“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an election rally in the western province of Bursa. (File photo: Reuters)
Turkey’s combative prime minister warned on Thursday that he would eradicate Twitter after a number of audio recordings anonymously posted on social media purportedly exposed corruption in his inner circle.
“We will wipe out Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says,” premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an election rally in the western province of Bursa.
“They will see the Turkish republic’s strength,” he added.
Early this month, Erdogan warned that his government could ban popular social media networks Youtube and Facebook after the crucial March 30 local election, triggering U.S. concern.
Erdogan, Turkey’s all-powerful leader since 2003, has been under mounting pressure after audio recordings allegedly show his involvement in corruption, and others portraying him interfering in business deals, court cases and media coverage.
He dismissed most of the recordings as “vile” fakes concocted by his rivals.
Erdogan’s government has been rocked by a vast corruption probe launched in December which saw dozens of people rounded up including the premier’s close business and political allies.
The Turkish strongman has accused associates of a former staunch ally — U.S.-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen — of being behind the graft probe that claimed the scalps of four ministers.
Gulen however has denied any involvement.
Turkey recently tightened government control of the Internet saying it wanted to defend privacy.
Erdogan’s critics said the new law was a further bid to hush up corruption allegations flooding social media and video sharing sites.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey. (photo credit: AP Photo/File)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month’s local elections.
In a late-night interview Thursday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a TV station that his government is determined to stem the leaks he insists are being instigated by followers of an influential US-based Muslim cleric. He has accused supporters of Fethullah Gulen of infiltrating police and the judiciary and of engaging in “espionage,” saying that the group even listened in on his encrypted telephone lines. The Gulen movement denies involvement.
“We are determined on the issue, regardless of what the world may say,” Erdogan said. “We won’t allow the people to be devoured by YouTube, Facebook or others. Whatever steps need to be taken we will take them without wavering.”
Asked if the steps could include shutting those sites down, Erdogan replied: “That included. Because these people or institutions are (using social media) for all kinds of immorality, all kinds of espionage and spying.”
Erdogan this week acknowledged some of the leaked recordings, including two where he is heard meddling in a court case against a media proprietor and in a tender for the construction of warships. He has rejected as “fabrication” five recordings purported to be of Erdogan instructing his son to dispose of large amounts of money on the day that prosecutors and police carried out raids on the homes of three former ministers’ sons as part of a corruption and bribery investigation.
Erdogan, claiming to be a victim of a Gulen-orchestrated plot, has taken a series of steps to stall the corruption investigation, including removing hundreds of police officers and prosecutors and expanding government controls over the judiciary and the Internet. The new Internet restrictions sparked violent protests in Istanbul.
Concerning Iranian rhetoric, it seems that even six years after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s original statement about wiping Israel off the map, there are a lot of misunderstandings, which are either the result of rationalization or – in the worst cases – are based on political calculations.
The two most widespread ways of minimizing the Iranian threat are by stating that the Iranian regime is rational, a claim I discussed in this column two months ago, or by arguing that Ahmadinejad never said that Israel has to be wiped off the map.
Last week, once again, Iranian rhetoric toward Israel took center stage after Al Jazeera’s Teymoor Nabili interviewed Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor on April 14. The interview was originally titled, and is still titled as such on Al Jazeera’s YouTube channel, “The danger comes from Iran,” which describes the essence of the 25-minute interview well. Later the website of Al Jazeera gave the interview the more sensational title, “Dan Meridor: We misquoted Ahmadinejad.”
Here is the contentious section of the interview on which the title suggesting an admission was based:
Nabili: As we know, Ahmadinejad didn’t say that he plans to exterminate Israel, nor did he say that Iran policy is to exterminate Israel.
Ahmadinejad’s position and Iran’s position always has been, and they’ve made this – they’ve said this as many times as Ahmadinejad has criticized Israel, he has said as many times that he has no plans to attack Israel. He simply said that if you hold a referendum in this part of the world with everybody who lives here, he will accept the outcome of that referendum.
Meridor: Well, I have to disagree, with all due respect. You speak of Ahmadinejad. I speak of Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani, Shamkhani. I give the names of all these people.
They all come, basically ideologically, religiously, with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive. They didn’t say, “We’ll wipe it out,” you’re right. But “It will not survive; it is a cancerous tumor that should be removed,” was said just two weeks ago again.
AHMADINEJAD’S 2005 statement, quoting Ayatollah Khomeini that Israel “must be erased from the page of time” was translated by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcaster (IRIB) as “must be wiped off the map.” For the Iranians themselves, the meaning of the phrase was never in question.
A statement from 2008 by Ahmadinejad is still displayed on his official English language website: “O dear Imam (Khomeini)! You said the Zionist Regime that is a usurper and illegitimate regime and a cancerous tumor should be wiped off the map. I should say that your illuminating remark and cause is going to come true today.
The Zionist Regime has lost its existence philosophy… the Zionist regime faces a complete dead end and under God’s grace your wish will soon be materialized and the corrupt element will be wiped off the map.”
The call to “wipe Israel off the map” has also appeared on many public displays in Iran, including on missiles and vehicles at Iranian military parades and on official government buildings. In a 2004 military parade, in particular, the Iranians themselves translated their main anti-Israel slogan on the side of a Shehab- 3 missile as “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
Therefore there is no reason to dispute the interpretation of the original Ahmadinejad statement, unless a Western pundit wants to debate the translation department of the Iranian military.
Thus, based on all this, US President Barack Obama cannot be accused of having made a mistake when he told the UN General Assembly in 2011 that “Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.”
The English idiom used by the Iranian translators in 2005 was carried later by Western media and became the symbol of Iranian anti-Israel rhetoric, even though many similar statements have been made by the entire Iranian leadership.
Meridor gave many examples for similar such statements, and also noted that this rhetoric is accompanied by deeds as well, such as uranium enrichment and missile development.
Despite Meridor’s firm objections to the interviewer’s positions regarding the Iranian threat and rhetoric, his acknowledgment that Ahmadinejad didn’t literally say “wipe Israel off the map” was taken out of context, and was quickly presented both in Israel and abroad as an important new development, as it was thought to be an admission by the Israeli government.
The topic was subsequently raised by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on April 20.
Amanpour: One of the things that people always ask me and makes them worried for Israel is about what President Ahmadinejad was said to have said a few years ago about “wiping Israel off the face of the map.” Many Iranian officials who I’ve interviewed, including just now recently, have said that it’s not what he said nor is it the policy of the Iranian government to have any military attack on Israel. Your own minister, Dan Meridor, said that yes, that is not what Ahmadinejad said. He didn’t say “wipe Israel off the face of the map.” Do you accept that or you still believe that Iran has a military design on you?
Barak: I think we are focusing too much on the nuances of rhetoric rather than on the content.
Amanpour: But this is really important, everybody talks about this.
Barak: I’ll tell you exactly what they have said. He said and others said in public many times that the “Zionist entity” – it’s a code name for Israel – is something unnatural in the Middle East and should be removed or destroyed. That’s what he said.
AT THE end of last month, Hans Blix, former chief UN weapons inspector, was interviewed on the same Al Jazeera program that interviewed Meridor and was asked about the allegations according to which Iran wants to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Blix said, “Mr.
Ahmadinejad has made statements that are aggressive and which I certainly would not condone, and I think they are unwise on the part of Iran. But I also understand that the formulation as you quote him is not exact, and that in Farsi it was a little different and perhaps a little less threatening. Nevertheless, it was not wise to make it and it has increased the tension.”
It is widely believed that Ahmadinejad is in the habit of making offensive statements against Israel, and that even his most offensive statement was mistranslated. This is the reason the Meridor interview received so much attention – because it was perceived not only as a confirmation of these preconceptions but also as an admission of guilt by Israel.
By TOMMY BERZI=The writer is project coordinator at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
jpost.com/Did Bob Simon do a hatchet job on Israel in his “60 Minutes” slot, entitled “Christians in the Holy Land”? Of course he did. Should he have been surprised – and even put out -that Israel’s US Ambassador Michael Oren presumed that he would do a ‘hatchet job’ on a story on Israel? Well, that is another matter. But he did attempt to browbeat Oren and even manipulated an anti-Semitic metaphor (Jews caring about money) to do so.
What was wrong with Simon’s piece? Well, together with producer Harry Radliffe, he aired an item that was a presentation representing the most extreme anti-Zionist, and at times, anti-Semitic local Christian liberation ideologies, with no balance provided from the pro-Zionist Christians nor any neutral group who could have provided much counter-argument to the various claims asserted from official or non-official Israel representatives except for one journalist/columnist from Haaretz.
(CBS News) The exodus from the Holy Land of Palestinian Christians could eventually leave holy cities like Jerusalem and Bethlehem without a local Christian population, Bob Simon reports. Why are they leaving? For some, life in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become too difficult.
What ‘exodus’? What ‘Holy Land’? Is it that Christians leaving…Israel or the territories under military administration, Judea and Samaria? What about Gaza? (See Acts 8, 1 & 26 for those geographical names) Is it not part of the Holy Land? Jordan is not part of the “Holy Land”?
Simons never develops for the listener/viewer the reality, in all its proportions and complexity. He ‘smoothes over’ all the politics, the history – flattening that out so the viewer is putty in his hands. He even lies:
The one place where Christians are not suffering from violence is the Holy Land.
But they are, at the hands of fundamentalist Islamists who punish them as part of their fight with Israel in Gaza, and all throughout the Palestinian Authority. Even the US State Department can confirm that. In its report, DENIAL OF RELIGIOUS RIGHTS BY THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, Simon could have read that:“Periodically, there are incidents of Christian-Muslim tension in the occupied territories. Tensions have arisen over Christian- Muslim romantic relationships or when Christians have erected large crosses in the public domain. Christians in the Bethlehem area also have complained about Muslims settling there and constructing homes illegally on land not zoned for building. “During the period covered by this report, there were periodic reports that some Christian converts from Islam who publicize their religious beliefs have been harassed. Converts complained that they were mistreated and threatened. The draft Palestinian Basic Law specifically forbids discrimination against individuals based on their religion; however, the PA did not take any action against persons accused of harassment.” And here are a few of the assaults by Muslims on Christain Holy Sites:On July 5, 1997, Palestinian policemen arrived at the [Abraham’s Oak Russian “Holy Trinity” Monastery in Hebron], physically removed the monks and nuns, and took over the site. Several of the monks and nuns required hospitalization….During the October and November 2000 hostilities, Fatah gunmen — members of the “Tansim”– fired on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo from areas adjacent to churches in Beit Jalla, most notably the Church of St. Nicholas, hoping that Israel’s return fire will hit a church,” reported a Christian cleric. “Then it will be front-page news for the “Christian West,’ that Israel is now destroying churches.”…In January 2000, Palestinian police evicted five “White Russian” monks from their 19th-century monastery in the West Bank town of Jericho, handing the property over to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church…In May 2002, 13 Palestinian terrorists forcibly took over the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They stole gold objects from the monks, ate their scarce food, and urinated on the church floor.
but Palestinian Christians have been leaving in large numbers for years. So many, the Christian population there is down to less than two percent, and the prospect of holy sites, like Jerusalem and Bethlehem, without local Christians is looming as a real possibility.And who is at fault? Simon has no criticism for or reference to the PA, except as phrased as a doubt, in a question, as if he cannot independently confirm that.
His geography is wrong:This is what the Holy Land looks like today. Bethlehem, where Jesus was born.
When you first came here in 1964 what was the percentage of Christians in the old city?
Theophilos: There were around 30,000 of– Christians living in the Old City.
Bob Simon: And now how many are there?
Theophilos: Very few.
So few, some 11,000 Christians out of a population of almost 800,000 — just one and a half percent.
However, in 1964, Jordan occupied the area and in any case, we never learn what was the previous percentage. Did Jordan, a Muslim authority, have anything to do with a mass emigration of Christians?Simon talks with Mitri Raheb, “a Palestinian, a Christian and a Lutheran minister from Bethlehem, a personIsrael considers a ‘racist’ and an ‘anti-Semite’, who says
Christianity has actually on the back a stamp saying, “Made in Palestine.”
If anything, a good claim could be made that Christianity as a religion separate from being a sect of Judasim nor the life of Jesus, was made on the road nigh onto Damascus.
Simon accuses not only the “occupation” but also the Jewish communities, places where thousands of Christians come to volunteer and work and which have nothing to do with local Christians:
Palestinian Christians, once a powerful minority, are becoming the invisible people, squeezed between a growing Muslim majority and burgeoning Israeli settlements…
[Zahi Khouri: Great selling point. Easy to sell to the American public.]
A producer’s note of excitement for his anti-Israel angle?
And that same Zahi Khouri says:
I’ll tell you I don’t know of anybody and I probably have 12,000 customers here. I’ve never heard that someone is leaving because of Islamic persecution.
Do you feel, like me, that he is simply lying?Bob adds at this point a mention of the 2009,document called Kairos. Well, that lets the proverbial cat out of the bag. That “document” was roundly criticized by many Christians and Jews. Simon is promoting an extremist anti-Jewish agenda.
“S,” an Arab from eastern Jerusalem, is one of the outstanding IDF soldiers who will be recognized at this year’s Israel Independence Day ceremony at the President’s residence. “First of all, I’m an Israeli,” he says. “For me, to continue to serve in the IDF is a dream.”
How long will Bob Simon keep his job with 60 Minutes? On Sunday, the Jewish American CBS correspondent, exposed the exodus of Christians from Israel (a once dominant community is now a shell) and laid it at the door of Israel’s policies toward all Palestinians, Christians and Muslims
And , (a) inserts a bit of anti-Semitic conspiracy theory – Jews can get media people fired; and (b) while getting the story line wrong, proves how biased Bob Simon’s report was for it was the supposed Christian exodus from the “Holy Land”, by which Simon meant East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, aka the ‘West Bank’.
The “Palestinians” use this kind of genocidal rhetoric consistently, yet the world just as consistently ignores it and assumes that if they’re given a state, they will not use it as a jihad base to press forward toward the total destruction of Israel, but will instead live in peace with the Israelis. That fantasy-based policymaking is dominant in Washington and Western Europe.
The following is the report on the event in the official PA daily:
“The women of Palestine marked March 8 with a central rally, attended by a group of released female prisoners from the various districts of the West Bank. Participating in the events were Minister for Women’s Affairs, Rabiha Dhiab; Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake; Minister of Social Affairs, Majida Al-Masri… and representatives from the territories occupied in 1948 (e.g., Palestinian euphemism for “Israel”)… Al-Masri sharply condemned the Israel Prison Services for its violations against the [hunger striking] prisoner Shalabi… We demand of everyone to push ahead with reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] and to end the state of division, so that we will be able to stand against the occupation, to halt its activities against our prisoners, and to turn to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine – all of Palestine.'” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 9, 2012]
A question I want alot of input and feedback on.. Considering President Obama’s outreach again today to the Russians, when he sold out our European allies the last time around, add his financial and physical support of everything Islam (who we are at war with, it’s past time to accept that), his complete disregard of the drug/civil war in Mexico, no scratch that, his aiding the drug lords with weapons, his drastic reductions of our military, trying to start a race war on the home front as well as a gender war, and bringing our relations with our good friends and allies to lows never before achieved, all the while bringing our economy to it’s knees, not only does he not deserve a second term, I think he should be impeached and brought up on charges.Namely treason.
Here are some of the laws I consider him actively breaking:
18 USC § 2381 – Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
18 USC § 2388 – Activities affecting armed forces during war
(a) Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or
Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
(b) If two or more persons conspire to violate subsection (a) of this section and one or more such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as provided in said subsection (a).
(c) Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
(d) This section shall apply within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, and on the high seas, as well as within the United States.
He really needs to go…. (Along with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, and Hillary aka secretary of dhimmitude..