As Israel bombed Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip from the air and sea for a fifth straight day on Sunday, preparing for a possible ground invasion, and more than 45 Palestinians -- about half of them civilians -- including 13 children, have been killed, Turkish columnists lament the fact that the Israeli operation is most probably part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to win January's election.
Star's Sedat Laçiner writes about dreams and aspirations for the Middle Eastern region. “A developed, well-educated, democratic, stable and visa-free Middle East is what Turkey dreams of. Now let's look at the Middle East that Israel dreams of: Israel wants to see Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Turkey broken apart into several pieces and to see endless civil wars in these countries. Israel is against democracy in the Middle East; it wants dictators to rule the region. Israel uses sectarian and ethnic discrimination as its most effective tool in its foreign policy. The list goes on, and no one can call any of this a lie,” Laçiner writes.
Gültekin Avcı from the Bugün daily has a theory that the letters of the word “Israel” refer to an acronym of the country's national goals. The letters stand for Iraq, Syria, Royaume de Jordanie, Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon, and that the national goals involve eventually occupying these countries. There are two key factors to realizing this plan, Avcı says. The first is to have Kurdish states be established in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey, and the second is the US's support of Israel. The columnist then warns that in the face of such a plot, Hamas should be careful not to kill or hurt civilians. Otherwise, it will end up being in the wrong when it was originally on the right side.
Taraf's Ahmet Altan argues that the right-wing coalition government led by Netanyahu aims to gain popular support ahead of the election. A similar attack occurred in late 2008 when the previous Israeli government launched an operation just a month-and-a-half before elections, he adds. “Palestinians who are already suffering will be sacrificed, and innocent Israelis will be killed just so Netanyahu can win the elections. I took a look at Palestinian history and saw that war and death have been in those lands for 3,000 years. Jews, Palestinians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Ottomans and Babylonians fought in those lands. Forget knowing the names of the dead, we don't even know what the causes of those wars were. As long as we don't hesitate to kill people for the sake of ruling a country, we won't be able to grasp the value of human life,” he notes.