Why a Turkish MP attacked Sarah Jessica Parker’s Jewish ties

Aydin Unal – from Erdogan’s ruling party – said the actress is a ‘notorious Israel defender.’

75th Golden Globe Awards – Arrivals – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 07/01/2018 – Actress Sarah Jessica Parker (photo credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)
75th Golden Globe Awards – Arrivals – Beverly Hills, California, U.S., 07/01/2018 – Actress Sarah Jessica Parker
A Turkish member of parliament wrote an op-ed on Monday attacking Sarah Jessica Parker and her ties to the Jewish community.
“Her father and her husband are Jewish. She is also a notorious Israel defender,” wrote Turkish MP Aydin Ünal in the hard-line pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper.
What was it that so angered Ünal, a member of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party?
It all began when a photo of Parker was published on Vogue.com last week. In the image, the actress can be seen holding an advance copy of a book titled Dawn by Selahattin Demirtas, a Kurdish politician who is imprisoned in Turkey, and wrote the book behind bars. Demirtas was arrested in 2016 and blamed by Erdogan for spreading Kurdish propaganda and supporting violence.
The photo of Parker quickly went viral on social media in Turkey, and the actress was lauded by Kurdish supporters and slammed by backers of Erdogan.
Parker is doing more than just reading Demirtas’s book, however. The English translation of the work will be published in April by SJP for Hogarth, the publishing imprint at Penguin Random House that Parker launched two years ago. According to the publishing house, Parker is “directly involved in the editorial and publishing process for each book issued under her imprint, with her vision providing the editorial foundation for each publication.”  
Dawn is a collection of short stories written by Demirtas, which “capture the voices of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. A cleaning lady is caught up in a violent demonstration on her way to work. A five-year-old girl attempts to escape war-torn Syria with her mother by boat. A suicide bombing shatters a neighborhood in Aleppo. And in the powerful story, ‘Seher’, a young factory worker is robbed of her dreams in an unimaginable act of violence.”
Biographically, Ünal is correct about Parker – her father was born to an Ashkenazi family in New York, and her husband, Matthew Broderick, was born to a Jewish mother. The actress does not regularly speak about Israel or Zionism, although in the early 1990s she appeared in Shalom Sesame, the Sesame Street spinoff about Israel and Judaism. In Abigrail Pogrebin’s 2007 book Stars of David, Parker said that she found it hard to debate critics of Israel’s conduct: “I can’t have the conversation because there’s no logic that applies. If you don’t understand why Israel has to defend itself.… The extremists want the Jews gone. So why should the Jews feel safe?”
But Ünal’s proclamation did not go without a response. Gazete Duvar, an independent Turkish news outlet, published an article calling Ünal’s op-ed racist, and slamming him for presenting “being Jewish as a crime.”