Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hamas earthquake article an object lesson in Arab paranoia

The Hamas-run Palestine Times newspaper has an article praising Tayyip Erdogan for refusing Israel's offer to help after Sunday's earthquake. This article is a perfect example of Arab paranoia, of seeing schemes and conspiracy theories everywhere.

Although Recep Tayyip Erdogan is long known for his courage against Israel, what Netanyahu did not expect was for the Prime Minister of Turkey to be smarter when he rushed to abort his plan to exploit the earthquake to achieve political gains at the expense of the blood of "freedom flotilla" martyrs.

Israeli President Shimon Peres held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul during which he expressed his condolences t the deaths of citizens in the Turkish earthquake. Not only did he offer condolences, but Israel also offered to provide assistance. Yet it received a blow when Ankara strongly refused, and thus Netanyahu missed an early opportunity to to exploit the tragedy of the earthquake to end the isolation of the Zionist entity and to circumvent the demands of Erdogan regarding the flotilla massacre , which includes an apology and compensation for victims.

Given that Turkey was among the first countries that provided assistance to Israel to extinguish a massive fire that broke out in the forest of the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in December, and also Tel Aviv provided aid to Turkey in the aftermath of an earthquake several years ago, many interpret Erdogan's decision in the earthquake disaster as a new message to Netanyahu that the relations between them will not return to normal at all without an apology for the massacre of Freedom Flotilla.

Some also see a link between Erdogan's new anti-Israel position and mention in some Turkish media about the involvement of the Mossad in simultaneous attacks waged by the PKK on October 18 on the eight sites of the Turkish army in the province of Hakkari, near the Iraqi border, which resulted in 24 Turkish soldiers killed and wounded about 20 others. The PKK did not resume its attacks on Turkish forces until after Erdogan's challenge to Israel.