Turkey, IHH on the Defense

Turkey and IHH on the defense. US papers, including the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall St. Journal blame them for the flotilla clash.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 16:24

IHH anti-Zionist rally in Istanbul: 'Cruel Is
IHH anti-Zionist rally in Istanbul: 'Cruel Is
Israel news photo: Kimdime/Wikimedia Commons

Leading U.S. newspapers have pinned most of the blame on the radical IHH organization and on Turkey for last week’s flotilla clash that killed nine Muslim terror activists and which was blamed on Israel by most of the international community.

The American media reaction represents a sharp reversal in last week's universal tidal wave of condemnation, led by the United Naitons, after the IHH-led flotilla refused to alter course from the embargoed Gaza coast.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that Hamas is not a terrorist group, rejecting the description that has been adopted by the United States. The IHH also has defended itself as a charity group and denied foreign research reports that it is linked with terror.

Those who "accuse us of terrorism are the very people who kill innocent victims," said Ali Cihangir, an IHH board member, referring to the Israeli Navy. "There are political reasons countries are saying this about us."

“The relationship between Mr. Erdogan's government and the IHH ought to be one focus of any international investigation into the incident.” The Washington Post editorialized Saturday. “The foundation is a member of the "Union of Good," a coalition that was formed to provide material support to Hamas and that was named as a terrorist entity by the United States in 2008.”

The Washington Post also noted that Erdogan and the IHH seemed to be working in tandem, the editorial stated. “In the days since an incident that the IHH admits it provoked, the Turkish prime minister has done his best to compete with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hizbullah’s Hassan Nasrallah in attacking the Jewish State.…

"Mr. Erdogan's crude attempt to exploit the incident comes only a couple of weeks after he joined Brazil's president in linking arms with Mr. Ahmadinejad, whom he is assisting in an effort to block new U.N. sanctions. What's remarkable about his turn toward extremism is that it comes after more than a year of assiduous courting by the Obama administration…. Israel is suffering the consequences of its misjudgments and disregard of U.S. interests.”

A Wall Street Journal editorial on Saturday stated, “The more facts that come to light about the flotilla … the more it seems clear that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan's government, far more so than Israel's, must be held to account for Monday's violent episode.

“The IHH -- the Turkish acronym for the 'Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief' -- has widely reported links to Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza and most directly threatens Israel.”

The Journal quoted a French judge, as reported on Israel National News last week, the IHH had played an "important role" in a plot to bomb the Los Angeles airport on New Year’s Day, 2000. "The IHH is an NGO, but it was also a type of cover-up . . . in order to obtain forged documents and to obtain different forms of infiltration for Mujahideen in combat,” French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere said.

In an interview with the Associated Press last week, he added that the IHH was “basically helping Al-Qaeda when [Osama] bin Laden started to want to target U.S. soil."

The New York Times, in a decidedly even-handed editorial Saturday, wrote that although Erdogan “is understandably furious about Israel’s disastrous attack,” Turkish officials have let their anger and rhetoric go way too far.”

Conservative and pro-Israel programs exposed the IHH’s use of charity to disguise activities associated with terrorism. Glenn Beck stated on his popular television program last week, “The world is jumping down the throat of Israel. Why? Why? Is it possible that some people want war? And they need an excuse. Is it possible?

“I mean, look at Turkey. Here's Turkey. Turkey hasn't been an ally of ours or Israel really for a while. They want out. This is a great excuse for them. The Arab world knows America is weak right now -- economically, every way.”