Saturday, October 17, 2009
Netanyahu infuriated over Turkish TV series
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vented his anger on a new drama broadcast on a state-run Turkish television that portrays Israeli soldiers murdering children.
“We hope Turkey will bolster peace and not extremist elements, and also work towards securing the ties between us, because this is an important country and relations with it are important for peace,” Netanyahu said Thursday during a meeting with visiting Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
He added, “I hope we are not witnessing a fundamental change in the path Turkey had been on until a year or two ago.”
The comments as the government of the hawkish Israeli premier is currently under intense pressure form the international community to halt the illegal settlement constructions in the occupied Palestinian territories. The world considers settlements as the major hurdle in the way of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Turkey’s public TRT 1 broadcaster aired on Tuesday the first episode of the series called “Separation: Palestine in Love and in War”. It portrayed Israeli forces regularly shooting innocent Palestinian civilians, insulting and ridiculing them.
In one scene, an Israeli soldier takes aim at a smiling little girl in the street and kills her, while another shows an elderly Palestinian killed at an Israeli checkpoint while on his way to Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
Israeli soldiers are also shown killing a newborn baby in the hands of its father, shortly after it is born in a ruined building as the couple is stopped on its way to hospital.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered acting Turkish ambassador to Israel Ceylan Ozen to be summoned in order to make a formal protest over the television drama.
A statement released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the program constituted incitement against Israel at the most grave level.
This is while the drama’s political consultant defended the work, saying “Israel is not traumatized while committing such actions; but is traumatized while watching them.”
Turkey’s relations with Israel already have been strained since the recent cancellation of joint military exercises and the Davos incident earlier this year over Israeli atrocities against Palestinians and particularly Tel Aviv’s 22-day Gaza offensive which killed more than 1400 people, a large number of them women and children.