Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been set loose by his fellow members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). Instead of talking about the protests in Gezi Park (Istanbul) and the accompanying police violence, he has declared a war of words on two other enemies: the Egyptian military and Israel.
When Egyptian general Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi removed Morsi from power, Erdogan immediately defended the deposed president Mohammed Morsi. The new de facto ruler, Al-Sisi, was, said Erdogan, an anti-democratic, ruthless dictator. A predator, if you will.
Morsi should immediately be restored to power. After all, he had won the elections. In Erdogan’s view of democracy, which boils down to majoritism, nothing else matters.
No, not the 22 million signatures collected by Morsi’s opponents calling on him to resign or the fact that attacks on Christians and their churches were on the rise from the very moment the Muslim Brothers came to power. Increasingly, more Coptic girls were - and still are - kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam. After that horrendous ordeal they were (and again: are) forced to marry a Muslim, who makes sure they will never see their real, Christian family again.
Erdogan did not and does not care about any of that. He cares only - or so he says - about Morsi and his "democratic victory" and legitimacy.
Although that makes for a nice sounding excuse, this observer understands that Erdogan does not support Morsi because of anything related to the principles of democracy, but because Morsi and he share the same ideals. Both men are die hard Islamists who want to force their religious views on others. They believe that the state should serve as the hand of God (or Allah in this particular case) and have zero tolerance for critics. After all, they are doing Allah’s work. Opponents must be the devil’s henchmen, which is why it is perfectly fine to ostracize, intimidate and persecute them.
Not only do the two men share the same religious and domestic political views, they also agree with each other on Israel and Jews in general. That the Muslim Brotherhood hates Israel cannot possibly come as a surprise to anyone - it's almost their raison d’etre. For decades, however, Turkey and Israel were close allies.
Sadly, that relationship deteriorated when the AK Parti came to power. Several years ago, Erdogan made headlines when he stormed out of a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Islamic world responded with great joy: finally, a Muslim leader had the guts to humiliate Israel, live on TV.
The rest of the world, however, held its breath. Was this the real Erdogan? He had pretended to adhere to a "good neighbor" or "friends with everybody" foreign policy philosophy. Was that just a gimmick? A lie, so that Europe and the United States would support his bid for power? Was his real face that of an authoritarian, anti-Israel fundamentalist?
Well, yesterday Erdogan answered that question in the affirmative. During a speech to supporters on Tuesday, he said the following: “Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence!”
He went on to explain that an "intellectual from France" had a meeting with the Turkish justice minister in 2011. During that meeting, the intellectual supposedly said that “the Muslim brotherhood will not be in power even if they win the elections. Because democracy is not the ballot box.”
Erdogan: “Now the West starts to say democracy is not the ballot box or not only the box, but we know that the ballot box is the people’s will. This is what has been implemented in Egypt.”
Now, this does not quite explain why Israel would be involved in the Egyptian civil unrest, does it? A French intellectual says something, two years later the Egyptian military stages a coup ... how does that prove that Israel is involved in any of it?
The prime minister has a solution for that rather obvious logical problem: the French intellectual is a Jew. See! That’s the connection right there! How else could the Jewish Frenchman have known about this? The Israeli government must have included him in their plans.
Is is laughable and grotesque, but it’s sadly also Turkey’s official policy towards Israel and Jews in general. As the Jerusalem Post points out, Erdogan not only walked out on Shimon Peres, but earlier also blamed an “interest rate lobby” (read: Jews) for masterminding the famous Gezi Park protests, likened Zionism to fascism and - to top it off - continuously accuses Israel of “waging a campaign of genocide” against the Palestinians. Anti-semitism has become a vital part of Turkey’s official foreign policy.
Remarkably, on the same day that Erdogan accused Israel of staging the Egyptian coup, a former Muslim Brotherhood official (Gamal Nasser) said the following about General Al-Sisi: “I was surprised to learn, from the Algerian Al-Watan newspaper, that Al-Sisi is of Jewish origin. His mother is called Mulaika Titani, and her brother was a member of the Jewish Haganah organization. Thus, we see that this man, by any standard, is implementing a Zionist plan to divide Egypt.”
These words could have been spoken by Erdogan himself. He would, at the very least, agree with their sentiment and conspiratorial tone.
And so, the Muslim Brotherhood and Erdogan are once again fully aligned with each other. They not only want to Islamize their countries, but have also poured an Islamist sauce on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and revived it; Israel is behind every problem in the Middle East, and each and every single critic of the Islamists is a closet-Zionist.
If the Muslim Brothers and Erdogan were not capable of inflicting so much damage on the region and the rest of the world, we could laugh at these silly theories. As it is the West cannot afford itself that luxury. Erdogan and Morsi’s henchmen have to be stopped.
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