Obama after Gaza… VIA
ANKARA – Relations between Turkey and Israel have a long and dramatic history, but over time the two countries have transcended their differences and grown closer in light of a mutual interest in promoting a democratic Middle East and, according to experts, Turkey’s outspoken stance this time around will be no different
A huge roundup follows…
PARIS – International media expressed dismay yesterday over the dramatic escalation of Israel’s Gaza offensive and condemned the world’s failure to formulate a diplomatic response.
Ercan Akyol’s cartoon, 6 Jan 2009, Milliyet VIA
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel over its offensive in Gaza on Tuesday and said it was a bid by the Israeli leadership to score points ahead of the general elections in February.
Israeli tank fire killed up to 40 Palestinians at a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medical sources at two hospitals said. UN called for an investigation over the school attack.
Prime minister fosters influential ties
Iason Athanasiadis THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Monday, January 5, 2009
Israel’s Gaza offensive may have benefits for Turkey, bolstering its diplomatic profile in what some commentators call "neo-Ottomanism" and a Turkish newspaper hailed as a "golden age" for Turkish diplomacy. "
For excellent coverage of the Gaza situation by people who know what they’re talking about, link to Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog, where he discusses the new era of “microwars”, and Richard Norton’s From The Field, where he has posted an analysis co-written with Sara Roy, one of the world’s top experts on Gaza.
After Israeli troops marched into the Gaza Strip the European press asks how the conflict in the Middle East can be resolved and what role the EU and the US can play in bringing a solution.
The Romans create a desert and call it peace. — Tacitus
Palestine is a land without a people. — David Ben-Gurion
Given all the aggression that has been going on in Palestine, we do not have anything to say but to ask "How in the world could anyone stand up and find a just solution to this crazy killing game?"
So, after eight days of pounding Gaza, the Israeli army has launched a ground assault which its leaders say will be long and tough. As if the air and rocket attacks of the past days, causing carnage and mayhem, have not been enough as the world enters an extremely vulnerable year which promises only crisis, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and their generals have decided to raise the stakes for a challenge that brings us closer to war.
After isolating Gaza and staging operations against it, thus violating the terms of a cease-fire, Israel has declared war on Hamas, allegedly to defend its citizens against Hamas rockets.
There is a well-known tendency to look to Washington whenever things go wrong in the Middle East. The current crisis in Gaza is no exception. Conventional wisdom about the US-Israeli partnership leads almost everyone to believe that Tel Aviv would never engage in such a military operation without Washington’s consent.
During the past week, Israeli aircraft have hit more than 700 targets in Gaza. The only justification for these attacks is the missiles of Hamas.
Rizpah protecting the bodies of her sons, by George Becker, left; William Cullen Bryant, right
With Gaza ablaze, the political woes of contemporary Palestinians continue to echo past tragedies on the same blood-drenched ground. Consider the vengeance of the Gibeonites, both a purge and a scourge in the early days of Israel’s King David. Setting aside who is who for the moment, the biblical account recorded in the book of II Samuel describes a weak David with a struggling economy (called a famine in those days). The Gibeonites, who sought vengeance for their slaughter by the former King Saul, demanded seven of his sons, and David agreed. The princes were soon hanged in eye-for-an-eye justice. Yet the queen mother of two of the sons spent five months pr
otecting the bodies from being devoured by beasts not shaped like humans. Her name was Rizpah and she can be seen as a maternal heroine or a distraught widow.
Yesterday saw some very large rallies across the world in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, including some very large ones here in Canada. Here is one report from Montreal, one from Toronto, with a video of the event produced by rabble.ca:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke Monday with his Russian, British and Italian counterparts regarding Israel’s ongoing military offensive on the Gaza Strip, TV channels reported.
Through the lens of history, remember the famous attempt by Jews to resist the Germans in armed fighting in the Warsaw ghetto? As recounted by The Holocaust Encyclopedia, the Warsaw ghetto was established by German decree on October 12, 1940 and sealed off from the rest of the city. “The ghetto was enclosed by a wall that was over 10 feet high, topped with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The population of the ghetto…was estimated to be over 400,000 Jews. German authorities forced ghetto residents to live in an area of 1.3 square miles, with an average of 7.2 persons per room.”Vera Gowlland-Debbas is Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of Internati
Now that the six-month cease-fire between Hamas and Israel has come to an end and the ensuing Israeli air assaults and ground operation have inflicted an unprecedented tragedy on the Palestinians, not only have the prospects for a sustainable peace in the Middle East been diminished, but Ankara’s hope for becoming a formidable peace broker in the region has also been shattered.
Israel’s founders had high hopes that the Jewish state, isolated in a sea of Arab hostility, could align itself informally with Iran and Turkey – Muslim countries which had their own differences with the Arabs. "
An Israeli Defence Forces commander is quoted in Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, "What we did was insane and monstrous, we covered entire towns in cluster bombs," the head of an IDF rocket unit in Lebanon said regarding the use of cluster bombs and phosphorous shells during the war.
Understanding the Gaza catastrophe by Richard Falk, a professor emeritus of international law and practice at Princeton University and the UN’s special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories.
For 18 months, the entire 1.5 million people of Gaza experienced a punishing blockade imposed by Israel, and a variety of traumatizing challenges to the normality of daily life.
Even though the Israeli government is turning to online social networks to distribute information about the war in Gaza, there are others using such social networks for their own agendas. According to Gawker, some Facebook users have found it impossible to post certain content related to words like “Gaza” or “Palestine.”
Sarkozy’s Mideast jaunt continues as Israel implements its long planned flush out of Gaza, and if his mere presence was supposed to influence the Israelis, it doesn’t seem to be working.
An international monitoring group should be formed for a viable solution in Gaza and Turkey would not hesitate to take part in such formation if it is asked, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Monday.