ISRAELI SCHOLAR ACCUSES ERDOGAN OF CHUTZPAH AND HYPOCRISY
March 29, 2012 – 17:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – A fortnight ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s
Prime Minister, accused Israel of committing “genocide” against
the Palestinians. Speaking before members of his AK Party, the
Islamist party that has ruled Turkey since 2002, Erdogan said that
the “children of the Holocaust” – the Israelis – had for a century
been “systematically” carrying out a campaign of genocide against
the Palestinian people, Benny Morris says in “Turkish Hypocrisy”
article published by the Daily Beat.
“It is not a “genocide” by any stretch of the imagination or language.
Arabs have been killing Jews and Jews have been killing Arabs for
decades – and while it is true that Jews, given their superior skills,
have killed Arabs in greater numbers than Arabs have killed Jews,
it is not for want of Arab trying,” he says.
“Erdogan’s description of Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians as
“genocidal” is mendacious and inflammatory. And it is mind-boggling
in its chutzpah and hypocrisy, given the fact that Erdogan heads a
state that has actually perpetrated several bouts of genocide in the
not-too-distant past, against the Armenians and, to a degree, against
the Asia Minor Greeks between 1894 and 1923,” Mr. Morris emphasizes.
“Turks may dispute the authenticity of this or that document found in
foreign archives (their own archives have been thoroughly purged of
any trace of the successive stages of the Armenian genocide) – such
as the handwritten notes by Ahmet Esat, the director of the Second
Branch of the Security Office of the Turkish Ministry of Interior,
relating to a meeting of the heads of the Committee of Union and
Progress, the group that ruled Istanbul, in January 1915 that set in
train the massacres (“Apply measures to exterminate all males under 50,
priests and teachers, leave girls and children to be Islamized… Kill
off in an appropriate manner all Armenians in the army…”),” he says.
“But there is no disputing the testimony of the many thousands of
Armenian and Greek survivors of the murderous “deportations” or of
the American missionaries, and the reports by German and British and
American consuls and businessmen (and the occasional Turkish “traitor”)
who recorded what happened in real time during the horrific massacres,
which resulted in between 1.5 to 2 million dead Armenians and Greeks.”
“Turkish officialdom may publicly dispute this historical reality
and, in an effort at browbeating, may threaten and even cut off
relations or contacts with this or that country – as it recently
did with France when the French parliament introduced legislation
to prohibit Armenian Genocide denial. But the Turks know. And their
acute sensitivity regarding the genocide charge is probably a good
indication of their knowledge about what their forefathers did a few
decades ago. Charging others with genocide may simply be a defense
and denial mechanism,” Mr. Morris says.
“In Erdogan’s case, traditional Islamic antipathy towards “the Jews”
– “a base” people and “murderers of prophets,” as the Koran puts it
in one of its suras – may also play a role. Up-front honesty may be
shooting for the stars. But surely we are entitled to a measure of
humility and contrition from the Erdogans of this world – or at least
their silence,” he concludes.
Benny Morris teaches history at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba,
Israel. He is the author of “Righteous Victims, A History of the
Arab-Zionist Conflict, 1881-2001.”