Saturday, July 16, 2016

Things People Blame the Jews For, Volume XXVIII: The Coup Attempt in Turkey

As news broke of an attempted coup in Turkey last night, my mind went to many places. I worried about regional stability, about the implications for democracy in the Middle East, about the risk of repression and crackdowns regardless of who ended up prevailing, and about the persons living through what must have been a scary and tumultuous evening throughout the nation. I also thought of this series, and wondered who will be the first to go all "Zionist plot" as an explainer.

Odd as it may be to hear, I was actually modestly hopeful that we might get a pass on this one. Certainly, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not always had the friendliest relationship with Israel. But we're only a few weeks removed from a historic deal to restore ties between the two nations. Israel has never had more reason to like President Erdoğan than they do at this moment. Of all the times it might make sense for them to support a coup (not that I think they would), now is the least sensible.

Alas, sensibility is not the theme of this series:

The link chain ends up taking us to this article in Ha'aretz, which informs us that one of the six senior officers arrested in the aftermath of the coup attempt had served as Turkey's military attache to Israel .... almost 20 years ago.

Now sure, that may seem like a tenuous connection. But you don't control the world for thousands and thousands of years without knowing how to play the long game. Good sleuthing, everyone -- you've solved the puzzle (except, you know, for the "why would Israel back a coup attempt against a leader with whom they just signed a major deal" bit).

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