Israel is getting its hands fuller with Syria

First, there was only Assad, and then came the Russians, ISIS, Hezbollah and the Iranians. Hezbollah extended its front with Israel while the Russians and the Iranians have been and continue to be busy building military bases with various types of war machines, while Iran has been trying to and sneaking closer to the Israeli border. As to ISIS, defeated in Syria, they are now trying to redeem themselves in Gaza.

If this was not enough, Israel now has to worry about the 20,000 or so Turkmen fighters assembled, trained and formed as a unified regular force by Turkey who is the force’s directing mind.

I wonder and dread to think what the fervent Islamist  self-appointed crypto- Sultan a.k.a. Prime Minister Erdogan, a patron and  financier of Hamas, plans to do with this Turkmen, not so much in Syria, as with Israel.

I dread it because, ever since  Israel’s  failed attempt to insure  the personal security of Israeli guards  working on the Al –Aqsa compound  through the installation of metal detectors at the entry points of the compound, Erdogan has been on the verbal warpath  against Israel, declaring his sacred duty to protect Al-Aqsa and to assert that Jerusalem belongs to Islam.

Since then, he did not only talk the talk but also started to walk the walk. As we already know the crypto -Sultan has been encouraging and sending  Turkish tourists to visit Al-Aqsa who, besides praying, have been putting on public shows by parading around  with signs that read “Jerusalem is Islamic”.

On the March 26 issue of Jewish Press, David Israel, under the heading Watch: Erdogan’s Turkish pilgrims take over the Jewish Holy Site outside Jerusalem, reports that the Al-Aqsa Turkish tourists are supplemented  by busloads of Turkish worshippers  visiting the Tomb of the prophet Samuel(Ismouil for Muslims) near Jerusalem, three or four times a week. Apparently, every week, week in,week out.

Israel’s report describes a peculiar feature of the Turkish worshipping at the Tomb. More specifically, unlike the good-mannered and considerate Muslim tourists from India and China who readily accommodate the visitors of other faiths in the use of the cramped little space available for prayers, the Turkish pilgrims, followers of a celebrity anti-Semitic Turkish cleric, intimidate the Jewish worshippers by praying loudly to drown out their prayers and continue do so after their clerics ignore the polite request that they quieten down their charges and leave.

Israel further reports that the weekly pestering of Jewish worshippers at the prophet Samuel’s Tomb is apparently a new leap in the scope of Turkish provocation against Israel, with the tacit permission of Israeli government.

The provocative behaviour of the Turkish tourists, if allowed to continue, will sooner or later lead to violence by design or accident. Given Erdogan’s egregious sense of religious and ethnic machismo, and his corresponding lack of self-restraint, the presence and proximity of his army of Turkmen to Israel, compounds the scope of the threat to the security  of northern Israel including Judea and Samaria. Ironically enough, this is the very region which the Minister of Defence publicly declared not to be fully prepared for war.

I cannot help but to happily wonder, what it is about the Israeli society, surrounded by lethal threats originating from all directions, possibly save the Mediterranean, that it manages to rank 11th in the World Index of Happiness. I suppose as Ben-Gurion once said: “To believe in Israel is to believe in miracles”. So it must be.

About the Author
Doğan Akman was born and schooled in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon his graduation from Lycee St. Michel, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published some articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice working first as a Crown prosecutor, and then switching to civil litigation and specialising in aboriginal law. Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled This is My New Homeland and published in Istanbul.
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