Monday, September 27, 2010

Northern Cyprus vs. Israel

by Emanuele Ottolenghi

A boat full of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and other such organizations is setting sail today for Gaza from Northern Cyprus, as reported here. The pious group, no doubt, thinks they are fighting occupation through acts of kindness.

There is, nevertheless, a certain irony in the fact that they use Northern Cyprus as a staging ground for their activities — like the Mavi Marmara-led Flotilla did last May. Here’s the irony — Northern Cyprus is an illegally occupied territory that belongs to the EU as part of its member state, Cyprus; it was seized by force in 1974 by the Turkish army; its legal status as a fictionally independent state is only recognized by Turkey (the occupying power); Turkey forcibly removed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks from that territory and settled its own population to permanently alter the ethnic balance of the area – and, in the process, encouraged the building of what one could characterize as settlements.

Now doesn’t this sound awfully familiar — the kind of accusations that organizations such as the JFJFP would routinely level at Israel’s presence in the West Bank and, until 2005, in Gaza? These are the kind of things that get such enlightened Jews agitated enough that they need to spring into action — if the alleged perpetrator is Israel. If it is a country that bombs neighbors with impunity, uses heavy-handed tactics to fight what it brands as terrorists, while denying basic cultural rights to the ethnic minority that constitutes 20 percent of its population while it practices state-sanctioned genocide denial, well then, its government is Islamist and its actively helps Hamas, so there’s no problem relying on their services and glossing on their blatant and continuing violations of international law to bash Israel.

How do you say coherence in Turkish?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

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