The surreal moral idiocy that characterizes hatred of Israel is illustrated daily by states whose actions are shrugged away by the international media. Consider the recent Turkish invasion of northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish militants who killed 24 soldiers at military posts near the border. Turkish special forces crossed the border, and the air force bombed targets in Iraq. Some speculate a ground invasion in force is in the works. Since the U.S. supplies much of the military hardware used in the attack, along with intelligence gathered by drones, unsurprisingly the White House “strongly condemn[ed]” the “outrageous terrorist attack against Turkey,” and promised to “continue our strong cooperation” to help Turkey defeat the Kurdish militant separatists.
Apologists for Turkey would argue that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a terrorist organization, as designated by both the E.U. and the U.S., one that since the beginning of its armed struggle in 1984 has killed 12,000 Turks. Thus Turkey is within its rights under international law to cross into another sovereign nation in order to punish and deter further attacks. Leaving aside the accuracy of deeming Kurdish separatists to be terrorists, the behavior of the Turks raises a more interesting question: why isn’t this same consideration given to Turkey afforded to Israel?
Comparison with Israel’s struggle against Arab terrorism reveals the extent of the malignant double standards applied to Israel. In fact, the Kurdish people have a much stronger case for independence than do the Arabs called Palestinians. The 30 million Kurds in the Middle East have a documented 2400-year presence in their homeland, a region that now includes parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. They also have a distinct language and customs. The only thing they lack to be a formal nation is their own country, a consequence of the way the British carved up the Ottoman Empire after World War I, a process that served England’s imperial interests rather than the historically justified claims of peoples to national self-determination.
The less than 2 million Palestinians in the so-called West Bank, on the other hand, are ethnically, linguistically, and culturally similar to the Arabs of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. There is no historical record of a distinct Palestinian people, nor was Palestine ever an Arab “homeland.” This is why in 1948 and 1967, Arab armies attacked Israel not to establish an independent Palestinian state, but to destroy Israel and divide its territory among the victors. Arabs ended up in Palestine by the same process that brought them to North Africa, Egypt, and Iraq––as the descendants of conquerors, occupiers, colonists, and immigrants. Palestinian “national aspirations” insofar as they are sincere are a result of military failure, institutionalized victimization, and betrayal by their fellow Arabs, who have found in the displaced Palestinian “refugees” a useful public relations weapon for marginalizing Israel and questioning her legitimacy.
Given the weaker foundations for Palestinian statehood, not to mention the ghoulish carnage wreaked worldwide by decades of Palestinian terrorism, one would think that when it comes to international support for “national aspirations,” the Kurds would near the top of the list while the Palestinians wouldn’t even qualify. Yet global support for the Palestinians, and its attendant hatred of Israel, dwarfs any sympathy for the national aspirations of the Kurds. The West has sent billions in aid to the Palestinians, has anxiously brokered summits, conferences, and other negotiations in an attempt to solve the crisis; the U.N. has demonized, ostracized, and criticized Israel, and her own allies have demanded more and more suicidal concessions. Meanwhile the PKK is condemned as a villainous terrorist organization, and the legitimate complaints of the Kurds––including the suppression of their culture and language, the serial violation of their human rights, the destruction by some estimates of 8,000 Kurdish villages, the deaths of over 30,000 Kurds, and the creation of 3-4 million refugees––are ignored by the same international media and institutions that vilify Israel’s legitimate attempts to defend her citizens.
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