Turkey Stands Up to Israel

Often in the application of international law, it’s not what a country did but who its friends and who its enemies are that count. In that light, Israel, a close U.S. friend, got the blessings of a UN report for its attacks against Gaza-bound civilian ships on the high seas, a stamp of approval that Lawrence Davidson doubts less privileged nations would get.

By Lawrence Davidson

In the wake of the dubious United Nations investigative report which all but exonerated Israel for its May 31, 2010, attack on the Mavi Marmara an attack that killed eight Turkish citizens and one Turkish-America Turkey has downgraded its diplomatic relations with Israel and suspended all military cooperation.

Ankara had little choice in this matter. The Israeli attack was egregious. It took place in international waters against an unarmed civilian vessel and was carried out in defense of a barbaric and illegal policy of collective punishment against 1.5 million Palestinians bottled up in Gaza by an Israeli blockade.
For their part, the Israelis claim that they killed the Mavi Marmara Turks in self-defense, although it was the Turkish passengers who were in the process of defending themselves from a violent assault when they were gunned down by Israeli soldiers.

This scenario is a tragic parody of a century of Zionist action in the Middle East. Having come to the region in the baggage train of an imperial occupying power (Great Britain) and successfully establishing themselves by evicting the native population (a process that is ongoing), the Israelis define all acts of resistance to their aggression as attacks that require their self-defense.

The Mavi Marmara action fits neatly into this Zionist world of peculiar logic. In this sense, they turn the world upside down.
The Turkish government will have none of this and demanded the minimum of decency from the Israelis an apology and compensation. In so doing they stand for civilized behavior.

However, the Israelis refuse to apologize. After all, when you have turned the world upside down in the fashion described above, any admission of faulty reasoning in your outlook threatens to collapse your universe like a deck of cards.

So what can Ankara do? It can and has distanced itself from these crazy people and refuses any military affiliations. Why militarily assist the murderers of your own citizens?
In making the announcement Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu observed that the Israelis apparently see “themselves above international laws and human conscience.”

Actually, that is not the half of it. Not only do the Israelis disregard international law, be on the high seas, in the maintenance of the obscene ghetto of Gaza, or through their colonial impositions in the West Bank, but they assiduously seduce others to support their criminal behavior anywhere and everywhere they have lobbying influence.

Everywhere they go, the Israelis are the poor victims who need carte blanche to protect themselves. They are the victims who victimize others in the name of self-defense. Israel is taking us all back to a barbaric state of nature.
You can see this perverse influence in the way the UN investigative report on the Mavi Marmara assault was manipulated and distorted. Though headed by Geoffrey Palmer, a New Zealand lawyer and politician with a reputation for integrity and honesty, he was hemmed in by having to share the investigation with ex-Colombian president Alvaro Uribe a devoted follower of the Israeli line and ally of Washington.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who is currently under attack by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight for weakening the moral integrity of the organization, also bowed to a combination of American and Israeli pressure.

As a result the panel restricted itself to “reviewing reports from Israel and Turkey, thus sidestepping any independent gathering of evidence or hearing of testimony from eyewitnesses.”

Ban Ki-Moon insisted that no report would be released unless Palmer and Uribe could reach consensus. That guaranteed equity for Israel’s perverse and lopsided logic.

Thus the best the investigation could do is come up with a report that has an Alice-in-Wonderland quality to it: Israeli assault troops acted in self-defense against civilians even though they (the Israelis) used excessive force that bordered on slaughter and mayhem. The investigative process was supposed to be “transparent” to avoid this sort of corruption, but Ban Ki-Moon refused to let that happen.
Turkey, of course, has rejected the UN report. Now you might say all of this is in vain. Israel’s influence in the halls of power both in the U.S. and Europe is too great for Turkey’s position to be anything but symbolic. Well, you never know.

The Turks do have some leverage. Israel dreams of the day when it can officially associate itself with NATO. Turkey is a member of NATO. Indeed, it has the second largest military force in that alliance and will soon host an extension of the organization’s early warning system.

Under present circumstances hell will freeze over before Israel becomes a full member of NATO. Unfortunately, within the Zionist world of illogic, Turkey’s position will just reinforce Israel’s narcissistic sense of victimhood.

Yasir Arafat once said that Israel acts like a homicidal “big baby.” He was right.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

16 comments for “Turkey Stands Up to Israel

  1. John Darling
    September 5, 2011 at 12:43

    Excellent article! For over 60 years, Israel has been digging its own grave. They were given an opportunity unique in the history of mankind and, instead of taking advantage of it and using it wisely to build a peaceful, democratic state, they choose instead to make it in a belligerent, warmongering, colonial, aggressive military entity with which to bully and terrify all those around them and to blackmail the rest around the world. Israel’s era of terror is over, in more ways than one. They were given their chance and they blew it. Time to start from scratch. Honor only those who deserve to be honored.

  2. Esther Colowitz
    September 5, 2011 at 12:27

    This “report” like all things Israel, should take into consideration its source. What does it say that someone like Alvaro Uribe, himself a war criminal and genocidal monster, exonerates Israel of all crimes? Think about it. With friends like Uribe, Israel needs no enemies. There’s an old Spanish proverb that goes something like “show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are” and this situation brings that truism to life.

    You can’t take a building which is crumbling, slap a coat of paint on it and claim that it has been fixed and all is good. Eventually, it is going to collapse on you. Same thing with the US and Israel. They can’t continue committing war crimes, atrocities and crimes against humanity and bullying the rest of the world into believing that all is well because…hmmmm…Alvaro Uribe said so.

    Good luck to you Israel, you’re going to need it. Particularly, when your sugar daddy collapses.

  3. old.frt
    September 4, 2011 at 13:53

    No, he is not a jerk.
    Just a a low grade academic.
    Google his name.
    Have a cup of coffee.

    • james
      September 4, 2011 at 22:07

      and i am sure you are a high grade academic.

      • Larry Bartlett
        September 6, 2011 at 07:44

        this would make you not an academic?

    • Kursad
      September 9, 2011 at 03:26

      may be a low grade academic

      but a man who has a consious that counts among us..I mean humans

  4. John Mucci
    September 4, 2011 at 06:37

    Dear Mr. Reisen,

    1. I will assure you that Lawrence Davidson is NOT a “jerk.”

    2. West Chester University (West Chester, Penn.) is a one of the 14 universities that are part of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. It was founded in 1871 and currently hosts 13,000-14,000 students. It’s located between Lancaster and Philadelphia.

    John Mucci

  5. Charles Reisen MD
    September 4, 2011 at 05:37

    This jerk is enough reason never to give this site another dime. Turkey demanded as part of the apology that Israel cease the blockade of Gaza. Turkey is rushing into the Islamist orbit and burying Ataturk’s vision of a secular nation. I never heard of West Chester U and from this guy’s example, I never will.

    • james
      September 4, 2011 at 22:31

      International law is international law even though some nations like israel and america (I am an American) are not expected to follow it. I hope Ataturk is rolling over in his grave. He was the leader of a nation which engaged in the first genocide of the 20th century. He is in a club with Hitler, Stalin and Mao and, though I don’t believe in hell, I hope for the sake of justice it exists for him to rot in.

      • hakan
        September 5, 2011 at 11:53

        and your point is?

        • Esther Colowitz
          September 5, 2011 at 12:29

          If someone has to explain “the point” to you, you need more help than anyone can offer you.

    • Esther Colowitz
      September 5, 2011 at 12:32

      So, demanding an end to inhumanity and human rights abuses is “rushing into the Islamist orbit…blah blah blah”? Then, by your rationale, what is what your own country (I assume you are American?) rushing into with its Crusades on the Middle East? The New Dark Ages, perhaps?

      I really feel sorry for your patients, “Dr. Reisen” if you are, indeed, an MD. With the Islamophobia and ignorance you display, you’ll probably gas those of them who are (or you deem to be) “Islamists”

    • Larry Bartlett
      September 6, 2011 at 07:35
    • Larry Bartlett
      September 6, 2011 at 07:41

      I agree. Everytime I read Zionist I see Anti Jew. Here an interesting article, countering this elitist, install after the www.

      • Larry Bartlett
        September 6, 2011 at 07:42

        bad link

    • Kursad
      September 9, 2011 at 03:24

      why the hell are you that much interested in Ataturk and his vision?

      this recalls me of being “on the side of the king more than the king himself”

      I am already fed up with reading this kind of comments from Israeli-phones just like you…” Turkey has to prevent slipping into the Islamic orbit…Turkey must ensure the continuity of the vision of Ataturk so on so forth..”

      just talk ur own mind ok.. do not horn in ur nose into those subjects.
      We can decide on which orbit to follow on our own

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