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July 27, 2012

No BDS for This Intractable Middle East Conflict

kurds protesting civilian deaths.JPG

July 26, 2012: The Prime Minister "warned that it might take action to stop groups it deemed 'terrorists' from forming" an autonomous region. "No one should attempt to provoke us. If a step needs to be taken .... we would not hesitate to take it (Fox News)."

July 25, 2012: "... forces killed at least 15 ... in a raid near the country's border ... after tracking them with drones and attacking them with helicopters and on the ground, officials said on Wednesday."

June 19, 2012 : "Fighting leaves 26 dead."

March 25, 2012: "15 [were] killed...all of them women."

Dec. 29, 2011: "... at least 35 people died most of whom were teenagers" from air strikes ("Attack on Civilians Tied to U.S. Military Drone, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2012)."

Oct. 19, 2011: "... airstrikes and artillery attacks against the group’s bases... killing as many as 160 militants..."

1) Who is the Prime Minister who threatened to use his military forces to attack a neighboring state in order to stop militants from setting up an autonomous region?
2) Is the media complaining about the use of "disproportionate force" against the militants in these cases?
3) Has the U.N. Human Rights Commission launched a special investigation like it did for the Israeli Cast Lead operation in 2009?
4) Have the Presbyterian and other churches set aside large blocks of time at their national conventions to debate and vote on motions to boycott and divest from companies that do business with this state because its forces utilize American technology, including drones, to crush the aspirations for autonomy of a dispossessed people?

The answer to question 1): Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister. Erdogan's unapologetic resort to military force in dealing with Kurdish militants contrasts with his condemnation of Israel's response to the Gaza flotilla in 2010 which resulted in the deaths of 9 Turkish militants who attacked an Israeli boarding party initially armed with paint guns. Erdogan continues to demand an Israeli apology even though a UN investigation found Israel's interception of the flotilla to be legal.

To questions 2), 3) and 4) the answer is no.
Major news media report on the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in a perfunctory and dispassionate manner. This contrasts with much of the reporting on Israel. The New York Times and the BBC, for example, do not routinely publish editorials, op-eds and columns lambasting Turkey for failing to show any willingness to accomodate Kurdish demands for autonomy. Compare the Times's measured handling of Prime Minister Erdogan's bellicosity with its scathing treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Then consider the fact that the Turkish-Kurdish conflict has taken an estimated 40,000 lives, including many civilians, over the past 30 years.

Posted by SS at July 27, 2012 02:48 PM


You are correct in pointing out Erdogan's and the NYTimes's hypocrisy. But the Kurds, unlike the Palestinian Arabs, have much deeper roots in history, possess a distinct language and culture, and are far more numerous. The Kurds were promised national self-determination by the League of Nations but never achieved it mostly because of Turkish opposition. The United States has shamefully failed to support Kurdish national aspirations. Nervous assimilationist (NYTimes Ochs and Sulzberger families) and radical Left Jews, of course, have a long, tortured relationship to Jewish peoplehood and feel they must vigilantly stamp out Jewish national enterprise.

Posted by: Shlomo at July 30, 2012 09:17 PM

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