Dissembling for Dummies: A Lesson from Prime Minister Erdogan

The Cinch Review

Dissembling from Prime Minister ErdoganYesterday at the White House there was a press conference by President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey. Most of the focus going into it and coming out of it has been on the various Washington scandals currently erupting, but I don’t have anything unique to say about those. I did happen to watch the press conference, however, and it was a question directed to Prime Minister Erdogan, and more importantly his manner of answering, which caught my attention.

The question was from Juliana Goldman of Bloomberg News. After asking President Obama the scandal-questions of the day, she addressed Prime Minister Erdogan: “And also, Mr. Prime Minister, what is the status on efforts to normalize relations with Israel? And do you still plan to go to Gaza in the coming weeks?” (I’m using the AP transcript.)

A question, then, firstly about normalizing relations with Israel, and then about visiting the Gaza Strip. Erdogan’s complete answer was as follows:

In your question about Gaza, according to my plans, most probably I would be visiting Gaza in June. But it will not be a visit only to Gaza; I will also go to the West Bank.

I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East, and this visit in no way means favoring one or the other. I’m hoping that that visit will contribute to unity in Palestine, first of all. This is something that I focus on very much. And I hope that my visit can contribute to that process. Thank you.

What’s interesting about this? First, although the question was about relations with Israel, in his answer he does not even use the word “Israel.” His statement that his visit to Gaza “in no way means favoring one or the other” might easily be taken—and likely was taken by many listening—to mean that he intends no favoritism of the Palestinians over the Israelis, but is that what he’s actually saying? I think not; he preceded that statement by pointing out that he will also visit the West Bank, i.e. not only the Gaza Strip. Gaza is ruled by Hamas; the West Bank is ruled by the Palestinian Authority, dominated by the Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas. Erdogan hopes to “contribute to unity in Palestine” by visiting both places. He does not intend to show favoritism to Hamas by visiting Gaza only.

By completely ignoring the question about Israel, and not even using the word “Israel,” what importance would it be fair to say that Erdogan actually places on normalizing relations with Israel? Continue reading “Dissembling for Dummies: A Lesson from Prime Minister Erdogan”

Change of heart on Israel: Nicky Larkin

The Cinch Review

A young Irish filmmaker named Nicky Larkin went to Israel and the West Bank with the intent of making a film exposing Israel’s unjust treatment of the Palestinians, something which was treated as gospel truth by the bulk of his peers in the Emerald Isle. After seven weeks, and thanks to a mind at least open to being open, he went home with a dramatically different perspective. Continue reading “Change of heart on Israel: Nicky Larkin”

The war of isolation against Israel

The Cinch Review

The false narrative of the supposedly innocent “aid flotilla” attacked by Israel (when in reality the only violence which took place occurred when IHH terrorists attacked Israeli commandos with the goal of creating this story) is lending fuel to an already-burgeoning global movement of boycotts and divestment that poses a very real risk to Israel’s survival. From the Wall Street Journal:

Israeli officials point to a significant toughening by many allies on important Israeli strategic issues, such as peace efforts with the Palestinians and the country’s nuclear program. But the fallout has ricocheted beyond diplomacy as well, they say. It is reflected in incidents including British grocery chains dropping products produced in Israeli settlements; Scandinavian pension funds divesting from an Israeli defense company; and the spread of an annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” backed by mostly left-leaning Western organizations, to 50 cities world-wide. Continue reading “The war of isolation against Israel”