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Friday, May 30, 2014

Stop acting wimpy!

Mordechai Kedar writes that Israel's approach to Turkey has been all wrong since the Mavi Marmara incident four years ago this weekend.
To my mind, there is no bigger mistake than the way in which Israel dealt with the Marmara affair. From day one, Israel should have said loudly: "The Marmara was a terror ship that wanted to break a legal siege on a terrorist entity, and everyone on the ship is a terrorist. The nation that sent the ship is terror-supporting and its prime minister encourages terror. Israel acted as would any normal nation when attacked by terrorists. Therefore, Israel's actions were justified. There is no obligation to compensate families of terrorists, no other nation in the world does that."
At the same time, Israel could have ceased – and still can cease - acting like a wimp and start giving as good as she gets. Israel has to raise world consciousness as to the many terrible events in which Turkey's present and past governments have been involved: illegal occupation of North Cyprus since 1974; ethnic cleansing of the Greek minority from northern Cyprus; persecution of the Kurds in Turkey and wholesale abrogation of that minority's human rights; an illegal and illegitimate war against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq; abrogation of rights of Christians in Turkey; legitimization of one-sided turning of churches into mosques; killing of Turkish citizens taking part in protests; aid to Jihadist organizations like al Qaeda who are fighting in Syria – and many more crimes in which the Turkish government is involved up to its neck.
And in case anyone has forgotten, in WWI the Turkish army committed genocide against the Christian Armenians who had lived in the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years.
Several weeks ago, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu announced that Turkey will not reimburse the Greek refugees that she expelled from northern Cyprus to the south of the island after her illegal occupation of the area, despite the decision of the EU Court of Human Rights that Turkey must grant them reparations. Israel can use that as a precedent and say clearly: "Turkey is not paying reparations to peaceful, decent citizens. And we should pay reparations to families of terrorists?" Israel can also turn to Interpol with a complaint against Erdogan and his forces for the murder of citizens in last year's demonstrations in Istanbul's Gezi Park.
Israel, however, does nothing to embarrass the Turks, because we behave like softies and try to pacify them, even though every thinking person knows that when one gives in to blackmail, that does not lower the blackmailer's demands. The opposite is true: the more the blackmailer succeeds in squeezing his victim, the larger his appetite becomes and with it, the level of his blackmail.
Read the whole thing

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