The Turkish President Recep Erdogan recently oversaw a special summit for muslim nations in Istanbul. During his speech Mr. Erdogan compared Israel´s treatment of the palestinians to the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis some 80 years ago. Erdogan himself is not exactly known for his enhancement of democratic traditions. Nevertheless, may he have a point?
The comparison is not new. Many have called out to the black irony that Israel acts in oppressing ways that fugitive, recent ancestors endured. Supporters of Israel would retort that this is absolute nonsense. For, in their world view, Israel has no KZ-camps, the country is a democracy, there are over a million arab Israeli citizens living peacefully within the country, and the blame is on the terrorists in Hamas. Did the Jews in Germany of the 1930s fire make shift rockets into the Germanic citadels of Berlin, they might ask. The opposition to the Israel is, on the contrary, anti-semitism revived. Therefore, there is more similarity between opponents of Israel and the Nazis of the past.
Skipping any reply to this from a fiercly humane and thruth seeking pro-palestinan, it is easy to see that any objective discussion on the Israel-Palestinian problem is hard. Moreover, it shows that any extreme comparison will at once play into a well built up defense system of contrary opinions. In that case Mr. Erdogan´s comments are not helpful for the palestinian cause, except with people who view Israel in a very negative way.
The event that triggered the focus on Israel during the summit for Muslim nations in Istanbul, was the horrible killings of more than 150 civilians and the wounding of about 2000 more by the Israel Defence Army. This the number of deaths since a wave of protesting began in March near the heavily guarded border fence between the Gaza strip and Israel. Many casualities were children.
These people were unarmed and merely protesting on the Israel-Gaza border. More than 60 were killed while prtesting on the same day that the new US embassy opened in Jerusalem. This was on the 14th of May, coincidentally the 70th anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel. Whether one thinks this or that about Israeli governance, the mass shootings were a lowly and horrendous act that has no justification. The Israeli soldiers were not firing in self defense. They were seeking to mortally silence protesters. Prime Minister Netanyahu should be ashamed to be in charge of army forces committing such crimes, even on a day of State celebration.
- Sheila Parrera