hate Muslims. That’s where playing with that kind of fire leads.

In the article, the word “Islam” is not mentioned, except to say that they once lived in one predominantly Muslim country and another place they lived, Dagestan, is “a southern Russian province that lies at the heart of a violent Islamist insurgency.” Here, we have another technique, minimize Islam as a factor and turn it into background noise.

Obviously, this will not apply completely both because the elephant in the room is too big and there is still some journalistic integrity in places. Both the Washington Post and Mother Jones took a lead in exposing the You-Tube likes of one of the terrorists which showed a propensity for al-Qaeda views to say the least.

There are a lot of other quivers, however, in the arsenal of denial.

On “Face the Nation” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that he had no idea why the Tsarnaev brothers would target “innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did.” The answer, of course, is that these people were not regarded as innocent at all but as soldiers in the alleged Christian-Jewish war on Islam, precisely the same thinking that has been produced by Islamists for decades. Might September 11, 2001, be a clue here?

Of course, for Patrick to say that at this point in the investigation is understandable on one level, a refusal by a government official to remark on an ongoing investigation and a relief from “the police are stupid” or “Trayvon looks like the son I didn’t have” remarks by someone else. Yet what if this claim is sustained week after week until the heat is off?

NBC News has just reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited an Islamist radical six times in a mosque in Dagestan. The Caucasian/Chechen angle, however, does offer some hope. A lot of media time can be spent talking about that conflict. Of course, if the young men were acting as Chechens they would have attacked a Russian and not an American target. The United States has not, even by the usual stretch of radical Islamist imagination, had anything to do with the conflict in Chechnya.

The more compelling the conflict there is as a source of pain and passion, the less compelling the argument that that was a motive. The Russians have indeed been brutal in suppressing the rebellion, far more than the West or Israel has acted toward anyone. So what cause overrides that one? Yet Chechen grievances will be a good source of obfuscation.

Then there will a frantic search for the “blame ourselves” theme. If the issue wasn’t such a tragic one, this would be humorous. Could America have acted more kindly toward these two brothers? Don’t underestimate how well this theme will play with those citizens who drink other flavors of Kool-Aid.

Kerry’s Heart Bleeds for Dead IHH Terrorists as for Boston Victims

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Turkish officials that the anguish of Americans over the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon helped him understand the frustration of Turks over the death of IHH thugs who were killed in the May 2010 flotilla clash after kidnapping and seriously wounding several Navy soldiers.

Nine Turks, members of the terror-linked IHH “charity” organization, brutally clubbed and knifed the commandos who reach the deck of the Mavi Mamara by climbing down a rope from a hovering helicopter and armed with nothing more than personal pistols and paint guns.

Kerry compared the American reactions to the terrorist attack in Boston with those in Turkey to the Israeli counterterrorist attack on the IHH.

“It affects the community, it affects the country. But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace,” he stated.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) criticized Kerry or his remarks. “It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Danon told The Times of Israel. ”The only way to deal with the evils of terrorism it to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators, wherever they may be.”

Kerry visited Ankara to try to bring Turkey and Israel closer together after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s four years of snubbing Israel and falling into his own trap by embracing Iran and Syria.

The new Secretary of State, who already is a candidate to surpass his predecessor Hillary Clinton’s record for traveling around the world several times, tried to pull his diplomatic weight to convince Erdogan not to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza next month.

The trip ‘‘would be better delayed and that it shouldn’t take place at this point in time… Our sense is that it would be more helpful to wait for the right circumstances.”

Kerry met with Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu but not with Erdogan, whose ego could not possibly allow anyone less than the President of the United States to sway his plans.

President Barack Obama used his trip to Israel last month to convince Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to offer an apology to Erdogan for the outcome of the flotilla clash and even agree to compensate families of those who planned and carried out the attacks on the commandos.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry quickly replied to Kerry’s request in the negative.

It would be wrong to evaluate these [Kerry’s statements] as a ‘U.S. reaction to Erdogan’s Gaza visit,’” an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told daily Hürriyet, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“For now there isn’t any change in the prime minister’s Gaza schedule. The issue will be discussed during Erdogan’s visit [to the United States] on May 16. This is what Kerry says, too. After the U.S. trip, Erdogan’s Gaza trip will be realized,” he said.

Perhaps President Obama can convince Erdogan to cool off a bit, especially if Turkey wants to feel more secure against the prospect of neighboring Iran as a nuclear threat.

In return, perhaps Erdogan can convince President Obama to compensate the families of the brothers who murdered three people, wounded 200 others and threw Boston into mayhem in the Boston Marathon Massacre.

For Shame: Kerry Compares Boston Bombing Victims to Turkish Jihadis

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
John Kerry has redefined the concept of stupid. Really…

According to a recent news item:

Speaking at Istanbul, Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a jarring comparison between the victims of the Boston Marathon terror bombs and terror activists from the IHH group who were killed when they attacked IDF forces aboard the Mavi Marmara in 2010.

Kerry told his hosts in Turkey that he understands the pain of the families whose loved ones were killed aboard the Marmara – and added that he can understand their pain well, having just dealt with the families whose loved ones were slain in Boston.

Kerry said in his speech that he hopes the Israeli apology will lead to a thawing of Israel-Turkey relations. (Arutz Sheva).

Through the anger I feel – I find it hard to formulate a response to this incredibly ignorant concept. Did the Boston runners know they were heading into enemy territory, as the thugs aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla know?

Did the terrorists warn the people at the finish line and those who were approaching it after running so hard…as Israel repeatedly warned the so-very-violent “humanitarians” aboard the flotilla?
Does Kerry think that sweet little 8-year-old boy, the women who were killed, and the 170+ people injured were armed and did they start attacking the bombers…funny how the media forgot to show how the victims of the Boston marathon terror attack could have easily avoided being murdered or injured had they avoided breaking international law…oh wait, they didn’t break international law by running a legally declared naval blockade. They didn’t attack soldiers who had, for the better part of a few days, been warning them not to approach a war zone.
All those people did was to go out on a beautiful day, in their beautiful city, to enjoy a peaceful event.
John Kerry – you owe the nation of Israel and the army of Israel an apology. We owe the Turks NOTHING and the vast majority of Israelis care nothing about thawing Israel-Turkey relations until Turkey starts acting like a modern nation and not yet another aggressive, hate-filled dictatorship.
And worse, John Kerry, worse of all is that you owe the victims, their families, and all of the people of Boston an apology.
Shame on you!
Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/for-shame-kerry-compares-boston-bombing-victims-to-turkish-jihadis/2013/04/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: