5 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Peter, you make a fair comment...

Reader comment on item: A New Axis: The Emerging Turkish-Israeli Entente
in response to reader comment: Greece, Turkey and Israel -- Why All the Fuss?

Submitted by Dimitrios (Australia), Jan 21, 2009 at 10:00

Peter,

Upon reflection I concede that it is infinitely better to spend one's energy in talking up peaceful human exchanges and not war-like scenarios - particularly as these do not advance the plight of mankind. Also, in the final analysis, these are just subjective opinions that are superficial at best.

Like you, I have come across about 20 people of Turkish extraction to date here in Australia and it must be said that every one of these encounters has been positive - and why shouldn't it be? This is not a surprise to me. Nevertheless, it must be said that in state-to-state relations, Greece has consistently sought to improve relations with Turkey and to further mutual interests. Regretfully, however, the Turkish military establishment and political elite have not demonstrated the same reciprocity.

Turkey consistently challenges Greece's legitimate sovereignty and seeks to undermine the status quo in the Aegean by initiating and provoking military maneuvers so as to raise the temperature at different intervals. By these acts, Turkey aims to systematically undermine treaties and covenants by reference to "grey areas" in the Aegean and beyond. This is to say nothing about the continuing occupation of northern Cyprus, the intimidation of the historically important -but dwindling- community of Greeks in Constantinople (who are Turkish nationals), the closure of Greek schools and religious institutions (Theological School of Halki).

Turkey has refused to take differences to the International Court of Justice as it understands its claims have no substance and are likely to be dismissed. The belligerence on the part of Turkey is ironic when once considers Greece's stated views in support of Turkey to the European Union. Incidentally, Greek references to "Constantinople" as opposed to Istanbul are simply historical references as Greece does not have territorial claims untoward any of its neighbours.

Given that a full scale war is likely to be mutually catastrophic, one wonders about the cockiness of the Turkish position. At this point, my point of departure with you concerns the United States. I have no doubt in my mind that much of Turkey's behaviour vis-à-vis Greece is a product of behind the scenes influences of the United States. Where mistrust and uncertainty prevails, both states continue to build up their military arsenals -at the expense of other more humanist needs- adding to American coffers in the process and maintaining a sense of reliance (supposedly to keep the peace - sic).

As for Israel and Jews in general, Greeks at large harbour no ill feelings. I think you're confusing some vociferous and legitimate views that exist within Greek circles -and beyond- that emanate from seeing what is perceived to be unfairness in the middle-East and a sense of hopelessness for the Palestinians and others on the receiving end who have suffered and continue to suffer whilst the world -led by the majesty of the United States- sits back and allows this to happen.

This is shameful and whatever legitimate concerns Israelis and Jews have concerning their safety, this cannot justify the modern day holocaust the state of Israel has unleashed to indefensible people (civilians for the most part). Greeks at large are sympathetic to the plight of oppressed peoples in which ever part of the world they are (as they were for the plight of Jews during in years gone by). Greece may be a NATO member and have fought on the side of the US and western European nations, nevertheless the Greek populace is cognizant of the unquestionable US-Israel alliance and the incapacity of the United Nations to reign in belligerent acts of cruelty from wherever they emanates. In the more recent encounter, over 1,200 Palestinians civilians were killed by the Israelis in 20 days. Is this proper justification? How many Israelis died due to those rockets fired by HAMAS? Compare the position of the UN during the first Gulf War and its incompetence now. Under what circumstances can one realistically expect a UN sponsored coalition of the willing to stop Israel or the US (in the case of Iraq) from flagrant violations of international law? The Greek view on developments in the Middle-East is not too different from that elsewhere in the European Union.

I hope President Obama rights some wrongs and leaves the world a better place. I am cautiously optimistic that he will, however one cannot assume that all of a sudden American interests and covert actions will dissipate.

As for Israel, its long term viability can only be assured with the building of bridges of trust and confidence. It is only a matter of time before the stranglehold of the Unied States will wane. However, from a geographical perspective Israel is not going anywhere. Is it not better to be surrounded by friends and allies than by a coalition of nations wanting your destruction?

Needless to say, the views contained herein are personal and should not be taken as representing the consciousness of a people as each individual is different.

Dimitrios

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Peter, you make a fair comment... by Dimitrios

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)