Robin Yassin-Kassab

The Earth Shifts

with 4 comments

Following the Israeli act of terrorism in the Mediterranean, calls for the siege of Gaza to be lifted have come from some unlikely quarters, including the British prime minister. A nervous Husni Mubarak has temporarily opened Egypt’s border with Gaza. More ships are being prepared to break the siege, including one organised by European Jewish groups. Norway has cancelled a military seminar because an Israeli officer was part of the programme. Swedish dock workers will block Israeli ships and goods for a week. The British trades union UNITE has voted to boycott Israeli companies. A French cinema chain has pulled an Israeli film and will instead show a film about Rachel Corrie (murdered by Zionism while protecting a Palestinian home from demolition). Nicaragua has suspended ties with Israel. The rock groups Gorillaz, the Pixies and the Klaxons have added their names to the growing list of musicians (Santana, Elvis Costello, Gil Scott Heron..) who refuse to perform in the apartheid state. But the big story, the earthshaking story, is Turkey. Idrees has already posted the video below at PULSE, but I must repost it here. It shows the expanding demonstrations in Turkey, with Turks waving Palestinian, Hamas and Hizbullah flags, and even pictures of Imad Mughniyeh. It can’t be stressed enough how important this is. After a century of bitter estrangement, Turks and Arabs are coming together. This is a game changer.

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

June 6, 2010 at 12:16 am

Posted in Palestine, Turkey, Zionism

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4 Responses

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  1. I hate to be the wet blanket — especially since I’m usually the one accused of being a naive optimist — but do you really think that this incident marks the end of a century of bitter estrangement?

    Qifa Nabki

    June 6, 2010 at 11:31 am

  2. Good to see you here, QN. (Readers – Qifa Nabki runs a fascinating blog on Lebanese and regional affairs. Follow the link at his name).

    The incident itself doesn’t mark the end of estrangement, but it crystallises a process which was already happening: Turkey’s increasing independence and economic strength and search for leadership in the region. From what I can work out, this is based on the rise of new social forces in Turkey and the increasing role of public opinion in the country’s politics. I don’t think the last year and a half is a flash in the pan. My statement is indeed a bit sweeping, a bit rhetorical – and I don’t mean that Turkey and the Arabs (or the northern Arabs) are about to see eye-to-eye on Palestine or any other issue – but I think the statement is still true.

    Robin Yassin-Kassab

    June 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  3. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Interesting to see how the dynamic might change if the AKP is voted out of office.

    I seem to acquire Turkish friends who think that the change in their country’s policy towards Israel is a serious problem, strategically speaking. And they vote.

    But you may be right, in the short term.

    Qifa Nabki

    June 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm

  4. http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0603/After-the-Israeli-flotilla-incident-Turkey-is-the-new-Palestinian-champion

    Here’s Alastair Crooke. I think I may be right in the medium term too… I think your friends have failed to understand that the region is changing, and it’s in Turkey’s interests to be in on the change.

    Robin Yassin-Kassab

    June 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm

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