Damn Israel !

Damn Israel !

Depicting the Jews as a cursed, prophet killer, trouble maker and deceitful people doomed to ignominy, is a common place assessment made by academics and experts of sorts in the Turkish press and visual media.

Moreover, threatening the Jews by referring to the famous Gharkad tree [1] (the Boxthorn tree) Hadith is a banality to which the general public is accustomed.

Given the fact that uttering the war cry “Damn the Jews!” is a prosecutable offense, the Jew haters  make do with “Damn Israel!”.

However both these war cries are undeniably considered as Anti-Semitic in democratic countries.

A court case

A court case lodged by the State Prosecutor as per the 14th Article of Law No. 6222 on the Prevention of Violence and Disorder in Sports which referred to a “Damn Israel!” cheer in a sport event, resulted in the acquittal of the fans by the 3rd Magistrates’ Court of Kayseri on 27 January 2012.  

In other words, the Court rejected the existence of a correlation set by the State Prosecutor whereby a state (Israel) and an insult to a religion, a language, a race or ethnicity were involved. Thus we “acknowledged” that there were no links between Israel and the Jews! 

As well, according to an article published in the Haksöz newspaper http://www.haksozhaber.net/kahrolsun-israil-davasinda-beraat-karari-foto-27319h.htm the judge in question ruled that “Damn Israel” meant "Let there be no (Israel)" and was nothing more than a curse.

Hence, we learned that cursing has nothing to do with religion and that saying “Damn” is not a discourse which invites violence!

Is saying “Damn Israel” an Anti-Semitic discourse?

Yes, definitely! 

According to a U.S. Department of State’s Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor release 

(http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/fs/2010/122352.htm

Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel (which is the means of achieving it) the right to exist is Anti-Semitism! It is called The de-legitimization of Israel

What other allegations and attitudes fall under that definition?

For instance, Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. (Subjecting Israel to higher standards than other nations) And

Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations. (Whereas other nations with much worse records on human rights are knowingly disregarded)

The whole spectrum of the Turkish press from left to right, including the so called “Liberal” but in fact “surrogate” publications adore drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions. using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis. So is accusing Israel of perpetrating “Genocide” to the Arabs. It is called the “Demonization” of Israel.

In other words, for democratic countries, there is no difference between saying I am against the existence of Israel and saying I am against the existence of Jews !

Now, let’s ask: Is there any Anti-Semitism manifesting itself as Anti-Israel rhetoric in Turkey?

Unfortunately, there is!

Well, should Israel be immune to criticism because of Jewish sensitivities?

Certainly not! Criticism, provided it is done in the same tone and with the same weights and measures applied to other nations, is legitimate!

A matter of scale

The India-Pakistan conflict (1947) that occurred at the same period with the Arab-Israeli one, exacted a toll of more than ten million refugees and around one million deaths.

Whereas the total number of refugees from both the Jewish and Arab sides (more or less equivalent) was about a million and a half and fatal casualties less than 0,1 million. Thus, when we compare the outcome of both conflicts we acknowledge that the proportion of refugees is 15 percent, and casualties below 10 percent of the former, as far as the Arab-Israeli conflict is concerned.

80 percent of Indians belong to the Hindu religion, while 95 percent of Pakistanis are Muslims and over 80 percent out of these of the Sunni sect! The Indo-Pakistani conflict persists as the Kashmir contentious between those two countries.  

Now, did anybody witness a burning of an Indian flag along with the war cry of “Damn India!” in Turkey? Or, are our Pakistani brothers not considered Muslim “enough” because they are not Arabs?!

A political struggle shifted from the national context to the religious one

The great Arab nation extending from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean boosts of over 13.000.000 km2 of land and is rich of 22 states. Whereas the one and only Nation-state of the Jewish People is stuck in a narrow coastal strip of 70 km and is sovereign on only 25.000 km2. The Arab side, in order to mobilize the solidarity of the Islamic world in its conflict with Israel, managed to present their territorial problem with the latter as a religious conflict between Islam and Judaism.

To conclude, Anti-Semitism in modern day Turkey is waged under the disguise of Israel hatred, making use of religious arguments.

It is our sincere wish that the Turkish society and its politicians acknowledge and repudiate the efforts of presenting the Arab-Israeli conflict as a religious one. That would contribute to the normalization of Turkish-Israeli ties. 

Thus, the Jews of Turkey would be rescued from being the hostages of that conflict and become citizens enjoying equal rights and duties with the rest of the population of the Republic of Turkey.  

 


[1] The Gharkad tree hadith: The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, these will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Boxthorn tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.

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