06-02-10 Turkey’s hypocrisy worse than Israel’s

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Turkey’s hypocrisy worse than Israel’s
By Ray Hanania — It goes without saying that when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Arab position is a bad joke. They’re divided, ineffective and incapable of achieving a consensus. That’s why activists have pinned so much hope on Turkey, which has been Israel’s primary Islamic ally.  This week, those relations appeared to show serious strain, but behind the headlines and the usual Arab and Islamic bluster, the truth is Turkey is engaged in business-as-usual, in much the same was when the Arab leaders including in Jordan once denounced Israel as the “Zionist entity” and then maintained long term secret relations with the Jewish State that were kept from public view.

There have been a series of scandals and controversies that have marred ties between the two countries, leading up to the latest involving an Israeli military assault against a flotilla of boats carrying food and medicine to the 1.5 million besieged citizens of the Gaza Strip. The purpose of the flotilla’s many boats was the break the Israeli blockade and end the siege. At least, that’s what we were told by the activists who take directions from no one, including the Rule of Law.

Turkish leaders have been standing at public pedestals railing against Israel, but quietly they are continuing to play the secret game. Officials quietly conceded that they would go ahead with plans to purchase $183 million in Israeli-made drone planes.

Four Turkish citizens were killed in the raid on a Turkish boat among the flotilla. So the Turkish leaders have to get up there and scream at Israel, call them names and vow all kinds of revenge.

In truth, they’ll do nothing of the sort. The fact is the Turks are concerned more about rising extremism among their Muslim population which is reflecting a rise in extremism among Muslims throughout the Middle East and the region.

Like most Arab dictators, the Turks would prefer to deal with Israel than with Mullahs like those in radical Iran.

One reason why there has been so much endless conflict in the Middle East has to do with the fact that Middle East leaders are two-faced hypocrites. They love to attack Israel and they encourage their people to hate Israel, too. As long as the Arabs and Muslims have Israel to hate, they will not have time to hate their own oppressive dictatorial undemocratic governments.

None of this excuses Israel’s actions in assaulting a civilian flotilla of boats and the activists whose stated goal was to bring food and medicine to the besieged civilians living in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s has been responding to the criticism by pepper spraying the media with excuses that run from assertions that the Gazan people are not starving and Israel has been processing “10 million tons of food” or nearly 1 ton per family. The pro-Israel PR machine has been making even more outrageous claims including that the activists are members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. And they Israeli military has selectively released videos which they claim support their assertions that the civilians on the boats started attacking their soldiers.

Anyplace else in the world, when someone drops in on your ship in International Waters carrying automatic weapons and with their faces covered, it would be considered piracy and a violation of international law. Only Israel is permitted to assert that they attacked the ship in a defensive measure. You just don’t know how much suffering food and medicine can cause a soldier when it is thrown at them, I guess.

There is enough blame to go around. But here is a prediction. Israel will survive this latest controversy simply by doing what it always does, ignoring their own crimes and rejecting indictments by other international organizations.

They rejected the indictment of the Goldstone Report which investigated charges of war crimes during the 2008 Israel war in the Gaza Strip. It was conducted by one of the world’s foremost war crimes jurists, Richard Goldstone, who also happens to be Jewish. Yet, Israel’s response was to slander Goldstone with many there denouncing him as, unbelievably, an “anti-Semite.”

So why should Israel do anything different this time? Only nine civilians were killed compared to more than 1,000 documented murders in the Goldstone report.

Maybe the Turks are smart enough to recognize the reality.

And what is that reality? The Arab World is powerless. The Arab League is not a league at all but a retirement home for ineffective diplomats. The pro-Palestinian activists, like those who organized the flotilla, are exploiters with no real sense of strategic management to conduct successful confrontations with one of the world’s most powerful nations.  And the Arab Governments and the Islamic World can’t afford to lose Israel as an enemy.

Once Israel were gone, there’s a good chance the Arab and Muslim people would start asking questions about the corruption, greed and failed leadership of their country’s governments.

And that might include the conduct of Turkey’s government, too.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at www.hanania.com.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at TheArabDailyNews.com, TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Ray Hanania