No BDS for this intractable Middle East conflict

Cross posted at CAMERA’s blog, Snapshots

Dec. 29, 2011: Kurdish demonstrators gather at a rally in Istanbul to protest an airstrike that killed 35 people in southeastern Turkey. (Reuters)

July 26, 2012: The Prime Minister “warned that it might take action to stop groups it deemed ‘terrorists’ from forming” an autonomous region. “No one should attempt to provoke us. If a step needs to be taken …. we would not hesitate to take it (Fox News).”

July 25, 2012: “… forces killed at least 15 … in a raid near the country’s border … after tracking them with drones and attacking them with helicopters and on the ground, officials said on Wednesday.”

June 19, 2012 : “Fighting leaves 26 dead.”

March 25, 2012: “15 [were] killed…all of them women.”

Dec. 29, 2011: “… at least 35 people died most of whom were teenagers” from air strikes (“Attack on Civilians Tied to U.S. Military Drone, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2012).”

Oct. 19, 2011: “… airstrikes and artillery attacks against the group’s bases… killing as many as 160 militants…”

1) Who is the Prime Minister who threatened to use his military forces to attack a neighboring state in order to stop militants from setting up an autonomous region?

2) Is the media complaining about the use of “disproportionate force” against the militants in these cases? 

3) Has the U.N. Human Rights Commission launched a special investigation like it did for the Israeli Cast Lead operation in 2009?

4) Have the Presbyterian and other churches set aside large blocks of time at their national conventions to debate and vote on motions to boycott and divest from companies that do business with this state because its forces utilize American technology, including drones, to crush the aspirations for autonomy of a dispossessed people?

The answer to question 1): Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister. Erdogan’s unapologetic resort to military force in dealing with Kurdish militants contrasts with his condemnation of Israel’s response to the Gaza flotilla in 2010 which resulted in the deaths of 9 Turkish militants who attacked an Israeli boarding party initially armed with paint guns. Erdogan continues to demand an Israeli apology even though a UN investigation found Israel’s interception of the flotilla to be legal.

To questions 2), 3) and 4) the answer is no.
Major news media report on the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in a perfunctory and dispassionate manner. This contrasts with much of the reporting on Israel. The New York Times and the BBC, for example, do not routinely publish editorials, op-eds and columns lambasting Turkey for failing to show any willingness to accommodate Kurdish demands for autonomy. Compare the Times’smeasured handling of Prime Minister Erdogan’s bellicosity with its scathing treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Then consider the fact that the Turkish-Kurdish conflict has taken an estimated 40,000 lives, including many civilians, over the past 30 years. 

2 replies »

  1. 1. The BDS loves Erdogan and his “moderate” islamist party, ignores Curds and hates Israel.
    2. Turkey is a NATO ally, an important crosspoint for trade in gas and oil and is considered as bedrock of stability with a stabilizing influence in the region, notwithstanding the obvious contradictions of this concept when confronted with reality. 🙂
    3. The PKK is considered as enemy and terror organisation, supported by the former Soviet bloc, later on by Syria. And the PKK produced bad news.
    4. The PKK was and is perceived as representation of the Turkish curds, in the media, in the diplomatique cercles, ..
    5.. The Turkish curds are divided.
    6. They have no lobby, neither in Europe nor in the USA.
    7. Turkey is also perceived as the labor where the new solution of the agents industrial capitalism, democracy and islamism is tested.
    See the many detentions of union activists, the clampdown of worker`s protest, the investitions into fabrics, the emerging middle class of industrial capitalists in Anatolia rooted firmly in, let`s say, conservative Islam, if not tending towards Islamism.
    8. This role model is nurtured by the West, strategically thought to impress the Islamic world to follow suit.
    9. Therefore Turkey is stroked, Israel gets the strokes.

  2. Amendment:
    In a sort of way the Bosporus is still considered as strategically important.