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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Britain Warns Citizens Against Travel to Turkey, Fearing ISIS Attacks

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Britain’s Foreign Office issued a travel alert Monday for citizens vacationing in Turkey, warning against “all but essential travel to certain regions.” British nationals are also being told not to go within 10 kilometers (approx. 6 miles) of the Turkish border with Syria.

“There’s been a lot of trouble in Turkey of late,” according to a spokesperson for the Foreign Office who spoke with the UK Daily Express.

Britons in Turkey face a “high” threat from Da’esh (ISIS), according to the alert, which warned its citizens that Turkey is continuing to launch air strikes against the terror organization.

Ambassadors from all 28 member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are in Brussels today (Tuesday, July 28) for an emergency meeting requested by Turkey last week under Article 4 of NATO’s founding Washington Treaty. Turkey requested the meeting due to the increasing danger facing its troops — posed by ISIS (“Da’esh” in Arabic), and by attacks from the PKK Kurdish Workers’ Party terror organization.

UK officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Da’esh will retaliate against Turkey, thus involving at least some Britons. More than 2.5 million British tourists visit the country each year.

“There’s a high threat from terrorism in Turkey. There are active terrorist groups throughout the country,” the Foreign Office said.

“These include domestic religious extremist and ideological groups, and international groups involved in the conflict in Syria.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect places visited by foreigners.”

Ben Gurion Airport Hits Peak in Passenger Traffic

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Approximately 70,000 passengers on 430 flights will have passed through Ben Gurion Airport by the end of Thursday, making it the busiest day of the year so far.

Tourism is up by approximately 7 percent, and 1.7 million passengers are expected to arrive and depart at the airport next month.

Israel suffered a sharp decline in tourism last August and September during Operation Protective Edge and now is rebounding.

Turkey, which Israel sunned two years ago after worsening relations, is back in favor and follows Greece as the favorite destination. Next in line are Italy and the year.
Slightly more than a quarter of passengers fly El Al.

Update: Suspected ISIS Suicide Attack Kills 28 in Turkey

Monday, July 20th, 2015

A suicide bomber killed at least 28 people and wounded 100 others in an attack on a Turkish cultural center near the Syrian border Monday, the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Official think that the deadly bombing was carried by a member of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The cultural center is located directly across from the border. The bomber struck while approximately 300 members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations were at the center

Hague Judges Tell Prosecutor to Proceed with 2010 Gaza Flotilla ‘War Crime’ Case

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

A 3-judge panel of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in a 2-1 decision, on Thursday called on the court’s prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to reconsider her decision not to investigate the 2010 clash between Israeli soldiers and Turkish activists on a flotilla that was on its way to Gaza.

Last year, Bensouda refused a request, to launch a probe into the May 31, 2010 incident, submitted by the Union Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean under whose flag the boarded flotilla boat, the Mavi Marmara, was sailing.

Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other pro-Palestinian activists wounded by Israeli commandos, in a botched operation in which the Israelis climbed down a rope, one at a time, to receive severe beatings with metal rods from the activists.

At the time, Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” war crimes had been committed on the Mavi Marmara, except she did not believe the case merited an ICC involvement. It appeared that in her view the ICC should use its authority to discern major international confrontations, rather than what amounts to a coast guard boarding gone awry.

On Thursday, the Judges rebuked Bensouda for making “material errors in her determination of the gravity” of the case.

Israel’s Turkel Commission probe of the incident, which, according to Ha’aretz, has met with the approval of the UN investigative committee (the Palmer Committee), found that:

a. The naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip – in view of the security circumstances and Israel’s efforts to comply with its humanitarian obligations – was legal pursuant to the rules of international law;

b. The actions carried out by Israel on May 31, 2010, to enforce the naval blockade had the regrettable consequences of the loss of human life and physical injuries. Nonetheless, and despite the limited number of uses of force for which we could not reach a conclusion, the actions taken were found to be legal pursuant to the rules of international law. The UN Palmer Committee Report on Gaza Flotilla Incident sided with the Israeli action. In its final summary, it stated:

The blockading power is entitled to board a neutral merchant vessel if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it is breaching a blockade. The blockading power has the right to visit and search the vessel and to capture it if found in breach of a blockade.

Breach could occur outside the blockade zone, including on the high seas where there is evidence of the vessel’s intention. If there is clear resistance to the interception or capture, the blockading power may attack the vessel, after giving a prior warning.

The level of force used to enforce the above-mentioned rights must be proportionate; in particular, it must be limited to the level necessary to achieve the military objective.

So that, should the prosecutor decide to move ahead with the case, the entire debate would inevitably revolve around the proportionality of the IDF soldiers’ use of force.

Should make for an exciting kangaroo court.

JewishPress.com adds:

Judge Peter Kovacs has presented an opposing position to his peers in the ICC, which can be read here.

The key paragraph is the last paragraph where the judge wrote:

Indeed, it is likely that if an investigation was to be conducted most if not all of those acts will not qualify as war crimes within the meaning of article 8 of the Statute, either due to the difficulty in proving the mens rea of the potential suspect(s), or due to the existence of defences under articles 31 or 32 of the Statute (i.e., self-defence or justifiable error on the protected status of those on the Maria Marmara) with regard to the IDF soldiers who intervened in those difficult circumstances. It follows that the lack of prospect for any successful prosecution, together with the relatively low gravity of the alleged crimes makes it clear that the initiation of an investigation in the present situation is unwarranted.

Temple Mount Activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick Talks Peace in Turkey

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

While Palestinian Authority Arabs have been working hard to keep Jews and others off the Temple Mount with violence and riots, a U.S.-born Israeli rabbi and Israeli Druze Likud member have just returned from a trip abroad to discuss peaceful co-existence.

Temple Mount activist and Heritage Foundation head Rabbi Yehudah Glick traveled to Turkey last week to talk about peace. Glick, who traveled to Istanbul with Likud party Druze member Mendi Safadi, met for discussions with Islamic officials and those of several other faiths.

The two men were hosted by Islamic scholar and peace activist Adnan Oktar, who has long been the quiet “matchmaker” for numerous other such meetings with other Jewish and non-Jewish officials.

Among others, Glick and Safadi met with state official Aydin Yigman, Mufti of the Beyoglu District on the European side in Istanbul. During their conversation, Yigman firmly condemned the assassination attempt that nearly cost Glick his life after a speaking engagement in Jerusalem last year.

“Any religion would condemn this attack,” the mufti stated. “It’s unacceptable.”

Local sources told JewishPress.com the conversation between Glick and the mufti was “very friendly” and described the atmosphere as “cordial.” Glick’s views on peace, particularly important during Ramadan in an Islamic nation whose bond with Israel has faltered in recent years, were “well received,” the source said.

The two Israelis also joined Oktar and others at a large festive Iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast on Thursday evening, held annually by Turkey’s A9TV, which is owned by Oktar’s organization. In addition to Islamic clerics and adherents, other participants included representatives from the Protestant, Assyrian, Armenian and Mormon churches as well as politicians, artists, academics and sports figures from Turkey.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Likud member Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druze citizen, join two associates of their host, Islamic scholar and peace activist Adnan Oktar in Istanbul prior to an Iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Likud member Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druze citizen, join two associates of their host, Islamic scholar and peace activist Adnan Oktar in Istanbul prior to an Iftar meal to break the daily Ramadan fast.

In an interview with Glick on A9TV earlier in the week, Oktar recounted for his viewers in Turkish the tale of Glick’s brush with death last October and his miraculous survival, describing his role in fighting for Jewish access to the Temple Mount.

(The entire interview with English-language subtitles may be accessed by clicking here.)

During the interview, Glick remarked in English, “The worst thing about terrorism and violence is when people do it in the name of God… This makes it ten times worse… In a civilized society when two people are arguing and one gets up and beats the other one up, it does not mean he is right. It means he needs help and this help is calling to God’s name peace, Islam, Shalom – this is God’s name.

“They tried to kill me because I represent the people of Israel coming to Israel,” Glick added. “And this they tried to harm. And the situation today is, I am alive and he (the assassin) is dead. So we have to thank God for this.”

In response, Oktar commented, “It is the most despicable, lowest, outrageous thing to shoot a person who works for God’s pleasure all the time…

“According to Islam [R. Glick] is a person of the People of the Book and he is a very religious person… insha’Allah (God willing), God will show this beautiful person the King Moshiach – in other words, the Mahdi (Messiah) – and we will rebuild the masjid (ed. – mosque) of the Prophet Solomon, pbuh (peace be upon him), and the palace of Prophet Solmon, pbuh, and God will show him very beautiful days.

Turkey’s Jewish Community in Edirne Hosts Public Iftar Meal

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Led by Jewish community leader Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the Jews in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public Iftar meal for their neighbors last week.

The meal which breaks the daily Ramadan fast was held in order to “express appreciation for the recent restoration of the historical Edirne Synagoge by the General Directorate of Foundations,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported. The synagogue was reopened on March 26.

Some 700 people showed up for the meal on June 21, according to the newspaper, which quoted the chief rabbi as saying, “We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an iftar meal with them.

“We thank them all very much,” Ibrahimzadeh was quoted as saying. “We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own.”

According to the report, “Leading figures of the country’s Jewish community personally served guests at the Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in a tent set up by the Social Solidarity Foundation.”

The head of the Edirne office of the General Directorate for Foundations, Osman Güneren, attended the event.

The Grand Synagogue of Edirne was the second-largest synagogue in Europe, built in 1907 after a massive 1905 inferno in the city destroyed 13 separate Jewish houses of worship.

Allegedly “abandoned in 1983 due to a lack of worshipers,” Hurriyet reported, The synagogue was transferred for use as a museum to the local Thrace University after its restoration by the General Directorate of Foundations. Sharp criticism from the Turkish Jewish community put a stop to that plan, however.

Nevertheless, last year Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Sahin decided to punish the local Jewish population for Israeli government measures that were necessary to stop Palestinian Authority Arab violence on the Temple Mount.

In retaliation, Sahin announced the synagogue would be turned into a museum, rather than be returned to the Jewish community for worship following its restoration.

The Edirne governor later claimed his suggestion had “no connection” to Turkish Jews and apologized for the proposal. Four months later, a government ceremony was held to herald the reopening of the synagogue for use by the Jewish community.

Orange Apology Tour Arrives in Wrong ‘Occupying’ Country

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Orange telecom CEO Stephane Richard arrived in Israel Thursday night for a two-day exercise of climbing down from a tall tree where he ate rotten fruit by saying that he would like to get rid of the company’s link with Israel’ Partner Communications because of the “occupation.”

He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres today as part of a show “to clarify Orange group commitments to Israel,” according to the French-based company.

It all was a “misunderstanding,” Richard said after winning praise from BDS but ferocious anger from even liberal political in Israel and elsewhere.

“Hypocritical” would be a better description than “misunderstanding.”

Richard lit the match in Cairo, where he referred to Partner as operating in “occupied territory,” and France’s ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, tweeted:

Contributing to settlements in an occupied territory is illegal.

Despite his “anti-occupation” remarks in Cairo, Richard later explained that he wanted to pull out of Israel because it is the only country where Orange does not run a subsidiary but instead allows an independent operation to market its trademark.

It is not clear why that should bother Orange since Partner pays approximately $4 million a year for the right to market Orange.”

Richard reassured Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely last week, “Orange does not support any form of boycott, in Israel or anywhere else in the world.”

In a way, it is too bad that Orange is retreating. If it had stood its ground, Israel would have had the opportunity to expose to the entire world the clear hypocrisy of BDS and of companies like Orange that actually operate in “occupied territory” elsewhere and, under the boycotters’ definition, are guilty of being involved in a “war crime.”

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, affiliated with the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank wrote in The Washington Post this week:

Orange itself directly and openly operates in occupied territory. Orange provides cell phone service in Nagorno-Karabakh, an area of Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenia since seizing it in a bloody 1992-94 war. The U.N., along with the E.U. and U.S., considers the area occupied territory. Nonetheless, Armenian settlers have moved into the occupied territory in significant numbers, amid constant complaints from Baku and others.

He added that fighting broke out this year in the area, “killing dozens, and a full- scale war over the occupied territory is looming.”

The Orange website touts its Karabakh service as being in “NKR,” or the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state that is controlled by Armenia, according to Kontorovich, who also wrote:

U.N. Resolutions have specifically called for the “non-recognition” of the NKR. Orange’s Armenian website also calls the area ‘Artsakh,’ the ancient name for the region favored by Armenia nationalists. It would be as if Orange, instead of complaining about, boasted of its ‘service in Judea and Samaria.’…. Orange calls NKR a ‘country,’ despite the clear admonition of its own government and UN against recognition of what is universally regarded as Azerbaijani territory. It would be as if Orange boasted of its service in the ‘Golan Heights of Israel.’

That’s not a bad idea. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu should tell Richard, “You know what? Yerright. Boycott us.

“And while you are at it, boycott Azerbaijan, Morocco, Turkey and Armenia. Then, after realizing how ignorant you are, don’t apologize. Just bury BDS and get back to work.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/orange-apology-tour-arrives-in-wrong-occupying-country/2015/06/12/

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