Bibi's Unlikely New Fan Club

Israelis are astonishingly unified in defense of their country’s flotilla interception. Ethan Perlson on why even the country’s lefties are draping themselves in the flag.

TEL AVIV—At a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Yoram Ben Zion, 31, admits that this is not how he typically spends a the beginning of the Israeli weekend in Tel Aviv. “Usually you can find me smoking weed and drinking beer on Rothschild Avenue,” he said. But on Thursday night, Yoram, a self-described “hippie and stoner” who is normally apolitical, joined over 1,000 young Israelis at a rally organized on Facebook to defend Israel and hit back at her critics, especially Turkey. They waved Israeli flags and sang patriotic songs, and gave Turkey the proverbial finger, holding up signs that read, “How many Kurds did you kill today?” and calling for the world to recognize the Armenian genocide.

At the protest there were “straights, gays, Russians, Ethiopians, and even French tourists,” said Gene Epshteyn, 35. “Ninety-nine percent of the people there were secular. This was not a right-wing rally. It was average everyday Israelis who’ve had enough.”

IOW, a flash mob. In Israel, both sides are doing it. I don’t know just how many of its supporters in America are aware of the troublesome rightward lurch Israeli society has taken. As some might say, this isn’t your father’s Israel we’re talking about here.

How many Kurds did the Turks kill today?
In the last week?
In the last year?

More than nine maybe, do you think?

And what about that Armenian genocide?

Well, to socialists and communists and the left in general for sure it is troublesome, but to the gays, straights, players, dope-smoking hippies and other secular people who are finally waking up to just how precious and rare personal freedom can be, this is not troublesome at all.

Totalitarians and political Islamists are just not the friends of the secular, liberal lifestyle—not even one iota.

I guess having seven thousand rockets buzzing by your ears kind of takes a little something away from the marijuana high after a while. People having sex don’t want to literally see rockets bursting in air anymore. That is just so fifties, man.

These are the kind of people being labeled as scary right-wing fanatics now?

Imagine that.
Jerry Falwell must be turning over in his grave.

Israel doesn’t recognise the Armenian Genocide, despite the efforts of MK Haim Oron, who has proposed a resolution to do so every year on the 24th April. The Genocide is now recognised by Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Poland, the Vatican, 44 of the 50 states of the US, and 3 of the 4 constituent countries of the UK, among others. Israel has also been quite happy to provide Turkey with military aid to combat the Kurds.

These two issues were among the reasons I haven’t been enthusiastic about the use of Turkish flags during demonstrations against Israel’s actions. While we applaud the Turkish Government’s courageous stance against Israeli brutality of late, this should not detract from our opposition to Turkey’s continuing denial of the Armenian Genocide, and its continued brutality against the people of Kurdistan.

You need to get with the times. Thanks to the AKP greatly expanding their rights the Kurdish insurgency is essentially over. Because of this in the last elections the AKP became the first non-Kurdish nationalist party since the insurgency to win the most Kurdish votes.

About 35,000 Kurds were killed by the Turkish military from 1984-2001 though. All with the full support and encouragement of the US, who as the atrocities increased responded by increasing their billions of dollars of military aid to that same army which has overthrown four elected Turkish governments since 1960 and came close to overthrowing the AKP in 2007 claiming it was ‘Islamist’. Were you protesting to Washington for supporting and financing these crimes at the time?

This is a legitimate criticism of Israel, and American federal government and much of Europe to by the sounds of it. It is understandable in terms of realpolitik too, don’t you think?

In a world where the ME has been defined by the ayatollahs and dictactors and political Islamists, Turkey stood alone as the one reliable ally who upheld similar values to those of the secular West.
Those days are gone. The dope smokers of the OP are not the only ones to point this out.
Everybody knows what happened back then. That so much of the West was willing to hold their noses rather than embarrassing a friend, is subject to criticism of course, but undeerstandable nevertheless.

Not just nine then?

Muslims killing other Muslims by the thousands??!!!

Gosh, who knew that that was even possible?

the Iraq Kurds are kinda sweet on the Americans now though.

Bibi, like Sharon, is leading Israel; to disaster. Under the two of them (and others) Israel has added more and more settlements on the West Bank with as many as 400,000 inhabitants by nowm despite USA objection. There will not be a viable two-state solution until those settlements either are disbanded or they agree to live under a Palestinian government. And until Palestinians have self-rule Israel will be despised by just about all the world. Only in the USA, where AIPAC and its allies have such political power and the media are pro-Israel, is there widespread support for Israeli policies. And I find that more and more Americans are beginning to regard Israel as much more of a parasitic burden than a useful ally. Our constant support of Israel was the original cause for widespread bitterness toward the USA among Muslims. We demonize the Palestinians, invade Afghanistan and Iraq, threaten Iran,etc. Is it any wonder that Al Qaeda convinces more and more young Muslims that we are waging war against Islam.

We will not defeat terrorism completely until we stop giving Israel billions of taxpaper dollars every year, providing them with our most modern military machinery, and vetoing UN resolutions that are critical of Israel.

And by the way, the Christians in the Middle East have been srongly against Israeli policies there, and US favoratism toward Israel has made the Christians targets of radical Muslims. Saddam (yes, an  evil man) was very tolerant of Christianity, but when he fell Christians had to flee because of persecution from the militant wing of the Shia majority. 

 Why isn't the USA genuinely pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian, which would be the wise and most effective policy? Because our politicians are cowards. How many know that new members of Congress are provided free trips to Israel to propagandize them. I have been there four times and have witnessed the discrimination against Arabs. What kind of democracy would have roads for Jews only, refuse to permit Christian evangelism, and have all sorts of other laws that demonstrate prejudice against non-Jews? 

 God bless Jews, Christians, Muslims and all of his people, whatever their creed, color or country.
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