Turkey’s Jewish minority takes the warmth amid Israeli-Palestinian violence

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Turkey’s tiny Jewish neighborhood is as soon as once more within the crosshairs of the continuing violence between Israelis and Palestinians, with its neighborhood newspaper the goal of a recent wave of anti-Semitic assaults.

Individuals who recognized themselves as disciples of Necip Fazıl Kisakurek, a Turkish nationalist poet and anti-Semite revered by Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hacked the web site of Salom, the only real newspaper serving Turkey’s dwindling Jewish minority. They posted, “Our actions will continue until Palestine is free and independent.” They additionally posted a verse from certainly one of Kisakurek’s poems evoking Palestinians responding to Israeli missiles with stones. The perpetrators have but to be caught. Turkey’s Jews are on edge.

Sympathy for the Palestinians runs sturdy in Turkey and cuts throughout ideological strains with outrage aired by pro-government and opposition circles alike over the mounting civilian toll of Israel’s continued assaults on Gaza. But hostility towards Israel has been determinedly cranked up beneath nearly twenty years of Justice and Development Party rule, ensuing within the present hiatus in political relations.

The total loss of life toll in Gaza now stands at 200, together with 59 kids and 35 girls, with 1,305 injured, in accordance with the Hamas-run Health Ministry, the BBC reported Monday. Turning a deaf ear to worldwide requires a cease-fire, Israeli fighter jets continued to pound Gaza at present. The Israeli army stated it struck 35 “terror targets” throughout a 20-minute-long assault and hit the properties of 9 “high-ranking” Hamas commanders.

The cyberattack on Salom comes amid a frenzy of anti-Israeli protection in Turkish media, with state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) main the cost with slick movies that place all the blame on Israel with out providing a opposite view or reporting Hamas’ unremitting barrage of rocket assaults — over 3,000 of them have been fired to date in accordance with Israeli officers — on Israeli inhabitants facilities. They look like taking their cues from Erdogan, who calls Israel “a terror state” and has been reaching out to fellow Islamic leaders, together with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, to forge a standard entrance in opposition to the Jewish state.

Prior to the outbreak of violence triggered by the deliberate evictions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Turkey had been looking for to mend ties with the Jewish state to curry favor with the Biden administration, and to bust the burgeoning alliance between Israel, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus to counter Turkish claims on gasoline exploration rights within the Eastern Mediterranean. It had invited Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to a diplomacy discussion board sponsored by Erdogan that is because of be held in June in Antalya, a well-liked resort for Israeli vacationers on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Ankara has rescinded the invitation.

“Each time violence flares in Gaza, we find ourselves in the middle. In fact, ever since my childhood, I have been held to account for Israeli policy,” stated Karel Valansi, a columnist for Salom and writer of “Crescent and Moon and the Magen David: Turkish Israeli Relations Through the Eyes of the Turkish Public.”

This mindset displays each ignorance, and at its most invidious, a deliberate distortion of the idea of nationality, Valansi instructed Al-Monitor, whereby Turkish nationals are seen as being uniquely Sunni Muslim and ethnically Turkish. “Turkish nationality is not exclusively granted to Turkish Muslims, however,” she famous.

Valansi herself has been the goal of a smear marketing campaign by Takvim, a pro-government mouthpiece. In its May 15 version, the newspaper splashed her {photograph} together with accusations that she was “defending the Zionist terror state, Israel.” This is the second time previously two months Takvim has taken goal at her. Had any Turkish authorities official reached out to supply their sympathy? “No,” she stated.

Ankara is looking for to leverage Muslim rage in opposition to Israel to fix its frayed ties with regional Arab governments, however whether or not it may possibly succeed is one other matter. Leaders in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates all view the Muslim Brotherhood motion as a risk to their rule and Turkey’s embrace of it as a direct affront to their authority. Israel and Egypt are demanding Ankara evict Hamas and Egyptian Brotherhood figures who function out of Turkey as a precondition for restoring amicable ties.

As Turkey’s Jews who at the moment quantity round 14,000 — they’re migrating in rising numbers to Israel and the United States — battle to navigate this fraught local weather, many discover it helpful guilty the violence on Israel’s hawkish prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Traditionally, Turkish Jews have always wanted to act as a bridge between Turkey and Israel. As such, whenever there is friction between Turkey and Israel, all eyes are turned on them,” defined Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, a Turkish Jewish analyst on the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. “From what I see here in Israel, Turkish Jews choose to condemn Netanyahu as the real culprit in order to strike a middle ground between not offending the Israeli state while at the same time not fully defending Israel either,” he instructed Al-Monitor. “Blaming Netanyahu relieves Turkish pressure on them. At the same time, criticizing the government is regarded as normal in Israel. Therefore, it wouldn’t be regarded as treasonous behavior in here,” Yanarocak defined. This is in sharp distinction with Turkey, the place 1000’s of presidency critics, together with scores of journalists and lecturers, have been prosecuted and jailed for airing destructive views.


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