Dear Friend of FLAME:
At the behest of President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the loss of nine Turkish lives aboard the Mavi Marmara. This ship was part of a six-ship flotilla that attempted to break the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.
The United Nations would eventually rule that the Gaza blockade was in fact legal under international law, and thus Israel was well within her rights in stopping the Mavi Marmara, as well as the other flotilla ships. Israeli soldiers were violently attacked when they boarded the Mavi Marmara and had every right to defend themselves. (Alan Dershowitz wrote an excellent article on this incident for the Jerusalem Post.)
The flotilla incident was the beginning of a deteriorating relationship between Turkey and Israel, leading to a severance of diplomatic ties. Turkey even went so far as to indict Israeli commanders involved in the raid
Ironically, it has come to light that in December 2011 the Turkish air force mistakenly killed 34 innocent Turkish citizens who were falsely suspected of being smugglers. Yet, to date, not a single member of the Turkish military has been indicted.
So when Israelis kill 9 Turks in self-defense, there is a breakdown in diplomatic relations and indictments of Israelis, but when Turks kill 34 innocent Turks, the response in Turkey and around the world is silence.
FLAME has often reported this phenomenon of hypocrisy, in which the world is obsessed with Israel. Any self-defensive action she takes against her attackers, for example, is scrutinized and loudly condemned.
Consider the question of Palestinian independence: The world, and certainly the Arab nations, never cared about Palestinian self-determination until the Jews defeated Arab occupiers of the Holy Land in 1967. All of the sudden the Palestinians desperately needed a homeland and freedom from the Jews.
In Syria, President Bashar Assad has killed some 70,000 of his own citizens, including 4,300 civilians in air strikes since last summer alone, according to Human Rights Watch. Just last month, Assad allegedly used chemical weapons on the town of Aleppo.
Have you heard any Arab cries of crimes against humanity? Where is the outrage in the United Nations? Where are the indictments in Turkey, matching Erdogan's prosecution of Israel because of the Mavi Marmara incident?
It would seem that it's only when Israelis kill Muslims in legal self-defense that other Muslims care. This week's FLAME Hotline article---an extraordinary piece written by a Turk and published in a Turkish newspaper---accuses the Muslim world of just that kind of hypocrisy.
With Holocaust Remembrance Day occurring just last week, it is saddening and terrifying that the world's fixation on Jews (and by extension on Israelis) continues, and that the double standard with which Israel is judged also continues.
Please take a few minutes to read this week's Hotline. I urge you to pass it along to your friends, colleagues, and fellow congregants using the "send to a friend" button at the bottom of this email, or using the buttons above to share it via social media.
Thanks for your continued support of Israel, and thank you for your support of FLAME.
FLAME Hotline Contributor
A lot of American politicians, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, have tried to link an Israeli-Palestinian peace to peace in the greater Middle East. We at FLAME believe this "linkage" is false and have recently published "The 'Root Cause' of the Middle East Turmoil: Would peace descend if the Arab-Israeli conflict were resolved?" in media reaching 10 million readers nationwide, plus distribution to all U.S. Senators and Representatives, members of the Supreme Court, and, of course, President Obama. I hope you'll review this outspoken position paper and pass it on to your friends, members of your congregation and colleagues. If you agree that FLAME's bold brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support our publication of such outspoken messages. Please consider giving donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.
We didn't kill intentionally, but maybe we did
by Burak Bekdil, Hurriyet Daily News, March 29, 2013
Precisely 582 days after the Israeli Defense Forces raided the Mavi Marmara and— as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted last week— unintentionally killed nine Turks on board due to "operational errors," the Turkish Air Force bombed a hoard of mostly teenage villagers from Uludere in southeastern Turkey, mistaking them for terrorists and killing 34.
About 15 months after the Mavi Marmara incident, a U.N.-sponsored investigation known as the U.N. Palmer report determined Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip to be legal, but stated that the "decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable."
Separately, in June 2012, Israeli State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss released a report on the decision-making process leading to the flotilla raid. The report found major faults with Mr. Netanyahu's decision-making process over the events, claiming that he failed to organize an orderly and coordinated discussion with other Israeli leaders.
And about 15 months after the Uludere incident, the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Examination Commission approved by a majority vote a report drafted by a sub-commission assigned to examine the controversy surrounding the Uludere killings. The Uludere report concluded that the investigations produced no evidence that the attack was intentional.
The chairman of the sub-commission and a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party, ?hsan ?ener, said: "The report's finding that 'there is no evidence that the attack was intentional' does not mean the attack was not intentional." I understand from what the honorable MP had to say that "the victims were not killed intentionally by the Turkish Air Force but maybe they were." How mysterious!
Did the attack on the Mavi Marmara intend to kill? Did the Israeli military HQ roar with laughter and joy because Muslim blood had been spilled? Or was it a poorly-planned operation, a fiasco for which the Israeli prime minister would have to apologize almost three years later?
Did the Turkish military HQ roar with laughter and joy because Kurdish blood had been spilled in Uludere? Or was it a poorly-planned air strike based on poorly-processed intelligence?
I tend to believe that in both cases the tragic deaths of Turkish citizens should be blamed on gross operational mistakes. But what makes the Mavi Marmara galaxies away from Uludere in terms of legal, moral and political implications?
In May 2012, an Istanbul state prosecutor prepared indictments carrying life sentences for four Israeli commanders involved in the raid, charging each of them with first-degree murder, assault, and torture. The indictment called for ten life sentences to be imposed on each of them: nine for every activist killed, and one for a wounded activist still in a coma. The same month, the Israeli suspects were indicted by an Istanbul court after a panel of judges voted unanimously on the 144-page indictment which accuses them of inciting murder and injury.
Meanwhile, not a single Turkish officer/official has been indicted over Uludere, whether the death of 34 Turkish citizens in this incident was intentional or, as the parliamentary commission found out, "unintentional but maybe intentional." Is this a "family affair" in which the father can kill a son and go unaccountable, but would campaign for revenge if a stranger killed his son? Amazing how little human ethos in this part of the world has evolved over the last 15 centuries!
This is the Islamist's understanding of justice: religious discrimination not only against the living but also the dead.
From this column in the imminent aftermath of Mavi Marmara:
"Subconsciously (and sadly) the Muslim-Turkish thinking tolerates it if Muslims kill Muslims; does not tolerate it but does not turn the world upside down when Christians kill Muslims; pragmatically ignores it when too-powerful Christians kill Muslims; but is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims." ('Why is Palestine "a second Cyprus" for Turks?' Hürriyet Daily News, June 3, 2010).