Hello, Turkey?

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

pro-Palestinian Turkish 311 protest (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
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 yetno Arab or Islamic government has demanded Egypt open its border withGaza. Hello, Turkey?
When Israel pulled out completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005, itimposed no blockade. It was only after Hamas began a terror campaignwith 10,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians that Israel and Egyptimposed this blockade – with PA and Arab support. No Arab governmentwanted 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 Turkishcivilians, what would the Turks do? After all, the Kurds havelegitimate disputes with the government of Turkey, and have beenviciously repressed.
What if international NGOs decided to airlift humanitarian supplies toPKK refugees in Iraq, with those shipments containing civilianequipment that could easily be made into weapons?
Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish republic in Northern Cyprus. Whatwould the Turkish military’s response be if organizations from nationsthat do not recognize the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus decidedto break that military occupation?
Again, regarding Turkish hypocrisy, the prime minister of Turkey, RecepTayyip Erdogan, received the international pariah who leads Sudan –President Omar Bashir – a man who has committed genocide. TheInternational Criminal Court has an arrest warrant out for him oncharges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Not onlyhas the Darfur region of Sudan experienced genocide directed by Bashirand his government, but other regions of southern Sudan have as well.During the visit in mid-August of last year, Erdogan said he did notbelieve Bashir was guilty of the war crimes for which he was indicted.
And here is how the Turkish prime minister justified that widelydisputed contention: “It is not possible for those who belong to theMuslim faith to carry out genocide,” said Erdogan. He deems Bashirinnocent. 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 suchan insult.
This brings me to the reason for the blockade of Gaza, including theIsraeli naval blockade. Some of the items on the ships were dual-use,with both civilian and military uses. For instance, there was rebar fora small amount of cement.
Heaven knows Gaza needs a lot of rebuilding. This tiny amount isinsignificant for construction, however, although it’s a nice supply ofiron to be converted into weapons.
If the Israeli naval blockade ends does anyone really think Hamas won’tbe importing a wide array of weapons? If the ships don’t have to gothrough checkpoints, arms shipments would resume without a doubt – andso would the rocket attacks.
What nation would sit back and allow arms to pour into a neighboringterritory that will certainly be used in more attacks on its people? Ifthe blockade ends, arms shipments into Gaza will resume, and rocketfirings into will Israel resume. It’s that simple.
None of the United Nations peacekeeping organizations and observers haskept out the sophisticated weapons imported by Hizbullah into southernLebanon – despite absolute UN assurances to do so. No similar observersare capable of standing in the way of Iranian arms shipments to Hamaseither. Only Israeli and Egyptian checkpoints can do that.
Again, I ask, would Turkey allow similar organizations to shipuninspected cargo to the suffering PKK Kurds in Turkey and Iraq? Hamasneeds to negotiate with its estranged brothers in the PalestinianAuthority in the West Bank, and commit themselves to peace andrecognition 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.