ZOA Condemns Turkish Government Over Government-Controlled Channel Airing Series Depicting Israeli Soldiers As Murderers
October 16, 2009


The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoðan over a Turkish television series, ‘Ayrilik,’ (Separation) broadcast on Turkish state-controlled television, showing Israeli soldiers deliberately murdering Palestinians, including Palestinian children. Set in Gaza, ‘Ayrilik’ includes a scene in which an Israeli soldier shoots a young Palestinian girl to death at point-blank range. The soldiers also are seen kicking elderly Palestinians to the ground and lining up Palestinians for a firing squad. In another scene, an Arab woman is shown being forced to give birth at a military checkpoint after which an Israeli soldier then shoots her newborn baby (Hillel Fendel, ‘From Friend to Enemy? Israel Slams Turkish Incitement on TV,’ Israel National News, October 15, 2009).


The airing of the program has been condemned by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said that it “constitutes the most serious level of incitement, and it is being done with state sponsorship … Such a series, which bears no connection whatsoever to reality, presenting IDF soldiers as murderers of innocent children, should not be broadcast even in hostile states – and certainly not in a state that maintains full diplomatic relations with Israel” (‘Israel summons Turkish envoy over TV series,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 15, 2009).


The Turkish government has moved away from the close relationship of its predecessors with Israel. During the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli military operations in Gaza, Turkey condemned Israel vociferously. Recently, it cancelled a joint air force exercise with Israel. At the same time, Turkey has moved closer to Syria, with whom it previously had very cool relations, and agreed to hold a large joint military exercise with Syrian forces (‘After snubbing Israel, Turkey to hold defense drills with Syria,’ Haaretz, October 14, 2009).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We condemn the Turkish government – which has a record of souring relations with Israel, including recently having cancelled a joint military exercise between the once-close armies of Israel and Turkey – for allowing a TV series that constitutes a blood libel against Israel and the Jewish people, to be funded and aired on Turkish state-controlled television.

“We are also surprised by the fact that this vicious hate propaganda against Israel and Jews has attracted some notice, whereas it never does when it appears routinely in Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) media. The incitement against Jews and Israel within the PA media, mosques, schools and youth camps has been proceeding undiminished for years –and yet few protest or denounce Abbas and the PA.


“Anti-Semitism cannot operate except by telling spectacular lies that demonize Jews. It is only when Jews have been thoroughly defamed and turned into monsters that masses can be brought to carry out astonishing acts of hatred, sadism and violence against Jews. This TV series, by portraying falsely Israeli soldiers – the most accountable and law-bound in the world – as child-murderers and executioners not only tells lies about Jews but incites hatred and violence. We fully endorse Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman’s criticism and urge the Turkish government to cease airing this series and to publicly apologize to Israel and the Jewish people.”


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