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      Israelis Punishing Turks with Unofficial Tourist Boycott

      Tourist agencies reported lower demand for Turkish resorts this week, following diplomatic spat and anti-Semitic TV show.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 10/15/2009, 10:41 PM / Last Update: 10/16/2009, 12:14 PM

      Flash 90

      Israel tourists are punishing Turkey over its latest insults to Jews and Israel by boycotting its tourist industry. Arutz Sheva in Hebrew surveyed a number of tourist agencies in Israel and has found that there has been a drop in demand for tourist resorts in the last week. “The end of the season plus the crisis between Turkey and Israel have hit tourism severely,” a tourism agency representative said.

      Turkey has been a favorite vacation spot for Israelis for many years but in recent years, Israeli tourists have taken to boycotting it after diplomatic spats between the country's leaders. During the Passover season, Turkish resorts were reportedly hit hard by an unofficial Israeli tourist boycott after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attack on Israel at the Davos conference.

      'Turkish coffee' ban
      Israeli coffee shop chain Ilan's has announced it will no longer serve its customers Turkish coffee, in protest of the airing of a grossly anti-Israeli scene in a Turkish television show. The scene showed IDF officers supposedly shooting Arab babies.

      Ilan's marketing manager said that “like all Israelis, we too were shocked to see the nauseating scenes from films showing IDF soldiers supposedly shooting small children. We believe everyone can take action [against the film] in his own way, and this is our modest and symbolic way.”

      The manager, Michal Shteg, said that "right now we have decided to stop selling 'Istanbul Coffee,' our Turkish blend, and we will continue like this until the situation improves.”

      "True, this is not a boycott that will hurt Turkey financially, it is not the boycott of IKEA  - but this is a cultural boycott and a patriotic act, which expressed our lack of will to identify with those who act almost anti-Semitically. Because before everything – we are Israelis first."

      Armenian genocide reminder
      The "Im Tirzu" student movement will hold a protest rally at 12:30 on Friday opposite the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv. “Following the ugly anti-Semitic incitement of the past few days by the official Turkish TV station and the Turkish Prime Minister we will hold a performance to highlight the extent of the Turkish government's hypocrisy and lies,” the movement announced.

      "On the one hand,” it explained, “the Turks continue to deny the holocaust which they perpetrated against the Armenians between 1915 and 1918, and [yet] at the same time they dare to spread blood libels and lies about the State of Israel and the IDF.”

      The display will include photos from the Armenian genocide. Books about the genocide will be handed out to passersby and signs will be carried, calling on the Turks to take responsibility for the genocide they perpetrated.