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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

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.”

Spain Passes Citizenship Restoration Law for Jews Expelled in 1492

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

It has only taken a half a millenium, but on Thursday Spain passed a law granting citizenship to any descendant of Jews expelled from the country in 1492.

The law – which took three years to create – was hailed as a “historic rehabilitation” by Justice Minister Rafael Catala and Foreign Minister Manuel Garcia Margallo.

It was in 1492, as Colombus was preparing to set sail to explore the New World that Jews were given an ultimatum: convert to Christianity, or leave.

Those who stayed and pretended to convert became known over the centuries as “Marranos” – the “hidden” ones – or “Anusim” – the “forced” ones. Their descendants are scattered throughout the world, including many who later ended up intermarrying with Muslims, some who live in Judea and Samaria. Their families still keep fragments of Jewish traditions in their homes, although most no longer remember why.

The Jews who chose to preserve their identity and left, fled to North Africa and the Middle East, many of whom arrived in what is now known as Turkey.

The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain said in an official statement on Thursday that passage of the law in Madrid had launched a “new stage in the history of the relationship between Spain and the Jewish world; a new period of encounter, dialogue and harmony.

Contrary to what one might think, the descendants of those expelled not harbored feelings of hatred or resentment but rather the contrary, they cultivated a deep love for the land they were from and intense loyalty to tradition and language received of their elders,” the statement continued.

The law goes into effect in October, when the Jewish community can begin the process of checking the lineage of anyone who wishes to activate their once-proud centuries-old Spanish citizenship.

That process involves proving one’s ancestry, showing a basic knowledge of Spain and its culture, and embarking upon a minimum of one pilot trip to the country. In addition, one must pay an application fee of 100 Euros for the privilege. So much for “restoration.”

Under Israel’s Law of Return, any person is entitled to citizenship in the Jewish State if he or she can prove that one grandparent — either maternal or paternal — is Jewish. The pace of the “ingathering of the (Jewish) exiles” described in the Torah has been growing over the past decade. Jews who were driven from the Land of Israel by the Romans and the Babylonians have begun to return through the efforts of groups such as Michael Freund’s Shavei Israel, Nefesh B’Nefesh and others.

Turkey Upset Vote Broadens Gov’t, Reduces Erdogan’s Power

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Voters in Turkey’s national parliamentary elections on Sunday voted to broaden the base and minimize the power that had coalesced under AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong backer of the Muslim Brotherhood who has welcomed Hamas to set up foreign headquarters in the country.

“Long live democracy!” CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told his supporters at about 10 pm local time as early returns made it clear that Turkey’s election outcome was different this time around, after 12 years of rule by the AKP’s Justice and Development Party.

More than 53.7 million eligible voters were expected to vote Sunday (June 7) in a pivotal parliamentary election. Of those, nearly 46 million went to the polls between 8 am and 5 pm local time; voter turnout was high – about 85 percent – “sign of a strong democracy,” according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who voted in Istanbul.

At least 50,000 people signed up to serve as election monitors, showing their concern over the possibility the vote might be rigged. It was a realistic concern: during local elections last March, there were suspicious power outages in 22 provinces across the country while votes were being counted, and discrepancies surfaced between numbers recorded at polling stations and those entered into the Higher Election Board computers.

The results may ultimately determine whether Turkey eliminates the prime minister’s position in favor of the presidential system desired by Erdogan, who has long advocated for the change.

At the end, the people made it clear: they had had enough of Erdogan’s dictatorial manner.

In the previous 2011 election, the AKP won nearly 50 percent of the 550 seats in the parliament. But this time, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) garnerned just 40.6 percent of the vote – not enough to win the 276 seats necessary to form the next government alone.

The leftist-socialist CHP (Republican People’s Party) which led the country prior to the landslide victory by the AKP 12 years ago, won approximately 25.3 percent.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) received 16 percent, higher than MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli Bahçeli had hoped for. “May the election be the best yet for our 20 parties, their valued candidates and 165 independent candidates,” he said prior to the vote.

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) meanwhile won 12.7 percent of the nationwide vote. This is the first time the Kurdish sector has crossed the parliament’s 10 percent barrier and winning a place in the legislative body. The HDP victory did not come without a cost – a bombing on Friday before the elections left two people dead in southeast Turkey and 200 others wounded. It was not clear whether in fact the polls would be safe in Kurdish areas. The Kurdish PKK terrorist organization also has a deep interest in the outcome of the election inasmuch as its group, which advocates for separating the region from the rest of Turkey, has been targeted by the government for years.

Hezbollah Runs Away as Jabhat al-Nusra Captures Another Syrian City

Friday, May 29th, 2015

A Syrian rebel group, Jaish al-Fatah, which is a coalition of Islamic rebels led by the Al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, captured Ariha, the last remaining Syrian-government controlled city in the north-western province of Idleb.

Syrian forces and Hezbollah retreated after fierce battles, according a report in the Lebanon Daily Star.

The Nusra front now controls all the cities in the province, which shares a border with Turkey.

Turkey to Help Hamas Rebuild 19 Destroyed ‘Missile Mosques’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Turkey has offered money to Hamas to re-build 19 mosques that were used to store or launch missiles on Israel before the IDF destroyed them in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio reported Monday morning.

Mehmet Gormez, president of Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs, is visiting Gaza for the first time in what may be a warm-up for a long-promised visit by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan

Gormez said everything Hamas and condemned Israel for “violating human rights” in Gaza by attacking missile-launching sites, many of which were located in mosques, schools, cemeteries and U.N.-financed buildings.

The religious affairs official said:

Israel used internationally banned weapons and violated religious and human rights. Israel must be prosecuted.

Gormez met with de facto Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, who rules Gaza despite a brilliant Orwellian-like maneuver last year that delighted the Obama administration with a “technocrat” government, supposedly without Hamas representation.

Haniyeh poured praise on Turkey for its “reliable and sacred” bond.

The promise of Turkish aid to rebuild missile-launching sites, camouflaged as mosques, follows Iran’s resumption of aid to help Hamas re-build terror tunnels, camouflaged as hide-and-seek playgrounds

US Soldiers Arrive in Turkey to Train ‘Moderate’ Rebels against ISIS

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Approximately 120 U.S. Army soldiers have landed in Turkey to train “moderate” Syrian rebels at a Turkish air force base, Hurriyet News reported Friday.

The Obama administration previously has announced a grandiose program to train and equip rebels fighting the Assad regime, which has been joined by the Iranian-back Hezbollah terrorist  organization.

Implementation of the program has been delayed because of disagreement over which fighters will be trained. The United States wants to vet fighters so that the weapons don’t end up in the hands of Al Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, but that could mean that the best fighters won’t be trained.

American governments and their State Dept, gurus have a long and bloody history of ignorance of the Middle East, as well as Vietnam for those who recall the groups of “advisors” that ballooned into a full force of soldiers, 58,000 of whom were killed in the war in the 1960s and 70s.

A senior opposition commander in eastern Syria told Reuters, “When the Americans see anyone shout ‘Allahu Akbar! they think they’re Islamists.”

The Syrian rebels being trained by the American soldiers will return to Syria to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) and will take along machine guns and anti-tank weapons.

President Obama has been extremely reluctant to get involved in the civil war in Syria, and one wonders whether he simply is going through the motion to show that he is doing something, without actually doing much at all.

One rebel commander told Reuters that Syrians are most motivated to defeat Assad, whose regime he described to Reuters as the “biggest killer.”

Syria is geographically divided, with the ISIS controlling areas in eastern Syria.

The State Dept., in response to questioning from Sen. John McCain in March, wrote him, “Even when considered as a whole, U.S. government assistance to the moderate armed opposition will not be decisive in defeating regime forces.

“Nor will the fighters who receive this assistance, on their own, force Assad to change his calculus about trying to hold on to power.”

The Armenian Genocide

Friday, April 24th, 2015

On April 23, Armenians marched with Armenian flags, signs, and torches from the Armenian Quarter of Old City to the Armenian Church in the German Colony, Jerusalem, as they mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The massacres, which were carried out by Turkey, began in April 1915.

Armenian communities around the world mark the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians, on April 24 each year with marches, vigils and rallies to demand recognition from the world community, and reparations from Turkey.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/the-armenian-genocide/2015/04/24/

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