Monday, November 24, 2014

A Note to Ceylan Özbudak

Michael L.

ceyCeylan Özbudak is a political analyst on Turkish television and an executive director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO associated with the Harun Yahya organization.

I know next to nothing about Harun Yahya and therefore cannot speak to its nature, but I know that Ceylan wrote this to me in a personal email:
"Whoever is using al-Aqsa mosque for provocation, whoever starts a fight in the mosque is shameless, this is not an action Muslims should support. On the contrary, this is an action Muslims should shun. Israel may have malpractices. But I experienced personally many times that whenever we ask them about the details of an incident, they give us detailed explanations and they are open to agreement, they are usually civil people. 
The system is also democratic in Israel."  
This is a friend of the Jewish people and I am going to acknowledge her as so.

We are a tiny minority.

We represent 2 percent of the American population and .2 percent of the world population.

The pro-Israel / pro-Jewish on-line community has accepted both African-American Chloe Valdary and Indigenous-American Ryan Bellerose as great friends.

Because they are humanitarians they do not want to see us persecuted in our own homeland just as they do not want to see their own people harassed.

Black people in the Americas and indigenous Americans know what it is like to be under pressure by a much larger hostile majority population, thus Valdary and Bellerose are friends to the Jewish people.  Our experiences are not identical, but as Black people and indigenous people were people under siege, so are the Jews in the Middle East.

This understanding is important, essential, ignored by the academe when it comes to Jews, and one that needs acknowledgment and encouragement.

Ceylan's note to me came prior to the recent synagogue attack in which anti-Jewish Jihadis brutally killed rabbis during prayer.

I just want to thank her for standing up.

It is not every Muslim woman - not to mention a beautiful television personality in Turkey, for chrissake - who would have the integrity to contact someone such as myself - a Jewish analyst half a world away in the San Francisco Bay Area - in a spirit of universal outreach.

You have my thanks, Ceylan.


  1. Comment eaten twice. Considered Disqus?

    Good post. There are others like these three. Most humans understand, yet too many abusers and undeserved take up most of the air.

    The Clarion Project promotes similar voices for human rights.

  2. In Turkey in the past 2 weeks there have been semi-official calls to close all synagogues, to strip Jews of certain civil rights or to outright ethnically cleanse Turkey of Jews. At the same time Luxembourg is leading the effort to resurrect Turkey's admission into the EU while on a parallel track, admit Turkey to the Schengen Area with or without EU membership. Schengen Area means unrestricted travel to and among all EU states which are party to the Schengen Area agreement.

    Jewish existence in Turkey is rapidly coming to an end, not that the tiny collection of 25,000 or Jews still in Turkey had any long run viability anyway. And if Turkey is admitted to the Schengen Area then you will see a sharp uptick in antisemitic violence in Europe on par with 1938. Although it will be vaguely interesting to see how, if Turkey is admitted to the EU, the other EU states handle it's illegal invasion, occupation and theft of assets of another EU state, Cyprus. I suspect the EU will just go with the might makes right argument. In any case, Europe is in visual distance of the tipping point beyond which Jewish life in Europe goes extinct.

    1. We need our friends wherever we can find them.