The rumblings stirred by record-setting new film in Turkey are triggering alarm bells with students of biblical prophecy, who warn the world system the Antichrist will use to rise to power is already on the march.
“Constantinople will surely be conquered one day. The commander who conquers it is a blessed commander. His soldiers are blessed soldiers” – thus opens the film “Fetih 1453.”
“Fetih” (meaning “conquest”) begins in 7th century Arabia with Muhammad, who is presented off camera lest pious Muslims be offended by his physical portrayal, declaring the quote above. The film tells the story of the conquest of the Christian East Roman Empire and its capital Constantinople by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, thereafter known as Mehmet Fatih, or the Conqueror.
Director Faruk Aksoy’s film is the now the most watched and highest grossing movie in Turkish history, earning more than $60 million worldwide.
But Joel Richardson, author New York Times best-selling “The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast” and “Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist,” just released by WND Books, views the release of “Fetih 1453″ and the rise of Turkey as a world power as confirming biblical prophecy.
“In my book ‘Mideast Beast,’ I walk the reader through several key biblical texts that also point to a renewed Turkish power in the last days,” Richardson told WND. “As the Obama administration is openly getting behind the Islamist government in Turkey, numerous world events are all aligning with what the biblical prophets spoke. For those who take biblical prophecy seriously, awaiting the return of Jesus, the events now unfolding in Turkey and the region – the days in which we are now living – are absolutely profound.”
Christian prophecy teachers are reexamining previous dogma regarding the empire of the Antichrist. Until recently North American prophecy teachers almost exclusively held to the European Antichrist theory in part because they believed that the Antichrist would succeed the Roman Empire, which some said never really fell. Modern scholars of biblical prophecy suggest the prior theories were historically inaccurate and contend that the Roman Empire was in fact conquered and succeeded.
Richardson’s work has been instrumental in the reexamination of the geographic region where the Antichrist will arise. The historical parallels between the time period depicted in “Fetih 1453″ and now are worth considering, said Richardson
Read more here.
BY Lee Smith
A few months back, I was dining with a friend at an Armenian restaurant in Beirut, and at the end of the meal he gracefully sidestepped the Turkish question by ordering a “Byzantine” coffee. The waiter laughed grimly. “Aside from coffee and waterpipes,” asked my friend, “what did the Turks leave us? They were here for 500 years, and they didn’t even leave us their language. We speak Arabic, French, and English. No one speaks Turkish. Their most important political institutions were baksheesh and the khazouk.”
Baksheesh is bribery, and the khazouk is a spike driven through its victim’s rectum, which the Ottomans used to terrify locals and deter potential insurgents. The Ottomans were hated here and throughout the Arabic-speaking Middle East, not only by the regional minorities (Christians, Jews, Shia, etc.) but also by their Sunni Arab coreligionists. All felt the heavy yoke of the Sublime Porte.
In the last few weeks, however, half a millennium’s worth of history has been conveniently forgotten, perhaps even forgiven, as Turkey has emerged as a regional power and the guarantor of Arab interests—against Israel, to be sure, but more importantly against Iran.
In truth, the wheels were in motion long before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government sponsored the Mavi Marmara’s cruise to Gaza, which left nine activists dead after they challenged an Israeli boarding party. Erdogan’s winter 2009 performance at Davos, when he confronted Israeli president Shimon Peres in the wake of the Gaza offensive, made the Turkish Islamist a regional celebrity. And while the Arab masses were thrilled to hear Israel denounced by a Muslim leader—and an ally of the Jewish state no less—the more important work was taking place behind the scenes. After Davos, high-level political sources in Beirut let on that there’d been a meeting in Cairo with President Hosni Mubarak. “The Egyptians are very happy with Erdogan,” said one. “The Turks are trying to take the Palestinian file out of the hands of the Iranians and give it back to the Arabs.”
It’s not yet clear whether Ankara really means to restore the Arabs to their pride of place by handing over a Hamas scrubbed of Iranian influence, or, as is more likely, the Turks simply want to use the Palestinian cause to enhance its own regional credentials, as Tehran has been doing for the last three decades. But the Turkish gambit has induced a lot of willful self-delusion in the Arab states—and amnesia.
Long before Arab nationalism identified Israel and the United States (and before that the European powers) as the enemy, it was the Ottomans who were called to account for everything that was wrong in the Arabic-speaking regions. The Ottomans certainly encouraged Middle East sectarianism: playing up confessional differences, empowering some sects while weakening others, and balancing minorities against each other. Arab nationalism was inspired by Turkish nationalism, but it was a doctrine that asserted Arab independence from the Ottomans. There were no longer Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawi, etc., only Arabs, unified as one against the outsiders, the colonizers.
The Arab states that had been most directly oppressed by the Sublime Porte—and so those most divided along sectarian lines—were determined to illuminate the evils of Ottoman occupation. No Arab state was more anti-Turkish than Baathist Syria. The Syrian television serials that commonly promote the blood libel and feature other anti-Semitic caricatures at one time also cast Ottomans as villains. Indeed, Damascus went where even Washington fears to tread, producing serials that mention the Armenian genocide. And Syrian anti-Turkish sentiment wasn’t only about past affronts. Just as Damascus demands that Israel return the Golan Heights, there is a significant land dispute at the center of Syrian-Turkish relations. In 1939, the Turks conquered what is today known as Hatay province, but the Syrians call Iskenderun or Alexandretta, and which Damascus long claimed was occupied land. In 2005, the Syrians quietly relinquished their claims and thus opened a new chapter in the history of their two countries—which included a 1998 conflict in which Turkey was poised to invade its Arab neighbor until Hafez al-Assad handed over Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Today, Hafez’s son Bashar likes to speak of Turkey and Syria’s shared history, explaining that “Arab and Turkish blood is one blood across history”—a phrase that unintentionally resonates with historical pathos. Syrians after all are often disparagingly called Tamerlane’s bastards, a reference to the trail of destruction and sexual violence that the Turkic conqueror left in his wake. Presumably, today’s Turks are of a much kinder disposition, and Damascus has both an Iranian ally and a government in Ankara that is wooing it—or at least this is how the Syrians are playing it publicly.
Erdogan’s invitation to Hezbollah’s secretary general to visit Ankara certainly reinforces the fear that what we’re watching is the formation of a united resistance front, with Turkey signing on to the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. But this may well turn out, eventually anyway, to be a revival of the historic rivalry between the Turks and the Persians. The problem is not just that their competition is likely to further radicalize the political culture of an already volatile region, but that subsidiary actors will be forced to prove their bona fides as well. It will drag in the Jordanians. And what about the Egyptians, who are on the verge of a very delicate succession issue as the 83-year-old Mubarak’s days are numbered and no one knows if his son Gamal will indeed be able to replace him?
Syria is about the only player whose actions can be gamed with any accuracy. The country right now considers itself Hamas’s interlocutor, which is precisely the role that Erdogan auditioned for with the cruise of the Mavi Marmara. Should Europe, or at some point the United States, accept Turkish mediation, it will knock Syria down a peg, which will then feel obligated to assert itself. Perhaps the best way to understand Syria’s recent shipment of Scuds to Hezbollah is as a reminder to everyone that attention must be paid to Damascus as well as Tehran, that when it comes to Hezbollah, Assad also has a vote in war or peace with Israel. Turkish-Iranian competition will entail accelerated Syrian activity on two of Israel’s borders.
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Iran’s neighbors across the water, see the recent events in starker terms. Ankara’s shot across Tehran’s bow is a good thing, period. As Abdul Rahman al-Rashid, Saudi columnist for the London-based pan-Arab news-paper Asharq al-Awsat writes:
Erdogan, who wanted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, broke the Iranian blockade on the Arabs instead. . . . [T]he most that Ankara could benefit from by raising the Palestinian flag would be by advancing its political status, [which] does not contract or marginalize Arab interests, unlike the Iranian goal which directly undermines the Arab position.
If some Saudi officials are concerned that Erdogan’s play is a bit radical and wish, according to Asharq al-Awsat editor in chief Tariq Homayed, “Hamas would follow Turkey, and not vice versa,” in the end it all comes down to sectarianism. Turkey is Sunni, Iran is Shia, and despite the Ottoman Empire’s long history of oppressing their imperial subjects, the Arabs prefer anything to the prospect of Persian hegemony. If it means casting their lot with the progeny of those who enslaved them for centuries—well there is great comfort in custom.
If in a sense the Middle East is returning to its historical divisions—an Ottoman (Turkish) and Safavid (Iranian) rivalry where Israel stands in for the Western powers—especially with Washington’s diminishing profile in the region—it is worth lamenting how the Arabs wasted their moment of independence. What started with the birth of the Arab state system moved quickly to wars between those states and within them, and then the empty rhetoric of Nasser, despotism, mass murder, and a unifying hatred of Israel, all culminating in the suicidal obscurantism of groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, whom the Arab masses, characteristically, regard as heroes. The “Arab century,” that period during which the Arabs had their own destiny in their hands, was brief, lasting roughly a decade from 1956-67. A harsher, and perhaps more accurate, assessment suggests that it was even shorter than that: After all, Israel’s victory in the Six Day War shows that Nasser’s success at Suez was due not to anything he did, but to an American president’s ordering the French, British, and Israelis to stand down.
In reality, the Arab century was ours. For more than 65 years, the United States was the power underwriting the Arabs, and if not always the most sincere benefactor, we nonetheless protected them from more dangerous forces and their even more dangerous fantasies. What we won from the region is what the Turks now want as well: the wealth, influence, and power that is consequent on hegemony in the energy-rich Middle East. Ankara will serve as an inter-mediary between their Arab charges and a stingy Europe that up till now has turned its back on Turkey. But what do the Turks have to offer the Arabs that they hadn’t already impressed upon the region when they left it to its own devices almost a century ago? The Americans brought schools and hospitals to the Middle East, and, after 9/11, democracy, too, at last—or perhaps, too late. It’s not the Arab vacuum that Ankara is rushing to fill, but our own.
Lee Smith is the author of The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations (Doubleday).
Times of London
Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal.
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.
To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.
“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”
Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel decides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.
The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.
The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers’ range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest.
Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has refused to give its approval as it pursues a diplomatic solution to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Military analysts say Israel has held back only because of this failure to secure consensus from America and Arab states. Military analysts doubt that an airstrike alone would be sufficient to knock out the key nuclear facilities, which are heavily fortified and deep underground or within mountains. However, if the latest sanctions prove ineffective the pressure from the Israelis on Washington to approve military action will intensify. Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium after the UN Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions yet in an effort to halt the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is intended for civil energy purposes only. President Ahmadinejad has described the UN resolution as “a used handkerchief, which should be thrown in the dustbin”.
Israeli officials refused to comment yesterday on details for a raid on Iran, which the Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has refused to rule out. Questioned on the option of a Saudi flight path for Israeli bombers, Aharaon Zeevi Farkash, who headed military intelligence until 2006 and has been involved in war games simulating a strike on Iran, said: “I know that Saudi Arabia is even more afraid than Israel of an Iranian nuclear capacity.”
In 2007 Israel was reported to have used Turkish air space to attack a suspected nuclear reactor being built by Iran’s main regional ally, Syria. Although Turkey publicly protested against the “violation” of its air space, it is thought to have turned a blind eye in what many saw as a dry run for a strike on Iran’s far more substantial — and better-defended — nuclear sites.
Israeli intelligence experts say that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are at least as worried as themselves and the West about an Iranian nuclear arsenal.Israel has sent missile-class warships and at least one submarine capable of launching a nuclear warhead through the Suez Canal for deployment in the Red Sea within the past year, as both a warning to Iran and in anticipation of a possible strike. Israeli newspapers reported last year that high-ranking officials, including the former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have met their Saudi Arabian counterparts to discuss the Iranian issue. It was also reported that Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, met Saudi intelligence officials last year to gain assurances that Riyadh would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets violating Saudi airspace during the bombing run. Both governments have denied the reports.
By Eileen F. Toplansky
Is she merely uninformed or interminably stupid? Anti-Semitism from every corner of the world is deafening and yet Rosie O’Donnell cannot seem to understand the negative connotations of Helen Thomas’ latest retort about sending Jews back to Europe. This is the Europe that permitted the Nuremberg Laws and gave Jews second class citizenship status at best. This is the Europe that 70 years ago was comfortable in looking the other way while Jews were rounded up, endured the whip of slavery and then burned in gas ovens.
Surely glib Ms. O’Donnell, cannot be that ignorant of these recent historical events. Author Jan Gross in his book entitled Fear writes about the brutal Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War. Close to five million Polish citizens lost their lives as a result. More than half of these were Polish Jews. Thus, the second largest Jewish community in the world ~ three and a half million Polish Jews were wiped out. And, Ms. O’Donnell, when the remaining survivors returned to their hometowns in Poland, they experienced widespread hostility, including murder at the hands of their “neighbors.” The bloodiest peacetime pogrom in 20th century Europe took place in the Polish town of Kielce one year after the war ended, on July 4, 1946.
Of course, it did not take too long for O’Donnell to show her true colors when, right on cue, she uses the deliberately false notion so causally bandied about by the know-nothings of this world, that Israel is an occupier of the land. So once again, the history lesson must be repeated. Jews have been in Israel since time immemorial. There are archaeological remains that attest to this fact. The holy books of the Jews and the Arabs also confirm this. So Jews don’t have to go back home ~ they are already home. The Jews in Europe, Asia, and America are in the Diaspora because they were summarily expelled from countries throughout the ages. The term “wandering Jew” comes from the historical facts that Jews were expelled from England in 1290; from France in 1393; from Berne, Switzerland in 1427; and from Spain in 1492, to name only a few places.
In her book From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine, author Joan Peters, proves with historical data and other archival information that Jews did not displace Arabs in Palestine-just the reverse: Arabs displaced Jews. In fact, the blurb of this 1984 book relates that:
A hidden but major Arab migration and immigration took place into areas settled by Jews in pre-Israel Palestine; that a substantial number of the Arab refugees called Palestinians in reality had foreign roots; that for every Arab refugee who left Israel in 1948; there was a Jewish refugee who fled or was expelled from his Arab birthplace at the same time. . . .
Recently, filmmaker Pierre Rehov created the film entitled “The Silent Exodus” about these Jews who were kicked out of their Middle Eastern homes. Between 1946 and 1974, there were a million of forgotten Jewish fugitives expelled from the Arab world. These Jews had been living in Arab lands for thousands of years but their homes were stolen from them; they literally had nothing but the clothes on their backs when they fled. They were received in Israel. They did not remain refugees; they had no special United Nations agency to assist them. Israel welcomed them and they rebuilt their lives.
Of course, we have come to expect from these ignorant “pundits” like O’Donnell that the next charge to be leveled at Israel is that it is an apartheid country. While she did not state this outright, it usually accompanies the same dreary anti-Israel tirade of these people.
Alan Dershowitz speaks about the alleged apartheid as does Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh in his articles entitled “What About the Arab Apartheid? He wonders why no one speaks about the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinians have been massacred in Lebanon over the past four decades. He notes that Lebanese law bars Palestinians from working. In addition, Palestinians cannot obtain Egyptian, Moroccan or Kuwaiti citizenship. He writes:
Can somebody imagine the outcry of the international community if Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a law today prohibiting Arabs from working in certain professions or receiving medical treatment? Ironically, the Arab citizens of Israel enjoy more rights in the Jewish state than their Palestinians brothers do in any Arab country.
The same applies to Palestinians living in most of the Arab countries. While Israel has never stripped its Arab citizens of their citizenship, Jordan has begun revoking the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of its citizens who are of Palestinian descent . . . .
Is it not absurd that Jordan and Egypt have been arresting Palestinians who demonstrate in support of their brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip or collect donations for them while Israeli citizens hold almost daily protests inside Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians?
And is it not ironic that the government of Binyamin Netanyahu is doing more to boost the Palestinian economy in the West Bank than any Arab country?
In fact, the mistreatment of the Palestinians must stop. So Ms. O’Donnell, why not tell Egyptian leaders who will not give loans to Palestinians or to Lebanese rulers where 390,000 Palestinians have no legal status or to Kuwait and Libya and to Syria who also do not bestow citizenship rights on Palestinians that they should change their ways?
Of course, O’Donnell and her fellow dolts will still hold true to their misinformation about Israel and her land holdings. Let’s set that record straight as well.
The British-based Reuters news agency has been stung for the second time by charges that it edited politically sensitive photos in a way that casts Israel in a bad light. But this time Reuters claims it wasn’t at fault.
The news agency reacted to questions raised by an American blogger who showed that Reuters’ photo service edited out knives and blood traces from pictures taken aboard the activist ship Mavi Marmara during a clash with Israeli commandos last week. Nine people were killed and scores were injured in the clash.
The pictures of the fight were released by IHH, the Turkish-based group that sponsored the six-ship fleet that tried to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
In one photo, an Israeli commando is shown lying on the deck of the ship, surrounded by activists. The uncut photo released by IHH shows the hand of an unidentified activist holding a knife. But in the Reuters photo, the hand is visible but the knife has been edited out.
The blog “Little Green Footballs” challenged Reuters’ editing of the photo.
“That’s a very interesting way to crop the photo. Most people would consider that knife an important part of the context. There was a huge controversy over whether the activists were armed. Cropping out a knife, in a picture showing a soldier who’s apparently been stabbed, seems like a very odd editorial decision. Unless someone was trying to hide it,” the blog stated.
In a second photo the unedited print issued by IHH showed blood along the ship’s railing and a hand holding a knife as an Israeli soldier lies on the deck. Both the blood and the knife were missing in the photo that Reuters released.
Reuters on Tuesday denied it intended to alter the political meanings of the photographs.
“The images in question were made available in Istanbul, and following normal editorial practice were prepared for dissemination which included cropping at the edges,” the news agency said in a statement. “When we realized that a dagger was inadvertently cropped from the images, Reuters immediately moved the original set as well.”
Reuters has yet to respond to charges about the second photo.
This is the second time Reuters has been accused of manipulating photos. In 2006 a Reuters photographer, Adnan Hajj, doctored several photos of the destruction caused by Israel’s bombing of Beirut. In one he added smoke to a panoramic picture of South Beirut to make the damage look more severe than it was. In a second photo, he showed a woman whose home had supposedly been destroyed in the same raid, but an investigation revealed that the woman’s house had been destroyed prior to the Israeli strike.
Reuters later removed all of Hajj’s more than 900 photos from distribution and severed its relationship with him. A photo editor also was fired.
What happened on the Mavi Marmara and who was responsible for the killing and bloodshed on the ship is still a matter of debate. Activists charge that Israeli commandos fired first and provoked the skirmish. Israeli commandos say they were compelled to use deadly force after they were attacked by people on board the ship.
By Victor Sharpe
Sometime ago, before Turkey chose to lurch further into the deadly embrace of Islamism, I received a plea from a Kurdish friend who remains supportive of Israel’s epic struggle to survive among its hostile Arab neighbors. He is also devoted to the Jewish people for he knows of the shared ethnicities believed to exist between Jews and Kurds dating back millennia.
Here is some of my Kurdish friend’s impassioned letter from two years ago, which uncannily warned against any alliance with Turkey:
“I wish the Jews in Israel and abroad would know better about the policy of their leaders concerning the Kurds, because it happens in the name of Israel, and that should matter to all Jews. Turkish oppression of the Kurds is unknown to most Israelis. It is hard for me to understand how Israel’s cooperation with Turkey does not take into account the misery that it imposes upon the Kurdish people who yearn, as the Jews have for centuries, to be free from terror and persecution?
“Not so long ago, the Jews in Europe endured the Shoah (he used the Hebrew term for the Holocaust — VS) and they know better than anyone else the horrors of that experience.
“Of course it’s not only Israel but the whole world that is pro-Turkish and anti-Kurdish. It is not fair to criticize Israel only, but given the history of the Jewish people, there should be a heightened sensitivity towards Kurdish suffering.
“We Kurds have shared so much culture together and we still remember fondly the Jews who lived with us for centuries. But the Turks waxed and waned in their attitude towards the Jews; sometimes they were tolerant and sometimes hostile. There are many Turks today who share Islamist ideas and proclaim hostility towards the Jewish state. Within Turkey lies the same pestilence of anti-Semitism that exists throughout the Arab and Persian world.
“I remember your moving article in which you categorically made clear that the people who truly deserve an independent sovereign state are the Kurds; not the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. I also feel deeply that one day there will be an abiding and honorable alliance between the Jewish state and a free and independent Kurdistan. But arming Turkey, our people’s oppressor, is morally and geographically not to Israel’s advantage. Israel’s cooperation with Turkey is, in reality, a misguided support for political Islam and its oppression of the Kurds. It undermines Israel’s credibility with the only true friend it has in the Middle East.”
Now in hindsight, it is glaringly obvious how correct my Kurdish friend’s warning at the time was.
Turkey is now an enemy of both Israel and the Kurdish people. In a previous letter, as Turkish troops were invading Kurdistan and jet aircraft were bombarding Kurdish villages in northern Iraq, my friend was more pointed in his criticism of the Israeli leadership’s shortsightedness. He defended without question what he called, “Israel’s cause and the undying truth that Jews are the rightful owners of the historic Jewish lands — now partially occupied by the Arabs. But he also pointed out that, “the legitimate arguments and rights Israel has are the same rights and truths it denies in its official policy towards the Kurds. For now and for the future, everything looks black. I fear the worst for us. The whole world is against us, and on the Turkish side there is no change….”
Coincidentally, Ruth King, a freelance writer who is a columnist for several magazines, urged those who read, “feelgood stories about Turkey” to remember the ship, Struma. In 1941, while carrying 769 Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi German killing machine, it was not permitted to land in Turkey and sank with appalling loss of life.
With the reality of Israel’s reconstitution as a sovereign nation in its ancestral and biblical homeland has come the equal reality of its uniqueness and isolation within a hostile world.
The rush to bash Israel by hypocritical national leaders and the falsehoods perpetrated by international news agencies such as the Associated Press (AP) despite the video tapes and pictures showing pipe wielding, masked thugs, screaming “kill the Jews,” while beating up Israeli soldiers — armed at first only with paint ball guns — is despicable. Thugs, Islamists, and jihadists claiming to be “peace” activists aboard a Turkish ferry boat, with the Turkish Prime Minister’s own direct collaboration, should be an indictment of Turkey, not Israel. But this is not a moral world.
The international outpouring of imbecilic hatred towards the embattled Jewish state for merely trying to defend its citizens from a future maritime pipeline delivering lethal weapons and deadly missiles into Gaza to be used to kill Jewish civilians is one of the most depressing indictments of humanity. In this, Israel shares with the Kurds a familial fate. Both endure relentless aggression from their neighbors. Even though it lives in a terrible neighborhood and desperately seeks friends, Israel must not evade its unique responsibility towards the Kurdish people, who also suffer from the depredations of their hostile neighbors — especially Iran, Syria, and last but not least, Turkey.
The Jewish state, now undergoing what individual Jews endured for centuries — a bloody and irrational persecution – must now, more than ever, not ignore the Kurds, who remain stateless and shunned by the world and who seek, at last, the historic justice they have craved for centuries but have been denied; an independent state of their own.
According to an article titled “Can Israel make it alone?” written some years ago by James Lewis in the American Thinker, Lewis wrote: “Nations have no permanent friends, only permanent interests — like survival.” With the stark reality now of a profoundly less friendly Obama Administration, it is more important than ever to see what he wrote: “If the United States abandons the Jewish State, Jerusalem will have to seek new alliances.”
Turkey has now chosen to break its alliance with Israel and instead has sought alliances with rogue states such as Iran and Syria, along with the Hamas occupied and terrorist infested Gaza Strip. It has turned on Israel with a viciousness that is desolating to watch. It is a nation turning its back upon the Ataturk secular revolution of the 1920s. Instead, it is sliding remorsefully back to the 7th century mindset and cesspit that so many of its neighbors wallow in.
The Turkish regime is allowing ant-Semitic films and documentaries to be broadcast relentlessly, thus poisoning the minds of both its secular and Islamist population. One need only hark back to the demonization and vilification spewed against the Jews for years under Hitler in Nazi Germany to see how most Germans behaved and what horrors resulted.
Whether or not President Barack Obama continues to act negatively towards the Jewish state, any new Israeli alliances should include the restoration of a profoundly just, moral and enduring pact with the Kurdish people, and assistance towards creating a future independent State of Kurdistan. That may be the silver lining from the present international flotilla of xenophobic hatred presently sailing towards Israel’s shores.
Victor Sharpe is the author of Volumes One and Two of Politicde: The attempted murder of the Jewish state, available at LuluPress or on Amazon.com
Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal says Erdogan considering going to Strip himself in order to break siege.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering a trip to Gaza in order to break the siege imposed on the Strip by Israel, Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported Saturday, quoting “knowledgeable sources”.
The newspaper said that “as part of the open conflict between Turkey and Israel following the massacre against the ‘freedom sail’ to Gaza and the protest sparked in the world, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is considering going to Gaza himself in order to break the blockade imposed on the Strip.
The sources noted that the Turkish leader had raised the option in a conversation with his associates.
According to the report, Erdogan told the American administration he was planning to ask his navy to escort another aid flotilla, but that American officials asked him to delay the plan in order to look into the matter.
The newspaper reported that the Erdogan government was under a lot of pressure from “political and popular groups” to annul all military agreements with Israel, but that the military establishment was strongly opposed to this demand.
The Turkish prime minister harshly criticized Israel over its raid on the Gaza-bound Marmara ship earlier this week, which left nine Turkish men dead. On Friday, Erdogan accused the Jewish state of murdering the activists aboard the ship and mentioned the “Thou shall not kill” commandment in Turkish, English and Hebrew.
Turkey’s ambassador to Washington warned Friday that his country could be forced to break relations with Israel unless it apologizes for its raid on the Marmara.
In a meeting with reporters, Namik Tan outlined three Turkish demands for Israel including a public apology. He said Israel also must accept a credible independent investigation of the raid and end its blockade against Gaza.
When asked if Turkey might break relations, Tan cited the high emotions of the Turkish public about the raid. He said: “We don’t want this to go to that point.”
By Mark Steyn
Foreign-policy “realists,” back in the saddle since the Texan cowboy left town, are extremely fond of the concept of “stability”: America needs a stable Middle East, so we should learn to live with Hosni Mubarak and the mullahs and the House of Saud, etc. You can see the appeal of “stability” to your big-time geopolitical analyst: You don’t have to update your Rolodex too often, never mind rethinking your assumptions. “Stability” is a fancy term to upgrade inertia and complacency into strategy. No wonder the fetishization of stability is one of the most stable features of foreign-policy analysis.
Unfortunately, back in what passes for the real world, there is no stability. History is always on the march, and, if it’s not moving in your direction, it’s generally moving in the other fellow’s. Take this “humanitarian” “aid” flotilla. Much of what went on – the dissembling of the Palestinian propagandists, the hysteria of the United Nations and the Euro-ninnies – was just business as usual. But what was most striking was the behavior of the Turks. In the wake of the Israeli raid, Ankara promised to provide Turkish naval protection for the next “aid” convoy to Gaza. This would be, in effect, an act of war – more to the point, an act of war by a NATO member against the state of Israel.
Ten years ago, Turkey’s behavior would have been unthinkable. Ankara was Israel’s best friend in a region where every other neighbor wishes, to one degree or another, the Jewish state’s destruction. Even when Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was elected to power eight years ago, the experts assured us there was no need to worry. I remember sitting in a plush bar late one night with a former Turkish foreign minister, who told me, between passing round the cigars and chugging back the Scotch, that, yes, the new crowd wasn’t quite so convivial but they knew where their interests lay. Like many Turkish movers and shakers of his generation, my drinking companion loved the Israelis. “They’re tough hombres,” he said admiringly. “You have to be in this part of the world.” If you had suggested to him that in six years, the Turkish prime minister would be telling the Israeli president to his face, “I know well how you kill children on beaches,” he would have dismissed it as a fantasy concoction for some alternative universe.
Yet it happened. Mr. Erdogan said those words to Shimon Peres at Davos last year and then flounced off stage. Day by day, what was formerly the Zionist entity’s staunchest pal talks more and more like just another cookie-cutter death-to-the-Great-Satan stan-of-the-month.
As the think-tankers like to say: “Who lost Turkey?” In a nutshell: Kemal Ataturk. Since he founded post-Ottoman Turkey in his own image nearly nine decades ago, the population has increased from 14 million to more than 70 million. But that fivefold increase is not evenly distributed. The short version of Turkish demographics in the 20th century is that Rumelian Turkey – i.e., Western, European, secular, Kemalist Turkey – has been outbred by Anatolian Turkey – i.e., Eastern, rural, traditionalist, Islamic Turkey. Ataturk and most of his supporters were from Rumelia, and they imposed the modern Turkish republic on a reluctant Anatolia, where Ataturk’s distinction between the state and Islam was never accepted. Now the Anatolians don’t have to accept it. The swelling population has spilled out of its rural hinterland and into the once solidly Kemalist cities.
Do you ever use the expression “Young Turks”? I heard it applied to the starry-eyed ideologues around President Obama the other day. The phrase comes from the original Young Turks, the youthful activists agitating for reform in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire. The very words acknowledge the link between political and demographic energy. Today, the Young Turks are old Turks: The heirs to the Kemalist reformers, who gave women the vote before Britain did, are a population in demographic decline. There will be fewer of them in every election. Today’s Young Turks are men who think as Mr. Erdogan does. That doesn’t mean Turkey is Iran or Waziristan or Saudi Arabia, but it does mean that the country’s leadership is in favor of more or less conventional Islamic imperialism. As Mr. Erdogan’s most famous sound bite puts it: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.”
Some Western “experts” like to see this as merely a confident, economically buoyant Turkey’s “re-Ottomanization.” But the virulent anti-Semitism emanating from Mr. Erdogan’s fief has nothing to do with the old-time caliphate and is all but undistinguishable from the globalized hyper-Islam successfully seeded around the world by Wahhabist money and enthusiastically embraced by third-generation Euro-Muslims. Since Sept. 11, 2001, many of us have speculated about Muslim reform, in the Arab world and beyond. It’s hard to recall now, but just a few years ago, there was talk about whether Gen. Pervez Musharraf would be Pakistan’s Ataturk. Instead, what we’re witnessing is the most prominent example of Muslim reform being de-reformed, before our very eyes, in nothing flat.
Demography is destiny, for the most part. For example, European Muslim populations are young, fast-growing and profoundly hostile to Jews. European Jewish populations are old, fading and irrelevant to domestic electoral calculations. Think of your stereotypically squishy pol, and then figure the reserves of courage it would require for the European establishment not to be anti-Israeli and, indeed, ever more anti-Israeli as the years go by.
But demography alone isn’t always destiny. A confident culture can dominate far larger numbers of people, as England did for much of modern history. Bismarck’s famous remark that if the British army invaded Germany, he’d send the local police force to arrest them is generally taken as a sneer at the minimal size of Her Britannic Majesty’s armed forces. In another sense, however, it’s a testament to how much the British accomplished with so little.
Mr. Erdogan would not be palling up to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Boy Assad in Syria and even Sudan’s genocidal President Omar al-Bashir, the Butcher of Darfur, if he were mindful of Turkey’s relationship with the United States. But he isn’t. He looks at the American hyperpower and sees, to all intents, a late Ottoman sultan – pampered, decadent, lounging on its cushions, puffing a hookah but unable to rouse itself to impose its will in the world. In that sense, Turkey’s contempt for Israel is also an expression of near total contempt for Washington.
Is Mr. Erdogan wrong in his calculation? Or is he, in his own fashion, only reaching his own conclusions about what Israel, India, the Czech Republic and others are coming to see as “the post-American world”? Well, look at it as if you’re sitting in the presidential palace of some Third World basket case. Iran is going nuclear in full view of the world and with huge implications for everything, not least the price of oil. Meanwhile, NATO’s only Muslim member has decided it would rather be friends with Iran, Sudan and Syria. And all this in the first decade of the 21st century. So much for stability.
Israel has come under attack yet again from leaders around the world who are calling the actions taken earlier this week by Israel’s military “criminal” and “inhuman.” When Israeli soldiers, enforcing a blockade put into place to stop arms and money from being smuggled into the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip, stopped six flotillas headed towards Gaza to inspect their cargo, passengers on the final ship put up strong resistance by immediately attacking the soldiers upon their descent from a helicopter.
The soldiers were attacked with knives, clubs, and other weapons. Video even shows the passengers throwing an Israeli soldier over the side of the ship.
Yet, that has not stopped the world from immediately rebuking Israel and demanding they make an apology for their actions, which were merely actions of self-defense.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “regret” for those passengers who lost their lives in the struggle, but said the Israeli soldiers “had to defend themselves, defend their lives, or they would have been killed.” Reviewing the video evidence, it would be tough to make a case otherwise.
When the ship was ultimately secured, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Defense officials “identified about 50 passengers on the ship who could have terrorist connections with global jihad-affiliated groups. The military also discovered a cache of bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, as well as gas masks.” They also report that the suspected terror suspects “refused to identify themselves and were not carrying passports. Many of them were carrying envelopes packed with thousands of dollars in cash.”
Yet, despite these facts, the Obama Administration has decided to remain on the sidelines and leave Israel to face the world alone, effectively abandoning our longtime friend and ally when they need us the most. By the United States taking such an ambiguous position on these recent events, our mutual enemies will be emboldened, rather than deterred from further acts of aggression.
Knowing full well that Islamic radical factions and Iran are aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons while at the same time stating that Israel must be “wiped off the map,” the United States would be foolish to remain indifferent in this instance. It would simply be a reckless foreign policy position to take, and we must demand more of our government whose role it is to keep our nation safe and secure.
The United States has been blessed by a rich and shared history with Israel, and our alliance has secured for both its citizens a very safe and prosperous future. With that said, we have an opportunity now to stand shoulder to shoulder with our friend, our ally, Israel, and show our unwavering support.
Or, we can continue on the current path seemingly favored by this administration, one in which we view Israel as just one of several players in the Middle East, not exceptional, and not deserving of our full and unbridled backing.
I sincerely hope we choose the former, for a strong and vibrant Israel means a strong and vibrant America.
Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel