The Turks denounce Israel as a ruthless aggressor, disdainful of the human rights of others. Yet our Western leaders choose to support Turkey and ignore dreadful atrocities committed in the late Ottoman phase and in modern Turkey.
From 1915 into the 1920s its purges resulted in the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian genocides in which some 4 million people died. The aim was to create a Turkish state with no minority ethnic populations. This mass murder almost rivals that of Nazi Germany. Yet even today, the Turkish government denies committing the atrocities in spite of indisputable evidence of them. Now, in modern Turkey, we continue to witness the Kurdish genocide with this ethnic minority being persecuted relentlessly so as to erase any Kurdish identity in Turkey.
If the blockade of Gaza is lifted the region will erupt in violence and mayhem. The Israeli people do have the right to exist, and the West must support them. If not, the consequences will be disastrous, not only for the Israelis but for the whole world, as fanatical extremists unleash their dogs of war. A determined, well armed Israel is the only thing that deters them.
Richard Congram, Carindale, Qld
AS the party boarding the ships to enforce their naval blockade of Gaza, the Israelis had a duty of care in dealing with civilians. The death of nine civilians and injury to more than 30 others is a clear indication that the Israelis failed in that duty of care.
Nevertheless, there are questions which need to be asked of the Free Gaza Movement. In their mission statement they state, "We agree to adhere to the principles of non-violence and non-violent resistance in word and deed at all times." Quite clearly some of the activists on board the Mavi Marmara did not adhere to the principles of non-violence. And their decision to resist the Israeli soldiers contributed to the tragic outcome. Putting aside the hype, it is not credible that the Israelis deliberately sought this outcome.
But the degree to which some of Israel’s supporters have attempted to defend Israel, as if it bears no responsibility for the deplorable outcome, is a profound disappointment to this Israeli supporter. There are times when it’s better to acknowledge failure and work to avoid it in future than to defend that failure and lay blame elsewhere. This is one of those occasions.
Harold Zwier, Elsternwick, Vic