Good Turks, Bad Turks

“You Israeli should never become lenient if you would kill your enemies. You shall have no pity on them until you shall have destroyed all their so-called Arab culture, on the ruins of which we shall build our own civilization.” Menachin Begin, October 28, 1956.

Gone are those day – when Hillel Halkin, a NY-born Jew turned Israeli journalist boasted in New York’s FORWARD (January 28, 1994), the oldest Jewish newspaper, “When Kemal Ataturk Recited Shema Yisrael: It’s My Secret Prayer Too, He Confessed“. When General Kemal Attaturk died in 1938, another Crypto-Jew, Ismet Inonu came to power. Under his orders, the Turkish ambassador in Paris issued visas to save 100,000 European Jews – Read here and here.

Gone are those days when Abraham Foxman , national director Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an Israeli Hasbara organ – honored Recep Tayyip Erdogan with ADL’s highest award “Courage to Care” in 2004 in New York. In January 2010 – ADL welcomed Ankara’s appointment of Namik Tan (former ambassador in Tel Aviv) in Washington – calling him a friend of Jewish communities.

However, since Ankara has refused to act like Israeli poodle – like Washington, Bonn, London, Ottawa or Paris – who consider an honor to support the Zionist regime blindly for its neo-Nazi policies. Thus, suddenly, the ‘Good Turks have turned into Bad Turks’. Professor Stephen M. Walt in his latest article, titled The Critic of My Friend is My Enemy, explains the mindset of the ‘Israel-Firsters’.

Now we see the neoconservatives turning on Turkey, even though it is a well-functioning democracy, a member of NATO, and a strong ally of the United States. Of course,Turkey’s democracy isn’t perfect , but show me one that is. The neocons have turned from friends of Turkey to foes for one simple reason: Israel. Specifically, the Turkish government has been openly critical of Israel’s conduct toward the Palestinians, beginning with the blockade of Gaza, ramping up after the brutal bombardment of Gaza in 2008-2009, and culminating in the lethal IDF attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. As Lobe shows, a flock of prominent neoconservatives are now busily demonizing Turkey, and in some cases calling for its expulsion from NATO.

Thus, whether a state is democratic or not matters little for the neocons; what matters for them is whether a state backs Israel or not.  So if you’re still wondering why so many neoconservatives worked overtime to get the U.S. to invade Iraq — even though Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan or Pakistan — and why they are now pushing for war with Iran, well, there’s your answer.

As I’ve said repeatedly, there’s nothing wrong with any American feeling a deep attachment to a foreign country and expressing it in politics, provided that they are open and honest about it and provided that other people can raise the issue without being accused of some sort of bigotry. The neocons’ recent volte-face over Turkey is important because it reveals their policy priorities with particular clarity.

Neoconservatives usually portray American and Israeli interests as essentially identical: In their eyes, what is good for Israel is good for the United States and vice versa. This claim makes unconditional U.S. support seem like a good idea, and it also insulates them from the charge that they are promoting Israel’s interests over America’s.  After all, if the interests of the two states are really one and the same, then by definition there can be no conflict of interest, which means that the “dual loyalty” issue (a term I still don’t like ) doesn’t arise.

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