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Sunday, October 28, 2007 

Turkey blames Jews for the genocide bill's resolution

I think it should start becoming obvious by now that Turkey isn't just going to run blood libels against Armenians now, but also against Jews, whom they added to their blame game last week:
ISTANBUL (JTA) -- When a U.S. congressional committee approved a resolution recognizing the World War I-era massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, Turkey’s reaction was swift and harsh: Blame the Jews.

In an interview with the liberal Islamic Zaman newspaper on the eve of the Increase resolution’s approval Oct. 10 by the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said he told American Jewish leaders that a genocide bill would strengthen the public perception in Turkey that “Armenian and Jewish lobbies unite forces against Turks.”

Babacan added, “We have told them that we cannot explain it to the public in Turkey if a road accident happens. We have told them that we cannot keep the Jewish people out of this.”

The Turkish public seems to have absorbed that message.

An online survey by Zaman’s English-language edition asking why Turks believed the bill succeeded showed at one point that 22 percent of respondents had chosen “Jews’ having legitimized the genocide claims” -- second only to “Turkey’s negligence.”

U.S. Jewish community leaders reject that argument and privately say Ankara has only itself to blame for its failure to muster the support necessary to derail passage of the Armenian genocide resolution, which in Turkey is seen as anti-Turkish.

Lingering resentment remains in Washington over the Turkish Parliament’s failure to approve a March 2003 motion to allow U.S. troops to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for an invasion of Iraq. And an official visit to Ankara in early 2006 by Hamas leader Khaled Mashal angered many of Israel’s supporters on Capitol Hill, who have been among Turkey’s most vocal proponents as part of a strategy of developing strong ties between Turkey and Israel.

“The Hamas thing was really serious,” said an official from a large Jewish organization who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. “There is less sympathy for Turkey because of what some see as an anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish policy that is there.”

“I think there’s a sense on the Hill that Turkey is less of an ally. There is a sense that it’s a different Turkey,” the official said.
Or, that it's becoming the old Turkey again. But with this, I think that those who opposed the bill are now going to have to start doing some soul-searching, and also to bear in mind that Armenians are no less important than Jews. They're also goint to have to contemplate where their loyalties really lie. Because, as that commentor at Hot Air said, now, it's likely to come back and haunt them.

As I write this, I'd like to add a challenging question for opponents of the bill, especially conservatives: King Hussein of Jordan, before the Six-Day War, had desecrated Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives by crushing them and building a road across them. Even earlier, Hussein's grandfather, whom the current king is named after, drove Jews out of the Old City. If Congress were to approve a resolution condemning his actions today, would you bend over backwards and oppose it for the sake of maintaining "good relations" with his successor son, King Abdullah?

Think that over, because appeasing evil on the pretense that it's ostensibly less than another, can have very dire, haunting consequences.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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