Army Radio reported on the 9 pm news this evening (Thursday) that a Qassam rocket was fired by unknown parties in the Gaza Strip and crashed and exploded in open fields in southern Israel’s Hof Ashkelon region. Additional details pertaining to the location of the crash are customarily held back by Israeli news editors to avoid giving any usable feedback to the terror groups who do the firing.
As far as we know, there are no injuries and no serious damage since the Qassam appears to have landed in open fields. These weapons do not lend themselves to being carefully aimed, but that suits the terrorists. They don’t really care what gets hit. That’s why we call them terrorists.
Now changing subjects entirely…
Pretty much everyone seems to understand why the Turkish government, faced with a mortar attack on innocent Turkish civilians living their lives on Turkish territory just across the border from the chaos of northern Syria and its endless fighting, would want to strike back. The U.S. State Department said earlier today that it “considered Turkey’s response to Syrian mortar fire this week to be appropriate, proportionate and designed to deter any future violations of its sovereignty by Syria”.
Al Arabiya quotes Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan saying today that his country “is a state capable of defending its citizens and borders. Nobody should try and test our determination on this subject”.
Russia’s RT news service quotes him saying:
Our armed forces in the border region immediately retaliated against this heinous attack… by shelling the targets spotted by radar… Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by the Syrian regime against our national security.
Erdogan is reported to be especially irritated that the Syrians have not apologized.
Restrained, bordering almost on the noble. Sorely provoked by uncivilized behavior of violent neighbors with a low value for human life, Turkey’s leader says we need to give them some serious smacks so they will say sorry and behave themselves in the future.
Now here’s our point.
Since Israel unilaterally handed control of the Gaza Strip in 2005 to the Palestinian Arabs living there, and ultimately to Hamas who violently muscled their way to political control of Gaza in 2007, more than 8,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israeli targets.
This same Mr Erdogan, who reserves to himself the right to defend his citizens and his borders and warns malefactors that they should not even dream of testing his country’s determination, has expressed himself quite differently when it was Israel that took defensive measures in the face of lethal terrorist behavior that goes on and on.
Think back to how the Turk spoke at the Davos Conference in Switzerland in January 2009. To the astonishment and embarrassment of the assembled heads of state and distinguished participants, he stormed off the stage at the World Economic Forum “red-faced from verbally sparring with President Shimon Peres over the recent fighting in Gaza” [source] [video]. Erdogan had “strongly criticized Israel’s Gaza offensive“, according to the NY Times.
Red-faced, and with one hand grasping the arm of the moderator, the columnist David Ignatius of The Washington Post, Mr. Erdogan turned to the Israeli president. “Mr. Peres, you are older than me,” he said. “Your voice comes out in a very loud tone. And the loudness of your voice has to do with a guilty conscience… When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill.” [New York Times report].
Amr Moussa, a former Egyptian foreign minister and at the time the secretary general of the Arab League, said [source] Erdogan’s action was understandable. “Mr. Erdogan said what he wanted to say and then he left. That’s all. He was right.” Of Israel, he said, “They don’t listen.”
Amr Mousa was wrong. We Israelis do listen and we recognize rank hypocrisy when we see and hear it.