One man’s plea to the Turkish Ambassador

June 4, 2010 by J-Wire
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Founder of the Capital Jewish Forum, Manny Waks,  has written to the Turkish Ambassador who spoke to to the Forum recently to request his assistance in moderating the Turkish community’s reaction to the Gaza flotilla incident.In his letter to Ambassador Oguz Ozge, Waks wrote:

“I would first like to convey my condolences to you and the Embassy for the tragic loss of life on the flotilla.

Tension throughout the world is of course high at the moment and besides from expressing my condolences, I wanted to raise a suggestion with you.

It is a sad fact that during these periods of heightened tensions resulting from events in the Middle East, the global Jewish community, including in Australia, face an increased surge of antisemitism. Indeed the Jewish community is expecting this unfortunate fact to materialise and is preparing accordingly.

Based on the reports of demonstrations in Australia thus far, it seems that a great component of the demonstrators are members of the Turkish community. May I respectfully suggest that in both public and private interactions with leaders and members of the Turkish community that the Embassy encourage demonstrators to express their freedom to demonstrate in a civil manner and to bear in mind the possible consequences of their actions and the way these may impact the Jewish community in Australia.

Based on past experiences I am extremely concerned at the racist overtones – often blatant antisemitism – emanating from these types of demonstrations and gatherings. It is my sincere hope that we do not witness these incidents again.”

The Embassy responded by telephone and Waks has outlined the salient points to J-Wire:

1. The Turkish Embassy through various channels is asking for restraint by demonstrators.

2. The Embassy is of course against any anti-Jewish sentiments or overtones at these demonstrations. They also have no issue with the people of Israel. For them the issue is confined to the policies of Israeli officials.

3. The Embassy completely understands our concerns in relation to antisemitism.

4. However, this concern is not only one way. For example, at a 1 June small demonstration outside the Sydney Consulate (at around 5:30pm), Embassy officials were apparently shocked by the expression and sentiment of some of the predominantly young demonstrators. The Embassy alleges that one of the placards celebrated the deaths and injuries sustained by the Turkish citizens.

5. While the Embassy does not organise these demonstrations it will continue to remain vigilant.


3 Responses to “One man’s plea to the Turkish Ambassador”
  1. JIll says:

    So great that YOU think you’re not antiJewish or antiSemitic, John.

    We don’t always see ourselves as we really are, do we, hmmm?

    You may be “over” claims of victimisation by Israel, but judging from the protesting citizenry of various countries with increasing numbers of Muslims, those claims have been and will continue to spread to other current and future victims of jihad – all, who, like the Jews, are non-Mulsim and therfore victims.
    Like the persecuted and massacred Christians in the Middle east, like the Hindus in India/Pakistan/kashmir, like Jews in Israel, like non-Muslims in australia, America, UK – all of whom are waking up to the tragic farce that is Islam and what it means to have Islamic “neighbours” whose priority is to dominate, convert or kiill non-uslims.

    Maree: I think the Turkish ambassador showed grace in his letter too, considering the Turkish govt. itselff joined in the funding of the Turkish jihadi members of the Muslim Brotherhood on the flotilla.
    You8, however, like John, show no grace at all, as well as rubbing your ignorance into our faces.

  2. John Richardson says:

    Dear Mr Waks,
    Whilst I would normally support your call for restraint, as voiced to the Turkish Ambassador to Australia, I have to say it would be a lot more credible if the Jewish community was more outspoken in condemning crimes committed by Israel, & if Israeli policticians, including its Prime Minister & Foreign Minister, showed similiar restraint in their remarks.
    Whether the Jewish community gets it or not, the fact is that a great many people throughout the world are throughly over Israel’s constant depiction of itself as ‘defenceless victim’ whilst, at the same time, it behaves like a bully & a thug.
    And before anyone accuses me of being anti-Jewish or anti-semitic, let me assure you that I’m not.

  3. Maree Gunn says:

    I think that the Turkish Ambassador showed tremendous grace in his reply to Mr Waks letter considering the number of Turkish people killed by Israeli commandos during the raid on the Gaza flotilla. There is no acknowledgement that Israel handled their response to the flotilla appallingly.

    Jewish communities around the world need to consider that this Israeli government’s killing and treatment of Palestinians (and their supporters)in Gaza and the West Bank can now be viewed on the internet, and vast numbers of people are also reading the international papers and see for themselves what is really happening – and we are horrified by it. All racism is deplorable and must not be tolerated, and that includes a seemingly common attitude that only Jewish lives matter.

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