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March 8, 2013 6:27 am

Kerry, Obama, and the Turkish Prime Minister

avatar by Edward Alexander

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President Obama talks with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan during G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 19, 2012. Photo: wiki commons.

John Kerry’s recent rebuke of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for “inflammatory verbal attacks on Israel” stands in sharp contrast to Barack Obama’s long-established indifference to them. In the three months prior to Obama’s speeches in Turkey in early April (6-7) of 2009, Jewish life had been under renewed assault throughout Europe, and nowhere more so than in Turkey, which Obama had chosen for the culmination of his Grand Tour of the old continent. Turkey had been the scene of the fiercest anti-Israel and antisemitic agitation in Europe, extending from streets to schools, newspapers, TV stations–for the very good reason that it was encouraged by PM Erdogan, who declared that”Israelis know very well how to kill” and that “Jews control the [Turkish]media.” But nary a word about this little unplesantness crept into Obama’s speeches to Turkish parliamentarians and students. Rather, they were full of his usual calls for “respect” for Islam plus assurances that America is not and “never will be” at war with it.

Since then the bellicose Turkish PM has become Obama’s favorite foreign politician, the recipient of special privileges to disregard American’s sanctions against Iran (by trading Turkish gold for Iranian gas), and reliably reported to be on the phone with Obama more frequently than any head of state.

In this instance, at least, Kerry has followed the advice not of President Obama but of his predecessor in the White House. On November 19, 2003 George W. Bush, speaking at Whitehall Palace, London, said: “Europe’s leaders–and all leaders–should strongly oppose antisemitism, which poisons public debates over the future of the Middle East.”

Edward Alexander’s most recent book is The State of the Jews: A Critical Appraisal (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers).

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  • Kris Kristian

    This is more evidence that Obama is trouble for Jews and Israel.
    Ameican Jews must be totally blind or insane to have voted for the Muslim in the White House.
    They either dont care about Judaism, or Israel, or are brain dead.
    They seem to have fogotten Obama’s speech in Cairo, where he said the settments are illegal. He also said the the sweetest sound in to call to prayer.
    He also said that Islam is s great religion “I know, because I am one of them?”

    Some months ago, he told PM Netanyahu that Israel must return to the 1967 (infensable) borders.
    PM Netanyahu, very politely told his ‘NO WAY”

    Now, Obama will be in Israel in 12 days time. He intends to address the Knesset.
    He will tell Israel to move back to 1967 borders, hand half of Jerusalem to the invented people, and withdraw nearly half a million Jews out of Judea and Samaria (Westbank)
    I hope that the members of the Knesset will walk out if and when he says that.

    He will be travelling to Ramalla and probably tell Arafat in a suit, holocaust denier, financier of the 1972 Munich Olympis massacre of Israeli athletes, Abbas, that Israel must hand all those areas and parts of Jerusalem for a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as the PA capital.

    May he choke if he says anything which will put Israel in deep danger.

  • Prof Asher J Matathias

    It is a matter of pride and deep satisfaction that our top American leaders continue to demonstrate moral clarity to see through the anti-Semitism of the Turkish prime minister and denounced it for being camouflaged as anti-Zionism. They know, as all who consider themselves friends of Jews and Israel that such affinity makes them, with us, Zionists — proponents of the existence of the Jewish State!