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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Truth v. Propaganda

Death, whatever the circumstances, will always have an element of sadness. The apparently pointless killing of people, cannot be condoned. Both thoughts have been in my mind for the past couple of days.

Earlier in the week, the headlines screamed out, abusively, at the State of Israel as news broke about the 'attack' on 'defenceless' ships that were attempting to break the Israeli blockade, and deliver 'humanitarian' aid to Gaza. Turkey, in particular, was incensed - probably because most of the dead would appear to have been Turkish nationals. Not a lot was mentioned about the reason for the blockade - the mortar, and rocket, attacks on Israel that emanate from Palestinian (Philistine, in Biblical terminology) armed groups within Gaza!

However, knee-jerk reactions were observed from all around the world; the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting; Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel; and Greece, Egypt, Sweden, Spain and Denmark summoned Israel’s ambassadors to explain the incident.

But let's take a look at some of the facts that appear to have been overlooked. First of all there is the difference between bravery and bravado! The protesters were fully aware that they were liable to inspection by Israeli forces. If all that they had on board was the humanitarian aid that has been claimed, I have to ask why they did not allow such an inspection! At least part of the answer may be found in a report in The [Glasgow] Herald newspaper: "In Gaza, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said the flotilla signals the end of the blockade. 'If the ships reach Gaza, it's a victory,' Haniyeh told some 400 supporters at Gaza City's small fishing harbour, where several smaller vessels breaking the blockade have docked in the past. 'If they are intercepted and terrorised by the Zionists, it will be a victory for Gaza, too, and they will move again in new ships to break the seige of gazaa'." (30-05-10)

The same report informs me that, early in their voyage, the ships were held up near Cyprus "... as organisers tried to get nearly two dozen high-profile supporters on board." and that "A showdown with the Israeli navy appeared inevitable."

The question must, surely, be raised - "Was this whole affair a deliberate attempt, by a Turkish organisation that would appear to be sympathetic to the Hamas government - and which, according to Danish research some four years ago, has links with terrorist group al-Qaida - to provoke the State of Israel to 'military action'?

Certainly, Turkey itself is not in a position to take any moral high ground! Over two million Ottoman Armenians were slated for destruction in 1915. The Turkish entry into World War I facilitated this process, as no outside powers could intervene on behalf of the victims. Over 2,000 towns and villages were emptied of their Armenian inhabitants who were subsequently destroyed. First the young men and community leaders, then the women, children, and elderly were murdered. Some were killed at the outset of "deportations"; others were killed from disease and malnutrition in concentration camps in the deserts of Zor in Syria; survivors of these camps were murdered outright at the end of 1916. There were no Armenians left to speak of in what became modern Turkey in 1923.

The Turkish government adopted a much more sustained genocidal program against Kurds, aimed at the assimilation of this community as ethnic Turks. Often the engineers of the destruction of Kurds were the same people who destroyed Armenians a few years earlier. The Turkish genocidal policy may be outlined under the following categories:

(1) forced assimilation program—banning of the Kurdish language in Turkey, denying the existence of Kurdish history, the forced resettlement of Kurds in non-Kurdish areas of Turkey for assimilation, the indoctrination of Kurds through the Turkish education system, radio and television channels;

(2) banning of any legitimate opposition to the Turkish government’s programs—e.g., Kurdish cultural organisations, political parties, media outlets, etc.; and

(3) the violent repression of any Kurdish resistance. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds have been murdered by Turkish state authorities over the past eighty years—the Sheykh Said and the Ararat uprisings in the 1920s, the bloody suppression of the Dersim in the 1930s, as well as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) campaign in recent years. The Turkish state has imprisoned Kurdish members of the Turkish parliament; various human rights activists; and many academics who have advocated Kurdish rights. The Turkish government also stands accused of having arranged the assassination of scores of journalists and intellectuals over the years.

In the light of all of that, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza seems almost virtuous!

Propaganda is a powerful weapon - as Naziism's Joseph Goebbels knew so well. However, it does have an unfortunate tendency to get in the way of truth! Let us hope and pray that, in this particular situation, 'truth will out', and that any enquiry will be able to reveal it.

2 comments:

CannuckCol said...

"......attacks on Israel that emanate from Palestinian (Philistine, in Biblical terminology)"
So the 'Philistines' are once again thinking that just because of the size of their support they will win? They thought that years ago but were surprised by a 'shepherd boy' with a sling.

Brian Ross said...

I like it!!