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image Je fais un don

Paris, 26 January 2024

This week, the Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, commended the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), that discussed a Report by MEP Piero Fassino (Italian Democratic Party), on “Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel and Israel’s response” and expressed support for the latter, confirming its right to legitimate self-defence, with an overwhelming majority vote.

Trying to upset the debate, several Turkish parties, but also some radical left political figures, such as Jeremy Corbyn, submitted about 20 amendments, one-sidedly attacking Israel and its Observer Status at the PACE. For example, the Istanbul Women’s Association (IKADDER) accused the Jewish State as follows: “since 9 October 2023... Israel is committing blatant ‘war crimes’ in Gaza... indiscriminately killing civilians... imposing a  ‘complete siege’, cutting off all access to food, water, electricity, fuel, and medicines, and ‘mass ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians.”

This and other spurious claims ignore that Hamas began this war on 7 October, with its genocidal intent rooted in its own Statutes and exercised over decades of terrorist activity. They also forget that, since that infamous day, thousands of Palestinian civilians are used by Hamas as human shields in the urban battlefield, that civilian infrastructures are misappropriated by the terrorists as fire-bases for rockets, snipers and anti-tank ambushes, that humanitarian aid is stolen by Hamas fighters and that Israeli hostages, including babies and teenage women, are still detained and abused by the terrorists...

On the other hand, Israel has provided daily humanitarian pauses and proposed new hostage-prisoner exchanges, if it were not for Hamas’ sickening political scheming. Israel consistently allowed the entry of humanitarian aid and, in an unprecedented and systematic manner, invited and facilitated civilian evacuation from combat zones...

Though IKADDER is supposed to be an independent NGO, its position is shaped by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Party’s view of Turkish and world society – promoting an “Islamic family” model. Both are vociferously against “western” civil liberties, such as LGBT+ rights, and criticise European countries’ policies against Islamist proselytism. In its report of 2021 – co-signed with a plethora of other Turkish NGOs – IKADDER accuses France of “anti-Muslim bias”, berating its pragmatic legislative response to the brutal 2020 jihadist beheading of a history professor, Samuel Paty, “guilty” of teaching “freedom of speech”!

Moreover, during the past decades, the Turkish President smugly announced a massive Islamization of Europe, reportedly applied a form of blackmail through the refugee crisis, occupied a large swathe of Syrian territory, delayed secular countries (Finland and Sweden) accession to NATO, played an ambiguous role in Libya or in the Russian war against Ukraine, threatened Armenian sovereignty and Kurdish minorities, as well as Cyprus offshore oil prospection and Greek presence in the Aegean Sea... His pan-Turkic and neo-Ottoman rhetoric foreshadow the Muslim Brotherhood’s plans for a vast Islamic empire...

Through hosting Hamas leaders and the systematic demonization of the Jewish State, Erdogan’s policy is indeed tiptoeing a thin line with Israel.

Our Centre recalls that a Turkish ship – the Mavi Marmara – led the so-called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” in 2010, a violent attempt to bring media and material support to Hamas. Just last November, the Meir Amit Intelligence Center revealed that the same organizations behind that endeavour met in Istanbul, to prepare a new international fleet to disrupt the naval supply towards Israel and renew support for the terrorists. Apparently, Russia promised the majority of boats for this “maritime invasion”. Our Centre has alerted Israeli authorities accordingly.

On issues concerning Israel and the Jews, many political parties and NGOs seem to be mute, deaf and blind! Not calling for Hamas to cease and desist in its murderous endeavour, not hearing the terrorists’ screams of religious elation on 7 October, not witnessing their abuse of Israeli girls and women... are symptoms of ideological complicity, rather than concern for peace and humanitarian wellbeing.

“On its 75th anniversary, the Council of Europe expressed support for Israel and empathy for all victims. We look forward to working together on strengthening human rights advocacy and education,” concluded Samuels.

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For further information, contact csweurope@gmail.com