The Turks and the ambassador

Article 301 of the Turkish penal code defines the crime of Insulting Turkishness as follows:

  1. A person who publicly denigrates Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years.
  2. A person who publicly denigrates the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security organizations shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and two years.
  3. In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased by one third.
  4. Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.

This has been applied by the Turks to various writers, Journalists, and others — even to the publisher of a book by Noam Chomsky. Although part of a package of laws designed to help bring Turkey into the EU, some people think that they haven’t quite got the idea yet.

However, given the critical situation that we find ourselves in today, it may be necessary for the Jewish people to create a similar offense, which of course will be called Embarassing Jewishness.

Rather than punishing speech or writing that makes a government or Jewish organization look foolish (this may not even be possible with the present Israeli government, which cannot look any more foolish), I propose that we punish behavior that passes the following test: would my grandmother have slapped her forehead and said “oy, a shande far di goyim“?

Do I need to go any further? I especially like paragraph (3) above which applies to the Ambassador to El Salvador. There should also be enhancements for claiming that you are behaving badly because you are Jewish, as the Neturei Karta folks and Michael Lerner do. I presume the ambassador had other explanations.

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