This comes from a very good friend of mine, a Turkish Jew who has lived in Istanbul all his life, who is 100 percent reliable. If you knew this fellow–one of my closest friends–and saw what a quiet, calm and even-tempered person he is you would understand how serious this is:
- The crowd demonstrating in front of the Neve Shalom Synagogue after a speech of Erdogan were chanting: “Tell us to die, we (will) die ; tell us hit ,we (will) hit”. (MY BROTHER HEARD IT)
- In the most civilized street of Istanbul (Bagdat street) there were restaurants having announcements: “The income of today will be donated to the Gazans”. (I SAW IT)
- A neighboring Jewish women who spoke Turkish with a Ladino accent was told by the taxi driver I wish I hadn’t pick you up. (A FRIEND OF MINE TOLD ME)
- In two elementary schools 10 yrs old Jewish boys were called “Dirty Jew” by their peers. Something never heard in the last 60 yrs…(A FRIEND OF MINE TOLD ME)
- The Jewish youth who were supporting assimilation have debates on this topic, now. (MY FATHER SAID THAT)
- Some Muslim customers/clients are telling jokes to Jewish shopkeepers or businesspeople: “You will butchered, ha ha ha …!” (A FRIEND OF MINE TOLD IT).
- Jewish soldiers –having their obligatory service- were send home in order to be protected from the harassment of peers.(A FRIEND OF MINE TOLD IT)
- In the exit of the Neve Shalom Synagogue after a wedding was a signboard “Go away Jews , Down with Israel”… (MY COUSIN SAW IT) A day after the “Go away Jews” part was covered but the rest remained.
- Jews are wounded by the words of Erdogan implying they are “visitors” not citizens. (EVERYWHERE)
- They were announcements on the billboards in Istanbul “You cannot be the son of Moses !” ; after some objection they removed the signs from billboards but put them on the buildings (I SAW IT)
- The police has the power to stop any walking/march in Turkey, only if they want to : They have stopped leftist marches immediately, but let the demonstration outside the Israeli consulate continue though it had no permit.
I personally thank you for your support to the Turkish Jews –hopefully not Jews from Turkey, soon.
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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center in Herzliya, Israel, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His books include The Truth About Syria; The Tragedy of the Middle East; and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East.