Almina and Hadas
If ideology could make one almost blind, ideology along strictly ethnic and religious supremacist lines will make one absolutely blind. So blind that the blind man would first ask a dead body about his ethnic identity, then his religion, or vice versa; before finally deciding whether to feel sorry for him, or to feel content.
As the cliched official speech language untiringly puts it: “we were one on the day we bid farewell to our martyrs.” This time, our martyrs were eight civilians who were killed in a bomb attack apparently orchestrated by this or that branch of the PKK. Among our dead was Almina Melisa Aker, just one-year-old when the bomb exploded. She could have been 95 on that day, but still a victim.
Almina’s death reminded me of a futile attempt I had made several years ago while speaking with a Palestinian “warrior” whose sister held the “honorable” title of being the first female suicide bomber in Jerusalem, an act that had killed a 95-year-old woman and wounded dozens. Trying to understand the man, I asked him: What is the point of killing an elderly woman? He smiled at me and explained: “For us, a 95-year-old woman as well as a three-month-old baby are Israeli soldiers, and they must be killed.” I suddenly felt uncomfortable in his family home, and wanted to leave for a more sane quarter.
About four-and-a-half years after that encounter, in a terrorist attack in Itamar, Israel, five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death in their sleep, including Hadas, who was only three-months old and had been decapitated. Such precision! I recalled the Palestinian’s words: “Even a three-month-old baby...” A month after the incident, two Palestinian men, Amjad Awad and Hakim Awad, proudly confessed to the murders.
Perhaps the PKK or some of its terrorist subcontractors think in the same way? A one-year-old Turkish citizen is in fact a Turkish soldier and he must be killed. Almina was a cute girl and could (almost) never become a Turkish soldier. Failure of precision? It’s just that roadside bombs in city centers lack precision as to whom exactly to kill.
What was in the minds of the Awads? A stairway to heaven. What did most Turks think about Itamar, if they ever knew it happened? Well, our boys did something naughty, but it’s the Zionists who oppressed them and caused this. About Hadas? We are sorry about this “minor” casualty. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu? I am terribly sorry, but we will one day pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Palestinian capital Jerusalem.
And what was on the minds of the PKK bombers? A stairway to an independent Kurdish state. What did most PKK-sympathizers think about Gaziantep? Well, our boys did something naughty, but it’s the fascist Turkish state that oppresses them and caused this. About Almina? We are sorry about this “minor” casualty. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman? I am terribly sorry (trying to hold his laughter), but, you know, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Never mind if Turkey’s much-beloved Free Syrian Army militia are practicing all possible means of killing accompanied by a loud “Allah-u Akbar (God is great),” including throwing people to the abyss of death from building tops and decapitating others whom they suspect could be al-Assad supporters. Just a few days ago, at least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded when a car bomb, just like the one in Gaziantep, exploded at a funeral in Damascus. The bomb targeted a funeral procession in a mainly Druze and Christian suburb, typically the work of those who Ankara refers to as “the Syrian people.”
What was on the minds of the bombers? Power, and a stairway to heaven. What did most Turks think about it? A pity. Wait a minute! Did you say the bomb targeted a Christian funeral? Oh, our boys did something naughty, but it’s al-Assad who oppresses them and caused this. About the victims? In wars it just happens, and it’s al-Assad’s fault. Mr. Davutoglu? I am terribly sorry, but we side with the Syrian people.