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July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Turkey Planning ‘Marmara II’

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The Turkish terror group IHH is planning a redux of the 2010 “freedom flotilla” to Gaza that left 10 Turkish citizens dead.

The original flotilla planned to break Israel’s “siege” of the Gaza coast (i.e. Israel’s naval blockade, intended to prevent military shipments from reaching Hamas and other terror groups). Israel warned that the boats would not be allowed to approach the blockaded zone, but when Israeli Navy Seals stopped and boarded the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel in the flotilla, the peaceful activists tried to lynch the IDF soldiers with metal bars, fists, kicks and even guns.

Ten terrorists died as a result of the altercation, and Turkey downgraded relations with Israel immediately after the incident.

Today, four years later, the group says it has put wheels in motion to form a second flotilla for Gaza. IHH chairman Bülent Yildrim said last week that the group would set sail as soon as it had cleared bureaucratic red-tape with the Turkish government. He also said the Turkish Navy has agreed to escort the ships to Gaza. Israeli officials did not respond to the news item, but it is noteworthy that IHH has threatened several times to organise new flotillas since the Mavi Marmara altercation.

IHH has long been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and many Western powers. According to NGO Monitor, Turkish authorities investigated the group in 1997 after receiving info that senior IHH figures had purchased weapons from Islamic radicals. The monitoring group said a police raid on the IHH headquarters in Istanbul found weapons, explosives, and instructions for making improvised explosive devices.

Later, it is believed the group provided material assistance to Hamas during the later group’s murderous bus bombing campaign a decade ago, and some American officials believe the group was planning a bomb attack on Los Angeles International Airport.

More recently, IHH chief humanitarian displayed his admiration and respect for members of all religious faith groups, saying Turkish Jews could easily pay the ultimate price for Israel’s actions.

“Israel’s spoiled attitude could spell the end for Jewish communities living in Turkey. Otherwise more bad things will happen,” said IHH Chairman Bülent Yildrrims.

In a separate statement, MK Şamil Tayyar, a member of parliament representing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party, said he “Hope(s) your race disappears under many more new Hitlers.”

Even Haaretz Thinks Kerry’s Ceasefire Is One-Sided against Israel

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

A leak of of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal reveals that it ignored the need to destroy terrorist tunnels and disarm Hamas while granting the terrorist organization, outlawed by the United States, millions of dollars to entrench itself in Gaza.

The “framework,” as Kerry called it, was so clumsily put together that the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, a long-time champion of peace with Hamas, reported that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza ceasefire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

After Hamas thoroughly rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt last week, Kerry knew he could not get support from Hamas without going through its allies, Qatar and Turkey. He staged a press conference with their foreign ministers, ignored Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and presented a proposal to the Israel Cabinet that was unanimously rejected Friday night.

Kerry made things even worse when he insisted that the Cabinet did not “reject” the proposal because, in his words, “There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect … It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means.”

Okay. It is not a proposal. It is a framework, one of Kerry’s favorite words dating back to his Peace Process Follies, where Palestinian Authority ultimatums became “negotiations” and the American “ultimatum” also was a “framework.”

The Jewish Press asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman if Netanyahu issued a “clarification,” as Kerry said he would. The spokesman, known for his accessibility and prompt response, has not answered after three hours of phone calls and text messages.

Until proven otherwise, it is more than conceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister has nothing to say. There is no sense in embarrassing Kerry since he does a good job at that all by himself.

The ”framework,” in the word of Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, “placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Kerry held a press conference on Saturday, slobbering praise on the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers. In the first two words in the excerpt of the YouTube below, Kerry uttered two words that fewer and fewer believe anymore. He said, “I understand.”

He understands Israel’s needs and understands this and understands that but does not understand anything more than he says at the moment.

According to his own spokeswoman Marie Harf Friday, the Secretary of Talk “made 13 phone calls as of today. He ended up making a total of 25 yesterday – very busy – talking mainly about his attempts to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.”

What’s good for the phone company is good for the United States.

For all his talk, he delivered a draft that, again in the words of Haaretz’s Ravid, “was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.”

Ceasefire Talks Again

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Once again there are talks of a cease fire being put together for this afternoon.

Qatar has managed to wiggle its way in, because of their special relationship with Hamas.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is waiting to hear back from the Qatari and Turkish Foreign Ministers about Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal’s response to Kerry’s  latest cease fire proposal.

The basics of the proposal have been reported as follows:

1. A one week cease fire, where the IDF will remain in Gaza and continue to destroy the Hamas terror tunnels.

2. Israel and Hamas will begin negotiations (!) over a permanent arrangement. The Palestinian Authority will participate in these talks.

3. The US, the UN and the EU will provide guarantees to both sides for their demands. For Israel – the dismantling of the Hamas rockets and tunnels. For Gaza – the end of the blockade.

If these reports on the conditions are correct, and Israel agrees to them, then Israel has essentially recognized Hamas, granting legitimacy to a terrorist organization as the political authority over Gaza, and it has agreed to negotiate with terrorists, instead of destroying them.

Not to worry, even if it accepts it, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are unlikely to be able to control themselves for an entire week.

The question is, will Israel choose to ignore Hamas breaches during the cease fire – and that answer is probably yes.

If Mashaal responds positively, the Israeli cabinet will vote on it this afternoon.

Operation: Turkish Rescue

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Thousands of Israeli tourists have been trapped in Turkey for days, due to cancelled flights to Israel.

Needless to say, the atmosphere in Turkey towards Israel isn’t pleasant at the moment.

This morning, beginning at 5am, El Al initiated a rescue mission, at the request of the Israeli Ministry of Transportation, sending multiple planes to Turkey to bring back the stranded Israeli citizens.

So far 3 flights have landed in Turkey, and El Al is expected to fly in 3 more planes at least.

Wanted: Ally for Israel in Cairo Talks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Israel needs an ally as it faces an array of representatives who hope to bring about a premature cease fire with Hamas terrorists intent on wiping out the Jewish State.

Hamas has no qualms about using any form of human or other innnocent creature as a shield for its weapons in attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers. Nor has its ability to launch a constant barrage of short and medium-range rocket and missile fire been significantly impaired thus far — a lethal threat to the millions of Israeli men, women and children who are spending more time in their bomb shelters than outside of them this summer.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Monday in Cairo with the announced intent to help world leaders re-establish the November 2012 truce between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

Noah Pollack’s Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) explained the issue: “Israel does not need a mediator. Israel needs an ally. Pressuring Israel to agree to a cease fire that rescues Hamas from defeat and leaves it in possession of its missiles, tunnels, and terror infrastructure is foolish and wrong. If President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John} Kerry want to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, they should support Israel and its campaign to end the terror threat from Gaza.”

But instead, shortly after heading into a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kerry announced the U.S. will send $47 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to Gaza, of which $15 million is earmarked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) there.

UNRWA, incidentally, which purports to be scrupulously neutral in its dealings in Gaza, “discovered” 20 missiles at one of its schools in the town of Rafah, located on the border of Gaza and Egypt a few days ago during a routine inspection by international staff. The missiles were quietly handed over to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Kerry’s aides added a statement warning that it would be “difficult” to achieve an immediate and lasting cease fire – but that he hopes to make progress in the next few days to reach a temporary pause.

Israel agreed to two humanitarian cease fires since the start of Operation Protective Edge, including one requested by the International Committee for the Red Cross on behalf of Hamas itself. Hamas violated them both, firing mortar shells and rockets at Israeli civilians during the “pause” each time. Israel held its fire nevertheless; but should it now?

What kind of ally aids an enemy to reach a cease fire in which it can attack a friend?

Meanwhile, Hamas is insisting that Qatar and Turkey be allowed at the table to represent its interests in talks with Egypt, which is mediating the negotiations.

Qatar – a generous fiscal patron of Hamas — recently purchased $11 billion in military weapons and hardware from the Obama administration. In whose hands will those weapons eventually land?

In the first week of June, Qatar pledged $60 million to help pay the salaries of Gaza workers in the Palestinian Authority unity government. The money was to be transferred to the PUG offices in Ramallah in three monthly payments of $20 million each, according to Qatari government spokesperson Ihab Bseiso. The Qatari government has sent funds to Hamas before, even via charitable organizations in the United States. The Al Jazeera television network has also been described in a February 2006 State Department cable leaked by Wiki Leaks as a “big friend of Hamas.” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal maintains an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Turkey is also no friend of Israel at this point and appears to be coordinating its moves with Qatar, and possibly with Iran as well, with whom it has strong ties.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, himself a sympathizer with radical Islamists, is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and a longtime supporter of Hamas in Gaza. He has brought Turkey much closer to Tehran and successfully sabotaged diplomatic ties with Israel in the years he has served as prime minister, but now faces a fight to stay in his job. Turkey goes to the polls on August 10 to elect a president who will lead the nation alone, instead of the current dual ‘prime minister-president’ system. Erdogan needs a reason to ‘wow’ his constituents and firm up his AKP electoral base, comprised of Islamist voters. There are two competitors for the presidency; one a secularist, the other a moderate Muslim.

Are Turkey’s Jews in Trouble?

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Are the Jews of Turkey – Israel’s former ally in the region — in danger?

On Friday, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed alarm at the increasingly hostile environment towards Israel in Turkey that has extended itself towards that country’s Jews.

The ADL called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reject the targeting of Turkish Jews over Israel’s counter terrorist Operation Protective Edge — launched to silence the rocket fire aimed by Hamas at Israeli civilians – and to publicly assert that the Jewish community has the full support and protection of the state.

Instead, Erdogan issued an additional condemnation of Israel the next day, telling supporters in a speech at the Black Sea resort city of Ordu, “[Israelis] have no conscience, no honor, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.” According to the Reuters news service, the Turkish leader repeatedly likened Israel to the Nazi murderers over the Jewish State’s current counter terrorist Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

But Erdogan was apparently persuaded by senior members of his Islamic AKP party to lower the heat against the Jews in his own country, if only a trifle. “I don’t approve of any [bad} attitude towards our Jewish citizens in Turkey despite all this. Why? They are the citizens of this country,” he said.

Approximately 17,000 Jews remain in the country. But the rising anti-Semitism combined with increasing difficulty for young Jews in finding a spouse is prompting families to emigrate at a much faster rate than they have in past years. Istanbul's Sephardic synagogue, the magnificent Neve Shalom, has been attacked by Palestinian Arab terrorists three times since 1986 -- most recently in 2003.

Neve Shalom Synagogue of Istanbul, June 2013.

Neve Shalom Synagogue of Istanbul, June 2013.

As recently as June 2013, in order to enter the building, a visitor had find the small nonedescript entrance alley off to the side, then surrender one’s passport, walk through a metal detector and undergo a search carried out by grim Turkish security personnel. Some visitors were not allowed in anyway, depending upon the whim of the security guards.

APC

Street view of Neve Shalom synagogue, Istanbul, June 2013.

Street view of Neve Shalom synagogue, Istanbul, June 2013.

The Sephardic Jewish Center was also well hidden, away on a side street in the center of Istanbul in a posh neighborhood filled with upscale restaurants. One would not know it was there, unless you knew what to look for. Even then, the entrance is hidden.

To find it, one enters a building and is greeting immediately by a friendly security man at the door who asks your business. An upscale shop is located on the ground floor, across the from desk.

If you know what to ask, and where you are going, you are passed through to the location of a small elevator, well protected with metal grating and heavy steel bars and locks. Several other security measures later, all with heavy reinforcements, and eventually one emerges into the offices of the Jewish news weekly, the Salom Gazette, housed in the Sephardic Jewish Center, the nerve center of Turkish Jewry. The Istanbul-based Center, which is struggling for resources — and survival — at this point, produces the only Ladino newspaper in the world. It is probably the only spot in the country where Jews can find materials in Hebrew, Ladino, and other languages about Israel and Judaism.

Abbas Looking for Ceasefire

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen said Wednesday that he will spend the next few days trying to convince the international community to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Thursday, the PA leader will visit Cairo to discuss President Abed Fattah el-Sisi’s ceasefire initiative, which was rejected yesterday by Hamas. From there, he will continue on to Turkey, where he will hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Abu Mazen has accused Israel of “genocide” during the current air campaign in Gaza. Erdoğan said earlier this week that Israel employs “state terrorism.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-looking-for-ceasefire/2014/07/16/

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