Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turkish PM: Israeli attacks on Gaza are ‘state terror’

End the Lie

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made some quite heated statements in condemnation of the most recent Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in a speech Tuesday, calling the attacks a “massacre.”

A cease fire between Gaza militants and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) went into effect Tuesday but there have been reports of rocket attacks despite this agreement.
Thus far, according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz, almost 200 rockets have hit Israeli territory since the most recent outbreak of violence began on Friday.

The Israeli Air Force has conducted some 37 airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip, 19 of which supposedly targeted rocket launchers while 18 allegedly targeted weapons warehouses.

These attacks have resulted in 26 Palestinian deaths, 22 of which were allegedly militants while four were civilians who had no hand in the rocket fire.

In a speech to the Turkish parliament, Erdogan called on Israel to “stop the brutal attack against Palestinians and stop the massacre and bloodshed.”

He also called the Israeli airstrikes on Palestinians “state terror,” adding that the Turkish people have an obligation to “remember that Gazans are our brothers, and will always remain so.”

Erdogan has made some similarly strong comments in regards to the Israeli actions in the past, even going as far as to say that any further flotillas which intend to break through the Gaza blockade would be accompanied by Turkish vessels after the massacre on the Mavi Marmara, in addition to claims that Turkey was going to seek legal retribution for the murders.

Even considering his fiery words, Erdogan tends to fail to actually follow through, and I honestly doubt that he will take any action against the Israeli attacks.

During the speech Erdogan also took the opportunity to address Syria, saying that “the window of opportunity was closing following the massacres taking place daily in the country,” while also saying that Turkey “was making every possible effort to prevent further escalation in Syria.”

It is unclear if he is referring to the possibility of foreign military intervention or the vicious violence currently occurring between the armed Syrian opposition and Syrian government forces. Turkey’s (alleged) involvement with the Syrian opposition makes me think this is a somewhat disingenuous statement.

Interestingly, Erdogan’s heated rhetoric came in the wake of Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau issuing a warning to Israelis against traveling to Turkey.

The Israeli agency claimed that they had information regarding the intent of terrorist organizations to carry out attacks on targets frequented by Israelis and Jews in Turkey in the near future, according to The Washington Post.

There have been previous claims of planned terrorist attacks in Turkey – which were supposedly going to strike targets linked to the United States – but thankfully those failed to materialize, and I suspect that will be the case with these recent warnings as well.
Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday calling for the Security Council to condemn the rocket attacks at the hands of Gaza militants.

If the Security Council were to adopt such a resolution, I would hope that they would also condemn the Israeli collective punishment of Palestinians which is a clear violation of international law.

Prosor complained of what he believed to be a lack of response from the United Nations regarding the most recent violence, saying that the United Nations “Security Council has uttered zero words of condemnation of these attacks.”

“There is something wrong with this equation,” Prosor claimed, adding that it was “time for the Security Council to speak with one voice against the terrorism that continues to flow from Gaza.”

I agree that terrorism should be opposed by all means, but we must also recognize the terrorism that continues to flow out of Israel as well.

Not long ago anonymous U.S. officials confirmed that Israel was indeed responsible for training and funding terrorists and their operations in Iran.

If the Security Council is going to condemn killers in Gaza, I would hope that they would evenhandedly condemn the terrorists and murderers in Israel as well.

But of course Israeli officials believe they are exceptional and the rules don’t apply to them, so I’m sure such a resolution that took a fair approach would be condemned as anti-Semitic or something similarly nonsensical.

This latest wave of attacks led Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to say that the Palestinians would no longer be allowed to have a territorially contiguous state, claiming that the people of Palestine “have condemned themselves to a separation that looks like it will continue for generations,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

This is quite tragic, and indicates the collective punishment I mentioned previously, as Lieberman is holding the entirety of the Palestinian people responsible for the actions of a handful of militants.

The Israeli government seems to be wiping away any and all chance of a so-called “safe passage” from Gaza and even raising the prospect of another Operation Cast Lead-like onslaught.

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