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The synagogue bombings in Turkey that killed 23 will undoubtedly evoke cries of "antisemitism." There is no doubt that antisemitism was an element in this murderous act, just as anti-Americanism was exploited by the attacks of Osama-Bin-Ladin on the World Trade Center. However, in both cases, the real target was a local regime. Osama Bin Ladin was really aiming to topple the pro-American Saudi Regime, and the current terror hit in Turkey was aimed at the pro-Israel and pro-West Turkish regime. It was another in a long serious of attacks against targets in moderate Arab and Muslim countries, including murderous attacks in Bali, Indonesia, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and in Casablanca, Morocco.
Most of the victims of the bombings in Turkey were non-Jewish Turks, and given the crowded conditions in the area, the bombers had to know in advance that they were going to kill non-Jews as well as Jews in the synagogue. Turkish media have reported that three people being held in connection with the bombings include veiled women, apparently Arabs who infiltrated the country from abroad.
Turkey is a particularly "juicy" target for Islamists. After World War I, Kemal Ataturk recreated Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman empire. He abolished the Caliphate, a relic of times lost past, and created Turkey as a modern secular state - the first such state with a Muslim majority. This formula was tested severely with the rise of the Justice and Development (AKP) party, with its program of Islamic reform. However, party leaders promissed that their party was Islamic but not Islamist, and was firmly democratic, and to the surprise of some, they have been as good as their word. The government of Recep Ergogan is a firm ally of the United States and a good friend to Israel, despite criticism of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.
This combination of Islam with friendship to the West and to Israel is a clear challenge to the lunatic fringe of Islamism, and it was only a matter of time before Turkey joined other moderate countries that have been attacked by the Islamists.
Synagogue bombings toll rises
A police spokesman says a number of the wounded are still in hospital though many have been released.
He says it is too early to give any details on the investigation, as work is continuing.
"There's still nothing certain," he said.
Israeli public radio reports of those killed, six are Jews.
"We have identified six Jews among the people killed in these attacks, including four security guards employed by the community," an Istanbul source said.
"Most of those killed were neighbouring shop workers."
Four Israeli police experts have been sent to Turkey to conduct a criminal enquiry along with members of the Zaka volunteer group, which spedeletedes in aiding the victims of catastrophes.
Turkish officials have said international groups - possibly including Al Qaeda - might have had a hand in the Saturday morning blasts, which wrecked cars and buildings over wide areas around the heavily protected synagogues.
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Replies: 3 comments
Blowing up synagogues -- whether it's just for the thrill of killing, or whether it's to divide Muslims from Jews and polarize the political landscape -- seems awfully like an antisemitic act to me.
Posted by Josh Pollack @ 11/17/2003 08:49 PM CST
The Israeli rabbi Munir Lao haled the killing of Palestinian children and youth by the Israeli settlers. He explained that the Jewish ethnic group supports and backs the killing of the Palestinians.
Earlier the Israeli rabbi Ovadia Youssef described the Arabs as snakes that should be killed. He said:" The Palestinians should be killed especially in Jerusalem because they are like ants and when the Masiah (Christ ) comes he will disperse the Arabs." Meantime, the Israeli forces broke into vast areas in the surrounding of Ramullah city while the Israeli tanks were striking positions for the Palestinian security forces on Sardah and Beitonya and this resulted in destroying them.
Then confrontation took place with the Israeli soldiers who tried to proceed forward to the city and the confrontation extended to Beitonya after the Israeli forces destroyed several houses.
The Palestinians threw several shells at " Oufer" camp near ramullah and at "Kative" settlement and at an Israeli military position near " Ghneital " settlement in Gaza.
The Palestinian Intifada teenagers also threw bombs at Israeli patrols as well as stones in various areas of the occupied territories.
Posted by tyrant loather @ 11/18/2003 10:12 AM CST
I just wanted to respond to tyrant loather when I looked into his quotes from rabbi Munir Lao and rabbi Ovadia Youssef because I know such comments are intolerable in the Jewish community.
These rabbis have no representation on the net, so I can't imagine they have much prestige in the Israeli community not to mention that this story is from 2001 and from only ArabicNews.com who has presented some questionable stories in the past.
For the sake of honesty, I needed to give some context to your comments.
Posted by Bijan Hakimi @ 11/19/2003 08:42 PM CST
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