Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hasina and Erdogan: Two Anti-Israel Birds of a Feather - Rachel Avraham

by Rachel Avraham

The ties of tyranny and hate that bind.

There are numerous uncanny parallels between Erdogan and Sheikh Hasina, two democratically elected dictators who are hostile towards the State of Israel.   

According to Plato, “Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy.”  Indeed, whether we are speaking about Adolph Hitler, Ayatollah Khomeini or Hamas in Gaza, each of these tyrannical regimes originally was democratically elected before unleashing their dictatorial horrors.  As the days go by, this also appears to be the case with both Erdogan’s government in Turkey and Sheikh Hasina’s government in Bangladesh, who are both dictators that were democratically elected and have demonstrated hostility towards Israel as well as America.
While Erdogan initially rose to power democratically, in recent times, there have been reports that he has managed to stay in power via suppressing the media, arresting critics and engaging in massive voter fraud.  Turkish Jewish dissident Rafael Sadi proclaimed that Erdogan has ruthlessly repressed critics, jailing thousands of journalists.  Indeed, in recent times, the jailing of an American pastor that caused intensive diplomatic problems for Turkey with the US and the crashing of the Turkish lira is merely the tip of the iceberg regarding Erdogan’s persecution of those opposed to his dictatorial rule.  Other victims include Gulenists, secular Turkish military officers, Alevis, Kurds, etc. According to Sadi, aside from persecuting those opposed to him and being vocally opposed to the US administration, Erdogan has managed to stay in power by spreading hatred against Israel, even though Israel and Turkey have $6 billion worth of trade, Israel purchases Kurdish oil via Turkey and the Haifa port renovation is being done via a Turkish company: “Israel is the friendliest partner of Erdogan.  With Israel hatred and hostility, he can get at least 50% of the votes.”  
Erdogan has a long record of promoting hatred against Israel.  Not too long ago, he proclaimed: “The spirit of Hitler is apparent in some Israeli officials.”  Furthermore, when the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, Erdogan declared: “Those who think that they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not even be able to find a tree to hide behind tomorrow.”  Erdogan was referencing a Hadith of the Prophet Muhammed: “The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.”   In fact, in the 1980’s, Erdogan even wrote, directed and played the leading role in an anti-Semitic play called: “Freemasons, Communists, Jews.”  
Statements like this have the effect of spreading anti-Semitism within Turkey.  According to Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut, when Turkey entered into the Kurdish held city of Afrin in Syria, Turkish social media compared the Kurdish fighters there to “servants of Jews,” “bastards of Jews,” “underbred Armenians and Jews,” “Crypto-Jews, Armenians and Greeks,” and other derogatory anti-Semitic statements.  According to Arutz Sheva, one even had the audacity to assert: “Allah willing, Hans, Georges, and Jewish and Armenian dogs will be cleansed from the area.”   Furthermore, after Israel implemented new security measures following the murder of a Druze body guard, dozens of Turkish assailants attacked the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Turkey, throwing rocks at the synagogue, kicking its doors and threatening worshippers. 
Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has a similar background.  Like Erdogan, she was also democratically elected initially but following the 2014 sham elections, she lost her democratic legitimacy.  Ever since, she has managed to stay in power by repressing critics, persecuting minorities and of course, engaging in anti-Israel rhetoric.  She has condemned Trump for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and accused Israel of engaging in massive human rights violations along the Gaza border.  In addition, Bangladesh has no diplomatic relations with Israel and Sheikh Hasina is opposed to them happening until the Palestinians obtain independence.  
However, Sheikh Hasina is known for persecuting the Hindu minority within her country, suffered a huge set-back in relations with the US after the car of a US envoy was attacked and students started to protest en masse against her government and yet, she still has very warm relations with Erdogan.  Indeed, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reelected not too long ago after massive voter fraud, Sheikh Hasina gave 100 kilograms worth of mangos as a gift to the sultan-in-chief and she has coordinated some of her anti-Israel positions with Erdogan’s government.  
How should people respond to these two democrats turned despots?  The best way to respond is to go on the aggressive and to call both dictators out on the human rights abuses that they commit against their own people.  After all, although two anti-Israel despotic birds of a feather stick together, the voices of the oppressed and the downtrodden continue to rise up together against the yoke of tyranny and they will gladly be the West’s allies.  
Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation) and is a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research and Public Relations.   She is the author of Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”
Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271080/hasina-and-erdogan-two-anti-israel-birds-feather-rachel-avraham

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