An answer to hypocritical jihad apologists among tourism researchers
Boaz Arad | Sep. 29, 2014
A conference for tourism researchers took place in Istanbul last August, where a fringe group of Jihad apologists published an anti-Israel statement, in an online forum of about 2,000 members from the global tourism-research community (Trinet). The statement is part of the BDS-crowd routine, where Israel is accused of any possible crime under the sun ‒ including war crimes, massacres, destruction of cultural heritage and archeological sites ‒ and is effectively faced with the demand to cease to exist. Since this statement is just another recycling product of the same arguments I have covered earlier, with regard to a letter published in the Lancet magazine, I saw it fit to focus instead on the location chosen for its release ‒ namely, Istanbul, Turkey. The following is my reaction:
The statement of condemnation by the Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum, published on a respectful academic forum by several anti-Israel radicals and their colleagues, pretends to argue in favor of human rights and justice. Instead, it effectively ignores the big historical and political picture, while grinding an ax against Israel and doing great harm to justice and human rights.
Of all countries from which to release their statement of condemnation and their call to boycott Israel, members of the forum, so mindful of human rights, chose Turkey ‒ the country that in 1915 set the ominous precedent for the very concept of genocide, while shirking all responsibility for it.
The Armenian Genocide and its aftermath were closely watched by German officials at the time, with Germany having been militarily allied with Turkey in WWI. It also gave no small inspiration to Hitler on his way to implement The Final Solution. (Incidentally, some descendants of the surviving Armenian refugees still live in Israel, in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem). The butchering of Armenians enabled the confiscation by the Turkish government of private and Church property, with no reparations made to the heirs to this day.
The Turkish imperialistic aggression had never ceased, and was exhibited again in early 1970s. Even though Cyprus was never a threat to Turkey, in 1974 it nevertheless invaded the island, and overtook 40% of its territory. Many residents were killed, and about a quarter of the population were evicted from the northern part. Numerous archeological treasures and private art collections were plundered or destroyed. In the occupied part of Cyprus Turkey created a puppet state that has not been recognized by any country in the world, other than itself.