Read related Action Item: Cameron in Turkey: hypocrite
Why does David Cameron have a clown nose?
Very few win the coveted Five Minutes for Israel red, round, rubber nose. Previous winners were S.A Deputy Minister of International Relations Sue van der Merwe and singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. It takes an extraordinary amount of ignorance combined with an inflated sense of moral superiority. Professing, however illogically, to be a true friend of Israel normally gains an exemption. But the hypocrisy, arrogance and breathtaking ignorance shown by British Prime Minister David Cameron in his joint press conference with Turkish President and serial Israel abuser Recep Tayyip Erdogan ensured the nose is his.
Let me be clear. The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable. And I have told PM Netanyahu, we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous. Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.
No one expects Cameron to apologise for falling for a cleverly organised public relations trick, when it happened without knowing anything of the complete facts. He wasn’t the only international figure to be fooled and the herd instinct works for politicians, no less or even more than lesser mortals. However, since information has been released showing that the IDF soldiers were forced to defend their lives he shouldn’t repeat the error. It is triply unacceptable because this was a scripted speech and not an off-the-cuff answer to an unexpected question AND to criticise a third country in such terms while a guest of another country is huge bad manners.
He told or is it ordered the Prime Minister of a friendly country. I hope, or is it wish, that Bibi told him what to do with that order. Who else has the United Kingdom given orders to? Libya? Courtesy should have demanded he wait until the Israeli inquiry is complete.
Who is advising him about the ‘prison camp’ that isn’t Gaza? Would that the same advisers had instructed him about Turkey’s almost fifty year war with the Kurds, many of whom live within her borders. The casualties of that conflict, normally estimated as around 140,000 although I have seen as high as 400,000 far outweigh Gaza’s casualties. The restricting that Turkey has placed on Kurdish language and culture for most of that time were far more illiberal than anything Israel has been accused of with the Palestinians.
Would that they had briefed him on sixteen years of blockade of Armenia? Issues came to a head in 1993 when Turkey sided with its Turkic ally Azerbaijan over the Nagarno-Karabakh War by closing its borders with Armenia. Tensions were exacerbated by subsequent pipeline and infrastructure projects that deliberately bypassed Armenia. Despite the blockade and warlike declarations and action, unlike Turkey, Israel supplies Gaza with fuel. Modern Turkey may reasonably claim not to be associated with the Armenian Genocide conducted by the Ottomans but it is with the constant denial that it happened.
Perhaps Cameron’s people simply forgot that Turkey has been in occupation of Northern Cyprus and responsible for its ethnic cleansing for thirty-six years. Daniel Pipes writes about it in far more detail than I possibly could. Turkey in Cyprus – Israel in Gaza
Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. What does that mean? Is he referring to a flotilla from Gaza to Turkey which apparently needs it more than the Gazans or the transfer of suicide-bombers to Israel? Or is it just the racism that declares the need for two states, one with Jews and Arabs and one with only Arabs? Does he really see Hamas allowing Israelis into Gaza?
As an Israel advocate I an seriously considering pushing for active opposition to Turkey on the issues of Kurdistan, Armenia and Cyprus in every forum I can reach. I’m also for demanding an apology from Turkey for their support of the terrorist funding I.H.H. leading to the flotilla. If Turkey plays hard-ball why shouldn’t we? Your comments, please.
However I am at a loss about how to deal with David Cameron. Two clown noses?