Archive for the ‘Armenia’ Category

Commentary: Anti-Semites becoming ever more creative

July 28, 2010 Leave a comment
By Alex Liff 

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Looking across the spectrum of recent news one can’t help but be amazed at the creative ways that in the words of Dennis Miller, “adjacent Jew haters” i.e so called Palestinians and their beloved friends are finding to express their unbridled anti-Semitism.  The last month or so has brought a literal treasure trove of events to illustrate that point.


On a visit to Turkey, the recently minted PM of Britain, David Cameron unequivocally stated that “Gaza can not and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp”.   He also characterized Israel’s interception of the Turkish flotilla as “completely unacceptable”.  Where have you gone Gordie Brown, we miss you already.  It’s nice to see that it hasn’t taken your supposedly conservative successor, long to see which way the British foreign policy wind is blowing.  In fact Cameron showed himself to be a remarkable quick study with comments that were sure to delight both the domestic audience as well as the Turkish hosts.  Of all the issues that are pertinent to Turks, Brits or the rest of Europe, of course the central one had to be the Gaza situation.  I wonder if the Brits mint these anti-Semites in boarding schools or it’s in the genes.  What sweet music this must have been to the unrepentant Islamist’s ears of PM Erdogan who quickly and delightfully jumped on the Zionist (i.e Jewish) bashing band wagon, once again demanding deepest Israeli apology, reparations, and a shipment of additional Drones he can use to exterminate more Kurds across the border.   (Someone should have whispered in his ear that Israeli apology is coming as soon as he sends his own bit of an apology to the Armenians for cleansing 1.5 mil of their brethren not so historically long ago and provides oh say 20 billion in reparations). 


Perhaps PM Cameron was biased in his view by the recently released British report funded by the “Medical Aid for Palestinians” group.  This apparently completely unbiased and scientific research was carried out by the apparently prestigious university of Birzeit in the West Bank.  The findings?   Well some of you may be shocked to hear that apparently a whopping eighty-five percent of respondents reported moderate or high levels of insecurities, fears and threats, and 49 percent said they had moderate or high levels of distress.  So is the global financial crisis getting to the “we just can’t catch a break” Gazans?  Well apparently, not quite.  To quote the study, “ Asked to say what had been the biggest causes of suffering in Gaza, the respondents named, in order of magnitude, the Israeli siege of Gaza; the previous Israeli occupation of Gaza; the Israeli attack; and internal Palestinian fighting.” So there you have it, despite leaving Gaza 5 years ago, the big bad Zionists are continuing to stress out those impressionable and frail souls in Gaza.  Unfortunately, the study did not specify exactly when the stress levels were at their highest.  For example was it before or after a Gazan would fire an indiscriminate Qasam rocket into Israeli women and children and then run for cover trying to escape the fury of the Zionist drones. Perhaps the interviews were taken during the tunnel smuggling operations, the ones used to bring in vast amounts of weapons to enable the peace loving Gazans to kill as many of the Zionists as possible during the sneak attacks across the border.  Finally, the authors did nor precise if Gilad Shalit’s captors were interviewed and if they also exhibited higher levels of distress and anxiety having to be on the constant lookout for those bad Zionist spies, looking to free a kidnapped soldier illegally held now for 4 years.  So as you can see, the details were a bit murky but of course the all important conclusions were quite clear and well covered in the British press. 


So while the Brits were busy bashing the Zionists on their side of the Atlantic, Boney M, an iconic 1970’s disco group, got a chance to entertain the oppressed inhabitants of  Ramallah, Samaria, (West Bank).  The concert goers had a chance to enjoy many of the old favorites with one notable exception.  The Palestinian Authority, expressly forbid the group from performing its best known hit, Rivers of Babylon, deeming it “inappropriate”.  So the question naturally arises, what so offended the peace seeking, harmony loving Palestinians in the well known international hit song?  Well, the answer is that the song’s chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people’s yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.  The exact wording is in fact as follows:  “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.  Yeah, we wept when we remembered Zion. When the wicked carried us away in captivity.”  The Palestinian powers that be, did not want the impressionable young Palestinian minds to be confused by any deviation of the official line stating that Jews simply descended from Europe to usurp the Arab land and have not historical connection to Israel whatsoever.   In other words, more of the same triple D offense they have engaged in for years now, demonizing, denying, and destroying anything remotely resembling facts and the truth. 


Now, on the way to the concert, many of the attendees undoubtedly had a chance to stop by and enjoy the newly opened Mughrabi square in the adjoining town of El-Bireh.  In fact as is documented by Arlene Kushner of the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, the square was recently named after Dalal Mughrabi, a 19 year old female terrorist who led the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history – the Coastal Road Massacre of 1978.  Mughrabi and her squad of terrorists came down from Lebanon via the Mediterranean by raft; they landed on the beach south of Haifa. First they killed American nature photographer Gail Rubin, and then they hijacked a bus.  Ultimately, they killed, in cold blood, 38 innocent Israeli civilians, including, I repeat including, 13 children, before Mughrabi herself was shot by IDF.  The large scale of the carnage, the devastation and of course the fact that young Israelis were killed during this glorious operation have made Dalal a beloved figure among the Palestinians.   It should be noted that during the inauguration ceremony, a large banner was held aloft, which read: “On the anniversary of the Coastal Road Operation we renew our commitment and our oath that we uphold the charge and that we will not stray from the path of the shahids.”     

In fact, according to Palestinian Media watch organization’s recently released report,  Contrary to the PA’s moderate statements to the West, its statements to its people in Arabic continue to delegitimize Israel’s existence, deny Israel’s right to exist, define the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah, promote hatred through demonization, slander and libel, and glorify terror and violence”.


While all of that was going on, the great moderate, PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas found time to put on a bit of a charm offensive in a meeting with the so called Jewish leaders in U.S.   A bit unusual you may say but hey give credit where credit is due.  I mean the man is no fool. After seeing 79% of the Jews vote for the Israel bashing Hussein Obama  and with fine pro-Palestinian organizations like J street springing up left and right, Abbas figured why not to also try to impress the malleable American Jewish minds and maybe even raise a couple of bucks for the Swiss bank coffers while he’s at it.


Abbas tried to charm the audience by stating that “Nobody denies the Jewish history in the Middle East. A third of our holy Koran talks about the Jews in the Middle East, in this area. Nobody from our side at least denies that the Jews were in Palestine.” Abbas conveniently forgot to add that while Koran does mention the Jews it does so comparing them to monkeys and pigs or to call for their extermination.  Also, the budding historian, Abbas,  did not explain exactly what this entity called Palestine was, as all attempts to find that nation in numerous historical publications were unsuccessful. 

To their credit, the so called Jewish leadership, unlike the world press, did not immediately fall for the slickster’s nicely combed hair and a well pressed suit but actually threw a few questions of substance at the great moderate.   According to the meeting notes, at the dinner Abbas was  pressed repeatedly on the issue of incitement among Palestinians.

“I accept your accusations,” Abbas said, referring to charges of incitement on PA-run TV, according to the transcript. “I will say, OK, let us say there is incitement. How can we deal with this? Shall I talk about Israeli incitement?” Ah yes, least one forget, offense is the best defense. 

Furthermore, one participant, described it as “a polite but pointed exchange over a series of questions that were asked again and again, because Abbas avoided the questions each time they were asked.” He pointed particularly to questions about what Abbas was doing to condition his people for peace. Abbas instead spoke of the recent interview he did with Israel’s Channel 10, concluding, “I asked Netanyahu to appear on our TV. He refused.”  Ah yes, spoken like a true visionary representative of the peace loving, peace seeking nation, indeed. 

Given Abbas’ previous track record and his non-answers to even a semblance of tough questions I think most rational, sane minds would look at the above and agree that the man is a fraud, emptier than a water reservoir in Sahara.  Not so for  the leader of the J Street organization, Jeremy Ben-Ami,  who summed up Abbas’s basic message as one that recalled past Israeli characterizations of the Palestinians as never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. “He basically said, ‘Now it’s your turn. Don’t mess this up.” Ben-Ami added, “Israel will never have a better partner than Mahmoud Abbas.” 

So what’s one to make of all of these seemingly disconnected events?  Let’s connect the dots shall we.  The bottom line is that when it comes to the Palestinians, there is no partner for peace, there never has been and given their clearly documented approach there never will be.  To the world at large that fact is irrelevant.  And so the David Camerons of this world will continue to use the Palestinian issue as a kind of modern day stick with which to perpetrate the politically correct pogrom on the Zionists whom the world loves to hate.  Some call it madness but in reality it’s all quite rational you see.  It’s pure unadulterated anti-Semitism of the highest degree, and it needs no reason.  For Israel and its supporters world wide, it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.  So let’s do, and state unequivocally to Abbas, Cameron, Erdogan and anyone else who questions our resolve, the weeping is over, we never forgot Zion, we came back and we’ll do whatever it takes to stay.

Liff is a freelance writer based in San Diego

Turkey, Israel’s best friend in Middle East? That reminds me of the story…

June 7, 2010 Leave a comment

By Alex Liff

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–Watching the aftermath of the so called Gaza flotilla unfold can’t help but remind one of the following old joke that goes something like this.   A gentleman comes out of a building and sees a crowd gathered below, gesturing angrily toward a roof where one can observe a young man dragging an old lady toward the edge of the roof, in an attempt to throw her down.  The crowd, visibly upset, yells insults at the young man, telling him to let the old woman alone.  Suddenly another person emerges from the building and announces that the old lady is the young man’s mother in law at which point the crowd exclaims, “ah the witch, the nerve of her to resist”.  Substitute Israel for the old woman and the world for the crowd and the whole absurdity of the affair comes clearly into focus. 

In fact the whole affair can be characterized by the following analogy.  The door bell rings, you open it and in barges one of the neighbors, the one you used to play poker with but lately he has been acting kind of weird.  He punches you in the face, gives you a bloody nose and then declares that he won’t play poker with you anymore, until of course you apologize for not leaving the door open and then getting some blood on his shirt with your darn, squirting nose.  The neighborhood is up in arms at your brutality and your neighbors from Norway and Sweden in fact drop you from the neighborhood poker night all together.  Which brings us to Israel’s so called old friend, Turkey.  “Israel cannot find any better friend in the region than Turkey. And Israel is about to lose that friend,”  declared Turkey ‘s ambassador to U.S, Namik Tan.  He then went on to kindly outline the steps that Israel could take to keep its “good” friend, Turkey, from severing those dear ties.  And so with a straight face, can we have some drum roll please. 

 First, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have to publically apologize to Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan specifically and to the Turkish nation in general for the dastardly assault at sea that killed the nine peace loving Turks who were last seen in a video called “bash an Israeli soldier’s head in with a peace loving metal pipe”.  The esteemed ambassador unfortunately did not specify if PM Netanyahu would have to be standing on one, or two knees while giving that apology leaving those wicked Israelis to guess about the proper protocol that would satisfy the aggrieved, peace loving Turks. 

Second, Israel would have to consent to, practically beg the U.N to organize a so called international investigation into the Flotilla affair.  Here again the details remained a bit murky as the honorable ambassador did not specify if it would be Iran or Saudi Arabia or perhaps some other equally deserving and unbiased world actor chairing such an impartial commission.  Perhaps it would be Hamas itself,  given all of its significant human rights credentials and even handedness (as in they are equally adapt at throwing people off of buildings with left as well as right hand) that would get the honorary chairmanship of such a commission. 

Third, the distinguished ambassador Mr. Tan outlined a demand for Israel to essentially lift the blockade of Gaza.  As in the first two demands, the details remained a bit incomplete,  and thus it was unclear if the Iranian missiles would need to be delivered directly to Hamas via Haifa or Ashdod ports.  It was also a bit unclear if the Israelis needed to reserve aisle or window seats for the Iranian revolutionary guard instructors who would of course be needed to teach the peace loving Hamasniks how to use such sophisticated equipment.  Of course there has been quite a bit of press lately about the bestial Israeli blockade and how it was denying the long suffering, peace loving, oppressed people of Gaza, such basic human necessities as coriander, ginger and yes, the French croissants.  It’s clear that no spontaneous suicide bombing celebration is complete without a bit of ginger and coriander.  In fact it is said that the attendees to the famous suicide bombing museum in Gaza, you know the one the graphically depicts the Pizza place bombing in Tel Aviv that peacefully killed and maimed dozens of Israelis, listed French croissants as one of the key missing items off of the cafeteria menu.  Ah, such travesty indeed. 

So what is one to make of Mr.Tan’s statement?  Well, today, saying that Israel can not find a better friend than Turkey in the region is kind of like saying that in a prison full of criminals, the one who merely killed a few people is morally superior to the rest who are mass murderers.  It is true that Turkey was a friend, in the pre-Erdogan days.  It was a relationship based on mutual benefit and befitting of a Nato member with aspirations to join the European union.  The Turks benefitted by getting Israeli military technology and economic know how while also enjoying massive Israeli tourism and the hard currency that it brought.  That all changed in the last 5 years or so, as Mr. Erdogan steered a steady course away from western orientation and toward Islamism of Iran.  Turkey has cuddled up to Iran and has done everything possible to shield Iran from international sanctions.  It has been quite clear for all but most naïve observers for quite some time that Turkey is a friend no more, not for Israelis and not for the Americans.  And just like in real life when one’s friend decides to leave you, the best reaction is to bid them a fond farewell, and ask that the door not hit them on the way out.  Groveling and begging is very unbecoming in life and politics alike. 

What does it all mean for Israel, U.S and Nato?  It’s time to face the facts, Turks are friends no longer and appropriate conclusions need to be drawn.  U.S would be well served to do the right thing and finally declare that Turkish genocide against the Armenians did take place.  Military contacts should be cut appropriately and economic cooperation curtailed.  And as for Israel?   How should Bibi respond to Mr. Tan’s tantalizing request?  Well, in 1980 at the height of the cold war, at the Olympic games, one American reporter would run into his Russian counterpart who would use his fingers to proudly show how many medals the Russians won that day.  Naturally the American was a bit frustrated.  That all changed the day the U.S Hockey team won the gold medal.  The next morning the American bumped into the Russian, and proudly held up just one finger, and you can probably guess which one it was.  The humble suggestion to Bibi is to use that one finger to respond to Mr. Tan’s proposition.  I hope it means the same in Turkish, if not, perhaps the U.N commission can help to translate. 

Liff is a freelance journalist based in San Diego

Mass murder at sea, or in a mosque, and the world is silent. But when Israel defends itself, the world goes crazy

June 5, 2010 1 comment

 By Alex Liff

Alex Liff

SAN DIEGO–In early twentieth century the American journalist John Reed wrote a book called, Ten Days That Shook The World  in which he described the events of the Russian revolution.  Perhaps one day someone will publish something along the lines of “10 days that characterized the world” to describe the sinister 21’st century.   Over 10 days recently we witnessed a series of seemingly unrelated but very interesting events that clearly illustrated the degeneracy of the current 21’st century generation. 

First, came the irrefutable proof, established by an international commission, after a careful, multi month study, that a North Korean torpedo sunk the South Korean ship killing 46 innocent sailors.  It was a clear act of war but you wouldn’t know that by the reaction of the world’s powers.  China refused to condemn the act while Russia insisted on seeing the evidence itself and has still not made any comments.  In general the reaction was rather muted, one that can best be characterized “yep that’s kind of bad, what’s for breakfast Joe?”

Second, came the news out of Pakistan that around 100 innocent worshippers were butchered, slaughtered in cold blood in their houses of worship.  Their crime?  They were Muslim, but apparently the wrong kind of Muslim for their ruthless killers who also were Muslims. The world’s reaction?  Hardly a murmur, not a single Muslim of note in Pakistan or anywhere else for that matter hit the streets with any kind of protest for what has become a nearly daily occurrence in the Muslim world.  And just to prove that this was no fluke, the very next day a group of Muslim gunmen burst into a hospital and butchered six more people, attacking the emergency room of all places.   The world stood by silently once again, no protests, no UN condemnation, complete and utter silence which has become so typical in these occurrences.

And then came Monday, the day the so called “Free Gaza Flotilla” met the Israeli Navy and unleashed a worldwide storm of protest and condemnation.  So what was all that about and what triggered the world’s violent reaction to an event that paled in comparison to the ones above?  Let’s take a look at some interesting facts here.  The Gaza flotilla was essentially sponsored and organized by a Turkish Muslim group with known ties to al Qaeda and Hamas, which were well documented by CIA and other U.S government agencies.   Furthermore, it was put together with the tacit approval if not outright support from the Turkish Islamist government headed by Tayyip Erdogan.   You may remember Erdogan as the one storming off the stage at Davos, in a fit of anger after accusing Israel’s President Shimon Peres of genocide in Gaza after the Israeli actions there to stop the missile firings.  In fact Erdogan has been a relentless critic of Israel, while at the same time warmly embracing  Iran’s  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  He went so far as to declare that Iran had no intentions to build a nuclear bomb, was a peaceful symbol of democracy and was in no way threatening the world peace, unlike the aggressive and human-rights denying Israel. 

Now a naïve observer, may ask, who is this humanitarian dignitary, Tayyip Erdogan, who is so keenly concerned about the supposed humanitarian crisis in Gaza and what makes the Turks so uniquely qualified to champion such noble a cause?  Let history serve us as a quick guide here.  In the early 20th century, right around World War I, the Turks masterminded and executed one of the grisliest genocides in history where in the course of several weeks they raped, pillaged and brutally murdered up to 1.5 million Armenians. 

Furthermore, to make matters worse, despite the overwhelming evidence and worldwide consensus on the historical facts, to this day they have continued to deny that fact and have refused to pay any restitution to the victims.  As a personal aside, my close Armenian friend’s great grandfather was nailed to the door by the Turks in a manner that was very characteristic of the bestial murders of the Armenians. 

A little bit later in the century, as the founder of the current Turkish republic Kamal Ataturk,  launched his war of liberation, the Turks drove out and murdered hundreds of thousands of Greeks and a few remaining Armenians.  I visited the city of Izmir in Turkey, a city which used to be a major Greek center, and there is virtually nothing left to remind one of the Greeks’ existence.  In fact eyewitness accounts from Izmir tell a gruesome story of mass murder of the civilian population, a true ethnic cleansing if you will.  

Continuing our historical journey, deeper into the 20th century, one finds the atrocious treatment of the Turkish Kurds by Ataturk and his successors where an estimated 30,000 of them were murdered, countless others imprisoned, their language and way of life outlawed.  Those were Turkish citizens mind you, their only crime was the desire to maintain their self identity.  In fact, while hitchhiking in Turkey in the 90’s I happened to ride in a car with a Kurdish Turk who after hearing that I am familiar with their plight, opened up, and in broken English told me how the Turkish army murdered half his family and how he could not openly practice his way of life.  So a slight diversion if you will, just to help one understand Turkey’s humanitarian credentials and background.  In fact, as a representative of the Turkish nation, Erdogan would be well served to remember a simple saying along the lines of “He who lives in the glass house, should not toss the first stone”.  

So it is clear that a Muslim, terror-linked charity organized the flotilla, staffed it mostly with Turks and it was sponsored by the Israel-hating, Israel-bashing government of Erdogan to further his own political agenda.   Now, an innocent observer may ask, what about all those supposed Europeans, an Israeli (living in Sweden), a Nobel peace laureate and a Holocaust survivor who were on board?  Well, most of the Europeans, and Australians and other nationalities on board had last names like Talib and Mukhbar and so one.  They are Muslims who happen to have European passports.  The Holocaust survivor in her 80’s can be forgiven for getting matters confused and as for the Israeli, well each nation has its share of Benedict Arnolds and Israel is no different. 

The Israeli government went to great lengths to warn the flotilla to stay away and was clear that they would not be let through.  Israelis offered to transport all of the legal goods to Gaza by land but that did not suit the organizers.  For Erdogan this was simply a way to try to further isolate and embarrass Israel while scoring some cheap points on the home political front.  It’s much better to have the masses focused on the “evil Zionist entity” than on the everyday bleak reality that his party has created at home.  For the willing participants, although they came from different countries and different walks of life, there was one common element that bonded and united them and that was their deep hatred of the state of Israel and all things Jewish.  In other words, a pogrom in the making, Muslim style. 

The Israelis made every effort to avoid a confrontation, warning the ships to turn back on numerous occasions but that is not why these rabble rousers came.  They wanted their day in the sun in the anti-Semitic pantheon and they got it.  Even when faced with such provocation, Israelis made every effort to avoid casualties, foolishly dropping off virtually unarmed commandos into the arms of blood thirsty thugs waiting on board with knives, metal poles and chairs.    Seven brave commandos were savagely beaten and almost lynched, essentially leaving the Israelis no choice but to escalate their use of force to protect these valiant young men.  The fact that only nine rabble rousers were killed is a testament to the Israeli self restraint and courage under fire. 

The world’s reaction to this propaganda trick was swift and predictable.  “State sponsored terrorism” declared Edrogan whose nation should know a thing or two about that.  “A bloody massacre” whined the west’s favorite “moderate,” PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas.  Even the old favorite, “disproportionate use of force” returned, from the mouth of the French.  The Australians, the British and everyone in between piled on and jumped on the merry Israel-bashing bandwagon.  And all those Muslims who were completely silent, virtually non-existent on Saturday when 100 people were butchered in the mosques of Pakistan or Sunday when six more were gunned down in the hospital suddenly found the inspiration to rush to the streets to condemn this “bestial” Israeli aggression that killed nine provocateurs. 

Even the U.S, I guess by now not surprisingly, expressed “concern” and demanded immediate accounting and the facts.  In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sternly warned that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable and cannot continue, in other words, get rid of the blockage and let the Iranian weapons flow in.  Yes, a great friend of Israel indeed.  What made the international reaction even more amazing is the fact that there was clear and undeniable evidence that Israel provided, on tape, showing how the savage crowd set upon the descending commandos, but I guess when it comes to Israel and  the world’s band of anti-Semites, facts are not really relevant.

Predictable? Yes.  Expected?  You bet.  Understandable?  Never.  It is a wicked, crazy world we live in and it’s drifting further into the abyss.  The moral compass is so off kilter that it would almost take a divine intervention to set it straight.  God called on Israel to be a light onto the nations  but the evil darkness that is enveloping us is clearly trying to block out that light.  Let’s say a prayer for the speedy recovery of the valiant Israeli commandos who almost gave their lives protecting us. They are the best, the brightest, they are our pride and strength. Let’s hope that the Israeli generals who sent them into battle with paint guns have learned their lessons.   Israel we stand with thee, the light shall not be overcome with evil darkness. Erdogan and his ilk better take heed. 

Liff is a freelance journalist based in San Diego

Turkey bidding for greater influence in Middle East

May 18, 2010 1 comment

By Shoshana Bryen

Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Turkey and Brazil announced they have “brokered” a “deal” to bring some percentage of Iranian LEU (Low Enriched Uranium) to Turkey. The “deal” is a fraud-without knowing how much uranium Iran has, you cannot know how much it “lent” to Turkey and how much remains in its weapons program. And knowing that Iran has lied about every single stage of its nuclear program, we will assume it is lying about this stage as well.
So much for Iran.
But there is something compelling about a country that looks at its position, determines its interests, and changes course to achieve new objectives. Turkey has done that. 
Let us be clear: we don’t have to like the direction or the choices; we don’t have to support them; and we don’t think the United States should treat Turkey as if it hadn’t made those choices. That was one reason we wrote-and strongly believe-that the Congress of the United States is the wrong place to parse and judge someone else’s history. Our Armenian friends entirely misunderstood-we were neither denying nor denigrating their history. But Congress has to be about the present and, more important, about the future. Our ongoing irritation with our Congress and our Administration is that they find it easier to pronounce on a past for which they are not responsible than to deal with present circumstances. 
For the moment, it may be easier but it is shortsighted in the extreme.
After decades of resolutely secular, pro-Western economic and security policy, during which it was resolutely rejected by Europe, the Turkish government, specifically the AKP, surveyed the landscape in the absence of the Soviet Union and the apparent decline of the United States and decided to stop banging its head against a closed European door.  Turkey, in their view, didn’t have to be the stepchild of Europe; it has a strong military, a good economy in regional terms and historic interests.
Turkey certainly will not give up the benefits bestowed by NATO membership and is unlikely to do anything to hamper its economic ties to the West. It is unlikely to actually sever ties with Israel while there are still benefits to be had. It simply has added new portfolios, Muslim portfolios. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are all Turkic, all Muslim, all post-Soviet and all amenable to leadership from Ankara (although the coup in Kyrgyzstan was a setback).

New military relations with Syria and Russia, increased political relations with Iran, the hosting of Hamas leadership and increasingly strident rhetoric are signs of Turkey’s belief that it can do as it pleases, at least in the region. 
There are those who believe Turkey is aiming to re-establish the old Ottoman Empire and others who think the goal is restoration of the Caliphate. Maybe, or maybe it is just opportunistic push back. In any case, the result is likely to be inimical to American and Western interests.
We have two thoughts: Turkey’s future choices in the region will be much more important to the United States than any possible benefit of looking backwards at the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.   
Was that only one thought? Yes, it was one thought about Turkey. The second thought is about the United States. 
The Turks stopped begging Europe for entry and considered their options; the United States should do no less. The clock cannot be turned back to 1948 any more than to 1915. The Obama Administration should stop begging the Palestinians to let us force Israel to manufacture a small, kleptocratic, dictatorial, terrorist-sponsoring welfare regime wedged in between two of our regional allies. Stop trying to create “two states” where three governing bodies currently exist with no likely mergers. 
Stop blaming Israel for American difficulties in the region that have nothing to do with it. 
Face the issues of perceived American inability to deal with radical Islamic ideology and the wars it engenders and deal with them. Face the fact that radical Islamic ideology is, at its core, forward looking-not a slap at the past, but a belief in the Islamic future. Turkey and “the Stans” are in that mix. So are Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and, increasingly, the failed states of Africa. Russia and China are heavily involved, and not necessarily on our side.
As with the congressional fixation on the Ottomans to the exclusion of the Turkish future, it is easier for the Administration to keep pounding on Israel for its alleged intransigence than to accept that the “peace process” is over and serious American interests for the future lie elsewhere.  
It is equally shortsighted.

Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.

ADL urges boycott of ‘toxic’ Iranian bonds

May 5, 2010 Leave a comment
NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Wednesday called on investors and banks not to buy or hold the “Pars Oil and Gas Company Participation Bonds” currently being offered by Bank Mellat of Iran.

“Buyers of these bonds are funding Iran’s nuclear weapons program, terrorism, and the repression of the Iranian people by putting money in the coffers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Every responsible investor and bank should avoid these truly ‘toxic bonds.’  Holders of them will become Iran’s unwitting partners in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the promotion of terror.”

 According to documents for the one billion Euro offering, the bond sales will finance the development of gas fields for which the general contractor is Khatam ol-Anbia Construction Base, the principal engineering and construction company of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  Khatam ol-Anbia has been designated by the European Union and the U.S. Treasury Department as a nuclear and missile proliferator, and the UN Security Council has sanctioned the IRGC for proliferation.

According to Bank Mellat, “These Participation Bonds allow all interested parties to participate in the development of South Pars phases 15 to 18.”  Phases 15 and 16 were awarded in a no-bid contract to Khatam ol-Anbia in June 2006.

Bank Mellat has branches in Turkey and South Korea and its subsidiary, Persia International Bank, has offices in London and Dubai. Another subsidiary is located in Armenia.  

Preceding provided by the Anti-Defamation League

Israel’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti

January 20, 2010 1 comment

By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C — As the first Israel Defense Forces (IDF) emergency aid team (there is now a second) left for Haiti, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Given Israel’s security needs, we have accumulated much search and rescue experience over the years. We have applied this experience previously in disaster scenes throughout the world – in Mexico, Argentina, Armenia, Kenya, Turkey and elsewhere. I hope and wish that the Israeli mission will succeed, this time as well, in saving as many lives – children, parents and families – in Haiti as possible.”

There was no irony in his comment, but there could have been.

The “experience” to which he referred was, of course, experience pulling Israeli victims of terror out of buildings and buses bombed by Hamas and Fatah over the years. Israeli medical triage for large-scale trauma is a necessarily well-developed art, and ZAKA’s skill in handling gruesome wreckage with dignity for the victims-living and dead-will be put to good use in the devastation of Haiti. ZAKA is the Israeli volunteer, non-governmental rescue, life-saving and recovery organization.

The IDF team consisted of a medical mission and search and rescue teams. The search and rescue included 30 operators and dozens of operations personnel including logistics, IT, communications and canine units. The medical team established one of the largest medical facilities currently operating in Haiti, able to treat up to 500 patients per day and equipped with:
Operating rooms
An intensive care ward
A maternity ward – at least two babies have been born
Pediatrics ward
Incubator units
X-ray equipment
10 tons of medical equipment
90 beds, 66 intensive care beds and two delivery beds
Approximately 250 personnel, including 40 doctors and specialists, 20 nurses and several paramedics.

Also without irony was Jamal Al-Khudary, head of the “Committee to Break the Siege” of Gaza, who announced aid from Gaza to Haiti. “We are here today supporting the victims of Haiti. We feel for them the most because we were exposed to our own earthquake during Israel’s war on Gaza.”
It would be laughable to think of the Palestinians under Hamas rule-suffering for their own lousy leadership’s decision to make war on the people of Israel from behind the civilians of Gaza-as innocent victims, if the dire situation in Haiti would allow us to laugh. It is disgusting for Palestinians to appropriate a natural disaster of historic magnitude and compare it to the inevitable consequence of Hamas’s veneration of violence, despoiling of its own children and the degradation of the Jewish people-despite which Israel continues to spend millions providing food and other aid to the people of Gaza.

We suspect the Haitian people will simply be grateful for Israel’s dedication to saving lives wherever its skills are needed. We are.

Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.  Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member