Jewish lobbyists contrived a U.S. congressional vote that labeled the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces as genocide, a London-based Arabic-language newspaper claimed on Saturday.
Pro-Israel lobbyists had previously backed Turkey on the issue but changed tack in retaliation for Turkish condemnation of Israel’s policies in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily said in an editorial, according to Israel Radio reports…
In his leading article, Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor Abd al-Bari Atwan urged Erdogan not to give in to the Jewish lobby’s “extortion” tactics.
You may remember that back in 2007 a similar resolution escaped the Foreign Relations Committee, although it did not survive to become law due to pressure from the Bush Administration. At that time, Turkey threatened to cool relations with Israel, and even hinted that it might not be able to protect Turkish Jews against antisemitic reactions if the resolution passed.
In what can only be called an antisemitic failure to understand the relationship between Israel, American Jews and the US government, the Turks seemed to think that Israel could order American Jews and Jewish organizations to apply irresistible pressure against the resolution — because, as everyone knows, US Jews take orders from Jerusalem and control their government!
When the ADL, which had originally opposed the resolution, more or less reversed its position as a result of an outcry that it was unthinkable for a Jewish group to be on the wrong side of this kind of issue, the outraged Turkish government complained to Israel.
Now the Armenian Genocide resolution has reared its head yet again, but diplomatic sources in Israel claim that this time the Turks have not turned to Israel for help. It’s not surprising; the ‘special relationship’ between Israel and Turkey is badly strained these days.
Turkish PM Erdoğan seems to have decided that Turkey’s future lies elsewhere than the Western bloc. His Islamist AKP party has pushed it closer to Iran and Syria and away from the US and Israel. He’s bashed Israel unmercifully over alleged ‘crimes’ in Gaza, and even walked out of a panel with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Davos, Switzerland, in simulated dudgeon.
In 2007, Israel and its supporters were sharply attacked by Armenian and liberal groups for their coolness to the genocide resolution. Then, Israel was threatened by Turkey when Jewish groups didn’t ‘follow orders’ to oppose it. Finally, in 2010 when Israel stayed out of the fray — after taking massive abuse from the Turkish PM — it’s criticized for conspiring to ‘contrive’ the issue!
It would probably be best for Israel and Jews to simply take the moral point of view and go on record as recognizing the genocide. Probably neither the Turkish nor the Armenian side — not to mention Al-Quds Al-Arabi — can be expected to join the pro-Israel camp no matter what Israel does.
I’ve written quite a number of posts on this subject over the years, which you can find here.