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Questions which should sometimes (not) be asked




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Aşağıda okuyacağınız makale İsrail Başkonsolos Yardımcısı Ohad Avidan Kaynar tarafından kaleme alınmıştır. Yazının Türkçe tercümesini gün içerisinde yayımlayacağız.


This past July, marks three years of my stay in Istanbul.
I have experienced, what can now be referred to, as the lowest point of bilateral ties between Israel and Turkey [to date] and the harshest form of rhetorical onslaught one can have the misfortune of hearing.
While most of the topics to do with joint interests and joint conflicts are a daily part of my work, and thus very clear to me, some questions [and answers] still elude me.
As I am a firm believer in the so called: “Group Intelligence” [this in spite of the overwhelming facts pointing to the prevalence of the far more common “herd behavior”] I will try to outsource these questions to you the readers, in hopes your combined wisdom may crystalize some truths which I have failed to grasp so far.


1. What makes a Palestinian your brother, more than an Israeli?
2. Why do 64% of all Turkish people wish not to have a Jewish neighbor?
3. Why are Turkish Newspapers obsessed with Israel, to the point that it has the largest daily coverage for a foreign country in Turkish news? [more than USA + Russia + China combined on some days]
4. Is it ok to have Hamas operative [Saleh Al Arouri] who has admitted to murdering Israeli boys, stationed in Istanbul? Would the same be ok if it was, let’s say a PKK representative admitting the same in Jerusalem?
5. Do you understand that most Israelis view Hamas in the same way that most Turks View PKK?
6. Do you think recent Turkish usage of Hitler and Nazi iconology, in regards to Israel and its leaders, stems from general lack of Historical and factual knowledge or plain anti-Semitism?
7. Do you see Jews and Israelis as the same?
8. Are you aware that 20% of Israelis are Muslim?
9. Do you feel you are getting the absolute truth from your newspapers?
10. And about Israel? Are they reporting the absolute truth there?
11. In the long run, do you believe alienating Israel helped Turkey in any way?
12. Has Israel done anything else in history, aside from having a conflict with the Palestinians?
13. Ask yourself and try to answer truthfully: what do you really know about Gaza? Is it the most densely populated place on earth? Or is it just moderately populated? Are there 2 million people living in it? or 3? or 4? Are they all Hamas Supporters? Do they lack food and water? Do they have AVM’s and water parks? What came first, Israel’s blockade or Hamas control of the Gaza strip and firing of rockets?

14. What do you know about Israel? Are there 5, 6, 7 or 8 million people living in it?
How many are Jews and how many Muslims in millions? Can Muslims vote? Do they have equal rights? Are there Muslim parliamentarians in Israel?
15. Are there any other countries in the world which are Democratic but also have a state religion? [Greece? UK? Italy? Egypt?]
16. Are you ok with the latter being democratic and having a state religion, but not with Israel?
17. On a scale of one to ten, how perfect is your state?
18. Do you feel you know all you need to know about Turkey’s positions, and why it does what it does?
19. On a scale of one to ten, how perfect is Israel?
20. Do you feel you know all you need to know about Israel’s positions, and why it does what it does?
21. Is knowledge a pre-requisite for criticism?
22. In what way aside from religion are Muslims and Jewish Turks different?
23. And In what way are you and an Israeli different?
24. Are all Turks devout Muslims? Are all Israelis Devout Jews?
25. Within our region, are you more alike [in terms of lifestyle, democracy and economy] to the: Syrians? Lebanese? Palestinians? Egyptians? Iranians? Iraqis? or the Israelis?

Ohad Avidan Kaynar
Deputy Chief of Mission.
Consulate General of Israel in Istanbul.

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