The ‘Crusader-Zionist alliance’ saga

The ‘Crusader-Zionist alliance’ saga


The slogan “Crusader-Zionist alliance” is common in many parts of Islamist circles in Turkey. Similarly, the same circles often like to describe the European Union as a “Christian club.”

But if we only consider foreign policy from this perspective then many financial, geopolitical and political factors go unnoticed. Politics drifts away to a course where correct analysis gets lost in a storm of demagogy.

Jerusalem vote

The vote that recently took place in the U.N. Security Council on the Jerusalem issue can help us see political facts more analytically.

In it, the U.S. vetoed the withdrawal of President Donald Trump’s irrational decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital. In response, four permanent members and 10 temporary members - in total 14 governments - voted for the Trump administration to rescind its move.

“The U.S. is isolated,” Reuters stated in its reporting of the vote.

The 14 counties that made U.S. and Israel angry are the U.K., France, Italy, Sweden, China, Russia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Ukraine and Egypt. Can we explain this collection of countries with any overarching template?

If there is a “Crusader-Zionist alliance” then why do we have this picture?

Evangelism and Zionism

In the U.S. there is a strong alliance between the Evangelical Christian movement within Protestant Christianity and Zionism.

Evangelicals support every step taken by Israel, convinced that it is “speeding up the second arrival of the Messiah.” Indeed, both Evangelical and pro-Israel lobbies are very influential in Washington.

But the most important factor that helped establish the Israeli government was British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his team during the First World War.

According to historian David Fromkin, Lloyd George was himself an atheist but because he was raised in an Evangelical environment he tended to looked at the Middle East with that perception.

But today, the U.K. is against the U.S. decision to make Jerusalem Israel’s capital. Indeed, one of the European leaders that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan phoned about the issues was U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

So can we analyze the whole of British history and today’s Britain by simply looking at Lloyd George? Can you see how misleading such simple historical templates can be?

Lausanne and afterwards

By the way, it was also Lloyd George who actually prevented the United Kingdom from approving the Treaty of Lausanne in parliament, saying that the treaty was “England’s defeat.”

It was only when Lloyd George was overthrown from government and Ramsay MacDonald from the Labour Party became prime minister that the treaty was sent to parliament and approved.

Unlike a popular conspiracy theory may suggest, the reason for the late approval of the Treaty of Lausanne was not because Britain was waiting for the removal of the caliphate in Turkey but because of these more prosaic government problems.

Once again, we see that if you read history simply in order to gather evidence for an ideological template it can lead to big mistakes.

Turkey’s foreign policy tradition is “diplomatic” and not ideological. And today Ankara must not rely on ideological templates; it should instead manage foreign politics “diplomatically.”

We have important problems to deal with but it is misleading to claim that “the world has turned against us.”

We have national interests that either line up with or contradict with various different countries. We have similar opinions on the Jerusalem issue with many European countries that some ideologues blast as “Crusaders.”

In short, we must always prioritize diplomacy over ideology.

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