Saturday, September 17, 2011

How civil society pushed Turkey to ditch Israel’s war industry

Jamal Juma' and Maren Mantovani
The Electronic Intifada
16 September 2011

"....Turkey ditches Israeli war industry

Here, the popular mood is similar to Egypt’s. For a long time, the Turkish government has been aware of the unpopularity of its support of the Israeli war industry and the occupation of Palestine. The people in Turkey have consistently shown overwhelming solidarity with Palestine, most notably with their mobilization for the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which ended in a brutal attack by the Israeli navy. Israel commandos killed eight Turkish citizens and one US citizen of Turkish origin on the Mavi Marmara.

Now, we see the Turkish government taking leads from its citizens, mobilizations in the region, and the Palestinian people. Only two months ago, the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) launched its call for a military embargo on Israel (“Impose a mandatory and comprehensive military embargo on Israel,” BDS Movement, 8 July 2011).

This call was supported by organizations and unions representing dozens of millions of people all over the globe.

For civil society in the entire region, beyond just Egyptians and Turks, there can be no question about the power of citizens to affect social and political changes that can undermine Israeli apartheid and neo-colonial policies pursued by neighboring governments.

Meltdown of power structures

Power relations and alliances are changing in the Middle East. The strength of the people’s movements is a driving force in this phenomenon, as well as a result of it....."

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