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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blaming the Jews in Islamist Turkey

The Islamist regime of Turkey blamed the Jews today for that US House committee resolution condemning the Armenian genocide in 1915.
In an interview with the liberal Islamic Zaman newspaper on the eve of the 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.

The Turks had better not overdo this. Turkey is the number one foreign travel destinations for Israelis (and one of the few countries where - the last I heard - you don't need a visa on an Israeli passport but you do need one on an American passport) and Turkish trade with Israel is significant. They shouldn't want to blow that.

Read it all.


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