İHSAN YILMAZ

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İHSAN YILMAZ
September 09, 2011, Friday

Right-wing Israelis and the Kurds

Whenever we criticize Israel’s repressive and inhumane actions against innocent Palestinian civilians, a common response from the right-wing Israelis and Zionists is that Turks have been similarly oppressing Kurds and what would Turks do if Israel sent an aid flotilla to the Kurds in Turkey. This stance shows their sheer hypocrisy with regards to humanitarian causes and this attitude will not help the Israeli people, as it will not only prevent sincere self-reflection and self-criticism but also harm their credibility in the international arena.

Let us start with their last argument, which I mentioned above: what if they want to send a flotilla to Kurds. They are most welcome. We will not object to free humanitarian aid, food, supplies, medicine and so on. The Israelis can send these things to any corner of Turkey they want. This will ease the burden on the shoulders of the Turkish state, which will also not object to it, as there never was a blockade against the Kurds, most of whom live among Turks in Western parts of Turkey. Please send us flotillas every day and we request that you send these flotillas not only to Kurds but to other ethnic and religious minorities in Turkey as well, including the Jews.

Certain right-wing Israelis are so indulged in self-delusion and “autism” that they are unaware of the social phenomena around them and assume that Turkey treats its Kurdish minority as Israel mistreats both Israeli and Palestinian Arabs. We know that you label anyone who criticizes the acts of “holy,” “sacred” and “Godly” Israeli politicians and soldiers as anti-Semitic, so you would never listen to us even if you were not suffering from delusion, but why do you not read Israeli newspapers such as Haaretz to learn how your authorities treat Israeli Arabs?

Kurds in this country, despite several problems that we keep criticizing, are not discriminated against. They can travel anywhere they want, as shown by the fact that İstanbul is the city with the largest Kurdish population; they can get any job they want, as shown by the existence of many Kurdish tycoons, politicians and even ministers. What is more, Turkey does not bomb civilians, hospitals, and ambulances and then claim that they harbor terrorists, unlike Israel, which does it on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, what I would like to focus on here is not that Turkey’s Kurdish problem in no way resembles the Palestinian’s suffering at the hands of the Israelis, but the hypocrisy of these Israeli criticisms. These Israelis, Zionists and their friends only remember Kurds when their relations with Turkey are strained and when they are criticized by Turks. In other times, they are busy applauding Turkey, enjoying strong relations with and engaging in military co-operation with Turkey.

What is more, instead of supporting Turkish democracy in one way or another, these right-wing Zionists have always preferred to work with the anti-democratic Turkish generals and bombarded them with medals. These Israelis do not have any moral right to remind us of the Kurdish problem. Not because it does not exist, but because we are the ones who keep writing about it and criticizing what Israel’s good old friends in Turkey, the Kemalists, have done to the Kurds. Look at my column’s archive to see countless pieces that focus on this issue and harshly criticize what the Kemalist state did to Kurds.

You must also see that it is only in the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) era that the Kurds have started feeling like first-class citizens, even though there are several things that need to be done. So, it is futile to tell us, “forget Palestinans and look at Kurds.” If it were the Jews who were suffering, we, practicing Muslims, would be the ones to stand up to the oppression. While your great Western allies of today were mistreating, expelling and butchering Jews, it was the Turks who have always helped them.

If you are serious and sincere about the Kurds in Turkey, let us focus on that, too. Are you ready to help us in our fight against anti-democratic and authoritarian Kemalism? If you are, then you can start with the right-wing Zionists and Jewish scholars, people and institutions in the West that still have nostalgia for the good old authoritarian Kemalist generals in times when civilians were not respected, to say the least, be they Kurd or Turk. Believe me, the anti-AK Party and anti-democracy activities of these Western-based right-wing Zionists and Jews are not helping Israeli interests beyond further infuriating Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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