For the Sake of Zion

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“For the sake of Zion, I shall not be still; for Jerusalem, I shall
not be quiet -till her justice comes out like a flash and her
salvation radiates like a torch” (Isaiah, 62:1).

Erdogan’s Dhimmi Problem

Under Islamic law (“Shariah”), non-Muslims (such as Christians and
Jews) are mostly free to practice their religion in private but are
discriminated and treated as second-class citizens, or dhimmis. As the
Quran clearly states, non-Muslims must “feel themselves subdued” (Sura
9:20). When the Jews regained their independence in 1948, they not
only rebelled against “dhimmitude.” They also regained and freed, like
the Spaniards after the Reconquista, a land once ruled by Islam. To
Muslims, this was -and still is- a double offence.

Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan has taken upon himself to
make Israel a “dhimmi state.” Edorgan was raised as a Sufi Muslim and
was imprisoned in 1998 for singing out loud that “The mosques are our
barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the
faithful our soldiers.” While mainstream Western media are at pains to
describe Turkey’s Islamist AKP Party as “moderate,” Erdogan himself
declared on Kanal D TV in August 2007 that describing Islam as
moderate “is offensive and an insult to our religion.” Erdogan has
been embracing the presidents of Iran and Sudan. While Sudan’s
president is accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court,
and while Turkey has been asked to apologize for the Armenian
genocide, Erdogan has declared that “No Muslim can perpetuate

Erdogan comes from an anti-Jewish tradition. His political mentor
Necmettin Erbakan was an anti-Semite. As soon as he became Prime
Minister in 2003, Ergodan adopted a hostile policy toward Israel. In
March 2004, Erdogan called Israel a “terrorist state” following the
elimination of Ahmad Yassin. In February 2006, he received Hamas
leader Khaled Mashal in Ankara. In January 2009, he publicly
humiliated Shimon Peres at the Davos conference. In October 2009, the
Turkish state television started airing fiction series showing Israeli
soldiers intentionally murdering Palestinian children. In November
2009, Erdogan declared that he’d rather meet Sudanese President Omar
al-Bashir than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In March
2010, Erdogan claimed that the Temple Mount, Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb
in Bethlehem were never Jewish sites.

While Erdogan’s hatred of Israel is authentic, his public outbursts at
Israel are opportunistic. Those outbursts are the easiest way for him
to be acclaimed as a hero by Islamists both in Turkey and around the
world. The Israeli government made the right decision by refusing to
behave as a “dhimmi state.” The attitude of the Obama Administration,
by contrast, is irresponsible and scandalous. Instead of making
Erdogan pay the price for his foreign policy choices, the Obama
Administration has been hopelessly trying to appease him.

Erdogan is ultimately responsible for the death of his co-citizens
aboard the “Mavi Marmara.” He is the one who sent out the jihadist
organization Insani Yardim Vakfi (or IHH) to militarize Gaza and arm
Hamas. Yet, President Obama called Erdogan after the Marmara incident
to express “his deep condolences for the loss of life and injuries
resulting from the Israeli military operation.” The Palmer Report
recently released by the UN (an organization not known for its
pro-Israel bias) says unambiguously that Israel’s naval blockade of
Gaza was legal, that Turkey should have done more to stop the
flotilla, and that Israeli soldiers were brutally attacked and had to
use force in self-defense. And yet the Obama Administration is still
asking Israel to apologize instead of scolding Turkey for its

Rather than stopping Erdogan from bullying Israel and from
destabilizing the Middle East with his irresponsible policies, the
Obama Administration has adopted an appeasing stance, which in turn is
encouraging Erdogan who is now threatening to go to war in order to
lift the siege of Gaza.

It is precisely because the Obama Administration has opted for
appeasement that Israel must show steadfastness. As Churchill has
said, an appeaser is someone who feeds the crocodile hoping he will be
eaten last. Israel cannot afford to play that game. But steadfastness
is not enough. Israel should go on the offensive by exposing Erdogan’s
hypocrisy to the world.

Doing so is no rocket science. While scolding Assad for shooting at
Syrian demonstrators, Erdogan ordered last month air strikes in
Kurdistan, killing over 100 Kurds. While saying that Israel should
accept the establishment of a Palestinian state, Erdogan is adamant
not to allow an independent Kurdish state to emerge. While Erdogan
urges Israel to negotiate with Hamas, he himself recently declared
that Turkey “considers it a disgrace to sit down at the negotiating
table with [the Greek Cypriots] at the United Nations” as Turkey just
celebrated its 37 year-old occupation of Cyprus. And in 2006, after
obtaining Syria’s capitulation to Turkey’s occupation and annexation
of the Alexandretta Province, Erdogan offered Israel to broker a peace
deal with Syria based on Israeli, not Syrian, capitulation over the

While Erdogan must be made to understand that Jews are no longer
dhimmis, we Israelis have to realize that the end of dhimmitude does
not only mean the end of humiliation. It also provides the ability,
and perhaps even the duty, to make our enemies get a taste of their
own medicine.

Posted by Emmanuel Navon at 2:17 AM

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  • Formed in June 2010, Group 18 is a new Israel advocacy organisation. 18 stands for the numerical value of “Chai” = LIFE. The impetus behind its inception was a feeling amongst concerned Jews that insufficient action was being taken in dealing with what we see as a broad and growing campaign to deligitimise the State of Israel and threaten it’s very right to exist. We, as Group 18, believe that instead of being reactive in dealing with these complex challenges, we must become pro-active through generating greater communal awareness of the issues.