RWANDA: We will never forget you

Opinion

genocide rwandaThis April marks the 21st anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and with it, like a memorial candle that is ignited every year at this time, we see once again a flurry of organisations and their sidekicks’ waiting on the sidelines to pronounce all that is bad with Rwanda.

One such organisation is the Rwandan National Congress in Canada, (RNC) made up of a small, insignificant bunch of exiled educated misfit individuals, who band together like the Merry Men of Robin Hood’s day, to pronounce in their zeal their hate and intolerance of Rwandan’s current political and economic society.

This past weekend these Merry Men shouted loud enough to be featured on the front page of the Toronto Star.

And who do they hold parley with? Christopher Black, who we read in the Toronto Star is the “Toronto-area lawyer who defended a Rwandan general in a 14-year war crimes tribunal.”

Black “claims the Rwandan government is threatening him with death.”

Black has stated that “a member of the Rwandan National Congress in Canada told him last month there is ‘credible and reliable information’ that the Rwandan regime has ‘sent a team to Canada in order to assassinate five people here,’” including him.

According to the Toronto Star (April 11, 2015), “Black is a controversial figure who holds strong views that challenge accepted wisdom on war crimes. He has argued the innocence of accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic and attacked former international prosecutor Canadian Louise Arbour for halting an inquiry into the downing of the plane that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994 — the incident that triggered the genocide.”

The Toronto Star adds:

“His view of the [Rwandan] genocide is far from the accepted narrative. He alleges that the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front and [President] Kagame, then military leader, are also responsible for mass killings of political and military opponents during the genocide.”

This opinion, which many genocide deniers also constantly practice, remains one of the primary thrusts every April to cheapen the murder of over one million Rwandans. Twenty-one years has passed. Twenty-one years of recurrent heartfelt grief, and still the hate continues.

Yet today, Rwanda should be proud of itself. According to The World Bank, “Rwanda has achieved impressive development progress since the 1994 genocide and civil war. It is now consolidating gains in social development and accelerating growth while ensuring that they are broadly shared to mitigate risks to eroding the country’s hard-won political and social stability.

“These goals build on remarkable development successes over the last decade which include high growth, rapid poverty reduction and, since 2005, reduced inequality. Between 2001 and 2014, real GDP growth averaged at about 9% per annum. Recovering from the 2012 aid shortfall, the economy grew ‘7% (year-on-year) in 2014, 2.3 percentage high than in 2013’ ”

In addition, The World Bank states: “Women in Rwanda have made significant strides towards equality in the past few years and the country now boasts more women in parliament than any other country in the world.”

As Jews we stand shoulder to shoulder with Rwanda. For we also understand the meaning of hate, intolerance and genocide denial by our enemies. We will never forget our Rwandan brothers and sisters, nor the 300,000+ children who were also murdered.

We will remember you.

(Photo credit unknown)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out our jewishinfoNews videos

Congratulations jewishinfoNews!

It’s our 10th birthday! A no mean feat for an Internet news site that has consistently kept to its original mission statement.

by Alan Simons
by Alan Simons

Two years ago Tarek Fatah, the Canadian secular, progressive and liberal activist said: “Any nation, any society, any country that is created on the basis of a hatred towards the others, will soon run out of people that it can hate or groups it can decimate and it will devour itself.”

Yesterday evening in Toronto there was not a ripple of hate or intolerance. I had the good fortune of participating in Ve’ahavta’s 16th Annual Community Passover Seder. The event, under Jewish and Aboriginal leadership, was in effect one of the most important social justice events held in Canada for sometime. In excess of 295 people attended the evening which brought together adults and children of all religions without community or family, to share equally in a Seder with Jews of numerous denominations.

“Tonight we concentrate on those who are without community or family, and we ask ourselves, how we can play a role in changing such hardship using our own resources.”  – Avrum Rosensweig

As Avrum Rosensweig, President and CEO of Ve’ahavta succinctly put it: “Our unique and interactive Seder allows people of all faiths to come together in order to recall this historic biblical event which teaches us about bravery, faith, and ultimate freedom. We take this opportunity in the Jewish calendar to unite as a community and to band together to remind ourselves that the comparable atrocities of today are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by any of us!”

Ve'ahavta's 16th Annual Community Passover Seder. Toronto April 2015. -photo (c) jewishinfoNews

Ve’ahavta’s 16th Annual Community Passover Seder. Toronto April 2015. -photo (c) jewishinfoNews

Ve’ahavta describes itself as a “Jewish charitable social service organization dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths who are marginalized by poverty. Ve’ahavta (Hebrew for ‘and you shall love’) is committed to engaging community members in a meaningful and hands-on way to support our collective mission of tikun olam (repairing the world). Ve’ahavta delivers poverty alleviation programs that break down barriers, restore human dignity, foster capacity-building, and empower marginalized individuals to break the cycle of poverty.”

My observations, listening and talking to many of the guests and eighty-ish volunteers present last evening, suggests that at least in Toronto there is a willingness from all societies to outstretch their hands and come together in dialogue, without hate and intolerance. Rosensweig’s Ve’ahavta has a formula that works well.  Let others take note of it!

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out our jewishinfoNews videos

Turkey Today

FRANCE: The blood hadn’t dried, yet Turkey didn’t waste time putting its foot in its mouth, again!

Opinion

A billboard erected by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s AKP party in the city of Tatyan, in eastern Turkey, reads: ‘Salute to the Kouachi brothers, who avenged the Messenger of Allah [i.e. Muhammad]/May Allah accept your martyrdom/ When you [i.e. the West] strike, it is democracy when we avenge, it is terrorism.’ (Source MEMRI, January 14, 2015)

Credit: OdaTV.com, January 10, 2015

by Alan Simons

by Alan Simons

As the French novelist Victor Hugo said: “The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.” Turkey’s President Erdoğan with his sense of entitlement and grandiosity, obviously has no illusions as to whom he admires. And today, not to be outdone by his president’s feelings of self-importance, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was quoted as saying that, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had committed crimes against humanity comparable to those behind the Paris attacks that left 17 dead. ‘Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre,'” he told reporters in televised comments.

Both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu are desperate to find respect and stature within the Muslim world. Yet, it would seem they even lack the essential characteristics necessary of any self-proclaimed prophet that include intellectual capacity, wisdom, and profound insight.  I believe it was Molière who said: “All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.”  Someone should tell Turkey that even a self-proclaimed prophet cannot dance while having one’s foot in one’s mouth.

Here, for example, are a few comments reported yesterday by MEMRI:

– At a January 12, 2015 joint press conference with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the French in the attack, saying that the perpetrators were French citizens who had been imprisoned in the past. Asking why they had not been under surveillance by French intelligence apparatuses following their release, he said that this was “thought provoking.” He accused the West of hypocrisy and stated that Western racism, hate speech, and Islamophobia were to blame for it, saying, “We must be aware of their [i.e. the West’s] plots against the Muslim world.” Erdogan also slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “daring to attend” the January 11, 2015 solidarity rally in Paris, saying that he was committing state terrorism against the Palestinians.

– On Twitter, AKP MP Ali Sahin claimed that the attack was not what it appeared to be, and that its actual targets were Muslims.

– Speaking at the Fourth AKP Youth Conference in Ankara, Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek claimed that the Mossad was behind the Charlie Hebdo attack and the attacks that followed it in Paris.

– At the Islamist Aczmendi Lodge in Istanbul, funeral prayers were conducted for the Kouachi brothers, the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and they were eulogized as martyrs.” The prayers were led by Muslim Gunduz, the leader of an Islamist sect.

– Columnist Dilipak, in Yeni Akit, a pro AKP publication, said: “Bravo, Children, You Did A Great Job!.. You can condemn the terror in France all you want, but for those who planned it, this is a success worth celebrating. I am certain that some are congratulating sympathizers and saying, ‘Bravo children, you did a great job.”

And as to the aftermath of Je Suis Charlie, Anne Bayefsky in an article published by Human Rights Voices on January 12, 2015, summed it up quite nicely. Here, in part, is what she had to say.

 Je Suis Charlie: Kumbaya won’t save us from Islamist Terror and Hate. 

The warm feelings on display in Paris and elsewhere around the world Sunday in response to the horrors of the past week, unfortunately, will do next to nothing to change the tide against Islamist terrorism. That explains why world leaders who support terrorism have no problem supporting Paris.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, now entering the eleventh year of what was originally billed as a four-year term, turned up to represent a would-be Judenrein state, where terrorism and the absence of the rule of law are the order of the day.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu flew into Paris to glad-hand with free expression enthusiasts, notwithstanding recent arrests of teenagers in his country for “insulting” President Erdogan.

The terrorist organization Hamas even issued a press release claiming that it “condemns the attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine and insists on the fact that differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder.” Setting aside the fact that Palestinians living under Palestinian authority do not have freedom of opinion and thought, gunning down Jews while shopping for food wasn’t mentioned in the statement.

Add all those “Je Suis Charlie” signs, in solidarity with the magazine’s victims. Except that the words on these signs are white on a solid black background, and the Hebdo images of the prophet Muhammad are nowhere to be seen. White words on a black background are not the reason Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are dead.

And then there is France’s Jewish problem. There is no getting away from the fact that to be Jewish in France in 2015, you might have to hide in a basement freezer if you want to survive a trip to the grocery store.

Attacks on Jews in France in recent times – including torture, assaults, robbery, firebombing, rape, and murder – are too numerous to mention, each one soon forgotten by everyone but French Jews who continue to emigrate to Israel for refuge and solace. Evidently, France forgot ‘first they came for the Jews.’

In theory, it should be simple to connect the dots between slaughtering journalists, police officers, and Jews, in the same country over a mere three days. Freedom of speech, personal security, equality and freedom of religion are pretty much the essentials of democracy – and inextricably linked to one another.

Standing in the way of this revelation, however, is an apparent widespread incapacity to distinguish trumped-up, irrelevant or misplaced grievances from real ones.

Over the days of carnage, CNN regaled listeners with complaints about “unemployment” and “disaffection” among Muslim youth. We also swiftly heard detailed analysis of such things as the early loss of parents of the Kouachi brothers and the failed rap musician ambitions of Cherif Kouachi.

And, of course, there is the elephant in the chambre – Israel. As terrorist Amedy Coulibaly put it to his Jewish captives – quoting Usama bin Laden – “we are the ones who will get peace in Palestine.”

That ought to sound familiar to French President Francois Hollande…

Thank God there’s an Israel! Tanrı’ya teşekkürler bir İsrail var!

(Photo credit- Turkey, MEMRI | OdaTV.com)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

  اخبار یهودی

 

 

FRANCE: The defence against fanaticism is a necessity.

Editorial Comment

In July 2014, at the height of the violence against the Jewish community of France, jewishinfoNews published a message by Roger Cukierman, President of CRIF, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France. In deference to the French citizens murdered last week in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, we believe it appropriate to republish Cukierman’s message one more time.

The following is a translation of the original message, in French, that can be read in its entirety >here<

Roger Cukierman

Like many in France, I have family and friends who have on several occasions run into underground shelters. I think of them, as I think of the civilian population of Gaza who have been bombed for several nights. As a child hidden during the Second World War, I do not have selective compassion. And I want to believe that this is also true for the vast majority of French and especially those among us who are Jewish or Muslim.

If the facts are known, it is essential to put them into perspective. The news from the Middle East is once again having serious repercussions in France, [that included] demonstrations and assaults against two synagogues in Paris.

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the selective indignation of the people who took to the streets to express their solidarity with the Gazans, but remained silent about the plight of Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Christians, Nigerians who are under the yoke of Boko Haram …

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the inability of these people to express their support or opposition without hate or violence.

Everyone can, of course, have their opinion and belief about the policies of the Israeli government and even suffer from focusing their attention solely on Israel and obscuring [information about] other countries in the region. Anyone who has set foot in Israel, or read Israeli newspapers, knows that the political debate is everywhere and in Israel, as in France, citizens are critical of their government.

What is at stake in the protests that occurred this past weekend in France, as in the “Day of Wrath” event last January, are not part of the political debate…

Behind the corruption of solidarity, there is hate. This hatred is today against the Jews.It started against synagogues in inconceivable violence, as it evoked [to many] the darkest hours in the history of Europe during the 20th century. And hatred, which today is against the Jews, by tomorrow will be aimed at other groups [living] in our national community.

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the rise of fanaticism and extremism. No country is immune.

In Europe, fanaticism killed in Montauban, Toulouse and Brussels. Fanaticism also killed in Oslo and in Utøya, Norway. Fanaticism could have killed elsewhere if the terrorists had not been put out of harm’s way before they acted out.

In Europe, young people are becoming fanatical and sent to the jihad in Syria, Afghanistan, Mali. Those who return to Europe are [time] bombs, bursting with hatred for all those who refuse Sharia violent totalitarianism.  They want to deprive us of our freedom…

If fanaticism is universal, it is clear that it has been successful for quite some time in some branches of Islam [especially] among the rich Middle East producers of oil and gas who generously fund murderous folly in mullahs and imams who refuse pluralism, who want to impose their way of life and who are opposed to the right of each individual to decide their lifestyle, sexuality and religion.

Democracy cannot accommodate people who hate and want to destroy those who do not think like them. It must defend itself. It is a necessity, an imperative.

This applies in France, as in Israel. This applies in all countries, including the future Palestine, where individuals’ love of humanism, justice and ethics face the fanatics.

And when these fanatics resort to rain rockets and missiles against civilian populations, one cannot put one’s faith in avant-garde technology… It is necessary and vital to defend ourselves and defend democracy. This is the State of Israel.

The fight against fanaticism, extremism and terrorism is a noble fight. This is not a war of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is even less a war between Israelis and Palestinians, or a war between Jew and Arab. No, this is a fight for the values ​​that are the foundation of our nation: freedom, equality and fraternity. This is the condition of “living together” in a peaceful society.

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

  اخبار یهودی

 

A message to our brothers and sisters in France. We are one!

But in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Luton, England, they celebrate the killings!

“Today, French Jews feel like outcasts of the nation. We must now protect Jewish schools and synagogues to avoid attacks, Jews can not go out with a yarmulke, especially in the metro. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the month of July [2014] was a terrible warning, with attacks on places of worship and slogans such as “Death to the Jews!” Heard in the streets of France. It’s scary. Added to this, a feeling of constant danger with the French who go do jihad and can return to France with the will to carry out attacks, like Mohamed Merah in Toulouse and Mehdi Nemmouche in Brussels. We are facing an Islamist threat that hangs over all of France. This global climate scares French Jews. It is a failure for France, where a population is suffering persecution because of his origins.”

-Roger Cukierman, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France.…………..  (Le Figaro, January 2, 2015) 

by Alan Simons

by Alan Simons

As reported this past week, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel, more than 7,000 Jews from France emigrated to Israel in 2014, more than double the previous year’s total of 3,293 citizens. It was the largest contingent from any country. Sadly, the flow is expected to continue throughout 2015. I suspect it won’t stop there and especially won’t within France’s young, vibrant Jewish community. To date, thousands of them have left France to established a new life in the USA, Canada, Australia and of course in Israel.

About seven years ago while I was in Paris, a dear Jewish friend of mine, who was born in Algeria, invited me to join her at a lunch given at a Jewish community centre. I was struck by the utter pessimism pervading in many of those present. Be they originally from Tunisia, Algeria or born in metropolitan France, as I went around introducing myself, parents told me that their children had already left the country. Seven years ago. And now as I read and watch what is happening in France, I wonder if those same parents I spoke to have joined their children for a better and safer environment.

I think of myself as a somewhat optimistic and strong individual. For I probably see the good in people more than the darker side of people’s personality, irrespective of their race and religion. But, if I was currently living in France as a Jew, I really wonder if I would be able to maintain my optimism. Honestly, I doubt it.

Today, Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3 pm, a silent solidarity march in Paris and in other major French centres, will bring together a multitude of world leaders.  From Italy, Russia, Germany, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel and Italy. From Arab and African nations, they will all march to show their distaste to the barbaric acts committed by Islamist terrorists who have now taken over the role Hitler and other despots attempted to achieve.

Today, France will prove to us once again that as a proud country of culture, history and great beauty, if there’s one thing they’re good at, it is putting on a superb solidarity march.

So many of its citizens, Muslim, Jew and Christian were killed this past week. So many of its Jewish citizens, over the past number of years, children and adults alike, have been murdered in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. 

As we read and watch these sickening events continually take place in France, what do I, as a Canadian, have to offer my brothers and sisters living in France. Is it hope? Hope is the expectation that circumstances in the future will get better. Will it? I really wonder if it will.

There is documented evidence to suggest that there has been a Jewish presence in the south of France since at least the 1st century.  If the Islamist terrorists have their way that presence, in the years ahead, will surely come to an end. And so will the France as we know it. Perhaps it already has.

Thank God there’s an Israel.

(Photo credit: RT YouTube)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

  اخبار یهودی

 

Turkey Queen's Park december 2014 1

Turkey and its President: Floundering in a Sea of Narcissism

Editorial Opinion

“It’s not unlike knowing a self-serving and disingenuous friend.”

There’s a Turkish proverb: Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir. A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship. Trouble is, these days Turkey has very few friends who would consider sharing the same table with them, let alone drink from the same cup.

The recent arrest of at least 24 people in police raids on a leading newspaper and TV station, including Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper, the largest circulation newspaper in Turkey, and Hidayet Karaca, head of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, as well as three police chiefs on suspicion of being members or leading members of an armed organization, hasn’t particularly helped. Many of Turkey’s former friends are avoiding Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan like the plague. It’s not unlike knowing a self-serving and disingenuous friend who is infected with a serious bout of narcissism. It is therefore perhaps only time before the country’s frustrated military once again openly show their muscle against the government. Neither Erdoğan, nor the country’s citizens, for very different reasons, want this to happen.

Turkish Canadians, at Queen's Park,   Legislative Assembly of Ontario to protest the breach of press freedom and rule of law in Turkey. (photo credit: jewishinfoNe.ws)

Turkish Canadians at Queen’s Park, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, demonstrate to protest the breach of press freedom and rule of law in Turkey. (photo credit: jewishinfoNe.ws)

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum. In a recent article, which is published below, he succinctly puts it this way. “Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.” Here in its entirety is what he had to say.

The following article by Burak Bekdil was originally published by Gatestone Institute

Theoretically, Turkey is a NATO ally. In reality, it is a part-time NATO ally. It became the first member state that had military exercises with the Syrian army and the Chinese Air Force; awarded a NATO-sensitive air defense contract to a Chinese company; supported jihadists in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood elsewhere in the Middle East; allied with what NATO nations view as a terrorist organization (Hamas); shared, until recently, an embarrassing list of potentially terrorist-sponsoring countries with seven others including Syria and Pakistan, and sported a population with the lowest support for the NATO alliance.

Also, theoretically, Turkey is a member candidate of the European Union [EU]. In reality, since 1974, Turkey has been occupying one-third of the territory of an EU member state, Cyprus; it boasts a record number of violations of human rights, according to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights; it remains the EU’s dreaded problem in most areas of fundamental policy; it habitually (and undiplomatically) ignores EU calls for broader freedoms; and it is gripped by a deep distrust of the EU. A most recent survey, “Public Opinion in The European Union – November 2014,” conducted by the European Commission’s Eurobarometer, revealed that only 18% of Turks trust the EU.

Just recently, Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, recalled a joke by his predecessor Viktor Chernomyrdin [prime minister between 1992 and 1998] who once was asked by a journalist when Ukraine could join the EU. “After Turkey,” Chernomyrdin replied. When should we expect Turkey to become a member, asked the journalist. “Never,” he said.

During most of the 2000s, Turkey’s soul searching, coupled with its leaders’ apparent quest for the revival of pan-Islamist and neo-Ottoman ideas, pushed the country into the illusion of a “Middle East Union” to be led, of course, by Turkey. Instead, Turkey in the post-Arab Spring years has found itself as the target of enmity in the Middle East. Many overt and covert hostilities and tensions created diplomatic crises with all countries in the former Ottoman lands — except one: the tiny hydrocarbon-rich emirate, Qatar (along with Hamas).

Theoretically, Turkey is the regional empire in the Muslim Middle East. In reality, it is an unwanted ally.

So, the soul searching continues. In January 2013, President [then prime minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly toyed with the idea of Turkey seeking its future in another alliance: the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO]. Since then, he has mentioned this desire a couple of times. In November 2013, Erdogan once again demanded a seat for Turkey at the SCO from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as this would “save Ankara from the troubles of the EU accession process.”

“Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble,” Erdogan asked Putin.

A few years earlier, Turkey had behaved like the “bizarre ally” it was: it became the first NATO member state to become a “dialogue partner” with the SCO. But is there a future for Turkey in the SCO, sometimes call the “eastern NATO plus EU?”

Theoretically, yes. Turkey, with its democratic culture and Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, looks like a perfect fit for the group. Its members already include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (the SCO’s other dialogue partners are Belarus and Sri Lanka. Countries with an observer status are Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia).

But actually, Turkey is probably no more wanted in the SCO than in the EU or among Arab nations in the Middle East. The SCO’s heavyweights are Russia and China, both of which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan’s one-time best regional ally and presently his regional nemesis. During Putin’s high-profile visit to Ankara at the beginning of December, Erdogan had to admit that Turkey and Russia “keep on falling apart” on the issue of Syria.

For Russia, Turkey means $$$$$: Tens of billions of dollars in bilateral trade — a perfect client for Russian natural gas, as well as a potential transit route to export gas to third countries. But it also means a hostile country ruled by Islamists who seek Sunni supremacy using jihadists, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to expand its regional clout in the Middle East, often against Russian interests.

For China, too, Turkey is a good client. Unlike Russia, Chinese companies actively win infrastructure, telecommunications and mining contracts in Turkey. But like Russia, China, too, deeply distrusts Turkey politically. China’s most pressing domestic security issue, the ethnically Turkic Uighur Muslim separatists in the western province of Xinjiang, has a Turkish connection. Chinese authorities often accuse Turkey of harboring Uighur terrorists and allowing jihadist Uighurs a safe passage between Syria and China.

With its neo-imperial ambitions and Sunni Islamist policy calculus, Turkey once again fails to fit any alliance’s broad foreign policy and security structure. The soul searching will have to go on.

Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab Street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the SCO.

Erdoğan has been credited as once saying: “Paramount is the need to secure human rights. The form of rule should be such that the citizen does not have to fear the State, but gives it direction and confidently participates in its administration.” Obviously, such a statement does not include many of Turkey’s respected media and communications elite. 

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

“Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim–in fact, the majority–who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible.”            -Islamic spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

  اخبار یهودی