Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Turkey and the “G” Word

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey in WWI. The Armenians “crime?” Being Armenians. For some unfathomable reason, with the recent notable exception of the Pope, the Western world, including the United States and Israel, hesitates to use the “g” word. The Holocaust, genocide. The Rwandan massacres, genocide. The Armenian massacres….um….er…

Last summer “Operation Protective Edge” unleashed a torrent of Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic vitriol across the globe. Martin Luther King succinctly observed: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism,”

In addition to many countries across the globe, Turkey, under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been at the forefront of pouring oil on the fire of hatred against the Jewish State. Erdoğan referred to Israel as, “worse than the Nazis.” Lest the world be diagnosed with suffering from historical amnesia, let us refresh our memories on some relevant facts about recent Turkish History:

  1. The Armenian Genocide of 1915: This was the first genocide of the twentieth century. One and a half million Armenian Christians were systematically targeted and murdered. In fact, the term, “genocide” was coined to describe this wholesale mass-murder by Turkey.
  2. The military invasion of Cyprus in 1974: Turkey continues to illegally occupy Northern Cyprus after brutally expelling thousands of Greek Cypriots.
  3. The continued violent subjugation, killings and “Turkification” of the Kurdish population of Turkey: According to the Human Rights Watch, “By the mid-1990s, more than 3,000 villages had been virtually wiped from the map, and, according to official figures, 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced and left homeless.”
  4. The gradually successful plan to repeal all of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s innovations that aimed to make Turkey modern and pro-Western: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has almost single-handedly reversed Turkey’s direction by openly preaching a return to radical Islamic anti-Western values. Two years ago the United States Embassy in Turkey was attacked. Last summer America’s most steadfast ally in the Middle East, Israel found its embassy under siege and many other Western targets fear similar incidents.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Zionism, the legitimate liberation nationalist movement of the Jewish people, a, “crime against humanity.” It is long past time to take Turkey to task for its abominable human rights record. What are we so afraid of?

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He is the author (and illustrator) of the internationally acclaimed Zionism curriculum; “For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Education” (fifth edition, 2017, Koren) and is at present working on his next book, a history of the Jewish people. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education. His dissertation title is: “Through the Soldiers’ Eyes: Exploring the Influence of a Birthright Mifgash on the Israeli Soldier Participants.”
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