Thank the Turks

I believe it is now the appropriate time to thank the Turks and their erstwhile former Prime Minister and current President for Life, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Why thank him, you might ask? Didn’t he permit vessels funded by the Muslim Brotherhood to leave from his ports to arrive in Aza with supplies for Palestinians in 2010 that turned into a free-for-all assault on Israeli naval forces? Yes, he did. And wasn’t it Erdogan that last week compared Israelis to Nazis? Yes, right again. Certainly, he is not the same man who calls us “mass murderers” every time we have to respond to missile and tunnel attacks on Israeli citizenry and territory? Only an inveterate racist would tell his Jewish citizens that they should support him in his fight against Israel or they might be considered “disloyal” to Turkey. Are you sure you are not confusing him with some other irresponsible and racist leader? No, I am quite sure I have the right man. But Turkey is an ally of the United States and is a member of NATO! Surely, he takes his responsibilities to his allies seriously and wants to be a leader on the world stage? Given his current behavior, that is not possible. And he has blocked Israel’s becoming a cooperating nation with NATO ever since they approached him with the offer.

But did not Erdogan enhance his humanitarian aspirations over the weekend when he permitted his troops to allow thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing Daash (ISIS) to enter his country? And didn’t he also work tirelessly to free Turkish diplomats that were captured in Iraq without paying a ransom? Well, it is funny that you mention that. It appears that the word “ransom” has a different meaning when it is being said by Recep Erdogan. Since it is not possible to verify the transaction in question with President Erdogan personally, let us turn to Google Earth for some assistance. On the dates of September 14 and September 15, it appears in their satellite feeds that a trainload full of heavy weaponry and ammunition made its way from Turkey into Syria for use by the Daash, who, two days later, used this same Turkish equipment to slaughter Syrian Kurds in Kobani. Thankfully, they were repelled by the peshmerga-allied YPG, but not before Daash entered at least 60 villages and began massacreing the defenseless citizens of the Syrian Kurds’ third largest town. If I am not mistaken, this constitutes a “war crime” under the Geneva Conventions, but I could be wrong. Since the world now recognizes Daash as a terrorist organization and imposes harsh penalties for assisting them, isn’t it time now for the Americans to re-think their close allies, the Turks, and to close their air bases on Turkish soil and to remove Turkey from NATO? It will just make things easier in the long-term so that when President Erdogan says he is strenuously fighting terror, he will not have to arrest himself.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".