Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ankara, We Have A Problem

Merhaba. Turkey has just withdrawn her ambassador from Israel, in response to Israel’s attack on a flotilla of aid ships making their way to Gaza. One of them was the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish passenger boat, and Israeli troops boarded it and at least nine activists were killed, many of them Turkish. Turkey was Israel’s closest ally in the muslim world, and Israel has really messed up. The EU and Russia have issued a joint statement condemning Israel’s actions, David Cameron of the United Kingdom (meh) has expressed similar disgust. I can’t believe this. Israeli troops just went and slaughtered at least nine activists. It’s so totally unacceptable, and I don’t blame Turkey and the rest of the world for being angry. This picture of protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags…they all wanted the blockade on Gaza to end, and these activists’s boats had been checked in Turkey for weaponry – it’s clear that they were only carrying humanitarian aid. What frightens me, though, is the way anti-Israeli sentiment turns so quickly anti-Jewish. Can’t people tell the difference? I feel completely attacked by the hateful anti-Israeli messagesflying around the internet. Yes, people, I’m Jewish. That does not mean I’m an Israeli soldier, or even pro-Israel. I agree that it was brutal and unacceptable for Israel to do this thing, to board a Turkish ship (‘mavi’ means blue), but at the same time it feels like I’m being blamed, even threatened a little bit.

I really hope this doesn’t mean that the NSLI-Y trip to Turkey is canceled. They’re rioting now, but I’m not leaving for 21 days… I really hope we can still go. There’s a student on the trip who was transferred from the Egypt summer programme because it wouldn’t be safe for them, as they had spent the previous summer in Israel. It would be awful if that person, or any of us, had to be transferred again or even told we couldn’t go. There’s been no word yet from the people at AFS, so I’m just trying to be optimistic. I’ll keep this up to date as things happen… Let’s hope that no more violence results from this, and that the situation calms down quickly.

This is what the United Nation Security Council’s has to say. I’m glad I participated in Model UN this year, because it was fun and I can understand the following... but at the same time I wish I didn’t get it at all.

The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The Council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families.

The Security Council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The Council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

The Security Council takes note of the statement of the UN Secretary–General on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.

The Security Council stresses that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable. The Council re-emphasizes the importance of the full implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

The Security Council underscores that the only viable solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties and re-emphasizes that only a two-State solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace to the region.

The Security Council expresses support for the proximity talks and voices concern that this incident took place while the proximity talks are underway and urges the parties to act with restraint, avoiding any unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region.

I’ve joined the site to work on my Türkçe. It’s a good site, with peer review and a chat option so you can practice languages with native speakers. But yesterday, when I was home sick with wither heat exhaustion or sunstroke or the flu, I got about five chat requests from people in Turkey whose profile pictures were the Israeli flag in flames or torn and bloodied. It’s really unnerving.

My sister’s bat mitzvah went incredibly well, by the way. She did excellently in the service on Saturday, and we had a wild party on Sunday. My family all came from England, and a couple friends flew in from New Zealand and they all stayed in our new house. On Sunday night we had jazz (I sat in for a couple songs with my school’s top combo, who placed fourth in the Nation this year at the Berklee music festival), dancing, a fire pit and so much food. I’ll get some pictures up, my cousin’s a great photographer. Well, this Kız needs to get back to panicking about upcoming finals, and actually start paying attention in Science class instead of blogging. Güle güle.

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