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Hamas is not a terrorist organization

November 24, 2016 22:56

MEMRI WEBSITE

In his June 17, 2010 column in the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, titled "With Love from Hamas," Burak Bekdil writes:

"'Those Who Support Terror Are Collaborators Of Terrorists,' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Very Rightfully Asserted... Of Course, He Was Referring To the PKK"

"Since 2001, between 8,000 and 12,000 rockets – which future Nobel Peace Prize winner Khaled Mash'al once described as 'modest, home-made rockets' – have been fired. The first casualties were reported in 2004 when two civilians were killed by a 'modest, home-made' Qassam rocket, including four-year-old Afik Zahavi. Afik's 28-year-old mother was critically injured and nine others were wounded. Hamas claimed responsibility.
"'Those who support terror are collaborators of terrorists,' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan very rightfully asserted a few days ago. Of course, he was referring to the PKK. In the past, Mr. Erdoğan's main reference point about Operation Cast Lead, in which the Israeli Defense Forces killed hundreds of civilians in the Gaza Strip, was the famous Goldstone Report.
"Last September, Mr. Erdoğan's principal reference point on Israel's Gaza offensive found out that: '…they (Hamas' activities) constitute a deliberate attack against the civilian population. These actions would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity…The rocket and mortar attacks launched by armed Palestinian groups have caused terror.'
"Another finding: 'Hamas continues to view all armed activity directed against Israel as… a legitimate right of the Palestinian people.'
"The Goldstone Report, also accusing Israel for war crimes and other offenses, further found out that: '…security services under the control of the Gaza authorities carried out extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, detentions and ill treatment of people…'
"No doubt, Mr. Erdoğan is right: supporting terrorists is tantamount to collaborating with them. Last week, Mr. Erdoğan made it clear that 'Hamas is not a terrorist organization,' and he even said that to President Barack Obama, although Hamas is listed as such by the United States. Good… We can now expect Washington to drop Hamas from its list of terrorist entities.
"What makes Mr. Erdoğan think that the Hamas chaps are as remote to terror as U.S. congressmen or members of the European Parliament?"
"Erdoğan's Claims That 'There Is No Islamic Terror' Have Left Several Islamic Terror Organizations Heartbroken"
"One of Mr. Erdoğan's favorite statements is his famous line, 'There is no Islamic terror.' Recently the online humor 'daily' Zaytung fabricated a story whose lead paragraph read: 'Erdoğan's claims that "there is no Islamic terror" have left several Islamic terror organizations heartbroken. A press release from Al-Qaeda's press section read: "The prime minister's remarks are very discouraging. We are doing our best!"'"
"Last month, at the Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Erdoğan reiterated that 'there is no Islamic terror' and that 'the words Islam and terror could never come together.' I tried, and Google gave me 9,510,000 entries when I typed 'Islam' and 'terror.' It's bizarre that a significantly large crowd all over the world has been producing texts on something that does not exist.
"According to Wikipedia, 'Islamic terrorism is terrorism committed by Muslims, and aimed at achieving various political ends like Osama bin Ladin's stated goal of ending American presence in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, overthrowing "infidel regimes" and stopping American support for Israeli treatment of Palestinians.'
"I have no idea if there can be such things as 'Christian terrorism' or 'Jewish terrorism.' Mr Erdogan did not say. But he did tell us more than once that Israel committed 'state terror.' So, there is Israeli state terror, PKK terror and Ergenekon terror, but there isn't Islamic terror. Since Mr. Erdoğan invariably singles out Islam as one religion that cannot be associated with terrorism, he must be thinking that other religions (or atheism) can be."
"I Have Never Been Privileged Enough To... Ask [Erdogan] If There Could Be Christian or Jewish or Atheist Terror"
"Too bad, I have never been privileged enough to be physically close to the prime minister and ask him if there could be Christian or Jewish or atheist terror. I might also be curious and ask him what kind of terrorism NATO has been fighting in Afghanistan, with the non-combat from the Turkish military supporting that fight.
"Really, why does Turkey maintain a military presence in Afghanistan? What does a multinational NATO task force do in Afghan lands? Fighting insects? Corruption? Having vacation in the Talibanland?
"What kind of terror was it, really, which targeted a British bank and two synagogues in Istanbul in 2003, killing over 50 people? Red Army Brigades? The PKK? The Ergenekon?
"Mr. Erdoğan's rhetoric on what is and what isn't terror as well as who is and who isn't a terrorist is more than problematic, especially for a prime minister whose country is fighting terrorists who, for some, are 'freedom fighters.'
"It must be a bad irony that it was the Turks who complained for decades about other nations' double standards on labeling some terrorists as terrorists and some as freedom fighters. Who would know [that] one day…[?]"
"Enjoy 'The Bridge'" – June 8, 2010
"From the First Day Under the Rule of an Islamist Elite, Turkey Was Bound To Be a 'Muslim Bridge Between the East and the East'"
"For several years, the Islamist propaganda machine has successfully sold one idea to an eager and pathetically naïve Western audience: Turkey under the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government, was transforming into a spectacular bridge between the West and East. I, on the other hand, have written several articles on the 'enjoy-your-bridge' theme. It looks that now is the time for bridge lovers to enjoy the bridge that goes with the name Turkey.
"Diplomats and analysts have all the liberty to be convinced by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's 'zero-problems-with-neighbors' doctrine. Israel is not a neighbor – so coming to the verge of war is all right. But Mr. Davutoğlu should explain, other than speaking revengeful words, about how Turkey, now officially and practically aligned with Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah, will build a region as peaceful as a pagoda. The minister would probably propose stripping Israel of its nuclear arsenal. Oh, yes, Turkey now has miraculous leverage on the Jewish state, especially after the flotilla incident!
"From the first day under the rule of an Islamist elite, Turkey was bound to be a 'Muslim bridge between the East and the East.' It is becoming one, if it was not already. Those Western diplomats who wholeheartedly believed in the bridge between the West and East tale… those who wholeheartedly believed in the 'Turkey-is-an-honest-broker-between-Israel-and Hamas/Syria' tale deserve the finest of all decorations and promotions for their incredible prophesy and reason, including early retirement and postings to challenging capitals such as Bujumbura, Belmopan, Malabo, Suva, Melekeok, Sao Tome and Nuku'alofa (though they are lucky I am not anyone's minister).
"Forget the silly 'bridge talk.' The inescapable truth is that Turkey as an honest broker between Israel and Hamas or between Israel and Syria is tantamount to Israel as an honest broker between Turkey and Israel.
A few days ago, the Washington Post reminded its readers that Hamas had killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks, and that most Western countries considered it a terrorist organization. But what does the chief engineer of the bridge between the West and East think of Hamas?"
Erdogan's Claim that Hamas is Not a Terrorist Organization "Could Be a Dangerous Precedent"
"At a public rally where anti-Israeli emotions were running high, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shouted loud and clear that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Its members are, Mr. Erdoğan argued at the weekend, resistance fighters. The prime minister's justification is that Hamas cannot be a terrorist organization because it was democratically elected.
"That could be a dangerous precedent. I think the immediate and wisest thing for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to do is to run for the next Turkish elections under the name PKK. Murat Karayılan and his comrades in arms will be recognized as democratically-elected politicians and not terrorists by Mr. Erdoğan when they comfortably win seats in Southeast Turkey.
"What, then, makes the Israeli government a 'terrorist state' in the eyes of Mr. Erdoğan? Did the Israeli government seize power by force? Was it not 'democratically elected?'
"In the meantime, what did the head of the 'humanitarian aid organization' that spearheaded the Gaza flotilla tell a crowd that looked more like an army of jihadists than volunteers? Listen to Bülent Yıldırım, 'the ace' humanitarian activist:
"Last night [the night of the Israeli raid on the flotilla] everything in the world changed, and everything is progressing toward Islam. Anyone who does not stand alongside Palestine – his throne will be toppled!'"
"Of Course, There Is No Connection Between the [Gaza Flotilla] 'Activists' and the [Turkish] Government – And Yes, I Am a Ballerina"
"See, typical humanitarian aid activist language. I am sure the believers of the bridge tale will also believe Mr. Yıldırım is the Muslim reincarnation of Mother Teresa. Oh, they'd also believe it was a pure coincidence that Mr. Yıldırım's organization had just purchased the 'aid' ships from the AKP-controlled Istanbul municipality. Of course, there is no connection between the [Gaza flotilla] 'activists' and the [Turkish] government. And, yes, I am a ballerina.
"We without a 'throne' are lucky. But the others with thrones should watch out. You've got the humanitarian activist's warning – Your throne will be toppled if you don't stand alongside Palestine.
"The Islamist propaganda machine for several years happily made attributions to the West's finest newspapers when the contents praised the AKP – which they often did. These days they are doing their best to hide Turkey's political posture as seen from the same newspapers which they now label as 'pawns of the Zionists.' But what is the new posture of the famous "bridge?"
"For instance, The New York Times commented that 'If Turkey is truly committed to the rights of the Palestinians, it should be pressing other Muslim countries to seriously encourage an Israel-Palestine peace deal' (June 4, 2010, "Turkey's fury").
"The Wall Street Journal was a little more annoying, [referring to] '… a Turkish government that appears to have an ingrained hostility toward the Jewish state, remarkable sympathies for nearby radical regimes, and an attitude toward extremist groups like the İHH [Mrç Yıldırım's organization] that borders on complicity. Whatever this might achieve for Mr. Erdoğan politically in the short run, in the long run it means a Turkey admired only by neighboring despots, one that no responsible country can trust." (June 4, 2010, "Turkey's radical drift").
"But my favorite comment came from a newspaper from the country which can ideally be an honest broker between Turkey and Israel. Amir Oren in Haaretz wrote, "An infant in Gaza has a life expectancy a year and a half longer than his Turkish cousin – 73.5 as compared to 72. Gaza should send assistance to Turkey." (June 6, 2010, "Denial does not change reality").
"Enjoy your bridge, everyone!"
"Why Is Palestine 'A Second Cyprus' for Turks?" – June 3, 2010
"Mr. Strategic Depth, Otherwise Known As Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Thinks the Israeli Raid on the Gaza 'Aid' Flotilla Was 'Turkey's 9/11.' Big Words."
"The State of Israel has every right to do smart or silly things. Its leaders may or may not be crypto-mullahs, as the joke went in this column on Wednesday (amazing, there were readers who took it seriously!). But let's visit the 'Turkish side' of the incident.
"Mr. Strategic Depth, otherwise known as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, thinks the Israeli raid on the Gaza 'aid' flotilla was 'Turkey's 9/11.' Big words. But they hint at something serious.
"The scenario plotted by very important Islamist Turks remains incomplete to this day. For a perfect closure, i.e., cashing in on the event for domestic and global Muslim popularity – the former to secure power and the latter to bolster neo-Ottomanist dreams – something bold should happen to inject one idea into the Muslim audience's mind: that Tayyip Bey [i.e. Erdogan] gave the bloodthirsty Jews a big lesson!
"Many options are on the table, with their pros and cons, and the official Turkey sitting around various meeting tables pondering where, when and how to hit back best (best = maximum public impact, minimum political cost). There is plenty of time. Elections are more than a year ahead. But if I were an Israeli cabinet minister running into Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at an international conference, I would run away immediately. Sadly, there will be a closure, and it won't come in a pleasant way."
"Istanbul's New Governor... Is 'Perfectly Confident Every Turkish Jew Was as Safe as Muslims'... I Suggest Having the Governor Disguise Himself Perfectly As An Orthodox Jew"
"Mr. Erdoğan made a very smart speech in Parliament when he warned angry Turks to distinguish among Israelis, Jews and the Israeli government. Echoing the big boss, Istanbul's new governor, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, has said that he is ' perfectly confident every Turkish Jew was as safe as Muslims' and that 'we are certain no Turkish Jew feels threatened.'
"I have an idea! Should the esteemed governor agree, we can put his 'confidence' to a little test. I suggest having the governor disguise himself perfectly as an Orthodox Jew and let him have a solo stroll on İstiklal Avenue. If he can manage to safely reach halfway on İstiklal, I'll confess I know nothing 'about my own people.'
"If I am right, the government will have to find a new governor for Istanbul. If that's too cruel, I could suggest the governor tour around Taksim in a civilian car bearing the Star of David, like millions around Turkey do with the Palestinian flag. If we go for the car experiment rather than the stroll, at least the governor can have enough time to speed away."
"Why Do The Turks Have the 'Palestine Fetish' Even Though Most Of Them Can't Point the Palestinian Territories Out on a Map?"
"But why do the Turks have the 'Palestine fetish' even though most of them can't point the Palestinian territories out on a map? Why did they not raise a finger when, for instance, the mullahs killed dissident Iranian Muslims? Why did the Turks not raise a finger when non-Muslim occupying forces killed a million Iraqi Muslims? Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protesting the deaths of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur? Where were all these Turkish protestors when Israel was bombing Lebanon or when the Chinese police were using disproportionate force against their ethnic kin, the Uighurs?
"How many Turks protested when there was civil war in Algeria? How many volunteered for humanitarian aid missions for Sudan? Why were the protests too thin during the Serbian atrocities against Muslim Bosnians? What makes nine Gaza martyrs more sacred than all the other martyrs?
"Part of the explanation is that the Turks feel in solidarity with the Palestinians for exactly the same reasons why other nations feel in solidarity with the Palestinians: the intellectual drive to ally with the underdog. But that does not explain the whole picture.
"Another part is the political indoctrination Turkey's Islamists, communists and liberals and (even to a certain degree) ultra-nationalists went through in the early 1970s. These otherwise hostile groups in their ideological battles always united in pro-Palestinian rhetoric and (sometimes violent) action. The legend of the 'Palestinian cause' has always been kept alive in the Crescent and Star.
"But still there is a big blank in the picture. Why, really, is there no one around when Muslims in different countries are brutalized or killed, yet 'every Turk is Palestinian' without or without death (say, the blockade on Gaza per se)?"
"The Muslim-Turkish Thinking... Is Programmed To Turn The World Upside Down When Jews Kill Muslims"
"Whether we name it or not, whether we like it or not, whether it goes contrary to what the Islamist propaganda machine has been trying to persuade the West with the nice tag “Alliance of Civilizations,” the annoying explanation is that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is perceived by millions of Muslims (and very powerfully in Turkey) as a war of religions.
"[Is] anyone curious [as to] why the Turks, when they take to the streets for political demonstrations, carry placards written in Turkish, but in the case of Palestine the protest tools are often decorated with Arabic and Quranic scripts?
"Subconsciously (and sadly) the Muslim-Turkish thinking tolerates it if Muslims kill Muslims; does not tolerate it but does not turn the world upside down when Christians kill Muslims; pragmatically ignores it when too-powerful Christians kill Muslims; but is programmed to turn the world upside down when Jews kill Muslims."
Endnotes:
[1] Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), June 17, 2010.
[2] Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), June 8, 2010.
[3] Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), June 3, 2010.
[4] The English has been lightly edited for clarity. All subheadings added by MEMRI.

November 24, 2016 22:56

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