Middle East's new Zionists - MERVE ŞEBNEM ORUÇ

Middle East's new Zionists

The founders of a new fanatic and nationalist movement that emerged in Europe in the 19th century, decided to talk with the super powers of the time to realize their ideals, namely their idea to establish a Jewish state. The movement's founder Theodor Herlz offered Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II 150 million British pounds to sell them Palestine territory. Abdülhamid Han refused the offer. As for the British, they accepted to cooperate with the Zionist movement with a promise from them that the American Jews would convince the U.S. to join World War I on their side.

You know what was later done to Abdülhamid Han. And how the Ottoman Empire was then weakened with rising nationalism, youth movements and revolts… It is rarely discussed because history was written by those who won, but during the process that began in those years and continued to the end of World War I, millions of Muslims in the Balkans, Caucasus and Crimea became refugees – migrants – and could never return back to their homelands. While Ottoman territories were drawn with rulers and divided into pieces, Muslims were made to become enemies with one another in Great Syria, North Africa and Yemen, and millions of Muslims lost their lives.

As the Ottoman Empire had collapsed and Turks started fighting the War of Independence, Palestine which was separated from the Great Syria province, became a mandate under British control. It was now time to migrate the European Jews to this land under British control. But there was a problem: The “Empty land for landless people” slogans, awards, incentives did not help increase the number of Jews in Palestine as much as desired. Very little progress was made throughout the years. However, by the end of World War II, the desired result was achieved due to the Nazis and the Jewish population in Palestine reached the level desired. Then in 1948 the British announced they could no longer control these lands and withdrew. The next day the Zionists announced the establishment of the Israeli state. The first Arab-Israeli war started and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had to leave Palestine. With the demographic change that systematically started in those years and is still ongoing to date, hundreds of Arab villages in Palestine were evacuated and massacres and ethnic cleansing took place. While hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees, those who resisted were declared terrorists.

Although the Republic of Turkey at the time did not recognize the Israeli state, it had to change its attitude with the United Nations stepping in first with a cease-fire, then plans for peace. Then President İsmet İnönü and the single-party regime decided that the best solution for Turkey, which was stuck between the pressure from West and the threat of the Soviets, was to recognize Israel.

Some experts say World War II is not a separate war, but the continuation of World War I. If the third world war which we frequently hear of today is going to star or has already started, it could be said that this is also the continuation of that chain. Or we can at least say that the incidents taking place in the Middle East now are the result of the disregard for the lives of the people living in the region of those who tried to fill the void after destroying the Ottoman Empire first with mandate governments, then through dictatorships. The bloodbath state of Arab streets which started with demands for freedom, rights and justice, can surely not be evaluated separately from the realities of modern history. Furthermore, the similarity of the incidents happening today with what happened 100 years ago can give us clues when trying to make sense of all that is going on.

During the world wars in question and the foundation of Israel, despite their rivalry, we saw the West and Russia, which we have always known to be rivals, in the same front. Now we see them side by side in the battlefields of Arab revolutions which have turned into slaughterhouses, and also in the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)/Democratic Union Party (PYD) issue. Despite all other dilemmas, similar to the Israel issue during both Abdülhamid Han's era and İnönü's era, Turkey is no face to face with the pressure to first recognize the PYD, then the PKK state which will be founded soon after.

While the latest attack and new martyrs in the State neighborhood are added to the daily clashes and martyr news, rather than considering these as “a message only,” it could be said that it is an unnamed war. The PKK, which has been trying to convince the Kurds who want reconciliation and piece, who want to live together with the propaganda of “Turkey supports Daesh” and “[President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has waged a war against Kurds” incessantly for the last two years, like the Zionists convinced the Jews to migrate years ago, is playing the confusion game with the U.S. using three-letter word games such as PYD, PKK, People's Protection Units (YPG), Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), People's Defense Force (HPG) among others, is carrying out a marvelous operation by labeling all civilians, opposition Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs whose villages in Syria were taken from them, where ethnic cleansing is taking place, as Daesh or at worse Nusra militants. And while the propaganda mechanism is saying “no to war” on this side of the border, it has folded its arms regarding Turkey's dying people and those who have become refugees, and on the other side of the border turns into a war monger saying, “Go on boys, have no mercy.”

As the Middle East's new Zionists are going this, Turkey's so-called intelligentsia, like the young Turks of the time did to Abdülhamid Han, are doing everything in the books against Erdoğan. Even those in their right mind are telling the government that it needs to do what 1949 government that recognized Israel did, and are imposing cowardice as smart foreign policy.

Yes, our body is covered in wounds. But we are still standing tall. Although intervening in Daesh or the PKK with a ground operation in an atmosphere where the conjuncture changes daily and at any time, is compulsory in terms of national security, it was risky yesterday as it could have let all hell loose, today, with the attack on Ankara, in addition to being the right to self-defense, it has now also become a matter of honor. If the U.S. can get up and start a transoceanic war after Sept. 11, we cannot have the luxury of not establishing our national security. Hence, it is the attitude we display and the decisions we make at such times that will determine whether our martyrs will remain as statistics like those losing their lives almost every day in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, or have value like the lives of Westerners.

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