“The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million – that number again”

June 04, 2010

[This dispatch has been updated since it was first published. Please see below for updates.]

* Videos, photos and cartoons below

* Revealed: Offspring of bin Laden mentor, Afghan veterans were on Mavi Marmari

* Charles Krauthammer: “The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million – that number again – hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists – Iranian in particular – openly prepare a more final solution.” (Tom Gross adds: The Jewish population of Israel is now approaching 6 million.)

*The Washington Post: “Last week the Obama administration joined the [international] jackals [circling Israel], and reversed four decades of U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons – thus de-legitimizing Israel’s very last line of defense.”

* Local UN staff condemn Hamas “repressive” raids on NGO offices in Gaza City and Rafah this week; international media refuse to report on this.

* Washington Post Gaza correspondent: “If you walk down Gaza City’s main thoroughfare – Salah al-Din Street – grocery stores are stocked wall-to-wall with everything from fresh Israeli yogurts and hummus to Cocoa Puffs. Pharmacies look as well-supplied as a typical Rite Aid in the United States.”

 

Please also click here to see today’s other dispatch: Who remembers the Forgotten Rachels?

 

CONTENTS

1. Turkish paper publishes photos of stabbed, beaten Israeli soldiers
2. America’s most senior White House correspondent: Jews back to Germany
3. News reporter or political activist?
4. Humanitarian aid?
5. While Israel engaged Flotilla, Hamas raided Gaza NGOs
6. Washington Post: Gaza pharmacies look as well-stocked as those in the U.S.
7. Leading French anti-terror judge: Turkish organizers of Gaza flotilla tied to al-Qaeda
8. Offspring of bin Laden mentor were on Mavi Marmari
9. Not a Love Boat

10. The Guardian, once again hinting that Jews are Nazis
11. Even the regional press are obsessed with covering Israel
12. Leading exiled Turkish Imam criticizes Gaza flotilla
13. Sweden, Norway act against Israel
14. Surrealism today
15. All Israeli flights to Turkey canceled
16. Turks, brutalizers of the Kurds, killer of Armenians, occupiers of Cyprus
17. “Those troublesome Jews” (By Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, June 4, 2010)
18. “Turkey’s Erdogan bears responsibility in flotilla fiasco” (Editorial, Washington Post)


[All notes below by Tom Gross]

TURKISH PAPER PUBLISHES PHOTOS OF STABBED, BEATEN ISRAELI SOLDIERS

Photos taken by the Turkish “peace” activists on the Mavi Marmari boat, published in the leading Turkish paper Hurriyet, show Israeli soldiers bruised, beaten and bleeding having been attacked by “peace” activists on the boat. They also back up Israeli accounts that there were attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers (possibly creating more Gilad Shalits), and put paid to the lies being told by British, French and Irish “peace” activists day after day last week in European and Middle Eastern media that no Israelis were attacked on the boat and that “the IDF is lying” when they said they were.

More photos here from Hurriyet’s website.

The Israeli army has consistently said that it only gave permission for troops to fire some time after they had boarded the boat, once the lives of Israeli troops – who had tried to peaceably reach an agreement with the activists – were put at severe risk.

The Turkish media don’t run the fabricated accounts of the Western press saying the Israelis “shot from the helicopter and murdered civilians within seconds of landing on deck.” Instead they mock the IDF for being so reluctant to use lethal force for so long even when attacked.

Respectable Western journalists apparently continue to believe the American and British run “Free Gaza” movement is telling the truth when it says in its press release that the Israelis “began to shoot the moment their feet hit the deck. They fired directly into the crowd of civilians asleep.”

***

Update, June 6, 2010

It appears that Reuters may have deliberately cropped the Hurriyet photo so as to remove the knife that the “peace activist” was holding (Reuters photo, below, right). If so, it wouldn’t be the first time Reuters had been caught altering photos to make them less sympathetic to Israel. Reuters did so, for example, in the 2006 Hizbullah-Israel war.



(For background on Reuters, please see here.)


Update, June 7, 2010:

Reuters has acknowledged photo cropping to remove the knife from a “peace activist” and Reuters has restored the knife to the photo following pressure from key people in media and business, including people who tell me they were informed about the Reuters knife cropping yesterday by this weblist / website.


***

Update, June 8, 2010:

The Israeli paper Ha’aretz asked me for a quote on the matter, here:

www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/reuters-under-fire-for-removing-weapons-blood-from-images-of-gaza-flotilla-1.294780

Political commentator Tom Gross told Ha’aretz that “this isn’t the first time Reuters had been caught altering photos to make them less sympathetic to Israel. They did so, for example, in the 2006 Lebanon war.”

“Everyone makes mistakes, including journalists, but every time Reuters says it makes a mistake, it does so to Israel’s detriment, and this looks suspiciously like a deliberate pattern.”

“The father of Julius Reuter – the German Jew who founded Reuters – was a rabbi. He must be turning in his grave at how Reuters if helping to stir up delegtimization against the Jewish state.”

***

The Ha’aretz piece has been picked up elsewhere during the course of the day, for example, here in The San Francisco Sentinel: www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=76546

And for example, here in the influential magazine The Week: http://theweek.com/article/index/203829/reuters-fauxtogate-scandal

 

AMERICA’S MOST SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: JEWS BACK TO GERMANY

Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent for the Hearst newspaper chain (publishers of 53 newspapers), is one of the most senior journalists in America. Last week she said Jews “must go back home to live in Germany and Poland”.


Photo below, Jews “at home in Germany”: Bergen-Belsen death camp


 

NEWS REPORTER OR POLITICAL ACTIVIST?

Here is Helen Thomas attacking White House Spokesperson Robert Gibbs for America’s initial reaction to Monday’s events off the coast of Israel. This is a press conference and Thomas is meant to be one of America’s leading journalists, but she once again reveals her sympathies for Israel’s enemies. (At least she is open about her prejudices. I have heard plenty of other foreign reporters say repulsive things about Israelis – and about Jews in general – in the privacy of post-press conference gatherings in Jerusalem.)


Helen Thomas has been virulently anti-Israeli for years. Here she is, for example, putting the Hizbullah case to George W. Bush’s press secretary Tony Snow:


In spite of this a number of members of the White House press corps have defended her over her recent “Jews back to Germany” remarks.

President Barack Obama is said to be among those who is a fan of Thomas.


Update, June 7, 2010:

Helen Thomas forced to resign.

 

HUMANITARIAN AID?

Here is new footage of the weapons captured from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist “peace activists” on the boat Mavi Marmara.

They include plenty of knives (the really nasty ones used to cut people rather than steak), gas masks, body armor, night-vision equipment for raids from Gaza to kill Israelis, and electric saws, of the kind Hamas routinely uses for torturing Palestinian political opponents in Gaza.


 

WHILE ISRAEL ENGAGED FLOTILLA, HAMAS RAIDED GAZA NGOS

The following is a press statement sent by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry. (So biased are the media, that almost none have reported it.)

For immediate release

3 June 2010, Jerusalem

I am deeply concerned at reports from Gaza that Hamas has broken into a number of NGO offices in Gaza City and Rafah in recent days and closed them down, confiscating their materials and equipment in the process. This targeting of NGOs, including UN partner organizations, is unacceptable, violating accepted norms of a free society and harming the Palestinian people. The de facto authorities must cease such repressive steps and allow the re-opening of these civil society institutions without delay.

(Tom Gross adds: One of the few to mention this is the UN’s own website.)

 

WASHINGTON POST: GAZA PHARMACIES LOOK AS WELL-STOCKED AS THOSE IN THE U.S.

As anyone who follows the Middle East closely knows, Israel supplies Gaza with ample goods. Indeed the standard of living there is higher than it is in many other areas of the Arab world – or in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. For example, 20 per cent of all Gazans own a personal computer (i.e. an average of more than one per family).

An outstandingly ignorant commentator, The Financial Times columnist Philip Stephens, today writes (in a piece flagged at the top of the front page of The Financial Times under the heading “Israeli power is now the enemy of peace”) that Palestinians are denied adequate food and water in Gaza.

At least some American journalists attempt to tell the truth about Israel.

The Washington Post Middle East correspondent reported yesterday: “If you walk down Gaza City’s main thoroughfare – Salah al-Din Street – grocery stores are stocked wall-to-wall with everything from fresh Israeli yogurts and hummus to Cocoa Puffs. Pharmacies look as well-supplied as a typical Rite Aid in the United States.”

“When Western people come, they have this certain image of Gaza,” Omar Shaban, an economist who heads Pal-Think for Strategic Studies in Gaza, told The Washington Post. “We have microwaves in our homes, not only me, everybody. If you go to a refugee camp, the house is bad, but the people and the equipment are very modern. The problem is the public infrastructure.”

Israel has never had a problem with anyone who might want to supply Gaza with goods. Israel does have an issue with those who would allow the unfettered entry into Gaza of weapons and militants (of the kind on the Mavi Marmara) which would make a future war with Israel much more likely.

(To see photos – from the Palestinian press in Gaza – of how there is plenty of food in Gaza, please click here and scroll down the page.)

 

LEADING FRENCH ANTI-TERROR JUDGE: TURKISH ORGANIZERS OF GAZA FLOTILLA TIED TO AL-QAEDA

“The Turkish Islamic charity behind a flotilla of aid ships that was raided by Israeli forces on its way to Gaza had ties to terrorism networks, including a 1999 al-Qaeda plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport, France's former top anti-terrorism judge said Wednesday (June 2, 2010).

The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, known by its Turkish acronym IHH, had “clear, long-standing ties to terrorism and Jihad,” former investigating judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told The Associated Press.

Bruguiere led the French judiciary’s counterterrorism unit for nearly two decades before retiring in 2007. “They were basically helping al-Qaeda when (Osama) bin Laden started to want to target U.S. soil,” he said.

 

OFFSPRING OF BIN LADEN MENTOR WERE ON MAVI MARMARI

Reliable Palestinian sources have revealed that among the activists who were onboard the Mavi Marmari were the grandson and son-in-law of Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, the radical teacher and mentor of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Azzam’s 19-year-old grandson, Muhammad, was accompanied by his father, Abdullah Anas, who is married to the sheikh’s daughter, Summaya. Another grandson, Ahmed, 17, is planning to join the next convoy to Gaza.

In a speech he made while in Brooklyn, Azzam urged his followers to wage jihad in the U.S. He explained that jihad “means fighting only, fighting with the sword.”

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, Azzam moved to Afghanistan declaring that “jihad to the death” was fard ayn [a personal obligation] for all Muslims.

He later convinced his friend and long-time associate, bin Laden, to come to Afghanistan and join the jihad.

Azzam’s trademark slogan was “Jihad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogues.” He was killed by a bomb blast in his car in Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1989.

His daughter, who lives in London, said she was proud to be raising her children in the path of their grandfather.

She told the Safa news agency that her husband phoned her on Monday evening to inform her that he and Muhammad had not been hurt in the confrontation between IDF soldiers and some of the activists.

Summaya added: I was prepared to “sacrifice myself and my five sons as martyrs for the sake of Allah. This is not much and we will give until the last drop of blood.”

***

AFGHAN VETERAN ON MAVI MARMARA

Further sources reveal that Azzam’s son-in-law, who is listed amongst the British participants under his birth name, Boudjema Bounoua, was himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a senior figure in the Afghan jihad, where he fought for several years.

He is credited with establishing the Makhtab al-Kidmat, which brought Arab fighters to Afghanistan and is generally seen as the forerunner of al-Qaeda. After Afghanistan he is said to have become a senior figure in the Algerian FIS before settling in Britain.

 

NOT A LOVE BOAT

On Wednesday evening, Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Mavi Marama “was no “Love Boat.”

This is how many in Israel expressed agreement with Netanyahu:



I suggest you watch this short video through to the end.

(For the younger, non-Americans on this list, the Love Boat was a popular TV drama series.)

 

SURREALISM TODAY

Cartoon by Nate Beeler, of The Washington Examiner.


 

THE GUARDIAN, ONCE AGAIN HINTING THAT JEWS ARE NAZIS

The British paper The Guardian has been running headlines such as “British survivor tells of Israeli assault on Gaza aid ship” and speaking of “survivors” – the latest in a long line of hints that Israel is carrying out some kind of Holocaust.

The Guardian (several editors of which subscribe to this email list) has previously been criticized by myself and others for running cartoons comparing Israelis with Fascists. Their cartoonists have perhaps now backed off from doing so (at least for the time being), but instead are making almost as offensive and utterly ridiculous comparisons between these Islamists and the plight of biblical Jews.


 

EVEN THE REGIONAL PRESS ARE OBSESSED WITH COVERING ISRAEL

Here, for example, is the beginning of a lead story today (Friday, June 4, 2010) from The Leicester Mercury (a paper published in the British midlands):

A Leicestershire man has described the horror of seeing people shot and killed around him on an aid boat bound for Gaza.

Ismail Patel said he saw a man shot dead in front of him, as bullets rained down from a helicopter.

The 47-year-old optician from Oadby was speaking of the traumatic events which saw hundreds of activists clashing with Israeli commandos on a fleet of six ships.

... Kevin Ovenden is an aide to the former MP George Galloway and was travelling with Mr Patel on the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara.

Speaking to the Mercury from another Istanbul hotel, he said: “The word horrific is over-used but it truly was horrific. Myself, Ismail and other Britons saw people shot directly through their heads with live rounds so hard that they burst open their skulls.”

***

Tom Gross adds: If Israel was prepared to use fire from the helicopter as Patel claims, why on earth was it necessary for the IDF soldiers to be beaten up on the boat?

The Leicester Mercury also doesn’t mention that Patel has previously publicly said that the 9/11 attacks were a Mossad plot. And yet I am told by a source at the BBC that they are so enamored by him, that they have asked Patel to appear this Sunday morning on a BBC TV discussion program about how uniquely awful Israel is.

And for those who don’t know who Galloway is, he is famous, among other things, for his grovelling praise of Saddam Hussein.

 

LEADING EXILED TURKISH IMAM CRITICIZES GAZA FLOTILLA

Imam Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and who is considered one of Turkey’s most influential religious leaders, has criticized the Turkish-led flotilla for trying to deliver aid without Israel’s consent.

Gülen said that the organizers’ failure to seek accord with Israel before attempting to deliver aid “is a sign of defying authority, and will not lead to fruitful matters.”

From his exile, Gülen is playing a key role in the struggle between moderates and radicals for the future of Turkish Islam. His words of restraint come as many in Turkey gave flotilla members a hero’s welcome on their return home.

His newspaper columns, weekly Internet sermons and other messages have been collected into more than 60 books. His adherents number, by various estimates, three million to eight million.

Followers have established hundreds of schools in more than 100 countries. About 70% of Turkey’s police force are thought to be Gülenists – a counterbalance to Turkey’s powerful military, which is a secularist bastion.

 

SWEDEN, NORWAY ACT AGAINST ISRAEL

International action against Israel is intensifying.

In Sweden, dockworkers are set to launch a weeklong boycott of Israeli ships and goods, a union spokesman said today.

Peter Annerback, a spokesman for the Swedish Port Workers Union, said workers are urged to refuse handling of Israeli goods and ships during the June 15-24 boycott.

Norway’s military says it has canceled a special operations seminar because the Defense Ministry objected to the inclusion of an Israeli army officer in the program, AP reported.

A spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said a dock action like the one being urged in Sweden was illegal, according to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights.

 

ALL ISRAELI FLIGHTS TO TURKEY CANCELED

All Israeli flights to Turkey have been canceled due to the escalating political crises between the two countries, effectively closing the most popular budget holiday destination for Israelis.

Well over half a million Israeli tourists visited Turkey in 2007 and 2008.

There is great anger against their own government’s provocations and threats to Israel among Turkish hotel operators, who are now losing money.

On Thursday, a Catholic bishop was murdered in Turkey. Some reports say the killer may be a suspected Islamist.

 

TURKS, BRUTALIZERS OF THE KURDS, KILLER OF ARMENIANS, OCCUPIERS OF CYPRUS

The present Turkish government – which helped to organize the Islamist flotilla – are exactly the kind of people that Ataturk warned against.

There are calls in Israel for the Knesset (parliament) to pass a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide of 1915 and memorializing its victims. The Turks, as readers no doubt know, still insist those 1.2 million Armenians just vanished into thin air.

Meanwhile, Turkish hackers have been going into Jewish websites – including synagogues and Jewish charities – writing obscene messages about how Israel carried out the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York, and claiming that the Holocaust never happened.

***

Below, I attach a notable article from today’s Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer, who is a subscriber to this email list.

Update (June 5): I also attach The Washington Post editorial and recommend taking the time to read it, below. (The Washington Post’s editorial page editor and deputy editorial page editor are both subscribers to this email list.)

[All notes above by Tom Gross]


FULL ARTICLES

6 MILLION – THAT NUMBER AGAIN

Those troublesome Jews
By Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post
June 4, 2010

The world is outraged at Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Turkey denounces its illegality, inhumanity, barbarity, etc. The usual U.N. suspects, Third World and European, join in. The Obama administration dithers.

But as Leslie Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, the blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel – a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets.

In World War II, with full international legality, the United States blockaded Germany and Japan. And during the October 1962 missile crisis, we blockaded (“quarantined”) Cuba. Arms-bearing Russian ships headed to Cuba turned back because the Soviets knew that the U.S. Navy would either board them or sink them. Yet Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John Kennedy did: impose a naval blockade to prevent a hostile state from acquiring lethal weaponry.

Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza – as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.

Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.

Israel has already twice intercepted ships laden with Iranian arms destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?

But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically de-legitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself – forward and active defense.

(1) Forward defense: As a small, densely populated country surrounded by hostile states, Israel had, for its first half-century, adopted forward defense – fighting wars on enemy territory (such as the Sinai and Golan Heights) rather than its own.

Where possible (Sinai, for example) Israel has traded territory for peace. But where peace offers were refused, Israel retained the territory as a protective buffer zone. Thus Israel retained a small strip of southern Lebanon to protect the villages of northern Israel. And it took many losses in Gaza, rather than expose Israeli border towns to Palestinian terror attacks. It is for the same reason America wages a grinding war in Afghanistan: You fight them there, so you don’t have to fight them here.

But under overwhelming outside pressure, Israel gave it up. The Israelis were told the occupations were not just illegal but at the root of the anti-Israel insurgencies – and therefore withdrawal, by removing the cause, would bring peace.

Land for peace. Remember? Well, during the past decade, Israel gave the land – evacuating South Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. What did it get? An intensification of belligerency, heavy militarization of the enemy side, multiple kidnappings, cross-border attacks and, from Gaza, years of unrelenting rocket attack.

(2) Active defense: Israel then had to switch to active defense – military action to disrupt, dismantle and defeat (to borrow President Obama’s description of our campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaeda) the newly armed terrorist mini-states established in southern Lebanon and Gaza after Israel withdrew.

The result? The Lebanon war of 2006 and Gaza operation of 2008-09. They were met with yet another avalanche of opprobrium and calumny by the same international community that had demanded the land-for-peace Israeli withdrawals in the first place. Worse, the U.N. Goldstone report, which essentially criminalized Israel’s defensive operation in Gaza while whitewashing the casus belli – the preceding and unprovoked Hamas rocket war – effectively de-legitimized any active Israeli defense against its self-declared terror enemies.

(3) Passive defense: Without forward or active defense, Israel is left with but the most passive and benign of all defenses – a blockade to simply prevent enemy rearmament. Yet, as we speak, this too is headed for international de-legitimation. Even the United States is now moving toward having it abolished.

But, if none of these is permissible, what’s left?

Ah, but that’s the point. It’s the point understood by the blockade-busting flotilla of useful idiots and terror sympathizers, by the Turkish front organization that funded it, by the automatic anti-Israel Third World chorus at the United Nations, and by the supine Europeans who’ve had quite enough of the Jewish problem.

What’s left? Nothing. The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense. Why, just last week, the Obama administration joined the jackals, and reversed four decades of U.S. practice, by signing onto a consensus document that singles out Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons – thus de-legitimizing Israel’s very last line of defense: deterrence.

The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, 6 million – that number again – hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists – Iranian in particular – openly prepare a more final solution.

 

TURKEY MUST BE THE FOCUS OF ANY INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION

Turkey’s Erdogan bears responsibility in flotilla fiasco
Editorial
The Washington Post
June 5, 2010

WESTERN GOVERNMENTS have been right to be concerned about Israel’s poor judgment and botched execution in the raid against the Free Gaza flotilla. But they ought to be at least as worried about the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which since Monday has shown a sympathy toward Islamic militants and a penchant for grotesque demagoguery toward Israel that ought to be unacceptable for a member of NATO.

On the opposite page today, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States makes the argument that Israel had no cause to clash with the “European lawmakers, journalists, business leaders and an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor” who were aboard the flotilla. But there was no fighting with those people, or with five of the six boats in the fleet. All of the violence occurred aboard the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, and all of those who were killed were members or volunteers for the Islamic “charity” that owned the ship, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).

The relationship between Mr. Erdogan’s government and the IHH ought to be one focus of any international investigation into the incident. The foundation is a member of the “Union of Good,” a coalition that was formed to provide material support to Hamas and that was named as a terrorist entity by the United States in 2008. In discussions before the flotilla departed, Turkish officials turned down offers from both Israel and Egypt to deliver the “humanitarian” supplies on the boats to Gaza and insisted Ankara could not control what it described as a nongovernmental organization.

Yet the IHH has certainly done its best to promote Mr. Erdogan. “All the peoples of the Islamic world would want a leader like Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” IHH chief Bulent Yildirim proclaimed at a Hamas rally in Gaza last year. And Mr. Erdogan seems to share that notion: In the days since an incident that the IHH admits it provoked, the Turkish prime minister has done his best to compete with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah’s Hasan Nasrallah in attacking the Jewish state.

“The heart of humanity has taken one of her heaviest wounds in history,” Mr. Erdogan claimed this week. He has had next to nothing to say about the slaughter of Iranians protesting last year’s fraudulent elections, but he called Israel’s actions “state terrorism” and a “bloody massacre” and described Israel itself as an “adolescent, rootless state.” His foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said in Washington on Tuesday that “this attack is like 9/11 for Turkey” -- an obscene comparison to events in which more than 2,900 genuinely innocent people were killed.

Mr. Erdogan’s crude attempt to exploit the incident comes only a couple of weeks after he joined Brazil’s president in linking arms with Mr. Ahmadinejad, whom he is assisting in an effort to block new U.N. sanctions. What’s remarkable about his turn toward extremism is that it comes after more than a year of assiduous courting by the Obama administration, which, among other things, has overlooked his antidemocratic behavior at home, helped him combat the Kurdish PKK and catered to Turkish sensitivities about the Armenian genocide. Israel is suffering the consequences of its misjudgments and disregard of U.S. interests. Will Mr. Erdogan’s behavior be without cost?

 

For other background to this story, please see text, photos and videos here:

* Videos, articles and notes about the tragic incident off the coast of Israel

* Fancy restaurants and Olympic-size swim pools: what the media won’t report about Gaza

* “Rachel Corrie is on Her Way” – Due to attempt to land shortly in Gaza


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.