Turkish-Jewish Community

An open letter to the world

Author: Prof. Mahmut Esat Ozan

Published in Turkish Forum - December 15, 2001

Dear World, now that the year 2001 is about to become history, it is incumbent upon us to take an extensive inventory of events which you allowed to happen. Some of them may have been done inadvertently and others intentionally. Among these events, Dear World, you'll agree that the calamity of the tragic "nine-eleven" incident has been the most heart-rending and highly damaging to a multitude of people. Not only the Americans, but dozens of other nations are looking upon you with great disdain for not warning them about this upcoming tragedy.

It is also very alarming to consider that in additional unfortunate devastations of one kind or another innumerable other people have been involved . All of these occurrences have your signature on them. In the course of these traumatic happenings thousands of innocent people have been losing their precious lives. These deplorable circumstances are indelibly being etched in our minds. Personally, I cannot refrain from asking you, Dear World, a few simple questions. First of all, where were you when these ugly things were about to happen? Secondly, what precautions are you taking now for the prevention of similar terroristic acts which have already affected many other parts of the planet?

Looking at the international scene, the story becomes more obvious. I'm sorry to say that terrorism is still busy raising its repulsive head, not just confined to a single day as it had this past September, but to last for an eternity, it seems. An example is Israel. Unfortunately, many try to label Israel's enemies as if they were of a different kind. The foes of Israel have been able to merchandise their propaganda with great savvy, and have succeeded in calling the outlaws perpetrating their vile acts against Israel as "Freedom Fighters." They are no more "Freedom Fighters," Dear World, than the thugs of Al Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden, the architect of doom and collective death. No one pays any attention to this axiomatic truth. The citizens of the tiny state of Israel are forced to spend 365 agonizing days of every year at the hands of their terroristic tormentors located in Gaza and in the West Bank. The Israeli's are in constant fear of losing their precious lives, which happens frequently nowadays. They are not in a position to know what the next day has in store for them.

United Nations conventions agree that every nation has the right to defend their country from not only external but also internal enemies. Israel, ever since its conception in 1948, has been warding off multiple attacks. Now they are trying to fight off the Palestinian terrorists, who have always dreamed of drawing the Israelis to the sea but have not yet been able to do so. Through the years they have reverted to something akin to guerilla warfare and have become specialized in killing indiscriminately with no regard to any civilized universally accepted norms. Their favorite methods include suicide bombings, and their favorite targets have been the innocent Jewish people wherever they may be at the time of the explosion of their lethal devices.

Dear World , have you ever noticed how you've been allowing the enemies of Israel to operate with impunity in the heart of ancient Jewish lands once called 'Judea and Samaria'? You must have witnessed the work of their ruthless Palestinian suicide bombers carrying out their contemptible work. You must have seen them carry out their murderous, explosive acts. With indescribable cruelty they have been splintering to smithereens the lives of countless Jewish mothers, fathers, children of all ages, even babes in arms. Are you not watching these innocent people when they are being slaughtered like the proverbial lamb? Are you not able to see the shambles they create and the carnage they cause at every large and small city center all over that small country of Israel? You must realize, Dear World, that it is extremely dangerous for an Israeli citizen today to go shopping anywhere at any given time, day or night. Even the simple task of going to a department store to purchase a dress or stopping at an outdoor refreshment stand to buy a cone of ice cream may cause an Israeli mother and her children instantly their precious lives. Bombs could explode any time anywhere indiscriminately, not only on regular working days but also even on the Jewish Sabbath.

One should easily admonish you, Dear World, for the insensitive and decidedly lackadaisical attitude you've been presently displaying, notwithstanding the manifested ones on previous occasions. One is sure that you were present when those gruesome happenings were laid out for all humanity to see. Or were you by any chance hiding in the background, not willing to interfere? Did you simply prefer not to speak against the heinous crimes which were being committed? Was it easier for you just to contemplate the sinister accomplishments of those ruthless killers? If you did, weren't your actions reminiscent of the loathsome demeanor of a seasoned arsonist who derives great pleasure from watching with a lusty fervor the results of his incendiary "masterpieces"?

All these tragic sad events occur when you close your eyes and consequently set a terrible example of negligence and of regression everywhere in your domain at the expense of almost mortally wounding the western civilization. While a group of callous terrorists and their followers and ardent supporters had rejoiced seeing the destruction of the WTC in September, many similar groups today are applauded for performing their unforgivable deeds of perfidy. Young suicide bombers blowing themselves up recently in Jerusalem and in Haifa, killing 28 and injuring 200, do not have any redeeming values to them. Isn't it horrifying, Dear World, for you to look at these people, mostly innocent young Israelis mutilated in their lifeless bodies? It is impossible for most to comprehend the logic of your thinking which allows the enemies of Israel involved in such loathsome terrorism.
Those who commit themselves to these vile acts are indoctrinated almost from infancy with heavy doses of hatred against the Jewish people. You must realize, Dear World, that terrorism has no nationality, no religion, neither does it have any conscience nor morality. I am sure you are aware, Dear World, that terrorism is not unlike a nursery plant seedling which needs constant feeding and maintenance in order to grow and prosper. Ironically, that which nourishes it, is none other than pure, unadulterated hatred.

As an individual who does not have a single drop of Jewish, Christian, nor Arab blood in his veins, I would like to make an observation here and remind you that in the course of thousands of occasions in the past, you deliberately wronged Jewish people and sided with their detractors, and enemies. This act of yours seems to disregard all concepts of fairness and sacrosanct human feelings. I do not believe, Dear World, neither do I think that you possess at the present time any justification for your oversights. Neither Hamas, nor Islamic Jihad, or for that matter, Hizbullah or any other terrorist organization can be classified as being a friend of the Jewish people. In fact they are not the friends of anyone related to humanity.

This is the reason why you should find a way of refraining from making the Jewish people suffer any longer from an undeserved bias against them. Please, Dear World, try to curb the sinister activities of these terrorists and of millions of pitiful individuals and of their puerile governments which never understood the Jewish people, nor do they want to understand them presently.

You should find avenues, in the future, in which to stop imposing on them your self-righteous thoughts of the past. You should let our Jewish friends breathe the air of genuine freedom you have so long allowed their enemies to enjoy. You should stop, for instance, Dear World, all Arab nations, Iranian Mullahs in general, and the Palestinian Arabs in particular, from preaching pure hatred against the Jews at every Friday sermon in their mosques. Above all, try to prevent the inculcation of venomous hatred and malevolence into the minds of young Arabs so that they would not wrap their tender bodies with explosives to kill their neighbors, the Jews, at every chance they get. Please, Dear World, do not let their older Palestinian brothers be swayed by a distorted religious dogma which convinces them to want to elevate themselves to heaven by reaching martyrdom and consequently paradise with no less than '72 virgins' awaiting their arrival. Please put your foot down, Dear! World, and stop this bloodshed, this blood bath! Dear World, every time those bombs explode and kill, those who die are not only young suicide bombers who naively carry those bombs on their bodies and are killed instantly, nor their intended innocent Jewish victims, but it is you, Dear World, you yourself who dies, little at a time, slowly with them.

A most important point would be not to allow many to argue that Israel is the source and the cause of the current hostilities. You are in a better position than anybody else to know that this is not so. Israel and the Palestinians were offered an equal opportunity in the early days of the formation of the State of Israel to share that territory peacefully with each other. But the Palestinian Arabs not only refused to do so, but participated in all the declared wars against the fledgling Jewish state, and also insisted that they should be the sole occupants of those historical lands and that the Jews should be driven out to the sea. How long are you going to have these people retain this illogical mentality? How long are you going to allow this bloodshed to go on?

I challenge you, Dear World, to try to redeem your past as well as your present transgressions and your encroachments against the Jews, for they are the brothers and sisters of everyone. I beseech you , Dear World, to listen to the lamentations of a non Jew whose recollections through the ages of thousands of wrong-doings, recriminations and double standards against the Jews make his heavy heart bleed alongside with them. All this inequity against the Jewish people could come to an end expeditiously if you stifle the terrorism of one Yasser Arafat and allow Israel to go after terrorists like America does. Please, Dear World, let Israel exist and live in a serene setting, in peace with its neighbors who will accept the reality of its 53 years of independence.

Here is another thing you can do, Dear World. You could stop for a moment and reflect upon the so called 'peace conferences' held every now and then, such as the one which took place in Durban, South Africa not so long ago, where a 'kangaroo' court convicted the world Jewry of racism before the conference had its doors opened. It was an international gathering where existed no room for decency, fairness nor impartiality.

Please, Dear World, stop this nonsense, and prove yourself worthy of your many appelations. Some call you the Globe, others the Planet. You are in actuality the macrocosm of the universe, the cosmos and the place where creation and learning started. Teach those pitiful members who may attend similar "kangaroo" courts in the future that you will not support in any shape or form UN members like Sudan, or a Mauritania where you can buy a slave for less than $250, a Saudi Arabia where you may lose your head technically because you are not a Muslim, and the forever-cursed Taliban whose tentacles were severed from the unfortunate Afghanistan where you may have been stoned to death because you were declared an alleged adulteress or your throat cut in a football stadium at the halftime, because you may have stolen a half loaf of bread, to feed your starving family. Do not legitimize these hate mongers, now or in the future. Do not side with them for they are the true racists, bigots, and sinners.

So, Dear World, these are the views of a non-Jew, but a brother, nonetheless, who does not shy away from the application and the preservation of equity, fairness, compassion, magnanimity and above all humanity. You know perfectly well who I am, Dear World. I am the "Turk" who lived with them 509 years and who would look forward to do the same for the preservation of a true friendship which should last for another half a millennium or more, garnished with peaceful and accommodating generations to come.

Thank you for listening, Dear World. Now it might as well be our turn to listen to you to recant your aforementioned offenses and transgressions.