Hello, Turkey?

The Turkish foreign minister recently called the flotilla episode ‘Turkey’s 9-11.’

June 6, 2010 05:09
3 minute read.
Pro-Palestinian Turkish protesters shout slogans "

pro-Palestinian Turkish 311 protest. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

There are some vital points being overlooked in the international coverage of the Israeli response to the Gaza flotilla, and a mountain of hypocrisy that needs to be exposed. Egypt, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and every Arab foreign minister agreed that Hamas not be allowed to control the southern border crossing with Egypt after the terror group violently seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Yes, Egypt has blockaded Gaza under Hamas’s control as much as the Israelis have – and with the widespread support of Arab governments and the PA. Where’s the outrage?

Palestinians are supposedly experiencing a humanitarian crisis, and yet no Arab or Islamic government has demanded Egypt open its border with Gaza. Hello, Turkey?

When Israel pulled out completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it imposed no blockade. It was only after Hamas began a terror campaign with 10,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians that Israel and Egypt imposed this blockade – with PA and Arab support. No Arab government wanted a terror-prone Hamas to flourish in Gaza, let alone spread.

ONE NEEDS to ask: If the Kurds or the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across the Turkish border in Iraq rained 10,000 rockets on Turkish civilians, what would the Turks do? After all, the Kurds have legitimate disputes with the government of Turkey, and have been viciously repressed.

What if international NGOs decided to airlift humanitarian supplies to PKK refugees in Iraq, with those shipments containing civilian equipment that could easily be made into weapons?

Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish republic in Northern Cyprus. What would the Turkish military’s response be if organizations from nations that do not recognize the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus decided to break that military occupation?

Again, regarding Turkish hypocrisy, the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, received the international pariah who leads Sudan – President Omar Bashir – a man who has committed genocide. The International Criminal Court has an arrest warrant out for him on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Not only has the Darfur region of Sudan experienced genocide directed by Bashir and his government, but other regions of southern Sudan have as well. During the visit in mid-August of last year, Erdogan said he did not believe Bashir was guilty of the war crimes for which he was indicted.

And here is how the Turkish prime minister justified that widely disputed contention: “It is not possible for those who belong to the Muslim faith to carry out genocide,” said Erdogan. He deems Bashir innocent. End of story.

THE TURKISH foreign minister recently called the flotilla episode, “Turkey’s 9-11.” Shame on you sir. No American should ever forget such an insult.

This brings me to the reason for the blockade of Gaza, including the Israeli naval blockade. Some of the items on the ships were dual-use, with both civilian and military uses. For instance, there was rebar for a small amount of cement.

Heaven knows Gaza needs a lot of rebuilding. This tiny amount is insignificant for construction, however, although it’s a nice supply of iron to be converted into weapons.

If the Israeli naval blockade ends does anyone really think Hamas won’t be importing a wide array of weapons? If the ships don’t have to go through checkpoints, arms shipments would resume without a doubt – and so would the rocket attacks.

What nation would sit back and allow arms to pour into a neighboring territory that will certainly be used in more attacks on its people? If the blockade ends, arms shipments into Gaza will resume, and rocket firings into will Israel resume. It’s that simple.

None of the United Nations peacekeeping organizations and observers has kept out the sophisticated weapons imported by Hizbullah into southern Lebanon – despite absolute UN assurances to do so. No similar observers are capable of standing in the way of Iranian arms shipments to Hamas either. Only Israeli and Egyptian checkpoints can do that.

Again, I ask, would Turkey allow similar organizations to ship uninspected cargo to the suffering PKK Kurds in Turkey and Iraq? Hamas needs to negotiate with its estranged brothers in the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and commit themselves to peace and recognition of Israel. Then peace and prosperity will prevail.

Let’s get the facts straight and the hypocrisy exposed as this debate proceeds.

The writer, a Republican, represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional District. He is the youngest member of Congress.

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