Israel’s controversial war with Palestine — and the ensuing assault into Gaza — are drawing the laser-focused attention of world leaders.
And it was Turkey’s President Erdogan who, almost unsurprisingly, has made his opinions known. During a statement given in parliament this past week, Erdogan labeled Israel as a “terrorist state” and accused the Israelis of attempting to eradicate the entire population of Gaza to, it could be inferred, finish decades of settler-based expansion in the region.
Erdogan cited the targeting of hospitals, streets and mosques, and other public facilities by Israeli forces. It should also be noted that Israel’s Netanyahu vowed harsh retribution early on in the stages of the conflict, pledging to turn Gaza to ruin.
The war as it stands the result of decades of conflict between Israel and its Muslim neighbors. You can read about it below. But more recently, this edition of the war is in response to the terrorist group Hamas killing 1200 people in Israel and taking more than 200 hostages.
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It would seem that Turkey, which already has fractious relations with Israel, has no sympathy despite the well-planned, funded, and executed terrorist attack within Israel. Quite the opposite, as Erdogan’s statements were met with energetic applause.
Erdogan, it should be noted, also called Hamas a political party rather than a terrorist organization. He would further mention that any acts of terrorism at the hands of Hamas have occurred only because Israel and the United States — whom Erdogan mentioned specifically — have forced such a hand.
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Erdogan would continue to make exaggerated, but not baseless, claims that Israel’s military response is also responsible for a historic humanitarian crisis and violations of laws of war. Israel’s response is that Hamas uses public spaces, such as the previously mentioned hospitals or mosques, as shields. Ostensibly, Israel has no choice but to target such locations.
Israeli media have pointed to Turkey’s treatment of ethnic Kurds and other minorities within its borders, as well as its military operations in Syria, as hypocritical. In other words, Erdogan should not be pointing fingers at Israel, a nation that feels it is acting in a strictly defensive manner.
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Erdogan, who has hosted Hamas leadership before, has also called for a pan-Islamic response to Israel and its actions against Palestinians in the past. Meanwhile, the US and its European allies have, mostly, pledged outright support for Israel — a stance that has seen sweeping protests across the West by Islamic migrants and supporters of Palestine.
There is certainly near-tangible tension, and in the West it is raising questions of migration, foreign policy and aid, and security. In regards to Erdogan, one thing is certain: Erdogan’s continuity as a controversial figure who is unaligned with his NATO and Western “allies” is not only intriguing, but concerning.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.