Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the President of Turkey, a country that has never recognized its genocidal murder of 1.5 million Armenians more than a century ago; he knows a good deal about real genocide. Now Erdogan, who in recent years gave refuge to dozens of Hamas leaders, and provided them with Turkish citizenship and Turkish passports, allowing them to travel freely through Europe, has had the gall to accuse Israel of committing “genocide.” More on his preposterous charge can be found here: “Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel’s operations in Gaza ‘amounting to genocide,’” Times of Israel, October 20, 2023:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Israel to end its operations in Gaza that he said were “amounting to genocide.”
In a statement posted Friday on X, formerly Twitter, Erdogan said the increasing attacks on Gaza would bring “nothing but more pain, death and tears.”
“It is clear that security cannot be ensured by bombing hospitals, schools, mosques and churches,” Erdogan said. “I reiterate our call on the Israeli government not to expand the scope of its attacks against civilians and to immediately stop its operations that are bordering genocide.”
But the IDF is not bombing civilian targets. Those homes, mosques, hospitals (actually, Israel has not bombed any hospitals; Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as we now know, did that) that he claims are full of innocents are in fact being used to hide weapons, rocket launchers, command-and-control centers, and terrorists. They are being used by Hamas for military purposes and thus become legitimate targets for the IDF. Of course the Israelis do everything they can to minimize civilian casualties, by warning those who inhabitant these buildings to leave them when they are soon to be targeted. Israel warns them by messaging, telephoning, leafletting, and by using the “knock-on-the-roof” technique. As in every war in the modern era, civilians will be killed. Hundreds of thousands were killed by the Allies during World War II — think only of the fire-bombings of Dresden and of Tokyo, that were designed to destroy munitions and other factories, kill soldiers, and undermine enemy morale. Israel’s record in minimizing civilian casualties is without parallel; British Colonel Richard Kemp has described the IDF, for its efforts to protect civilians, as “the most moral army in the world.”
But for President Erdogan, Israel is guilty of “genocide.” Does Israel round up Palestinians and ship them in cattle cars to death camps? Does it gas them? Shoot tens of thousands of them in the back of the neck, so that they topple over into huge pits that the victims dug themselves? Does Israel have mobile gas wagons run by the IDF, that roam through Gaza and the West Bank, gassing Palestinians at will? Have you heard of any IDF Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing units that use bullets, not gas, to kill Palestinian victims? Of course not.
In fact, it was the swarm of 2,500 Hamas terrorists who swept into Israel on October 7, determined to kill every Jew they came across, who most resemble Hitler’s Einsatzgruppen. It is Hamas, with its annihilationist determination to kill Jews, who demonstrated their “genocidal” impulse that day.
Israel says it has been hitting terror targets in the Strip as part of its campaign against Hamas since October 7, when some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing 200-250 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed when Hamas gunmen seized border communities were civilians — men, women, children, babies and the elderly.
Those Israeli civilians weren’t just killed. Babies were beheaded in front of their parents. Parents were murdered in front of their children. Girls and women were gang-raped while being forced to lie on the bodies of murdered Israelis; some died from the mass rapes they endured in every orifice and from a fiendish variety of implements; others were simply killed after they had served their purpose. Whole families, from babes in arms to people in wheelchairs, were burned to death. IDF soldiers were tortured; eyes were gouged out; entrails ripped out, heads cut off. Erdogan doesn’t drop a tear for these victims; he cares only about their killers.
The Israeli Air Force has been pounding the Strip since then. Hamas-run health authorities said Friday the death toll in the Strip had reached 4,100. It is not clear how many of those killed were civilians and how many were terror group members, and the figures could not be independently verified.
Our region needs to be saved as soon as possible from this frenzy of insanity, encouraged by Western countries and which Western media organizations are competing to legitimize,” Erdogan said.
The “frenzy of insanity” that Erdogan mentions was not that of the IDF, as he thinks, but rather, the “frenzy of murderous insanity” that Hamas killers exhibited on October 7, as they committed every possible atrocity on helpless civilians. Israel, not at all insane, is relentlessly fighting back, bombing Hamas sites in Gaza where the IDF has killed to date at least a dozen Hamas military leaders, and demolished weapons storehouses, rocket launchers, control-and-command centers, and bunkers for Hamas gunmen. Civilian deaths are unavoidable, but Israel makes every effort to minimize them. This is not “genocide.”
Erdogan really ought to ask himself if his bombing, and that of his predecessors, of Kurdish PKK separatists, which took the lives of 40,000 Kurds, most of them civilians, isn’t closer to “genocide” than what the IDF is doing today, as it tries to minimize civilian casualties. After two weeks of bombing, the total number of Gazans killed is about 4,000. Is this “genocide”?
In fact, in 1948 the total population of Gaza was 160,000. In 1967, when Israel took it over, it was 360,000. Today it is 2.2 million. That doesn’t sound like “genocide” to me. In 1967, the Arab population in the West Bank was 660,000. Today the Arab population in the West Bank is 3 million. That too, doesn’t sound like genocide.
“Genocide,” President Erdogan? What “genocide”?