Search This Blog

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stuck in the same old political rut - weakness, prejudice and the no where game

Egypt gave the world the Muslim Brotherhood, the institution that has spread across the globe as a cross between the Institution of the Inquisition and the Knights Templar. Its most recent activist successor is Islamic State. It is noteworthy that in a country without Jews to blame, Muslims blame Christianity for the failure of the Arab Spring.

The Muslim Brotherhood was the creation of Hassan al-Banna, in Egypt in 1928.  Its fountainhead was devoid of any connection to Zionism or Jews. It was (and is to this day) socially regressive. It was created in response to British colonial attempts at reform.  It demanded as it continues to demand the elevation of sharia law to a position of domination over everyone. 

Zionism also had an idealised foundation.  But whereas the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to establish a solid link between seventh century Islam and the contemporary world, the philosophy and vision of Zionism was in complete contrast to Islamism’s latest radical creation in a never ending progression of extremist Islamist positions.  Zionism rejected superstition, it discarded bigotry and it rebuffed any inclination towards a hegemonic religious, totalitarian vision.  Zionism created a Declaration of Independence which forms the inspiration behind Israel’s Basic laws.   It is worthwhile to repeat part of that founding Declaration: 

“The State of Israel will ….be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture…” 

It is something that has skewered Israeli political and moral thinking. In Israel, realistically, equality exists in law but not in practice. That does not make Israel unusual or unique. It just makes the State of Israel normal.  Democratic institutions strive to create a consensus towards equality but it is an ongoing dialogue that is continuously being tested under changing conditions. That is the frailty and the strength of democracy. 

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1973-77) lived the American dream but never escaped the nightmare of anti-Semitism. He admitted to confronting social prejudice at every stage in his career even as he became one of the most influential people in America. And as a Jew, he could always be put in his place.  Nevertheless, the greatness of America is that he was able to dream, and minus the Presidency (he was foreign born), he could reach for the stars. 

Courage is a pivotal requirement in achieving any dream, and peace is impossible without it.  But peace between Israel and Palestine is becoming more difficult to achieve with every day and it is because of ongoing incitement.  If there is no violence or threat of violence then people can and do live freely together.  Settlements are nascent villages and towns – they can become the core of inter-communal reconciliation.   But incitement, because it creates fear also demonstrates a negotiation conducted in bad-faith.  This is because people who are frightened forge maximalist positions to protect themselves from their enemy.  As gaps grow and positions harden the possibility of reconciliation decreases. 

Palestinians never cease to incite hatred of Israel’s Jewish population while promoting demands reminiscent of their previous periods of historical prejudice.  President for Life Mahmoud Abbas tells the world that his country will be Judenrein (Cleansed of Jews). He rewrites our history to eradicate Jewish history.  Western liberals, if they acknowledge this war-crime, this cultural ethnic cleansing, perhaps see it as no more than a negotiation tactic.  That is naïve at best and at worst it is telling the victim to trust his abuser. The nullification of anything precludes its negotiation. It is an aggressive strategy created in that same bad-faith.  Fatah honoured its jailed leader Marwan Barghouti because he had killed “61 Zionists”.  When we glorify killers we also send out a message.  Sticks and stones will break your bones but with words begin the slaughter. It is argued that Yasser Arafat had more blood on his hands – he killed Muslims as well as Jews indiscriminately.  But grandstanding, telling your supporters that someone who killed 61 Zionists is to be honoured has a parallel, wholly negative message to the seven million or so Zionists who live in Israel and to the tens of millions of Zionists living outside of Israel. 

Our enemies understand the importance of the War of Ideas in winning over the hearts and minds of world-wide public opinion. We do not.  In 2016, Belgian lawmakers across the political spectrum nominated the mass-murderer, Marwan Barghouti, for the Nobel Peace Prize. They were expressing support for Palestinian violence; a tactic that Europeans selectively applaud.  To many Israeli’s it must seem to be stating that murdering Jewish civilians, either singly or in mass-killing events, is legitimate, which given European history, is a position laden with irony; unfortunate if not historically consistent in its bias. 

President Mahmoud Abbas received his doctorate by denying the Shoah and associating Zionism with Nazism.  He later justified his position with reference to the ongoing state of war between the two peoples (Jews and Muslims) and “in 2013 he reasserted the veracity of the contents of his thesis.” 

Let’s be clear on this issue of incitement:  Someone who predicates their position vis-à-vis the other by engaging in Holocaust Denial and historical revisionism is ill-placed to demand trust from Israelis of all affiliations, Jews, or for that matter, from anyone of moral standing. 

Jews also do not always practice peaceful or even a sensible inter-communal dialogue. The Irgun had a maximalist approach to Jewish land claims prior to 1948.  There are many people on the radical Right who retain the conviction that the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria can be simply ‘wished away.’  Ultra-orthodox Jews who were powerless for so many centuries are now partners in political power and have ensured that their own maximalist religious demands are met, even when they violate the democratic and secular principles that govern Israel. The ultra-left has adopted a Western and frankly anti-Semitic agenda in its adoption of a post-Zionist position towards the conflict. What is anti-Semitic is that it nowhere demands the same post-national requirement of any other nation or group, anywhere; therefore the Jews of Israel are uniquely expected to renounce their equal human rights.  And trust to whom, in the face of which precedent, to protect them? 

The Left is an elitist amalgam of old-school egotists unable to relate to the electorate it (the Left) must attract in order to have any chance of winning back power.  It is unelectable because it refuses to discuss the unique circumstances that make Israel’s local political landscape so challenging. Israel’s calamitous political soap-opera lacks a strong, credible opposition that can provide an alternative to a political Right wing which disrespects any divergent points of view. 

Since 1977, Labour has governed between the years of 1984-1986, 1992-1996 and 1999-2001. That is eight years out of the previous forty years. Realistically, the longer a party controls political power the less responsive it becomes to human rights and the general good of the people it was elected to serve.   Being positively responsive to democratic principles (i.e. accountability, transparency and political tolerance) fades as the length of rule grows.  Those that hold onto power for too long close their hearts as well as their minds to all but the supporters they manipulate in order to retain their control.   Tyranny begins with there being an incomplete restraint on an abusive relationship between stake-holders.  It inevitably leads to enslavement because it becomes increasingly more difficult to rein in the unreasonable demands of a privileged minority.  Any corrupt ideological process nurtures a culture of dependency and a sense of exclusive entitlement is central to any narrowly focused world view. 


The importance of having a credible opposition is that the party in power is unlikely to make the hard decisions that are required to advance peace when it does not feel its hold on political power is under threat from its political rivals.   While our enemies re-write history and intimidate us into silence it is only as a united society that we can effectively argue for justice for us too.  It becomes increasingly difficult to make peace with our external enemies when we are disunited and when internal debate is heavily circumscribed in order to mitigate an ever more acrimonious atmosphere of tribalism and exclusion. 

Zionism does not preclude sharing the land. Islamism, Arabism and the Boycott movement (BDS) do.   Israel, in becoming a post-Zionist, me-centric society is unable to put together cogent arguments to combat its enemies’ segregationist, maximalist and anti-Semitic arguments. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Donald Trump, Deplorables, Democrats and Danger to Democracy


A failure of democracy occurs when a lawfully elected individual is denied legitimacy by his or her opponent who then continues to agitate for that non-recognition. It is not fascism to disagree with a result, nor is fascism defined by a desire to want to change the present system of government or the electoral system. But when a consistent policy of questioning; of undermining a result in order to repudiate that result, occurs, then eventually violence will become a logical call to arms in defence of opposition to what will be seen, to be, an unjust result.

The suppression of free speech is a key component of the fascists bag of tricks. There are many ways to suppress free speech and I am not calling for it. I would however, like to provide people with one of the myriad definitions of fascism, with thanks to Zack Parker: In its simplicity and categorical consistency, in its visceral emotion and outrage, and, in its stereotyping, (in this case, by the labelling by Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, of Republican voters as ‘the Deplorables’) it places into a category of (sub) humanity those people who voted for Donald Trump - (‘the enemy’).

All this makes it much easier to establish a narrative of grievance, to ennoble that narrative and then, to suppress any opposition to the only ‘correct’ narrative, in the name of fairness. All this is what makes it fascism. Today, the Democrat Party is the polite face of fascism.

It is not to say that the opposition to President Donald Trump are wrong about the threat his populism poses, but equally, taking every opportunity to deny the legitimacy of the President of the United States not only threatens the life of that President but also damages the institution of the Presidency itself. Because the United States of America is the world’s leading democratic nation, discrediting one discredits all and in its place, strengthens the followers of fascism (and theocratic totalitarianism).

Ignoring the concerns of the everyman and the everywoman is not smart nor progressive but contemptuous. And that probably cost the Democrats the election. It isn’t rocket science. Calling 50% of the electorate “deplorables” was an unforgivable insult to 50% of the electorate. I am not comfortable with the idea that dismissing the result of the presidential election because they were uncomfortable with the persons personality (behaviour) is democratically acceptable. In fact it is fascism.

It is ironic that I accused Trumps supporters of inciting violence during the presidential elections (Donald Trump and the Race for the White House).


It is the Democrats who now pose the greatest threat to American interests at home and abroad. I feared Trumps supporters but it is now the Democrats I fear most.

It was decided that the Oxford dictionaries international word of the year for 2016 was post-truth.” It reflected the ‘highly-charged’ political environment of the previous 12 months. The Oxford Dictionary defined the word as an adjective ‘relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.’ Does it sound familiar? Post-truth is an integral tool in the spread of the fascist poison.

It is with some embarrassment that I find Jewish connections, even here. The Jewish people have been called ‘the canary in the coal mine’ for a very long time and it is because fascism targets their liberties first that it is always Jews and Judaism that initially, suffer most (because of their acute awareness of its corrosive impact on their human rights). The BDS movement has been enthusiastically embraced by Western universities. BDS is the ideal example of a fascist conspiracy to ‘own’ the truth and suppress at any cost, any and all contrary narratives. And it is only because of the success of the anti-Zionist narrative, which is in its essence, a ‘post-truth’ antisemitic movement, that the concept of post-truth has infiltrated and taken hold throughout the Western world. When the lie can so easily become the truth and the truth so easily becomes the lie then we are living George Orwell's dystopian future.

For decades journalists have been manufacturing the news. But while their target was only the Jewish State of Israel and its supporters, no one seemed to care. When Jews and Zionists have often been marginalised through violence and propaganda; through controlling the dissemination of largely false or inaccurate information via universities and international organisations, the response has been at best indifference and at worst, encouragement.

One of CNN’s reporters openly boasts that she has the right to choose how to interpret the news – she omits the detail that she and her fellow journalists reserve the right to manufacture the news based on their unequal interpretation of an ethical standard that would never be acceptable under a Western legal system. That legal system is theoretically anchored in the concept of equal justice for all. But if by laying claim to a progressive agenda, journalists can dismiss what is termed ‘an inconvenient truth’ and only report what they care about, then they also exercise the right to betray any person, group or nation they ‘decide’ are at fault.

I quote Christiane Amanpour: “There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn’t mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing,” so she argued in response to criticism. The issue here is that historically, journalism has rarely suffered honest reportage. As Christiane indicates by the above, that dishonesty is no different today.

I started this blog by discussing my fears about the failure of democracy. Many on the Left are crying that the Russian Federation has undermined American democracy though a putative, an alleged connection between Vladimir Putin (former director of the FSB) and Donald Trump. They fear a kleptocratic conspiracy between the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States of America! In a nation that is obsessed by conspiracies it is an unparalleled classic of deception. We can take issue with the President of the Russian Federation. It is always possible that the FSB (the main successor agency of the KGB) interfered in the US presidential elections. It is also possible that the FSB did nothing but leak disinformation implying that it interfered in those elections. The British Intelligence officer could also be part of a false flag operation meant to help to undermine American stability.

After all, in both the cases I refer to above, a destabilized America is a win for its rivals.

It is obvious that between prominent Democrats refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential result and the media campaign against Donald Trump, American democracy is being undermined.

It is time to move on from the elections and stop denying the legitimacy of the result.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Refugee Crisis and the Abomination that is UNRWA


David Milliband (President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, former British Foreign Secretary and former head of the British Labour Party) boasted that Britain “led the drive to codify the rights of refugees after the Second World War.” If that includes taking responsibility for the UN abomination that is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) then we have nothing of which to be proud. But more about that later.

There were tens of millions of refugees after the war. Germany accepted twelve million ethnically German refugees from European countries. “Between 13.5 and 16.5 million Germans were expelled, evacuated or fled from Central and Eastern Europe, making this the largest single instance of ethnic cleansing in recorded history.” (Deaths are estimated at between half and three million people).


The UN Refugee Agency claims however that the largest single mass migration (expulsion) in history occurred after the partition of India in 1947. Some 14.5 million refugees fled or were exchanged between India and the newly created state of Pakistan.

Korea expelled millions of Japanese after the war.

In terms of scale the Jewish – Arab population exchange is relatively small. It involved up to two million people in roughly equal numbers (over a period of 26 years, between 1947 and 1973). Over 600,000 Mizrahi Jews came to Palestine-Israel. At least 300,000 more went, predominantly, to France but also to Britain and the USA. Jews integrated into their host societies. It has to be a conscious choice to do so.

The conspiracy, if one exists, is that at no time was there ever any intent to integrate Arabs from Israel into the host countries that absorbed them. It was fundamental hostility to the non-Arab, and Arab anti-Jewish racial prejudice, that created a desire to flee an independent Jewish polity. Arab refugees remain uninterested in integration; unless it helps them create a virtue out of their self-inflicted victimhood. And the United Nations, instead of solving global conflicts, perpetuates them. The Palestinian Arab’s greatest collaborator in undermining resolution of the Israel-Arab conflict is UNRWA.

The Arab and greater Muslim world is afflicted by ages old prejudice and this prejudice is fed by its successes throughout the history of the last 1,400 years during which they conquered vast tracts of land and enslaved tens of millions of human beings. We rarely publicly speak of it and we do not ever teach this silent history.

UNRWA (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) uniquely defines a Palestinian refugee as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1st June 1946 to 15th May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”...“The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”

It means that any temporary worker who resided in Israel (or can “prove” that they did) during a two year period that ended on the 15th May 1948, became a refugee even when they had a home to return to; even better, in terms of eligibility for money transfers from Western nations to Arab nations.

It also means that they have no incentive whatsoever to ever forgo their refugee status.

If I were David Milliband I would not boast about UK complicity in the creation of UNRWA. We could so easily speculate that setting up UNRWA was a Western European conspiracy to undermine regional stability in the Near East (with a secondary antisemitic aim to overthrow Jewish self-determination) by creating an organization that could only ever be a force for lasting regional conflict.

The inheritance of refugee status, in perpetuity, is an ongoing act of regional destabilization! There can be no other explanation for the United Nation’s active collaboration in the creation of a unique, perpetual Palestinian victim-hood. UNRWA created an Arab (Palestinian) underclass, infected by hate and viewing re-conquest of Israel as a pan-Arab racial obligation; as an Arab political and Muslim theological imperative. UNRWA has inculcated three generations of refugees with a desire and an undiluted, blind, passion for revenge against a Jewish enemy it has always held in religious ridicule; colonial domination and pure ethno-religious contempt.

Jews have no reason to want to return to the ugly conditions of permanent, inferior status and intermittent persecution under Arab rule. For too many centuries they lived and died at the caprice of others.

UNRWA has only ever been a vehicle for Arab grievance and a message to any minority in the Arab colonial enterprise that minority aspirations for freedom from Arab persecution is a non starter. UNRWA is nothing less than a European – Arab cabal that stimulates chaos and precludes reconciliation between Jew and Arab. It exists to prevent the modernization of the Arab world, which in turn would end Islamism in the Arab world.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Turkey – Serial Killer or Warrior for God

In order to understand modern day Turkey and the instability it is helping to promote throughout Europe, it would be useful to understand its ‘recent’ history.

Osman Bey (1291-1326) – founded the Ottoman Empire. He took a peripheral fiefdom in the far west of the Islamic empire, on the border between the Islamic and Byzantine (Christian) empires, and made much of it his dominion. Constantinople was the Capital of the Byzantine Empire and the Centre of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. When Mehmet 2nd captured Constantinople in 1453 he is reported to have let loose his troops on the city’s Christian residents and over 3 days they raped, looted and murdered the city’s inhabitants. Paintings celebrating this ‘great lesson’ (of how defiance to conquest would be rewarded) show rivers of blood.

The Ottoman empire (1299-1923) incorporated colonialism with Jihad; justifying conquest and slavery, centuries before White Europe did the same.

The Battle of Vienna, in late 1683, saw the end of Muslim-Ottoman expansion into Europe. 18th Century Turkey maintained its territorial integrity but mainly because of divisions within a Europe which was obsessed by ethnocentric nationalism. Perversely, this nationalism drove the 19th Centuries European colonial enterprise into Africa and the Far East.

On February 3, 1830 an international conference in London led to a guarantee of territorial integrity for an independent Greece. Britain, France and Russia were its guarantors. The Greek revolt against Muslim rule was the Colonial eras first war waged against foreign rule. The two bookends of colonial independence (Greece in 1830 and Israel in 1948), suffered terribly under Turkish misrule. Yet when we rage against colonialism we see only Western crimes and not their equivalent enterprise, of which the Islamic slave trade was a key enabler. It is a bizarre and inexplicable omission that gives the Muslim world an aura of respectability and revolutionary virtue as an “oppressed people” though it is simply not justified.

Europe made several attempts to prop up the corrupt Ottoman Empire. Turkey’s predecessor was a Muslim empire 5.2 million square kilometres in land area (2 million square miles) compared with Turkeys’ current territorial base of 0.8 million square kilometres (0.3 million square miles.) Turkey’s collapse simply whet the appetite of Arab dictators across the Near East.

The dissatisfaction and enmity that suffuses the Arab world today is a direct result of the disintegration of the Ottoman empire. It left local Arab leaders baying for blood and empire, fed by Muslim myths and tales of violent slaughter. That slaughter of infidel peoples is a guide to modern behaviour modelled on the brutality of Islam’s founders and their subsequent conquering aspirants. It helps to explain the fanaticism that drives the killers of Islamic State. That we fail to connect the dots between their willing executioners and the Western World’s Muslim Fundamentalists is therefore incomprehensibly naïve.

In 1878 the Treaty of Berlin was signed, in order to protect minorities throughout the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire from persecution. It was needed. It was also ignored. An indirect result was that in 1895-96 Abdul Humid, the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, (also known as the Red Sultan or Abdul the Damned) murdered up to 200,000 Armenians in a campaign that was intended to ensure submission for the survivors.

Many Armenians fled to Europe and the USA. Dispersal and exile is common enough for survivors. But perhaps, the Ottoman empires Armenians (those who remained behind) thought they would be protected by Britain, France and even their enemy, Russia.

Turkey systematically discriminated against the church and to this day they refuse to recognize the 1890’s organized murder of the Armenians. Nor do they recognise the next stage in Armenia’s tragedy. Disarmament, elimination of anyone who might be in a position to fight back, and resettlement, were all weapons intended to facilitate the final Armenian solution.

In a frightening rehearsal for Hitlers organized and multiple genocides, towns were systematically cleansed of Armenians. Death came quickly but disease also took many of those waiting to die. There is general agreement that between one million and one and a half million Armenians died. Atrocities were documented by numerous diplomatic missions and interested parties. Foreign records of the events are undeniable. Extermination had one added advantage for the Turkish government. Muslims could be housed in the homes of the dead; houses left fully furnished, unless pillaged by former friends and neighbours.

Theological justification could be made at every stage of the process. Slavery, dispossession, theft and extermination; all these things were meant and are still meant to demonstrate, in an unambiguous and tangible way, the superiority of Muslim civilization. Theologically all property is the material right of ownership of the global Islamic nation. Retribution reinforced a message that resistance is futile. Resistance will provoke a terrible price, one which will be seared into ethnic memory.

More important than that message is the lesson Hitler, Stalin and today’s Islamic State learnt from the inaction and the indifference of other nations.

The Armenian genocide took place between 1915 and 1917. Greek and Assyrian Christians were also targeted as part of a policy of ethnic cleansing.

And then we have the Kurds. The Kurds of the Near East have been denied any justice by the global community. Kurdish persecution has been ignored partly because their ethnic geographical boundaries transect the borders of four competing bully empires (Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey). Fear of the effects of destabilising the three remaining political entities can be better appreciated when we look at Syria after almost six years of civil war. Syria had a population of 22 million people and today 11 ½ million of them are either internally displaced or refugees now residing in other countries. The remaining three nations have a combined population of almost 200 million people.

Arab, Turkish and Iranian political ambitions are never questioned unless they threaten to impede the flow of oil to Europe. If no-one will stand against them then it is also clear that no one is safe.

Turkey has destroyed at least three thousand Kurdish villages since the 1980’s and evicted millions of Kurdish people from their ancestral homes. There are over three million Kurdish refugees. Turkey tortured tens if not hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people and has murdered over 37,000 of them (since the PKK’s armed uprising began in 1984). Turkey denies the Kurds any right to self determination.

And then we have the Turkish conquest of Northern Cyprus. All but ignored by European nations that usually grovel before an expansionist Turkey, they ensure nothing offensive is ever passed at the United Nations; nothing that might offend Turkey’s neo-Ottoman rulers. Turkey has invaded Christian Cyprus and replaced the population it killed or expelled by the forcible transfer onto the land it conquered with Kurds it displaced from elsewhere in Turkey. This is in direct violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention but the United Nations will never invoke Article 49 because it has only ever done so with the Jewish state, with Israel.

The Fourth Geneva Convention on the Rules of War was adopted in 1949. Switzerland, the Depository of the Fourth Geneva Convention profited more than any other nation from the hell that was the Second World War. Switzerland must agree to call a special meeting of the High Contracting Parties (representatives of states who have signed or ratified the treaty). It has met only three times since the Convention was enacted. That is three times in sixty-seven years. On each occasion it was convened to condemn Israel. There have been hundreds of wars since WW2 ended and over 50,000,000 deaths attributed to those wars. The total number of deaths in Israel-Palestine represent less than 1:1,000 of the total and yet as indicated by the Swiss example the relevance of the UN to solving or preventing human conflict is non-existent.

None of the wars that took place since the second half of the Twentieth Century took place because of poverty. The wars have been politically or religiously inspired. Many secular causes display religious devotion based on either a single catechism or a series of devotional texts that must be accepted without question and that are overseen by a secular ecclesiastic body of political purists.

Amos Alon in “A Blood Dimmed Tide” describes a theology of conflict made worse by the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is because the conflicting racial and colonial ambitions of Islam’s warrior clergy has seen Turkey and Iran clamour for control of their geopolitical neighbourhood. And to those I would add Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All have exercised their expansionist colonial ambitions at a cost of hundreds of thousands of human lives.

The following is from an article by the Henry Jackson Society: “Turkey is to the Syrian jihad what Pakistan was to the Afghan jihad or Azerbaijan was to the Chechen jihad—or indeed Syria was to the Iraqi jihad. A rear-base from which fighters can enter the battle, but to which they can take shelter to hide, recuperate, fundraise, and organise.” Turkey will probably never be called to account by any international community.

neo-Ottoman expansionism is driven by a theologically fundamentalist doctrine which makes Turkey a threat to world peace precisely because it instructs and therefore infects the nation and as the previous paragraph indicated, it contaminates not just its hinterlands but the nations it comes into contact with.

Pinhas Inbari, writing in the journal of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Can Israel and Turkey Reconcile?) said “Turkey is in the midst of defining its identity – as Turkish first or Muslim first with a “neo-Ottoman underpinning. If Turkey chooses its “Turkish” identity, a true Israeli-Turkish reconciliation may be possible, but if Erdogan chooses his neo-Ottoman Muslim path, obstacles may block the reconciliation.”

I would disagree with Pinhas on the simplicity of his statement. Before the Islamic political revolution began to take hold in Turkey, it was a secular society governed along strict lines of separation between Mosque and State. But still it was awash with racism, ethnic-religious belligerence and chauvinism. Tolerance of intolerance creates the atmosphere that eventually leads to fascism, and fascism is the handmaiden of dictatorship.

In politics, to negotiate from weakness is a sign of capitulation. The Muslim world understands this far better than we do. Terrorism is a political act, never a moral choice even when people use simplistic arguments in their attempt to create justification for it. The Western world is economically vulnerable and exposed to every means of blackmail that the Muslim world can throw our way. Threats of violence, terror and fear of economic and terminal decline are powerful enablers for acquiescence to positive discriminatory treatment towards the faithful, especially when they also tap into ancient prejudices that have never been eliminated.

The assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara just over two weeks ago is a symptom of Turkish jingoism. It is a lesson that Israel and the rest of Western Society must learn from. And Israel must never drop its guard in its awareness of the threat posed by fundamentalism, either from Turkey or, from within its own society.