Exploiting Israel's Attack on Lebanon Turks Unleash Anti-Semitic Statements

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August 31, 2006
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

Israel's month-long attack on Lebanon has justifiably angered most people around the globe. There has been an almost universal condemnation of Israel's massive and often indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Lebanon.

In some countries, however, anti-Semites have exploited this human tragedy to vent their fury, not just at Israel, but Jews in general. In Turkey, for example, where there has been widespread and long-lasting anti-Semitism among large segments of the population, Turkish leaders and commentators not only criticized the Israeli attacks, but went further, comparing Israel's actions to that of Hitler and even questioned the veracity of the Holocaust.

The Turkophile British magazine, The Economist, in its August 5 issue, reported the upsurge of anti-Semitism in Turkey. The article quoted the finding by the Pew Global Attitudes Survey that "only 15% of Turks look kindly upon Jews," which reflects the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism, not limited to the views of a few Turkish crackpots and racists.

According to The Economist, an increasing number of Jews say "they no longer feel secure in Turkey, and recently, some community leaders have received death threats. Fears began growing after Turkish suicide bombers with links to al-Qaeda blew up two synagogues in Istanbul in 2003. Anti-Semitic literature, including Hitler's Mein Kampf, has recently appeared in many bookstores across Turkey.

Here are a few quotations from the thousands of such anti-Semitic statements published in the Turkish press in recent weeks:

-- Israel is carrying out state terror and genocide, turning Palestine into a concentration camp, and doing what Hitler did to the." (Sami Hocaoglu in Yeni Shafak, July 14);

-- Calling Jews "animals would be an insult to animals -- they are creatures lower than the animals." (Hasan Karakaya in Vakit, Aug. 1);

-- "This racist, selfish, greedy, crazed, pervert state [Israel] is a tragic bad luck for the world. There is no sin that they have not committed, no massacre that they haven't carried out, no evil that they haven't done, no piece of earth that they haven't sown seeds of mischief."(Ibrahim Karagul in Yeni Shafak, Aug. 1);

-- "The terrorist Israeli state, the whore of the USA in the Middle East, displays scenes of atrocity. Will you bring democracy to the Middle East with the Israeli Terror Organization which in fact is the bastard of Hitler?" (Mehmet Ocaktan in Yeni Shafak, Aug. 2);

-- The Israelis "have turned into a fascist, racist and Nazi executioner, while once they themselves were the victims." (Umur Talu in Sabah, Aug. 3);

-- "Even Adolf Hitler did not conduct the monstrous acts displayed by Israel. If an anti-Semitic wave rises in the world, it will be the Zionist Jewish monsters and their overseas boss responsible for it." (Selahaddin Cakirgil in Vakit, Aug. 3);

-- "It is Jewish propaganda that Hitler killed 6 million Jews. It is a lie by Zionist Jews. If Hitler were resurrected he would say: 'It was a lie that I killed innocent Jews. You look at what they are doing now. Wouldn'tt it have been better if I totally exterminated the ancestors of these monsters?" (Ali Eren in Vakit, Aug. 3);

-- "The cruelty and inhuman acts of Israel in the Middle East has outdone the cruelty of Hitler." (Huseyin Tanriverdi, Parliament member representing Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling party, in Yeni Shafak, Aug. 3);

-- "Israel is taking the revenge of the Holocaust by Hitler from the innocent people in the region." (Mehmet Elkatmis, representing the ruling party and Chairman of the Parliament's Human Rights Commission, in Hurriyet, Aksam, and Zaman, Aug. 4);

-- Jews are carrying out "more atrocities on poor Palestinians than Hitler did on Jews. Israel is a small, but malign tumor spreading to all humanity by metastasis." (Huseyin Uzmez in Vakit, Aug. 8).

The above statements clearly expose the Turkish government's lie that Turkey is a friend of Israel. As the Pew survey showed, 85% of the Turkish public harbors hostile feelings towards Jews. By feigning friendship with Israel, Turkish leaders have succeeded in getting some Jews to lobby for Turkey's interests in the U.S. Congress.

Israeli officials and American-Jewish leaders have long been aware of the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Turkey and have even criticized it both publicly and privately from time to time. However, instead of taking strict measures to condemn and counter Turkish anti-Semitism, these Jewish leaders have shamelessly continued to do the bidding of the Turkish government in lobbying on behalf of Turkey in Washington.

Amazingly, Barry Rubin, a former lobbyist for the Israeli government and editor of the Turkish Studies journal, as recently as two weeks ago, wrote: "One of the greatest achievements of the Israel lobby, on an issue which often does not get high-profile attention, is to push for a pro-Turkish policy in the United States."

If, after all of the above racist Turkish statements, Israeli and American Jewish officials continue to brag about their lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey, then they are just as guilty in the propagation of anti-Semitism as the Turkish anti-Semites themselves!