In contrast to my earlier post, where the speculation about Israel’s involvement is very possibly accurate, and if it was true would actually serve Israel’s purposes, there are other conspiracy theories that are both wrong and dangerous for Israel and the Jewish people.
Turkey is investigating at least 5 local Jews for having aided the IDF during the Mavi Marmara flotilla raid:
Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has launched an investigation of at least five Turkish citizens it believes collaborated with Israel in the 2010 takeover of the Gaza-bound ship Mavi Marmara, according to Turkish media reports.
MIT believes the suspects either assisted the Israeli troops who boarded the vessel or later took part in the interrogation of the ship’s activists in Israel, the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak reported on Friday.
A representative of Turkish Jews in Israel expressed concern that the government in Ankara was targeting the country’s Jewish community.
According to the report, the investigation was launched after flotilla participants testified that they heard some Israeli soldiers speaking Turkish during and after the raid.
Uğur Yıldırım, an attorney with the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), which organized the flotilla, was quoted in another Turkish daily, Zaman, as saying that during the interrogation of passengers on the boat after it had been brought to port in Israel, several Turkish citizens, wearing IDF uniforms, confirmed that they had been brought in to act as interpreters.
The only way this might be true is if Turkish immigrants to Israel, serving in the IDF, were asked to serve as interpreters during the interrogation. There is no way that Turkish citizens were brought out of Turkey all the way to Israel to translate. It is both unnecessary since there is a very large Turkish community in Israel, and most likely against IDF regulations. But never let logic get in the way of a good antisemitic conspiracy theory.
While the report did not specify that the MIT was targeting the Jewish community, it did state that the investigation centered on Istanbul and Izmir, two cities with significant Jewish populations.
Hüseyin Ersöz, whom Maariv identified as the Deputy Chairman of the IHH, told a Turkish television station on Saturday night that once the names were published “everyone will know who the Turkish Jews are that served in the Israeli army and killed Turkish civilians on the Mavi Marmara.”
Rafael Sadi, spokesperson for the Association of Turkish Immigrants in Israel, told Maariv that the Turkish authorities “are trying to intimidate the Jews” as well as to send Israel the message that if Turkish demands are not met, the Turkish Jewish community is liable to suffer the consequences.
The investigation probed all Turkish citizens who traveled between Turkey and Israel at least two weeks before and after the Mavi Marmara incident on May 31, 2010. MIT officials were quoted as saying they expected to uncover additional suspects.
Turkey has demanded a formal apology for the incident, as well as compensation for victims and the families of the dead, and for the Gaza blockade to be lifted.
Israel has said its solders were attacked by violent thugs aboard the vessel, and insists its blockade against terror group Hamas-run Gaza is legal. Israel’s government has said it “regretted” the loss of life and has offered to pay into what it called a “humanitarian fund” through which casualties and relatives could be compensated, but has refused to issue an official apology.
A UN report into the Mavi Marmara incident released in 2011 concluded that Israel had used unreasonable force in stopping the Mavi Marmara, but that the blockade on Gaza was legal.
In November, four of the most senior Israeli military commanders at the time of the incident were put on trial on trial in absentia by Turkey. That trial is still ongoing.
Israel dismissed the proceedings as a “show trial” and “political theater.
“Show trial” and “political theater” is also an accurate description of this Turkish “investigation”. As the parts I highlighted in the article above show, and as the Turkish immigrants’ society asserts, the Turks are in effect holding its Jewish community hostage to Israeli actions. This is an extremely dangerous turn of events and the Israeli government must both publicise this antisemitic action on the part of the Turkish government, and take urgent steps in the international arena to stop and overturn the “investigation”.
Another conspiracy theory (which should come as no surprise) is the disgusting claim by Iran’s state-run media that, you guessed it, Israel is the guilty party in the terrible Newtown, Connecticut school massacre:
Iran’s state-run media outlet PressTV, which broadcasts in English, on Tuesday carried a story blaming Israel for the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. PressTV has a well-earned reputation for incendiary anti-Israel stories and for wild conspiracy theories, but even this seems a far stretch for the organization, which maintains a bureau office in the District.
PressTV portrays Adam Lanza as a “patsy” – their word – who is taking the fall for an Israeli special forces squad sent to punish President Obama for not better supporting Israel. The ongoing investigation is in fact, they argue, a concerted U.S. government “cover-up.” It’s not clear why the United States would cover-up an attack against the U.S. government, but if you think that’s the most glaring inconsistency in this story then I have bad news for you: it gets a lot worse.
The outlandish theory is not very clear, but it appears to argue that the attack would have been retribution for Obama’s diplomacy during Israel’s recent clashes with Gaza and for his potential selection of former Senator Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary, a move opposed by some pro-Israel groups. The story’s evidence largely relies on an interview with an Arizona one-time gubernatorial candidate named Mike Harris who publicly associates with neo-Nazi groups, a series of fatuous questions (i.e., implying that the school was filled with Israeli troops, “Why were so many children told to close their eyes while leaving the building?”), and, I am not making this up, anonymous e-mail forwards.
The story is very long and can be frustrating to read for its obvious logical fallacies,
Now there’s a surprise.
The PressTV story is sad and upsetting, mostly for its incredible insensitivity but also, to a lesser degree, for the obvious bankruptcy of Iranian propaganda. Who, exactly, is this story supposed to convince? Iran is not North Korea; information flows in and out of the country much more freely, and though public attitudes toward the United States are not exactly warm, nor are they so twisted by hatred or ignorance that such an outlandish story as this would seem likely to convince many readers. And, beyond the Mike Harrisses of the world (he also blames last year’s Norway shooting on Israel), it doesn’t seem likely to exactly turn American opinion away from Israel or toward Iran. And yet here it is, outrageous, offensive, and clearly counterproductive, for all the world to see.
The writer clearly doesn’t understand the nature of antisemitism. There doesn’t have to be logic, a clear purpose, and the purpose can even be counter-productive. As long as Jews and/or Israel (the two are interchangeable) can be blamed for everything from tagged birds to the weather to massacres to IDF defensive actions, all is right in their twisted world.