For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
(This is certainly not what I expected to see coming from Ankara, but we do live in a funny world)
The State of Israel has every right to do smart or silly things. Its leaders may or may not be crypto-mullahs as the joke went in this column on Wednesday (amazing, there were readers who took it seriously!). But let’s visit the “Turkish side” of the incident.
Mr. Strategic Depth, otherwise known as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, thinks the Israeli raid on the Gaza “aid” flotilla was “Turkey’s 9/11.” Big words. But they hint at something serious.
The scenario plotted by very important Islamist Turks remains incomplete to this day. For a perfect closure, i.e., cashing in on the event for domestic and global Muslim popularity – the former to secure power and the latter to bolster neo-Ottomanist dreams – something bold should happen to inject one idea into the Muslim audience’s mind: that Tayyip Bey gave the bloodthirsty Jews a big lesson!
Many options are on the table, with their pros and cons, and the official Turkey sitting around various meeting tables pondering where, when and how to hit back best (best = maximum public impact, minimum political cost). There is plenty of time. Elections are more than a year ahead. But if I were an Israeli cabinet minister running into Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at an international conference I would either run away immediately. Sadly, there will be a closure, and it won’t come in a pleasant way.
Mr. Erdoğan made a very smart speech in Parliament when he warned angry Turks to distinguish among Israelis, Jews and the Israeli government. Echoing the big boss, Istanbul’s new governor, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, has said, “He is perfectly confident every Turkish Jew was as safe as Muslims” and that “we are certain no Turkish Jew feels threatened.”
I have an idea! Should the esteemed governor agree, we can put his “confidence” to a little test.
I suggest having the governor disguise himself perfectly as an Orthodox Jew and let him have a solo stroll on İstiklal Avenue. If he can manage to safely reach halfway on İstiklal, I’ll confess I know nothing “about my own people.”
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"