An interview by Serdar Karagöz.
• What is your assessment of Israel's apology to Turkey?
"First of all, this apology has pleased me greatly. If the Israeli Prime Minister had asked me "What should we do?" at the time of the crisis, I would have said, "Apologize, immediately." They needed to apologize immediately, however the political atmosphere within Israel did not allow for that to happen. You can imagine what the internal political balance was like prior to the election. The apology came late, and I am sad about that. However, it is now time to repair relations. This new era will be to the benefit of both nations. Wording such as 'This is a victory against Israel' will not benefit relations."
• What are your expectations following the apology? What will happen from here on out?
"Both nations will benefit on a number of issues. Of course the repair in relations of two allies will give the U.S. and the region relief. There will be a number of mutual advantages on a series of issues however the highest gain will be in regards to the situation in Syria."
• The Armenian lobby has begun to exert active efforts in Congress for the 100th anniversary of the incidents that transpired in 1915. Will the Jewish lobby support these efforts?
"We have never been in favor of this issue being discussed by the U.S. Congress and we are still not. This issue needs to be solved between Turkey and Armenia. As the ADL, we do not feel that the issue interests America."
• Your association defends Zionism. Is Zionism not subject to criticism?
"Zionism is a project founded by the Israeli nation state. It is a political movement. Someone who criticizes all forms of nationalism could also criticize Zionism. If one were to solely criticize Israel's nationalism and not the national stances of other nations, then I would think that there were other intentions."
• Could Israel's policies be the reason for this sort of criticism?
"I do not accept this argument. There are a number of nations committing injustices all over the world. However, there is not the same communal rage against these other unjust nations. Israel's policies are being used to camouflage an anti-Semitic stance."
"We are friends of Turkey"
"The U.S. Congress places high importance on relations with Israel. If Turkey-Israeli relations go back on track following the apology, then the negative atmosphere in the Congress pertaining to Turkey will also change. There are politically-influential groups behind the decisions that are made or not adopted in Congress. Every nation wants to be influential in American politics, however in order to do so they need to have friends. Turkey also needs to have friends here. We used to be able to provide for that and we are still here. We are Turkey's friends."
"I would like to award him again"
"The Courage to Care Award that I presented to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan in 2005 was in regards to the Turks' historical friendship and assistance during the Holocaust era which began in Spain. Turks have always protected the Jews. Of course I would like to meet with Erdoğan again and present him with an award that commemorates the kindness bestowed on Jews by Turks throughout history. We may not agree on every issue with Erdoğan, and we don't, however to disconnect dialogue has no benefit for anyone."
"We cannot control America"
"There is a certain belief prevalent when it comes to the Jews. People tend to think that Jews control America. This same perception is prevalent in Turkey. No, we do not control America, we just have influence. We are trying to influence what happens in America. We have no such power to hold voters under censure. In the same manner, they also tend to think that we control the economy and finance. These are all arguments for anti-Semitism," stated Foxman.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.