November 18, 2003
ISTANBUL BOMBINGS: AL-QAIDA AGAIN DECLARES 'WAR
ON THE FREE WORLD'
** The world must cooperate
to win the "all-out war without borders" al-Qaida has launched.
** The attacks stem from
"a "new wave of anti-Semitism...sweeping the globe."
** U.S. and Israeli
policies have helped "create and facilitate terrorism."
** Radical Muslim writers
displace responsibility for the attacks, positing a "Zionist plot."
"successful synthesis of Islam and secularism" makes it an al-Qaida
All nations should unite to 'launch a long-term war on
terrorism'-- Euro dailies stressed
the threat from "self-appointed religious warriors...interested in nothing
but global war." Austria's centrist
Die Presse urged Europe to "throw the nagging differences over the
war in Iraq overboard" and make "serious, joint efforts to
eradicate...terror." Saudi, Turkish
and Lebanese writers also opposed any "concessions to
terrorism." Beirut's moderate Daily
Star condemned al-Qaida's "strategy of bloodletting" and demanded
Muslims "not be shy about deploring such acts."
The attack confirms al-Qaida's seeks the 'murder of Jews
everywhere'-- French papers warned
that al-Qaida's "crimes are triggered by a deep desire to annihilate which
uses the Palestinian cause only as a pretext." Canada's leading Globe and Mail
cautioned that "once a European phenomenon, anti-Semitism has taken root
in the Arab and larger Islamic world."
Israel's pluralist Yediot Aharonot predicted more attacks against
Jewish targets, because "extremist Islam" sees Jews as the
"engine" of the "train of Western imperialism."
The U.S. has created a 'more suitable atmosphere for terrorists to
operate in'-- Critics of the U.S.
rejected the "murder of innocents" in Istanbul but blamed U.S.
"hegemony and unilateralism" for stimulating "religious
radicals" around the world. Egypt's
pro-government Al Ahram demanded the U.S. and Israel end their "occupation
of Arab territories" as a first step in the "collective battle
against terrorism." Tunisia's
independent Le Temps more bluntly said "the West, Europe and the
U.S...created this bed of terrorism."
Conspiracy theorists say the attack only serves 'Israel and the
enemies of Arabs'-- Several Muslim writers
held the U.S. or Israel responsible for the Istanbul tragedy. India's independent Urdu Times alleged
the U.S. was punishing Turkey's "unforgivable" refusal to provide
troops in Iraq, while Pakistan's leading Jang labeled the attacks in
Istanbul and Riyadh "an attempt...to create internal chaos and strife
paving the way for foreign aggression."
Egypt's pro-opposition Al-Wafd added the blast might be "a
Al-Qaida seeks to 'topple moderate, pro-Western Muslim regimes'
like Turkey-- As the "only
country where Islam and democracy go hand in hand," Turkey is experiencing
the war of "insane Islam against sane Islam." Ankara poses the "greatest
obstacle" to al-Qaida's creation of more "Taliban-type
administrations" because, said the elite Turkish Daily News, it
proves "a country with an overwhelming majority of Muslims can establish a
viable democratic system."
EDITOR: Ben Goldberg
EDITOR'S NOTE: This
analysis was based on 44 reports from 22 countries over 16 - 18 November
2003. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed by date.
BRITAIN: "The Attack
On Istanbul Jews Is An Attack On Hope Itself"
Fiachra Gibbons commented in the left-of-center Guardian
(11/17): "The Jews of Turkey, and
the survival of their precious and unique culture, are one of the few enduring
examples of tolerance through the ages that humanity has left to cling to.... So when six die, as they did on Saturday
morning when their blood mingled with that of their Muslim neighbours blown to
bits by a suicide bomber outside the Neve Shalom synagogue, the heart should
miss a beat and the world weep. For we are mourning the loss of souls who had
learned to span a supposedly unbridgeable gulf that is being daily widened by
George Bush and our own dear, deluded leader.
The 17,000 or so remaining Jews of Istanbul are living proof that Jews
and Muslims can coexist in harmony....
Turkey is also, of course, Israel's almost lone ally in the Muslim
world. Both countries have disputed borders with Arab neighbours, both rely
heavily on US aid, both have poor human rights records, and both have powerful
generals pulling strings or setting agendas behind the scenes. Despite all this, Israeli foreign minister
Silvan Shalom's immediate identification of Jews with Israel when he visited
the bombed synagogues yesterday is not something most Istanbul Jews will be
thankful for.... Of all the trials that
have befallen them over the last 500 years, none has brought more threat than
the existence of Israel.... Yesterday
Israel blamed hatred whipped up in Turkey against it for the attacks and
pressed for stronger security measures. It is from such mixed blessings as protectors
who may unwittingly provoke attack that the famously acid Ladino wits of
Istanbul have coined their epigrams. One
pungent favourite of the tea houses seems particularly apt now: 'Aharva kulo ke
no pedo'--It's the backside that didn't make the stink that always gets
FRANCE: “An Unacceptable
Michel Schifres opined in right-of-center Le Figaro
(11/17): “It would be wishful thinking
not to link together the anti-Semitic attacks in Turkey and the destruction of
a Jewish school in a Paris suburb....
There is no doubt any longer that the battle against Zionism has become
an alibi for anti-Semites. Criticism of Israel’s policy is often linked to hate
against the Jews.... A case in point is
the Eurobarometer poll that showed Israel to be one of the most dangerous
nations threatening world peace.... Such
a position feeds France’s anti-Semitism.”
“A Moral Mistake”
Gerard Dupuy noted in left-of-center Liberation
(11/17): “In 2003 a person can be killed
only because he or she is Jewish. This can happen in Casablanca, Djerba and Istanbul.... Al-Qaida’s ghost haunts the ruins of all
these attacks...because Bin Laden’s organization has called for the murder of
Jews everywhere. In doing this it has radicalized ancient anti-Semitic
terrorism.... To pretend to ‘explain
these crimes without excusing them’ by way of the Palestinian context is an
error in analysis and a moral mistake. It is an error because these crimes are
triggered by a deep desire to annihilate which uses the Palestinian cause only
as a pretext. The cause for such crimes must be searched within Islamic
society. It is a mistake because it tends to insidiously make the victims of
such crimes responsible for their own deaths.... The motivation for the crimes in Istanbul and
in a Paris suburb is most probably similar. The government’s response must be
GERMANY: "Return Of
Terror To Istanbul"
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich concluded
(11/17): "The return of terrorism
hits Turkey all the more because the criminals have struck not in distant Kurdistan
but in the center of the European heart of the country. All of a sudden it has
become clear that Turkey has a perfect enemy image for Islamic extremists. Despite the most recent deterioration in
relations with its Arab neighbors during the Iraq war, Turkey is still
considered America-friendly enough and Ankara is the only Muslim country that
has traditional close political and military relations with Israel.... The majority of people killed are Muslims. But this has not touched the synagogue
attackers from Saturday...and the killers who detonated a bomb in Riyadh a week
ago. This terror will not meet with
serious support in Turkey. Cheers at
pictures accompanying the shooting down of helicopters in Iraq or praise for
suicide attackers for radical Palestinians are unconceivable. The prevailing feeling is mourning."
"Bombs On Istanbul"
Dietrich Alexander judged in right-of-center Die Welt of
Berlin (11/17): "Istanbul has
turned into another theater of the ideology war between Osama bin Laden's heirs
and those who do not want to surrender without fighting. Fanatics consider Turkey, but also Egypt,
Morocco, and Jordan to be betrayer countries, and their rulers heretics. Ankara is heading for Europe, has close links
with Israel, and can look back to hundreds of centuries of co-existence between
Jews and Muslims.... And those who like
Israel's Foreign Minister Shalom makes 'growing anti-Israelism' responsible for
the attacks in Istanbul, do not only blame the wrong people but also
underestimate the seriousness of the situation, given the self-appointed
religious warriors who are interested in nothing but global war."
"Crime In Istanbul"
Wolfgang Guenter Lerch wrote in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (11/17): "The
criminal attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul were mainly directed against
Israel, but the Turkish government was also a target.... For the terrorists, who are likely to come
for Al Qaida's surrounding, Turkey is also a 'western country,' a NATO member,
and a preferred strategic partner of the Americans. The fact that the Turks occasionally reject
Washington's requests cannot exonerate them in the eyes of the terrorists. In addition, since the days of reformer Kemal
Atatuerk, quite a few Muslims consider the Turks as 'apostates' of Islam. This is total nonsense but corresponds to the
uniform picture military fundamentalists have of the world. The Erdogan government in particular stems
from this Islamic movement and is an interesting inner-Islamic experiment of
opening [the country].... The
allegations of Israel's Foreign Minister Shalom are hardly acceptable that
Europe must also be blamed for the attacks.
They are tantamount to giving Israel a carte blanche and prevent any
kind of criticism of Israel. Aren't the
four former leaders of Israel's domestic intelligence service to blame for the
bombings? They fear that Israel will be
rushing into disaster if it continues as before. It was not Europe that gave Ariel Sharon his
reputation but he himself is to blame.
The religious mania of the Islamic terrorists cannot be healed but it
can develop much better in an atmosphere of conflicts that are one-sidedly
interpreted by the West. Even secular
Turks are dismayed when the see what is happening in the Israeli occupied
Palestinian territories. Even after
Saddam Hussein's elimination, the United States does not 'broker' in a really
honest way as it promised."
"Caution Must Prevail"
Centrist Heilbronner Stimme argued (11/17): "Caution must prevail when trying to
find the reasons [for the attack]. The
Iraq war is not the only factor that caused the attack nor is it 'anti-Israelism'
in Europe, as Israel's Foreign Minister quickly said. Only one thing is clear: Al Qaida has declared war on the free
world. Any indulgence is out of
place. Not in the West either where
people do not really want to recognize what kind of violent potential is raised
in Islamic ghettos. And the real Muslims
should recognize that they are also increasingly becoming victims, too. They should be more consistent in condemning
ITALY: "Sharon And Abu
Ala Will Meet In A Few Days"
An editorial in leading business-oriented Il Sole-24 Ore
read (11/18): "United more than
ever in the pain for the latest terrorism victims (the Italians in Nasiriya and
the Jews in the Turkish synagogues), Israel and Italy rediscover the profound
reasons of their old friendship. They are committed to working together to
oppose the great wave of anti-Semitism in the world without making any
concessions to security. But they are also hoping for a resumption of the road
map with the imminent meeting between the Israeli government and the
Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Ala....
PM Ariel Sharon testified in his talks with Senate President Marcello
Pera, Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, and with
the Italian Jewish community, Israel's will to combat with every means,
including the defense wall against the terrorists, what is called the 'great
wave of anti-Semitism in the world."
"The War Against The West"
Livio Caputo wrote in pro-government, leading center-right Il
Giornale (11/17): "There is a
lesson [to be learned] in the tragic events of recent days, that many do not
want to understand: we are not facing a terrorist campaign against the presence
of a foreign military force in Iraq, or against the Bush Administration's
foreign policy: we are facing an all out war without borders against the entire
West, that the Islamic fundamentalists identify with evil.... Now we hope to exit the Iraqi trap and to
diminish the intensity of the battle by speeding up the transfer of power in
Baghdad to a provisional government and by increasing the UN role in the
transition process.... But to believe
that these two moves will contain terrorism is wrong: for the fundamentalists,
the prospect of an Iraqi government with some democratic credential is still
more negative than the prospect of a continuing military ally
administration.... Finally, it is also
wrong to think that we would not have been in this situation had the Americans
not invaded Iraq. Perhaps we would not have furnished terrorism with such an
easy target, but the war which began on September 11 would have moved to
another front, perhaps with an intensification of attacks against Islamic
countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey that the fanatics consider the
accomplices of the West."
AUSTRIA: “Double Target”
Gudrun Harrer wrote in liberal Der Standard (11/17): “It is not a coincidence that Jews who were
forced to flee from Catholic Spain and Portugal found refuge in Turkey. We
should bear this in mind when claiming that Anti-Judaism is inherent in the
Islamic religion--in fact, it never had the dogmatic status in Islam that it had
in Christianity. However, it is also true that things have changed in modern
Islam. Istanbul is still looking for the perpetrators of the attacks. But no
matter what the group is called, and whether there will be evidence of
connections with al-Qaeda: without a doubt, this act of terror smacks of the
al-Qaeda orbit. The fact that two attacks were carried out simultaneously also
follows a well-known pattern, and leaves open the question if maybe more
attacks were planned. We only know one thing: there will be a next time, and
every time is going to be like the first.”
“The Presence Of Evil”
Thomas Vieregge observed in centrist Die Presse
(11/17): “It seems that the edges of
terror are moving dangerously close to Europe. Whoever was lulled into a false sense
of security after attacks on exotic holiday destinations such as Bali or Kenya,
or the tourism areas of Tunisia and Morocco, must have woken up with quite a
start after the double attack in Istanbul: there are no safe havens anymore.
Istanbul is the bridgehead between the Levantine and Europe, the seam between
East and West. The truism that terror does not know any geographic, ethnic or
religious borders has once again been confirmed. Evil is present everywhere,
all the time--that’s what makes it so perfidious.... For this reason, it is high time to throw the
nagging differences over the war in Iraq overboard, to stop paying lip service,
and to make serious, joint efforts to eradicate the germ cells of terror once
and for all.”
CZECH REPUBLIC: "Al-Qaeda
At the Door"
Petr Pesek wrote in center-right Lidove noviny
(11/18): "Although repetition of
the attacks of September 11, 2001 cannot be ruled out, the more likely tool of
terrorists will be the way they attacked in Iraqi Nasiriya, Saudi Riyad, and Turkish
Istanbul in the past few days.... Thus
let the recent UN report warning how people connected to al-Qaeda continue in
their financial activities in Europe, or the vain Israeli warning against the
planned attack on the synagogues in Istanbul be a warning. Saturday's attack in Turkey was committed on
European territory and it is does not matter that it was on the
"The Istanbul Terrorist Attacks"
Mihaela Ganet stated in financial-oriented Curentul
(11/17): “The tough tone of
international reaction was expressed by the American President, George Bush,
who condemned in the ‘harshest terms’ the terrorist attacks in Istanbul, the
capital of a country in which the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities have
developed together for centuries. The
European Union, whose citizens were recently characterized as being
anti-Semitic...described the car-bomb attacks as an ‘unacceptable expression of
intolerance and rejection that must be eradicated’.”
SPAIN: "Terror In Istanbul"
Conservative ABC said (11/16): "Turkey is a country that has been
lashed by terror for a long time. The
same synagogue Neve Shalom suffered a Palestinian attack in 1986...but
terrorist groups of all kinds have operated in the country. Despite this, Ankara has not always been
understood. With an Islamic government,
Turkey has not questioned either its alliances or its commitment against
terrorism, and it is a key country in the fight for stability in the
region. This fact must be taken into account."
TURKEY: "Twin Towers:
Sedat Ergin observed in mass-appeal Hurriyet (11/18): "The Istanbul bombings are a terrorist
act carried out after at least one or two months of planning. This is an organized act carried out by
various groups. There is a striking
lesson that comes from this terrorist attack: Turkey should evaluate and
analyze the intelligence reports about domestic and foreign-based
fundamentalist terror organizations more seriously than before.... It might well be against the intention of the
terrorists, yet the results of this terrorist attack will bring Turkey, the US
and Israel more into the same line.
Turkey will increase coordination with the US to fight against
terrorism, and all three will be closer to each other in their foreign policy
considerations.... Those who lost their
lives after the 9/11 attacks and those who died in the attacks against the two
synagogues in Istanbul share the same fate.
Islamic fundamentalist terror is globalized, and the Twin Towers have
now been turned into two synagogues.
Istanbul is now New York."
"International Repercussions Of The
Istanbul Terrorist Attacks"
Sami Kohen wrote in mass-appeal Milliyet
(11/18): "There are many questions
that spring to mind about last weekend’s terrorist attacks on two synagogues in
Istanbul. Often such questions can never
be answered. This time, however, we hope
that the perpetrators will soon be captured and punished. Turkey has now for the first time been the
victim of a large-scale attack of global terrorism.... There were supposedly two main aims of these
attacks: First, to ‘punish’ and take revenge on the Jews and Israel. Second, to intimidate Turkey and force Ankara
to change its foreign policy. Radical
Islamist terrorist groups see our country as a collaborator with the Western
world. Why? Because Turkey is secular and cooperates with
the U.S. and Israel. But couldn’t these
terrorists have seen beforehand that such attacks would lead to nothing but
indignation and anger? In truth, one
shouldn’t search for reasonable explanations since such acts are always the
outcome of miscalculations on the part of terrorists. The ‘masterminds’ behind such attacks aren’t
always rational. If we look at the
repercussions of these attacks in the international arena, we see that the
perpetrators’ plans have already failed.
Countries worldwide have expressed their support to Turkey in its fight
against terrorism. Our successful
synthesis of Islam and secularism is once again greatly appreciated by the international
community. The attacks have in fact
reinforced Turkey’s determination to combat terrorism.... In addition, we’ve already shown in years
past that terrorism would never deter us from our goals. How can someone think
that Turkey would change its foreign policy due to such attacks? In other words, terrorist groups
miscalculated the results of their actions.
Turkey will never alter its foreign policy. The best message for Turkey to send to the
perpetrators of these abhorrent attacks is as follows: ‘We will stay on course. We’ll never submit
"The September 11 Of Turkey"
Semih Idiz commented in mass-appeal Aksam (11/17): "This is not the first time that Turkey
has become a target for terrorism.
However, the magnitude of the recent terrorist attack represents a new
chapter. One possible explanation of the
attacks against synagogues in Istanbul is that it demonstrates proof of
coordination between local Islamic terror and global Islamic terror. This seems most likely, because a terrorist
attack on such a scale would not be possible without logistical coordination
within Turkey.... The situation poses a
crucial test for moderate Muslims around the world. They better think about standing in
solidarity--without any 'buts' or excuses--against Islamic terror. Turkey should also carefully analyze where
the country is headed, and shape its strategies to address the search for a
better future in the Islamic world....
The tragedy in Istanbul is the September 11 of Turkey. It remains to be seen whether it will also
lead to an awakening."
"The U.S. Is Responsible For The Wave Of Terror"
Cuneyt Ulsever argued in mass-appeal Hurriyet (11/17): "Despite its initial intention to fight
against and eliminate terrorism, the situation in post-war Iraq presents a
different picture. The US has not eliminated international terrorism, but
rather has provided a more suitable atmosphere for terrorists to operate
in. Thanks to the US, Al-Qaeda members
are no longer confined to the Afghan mountains, but are now able to operate
comfortably in the streets of Baghdad.
The US failed to exert any control over Kurdish groups, and has thereby
alienated Turkey on the Iraq issue. Turkey also paved the way for the Kurds to
gain more influence on the US by failing to pass the parliamentary motion that
would authorized Turkish involvement in the war.... The US is now working on a plan to hand over
authority to the Iraqis. Yet the
organized terror has already found its place in a chaotic Iraq, and the recent
attacks in Istanbul only serve to demonstrate this fact once again."
"Radicals Target The Moderate AK Party"
The English-language, moderate elite Turkish Daily News
declared (11/17): "The AK Party is
a major obstacle for those who really have an Islamic agenda to create
Taliban-type administrations in the world....
Turkey was on the al-Qaeda hit list for a long time. Osama Bin Laden and
his men considered it a leading collaborator of the United States in the fight
against international terrorism....
Turkey actively helped the United States.... So sooner or later Osama Bin Laden would order
something...on Saturday they unleashed a bloodbath in Istanbul against a so-called
Jewish target but in effect they killed more Muslims than Jews. The dead and the wounded were all our
brothers and sisters...thus the attack was against all of us.... But we also should not view the attack in
Istanbul on Saturday only as a criminal act against a country that was on the
hit list of a major terrorist organization. The political implications of this
attack go well beyond that. The West led
by the United States see Turkey as the only country where Islam and democracy
go hand in hand. They see that a country with an overwhelming majority of
Muslims can establish a viable democratic system.... They want to use this model in the Middle
East to introduce more democracy in the area. The recent speech of President
George W. Bush urging the creation of a more democratic environment in the
Middle East fits into this picture.
Meanwhile Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda preach Islamic fundamentalism and
radicalism and see Turkey as the greatest obstacle for them to create many more
Taliban-type administrations.... Thus
they attack Turkey.... That is why we
feel the U.S. administration as well as our European counterparts should start
doing more to help bolster our democracy."
"Terror In Istanbul"
Yilmaz Oztuna wrote in nationalist, Istanbul-based
Turkiye (11/17): "Terror
struck Istanbul last weekend. Who did it, and why? This will be widely
discussed, but to no avail. Al Qaeda seems to be the most likely group in terms
of this type of attack. The message to Turkey and the world is as follows: ‘If
you continue to cooperate with the US, you will suffer such misfortunes. You
should adopt a clear stance against Israel and cease being interested in
Iraq.’ If this is really the message, in
Turkey it will actually have the opposite effect. As we can’t make concessions
to terrorism, we will only align our policy with Washington’s that more. In
addition, this anti-Semitic attack--something unfamiliar and alien to
Turkey--will also cause a greater rapprochement in our relations with Israel. Whether the attack was carried out by a
radical Islamic group or not, Turkey will continue its current foreign policy.
In other words, the US is our strategic ally, and our European Union membership
bid will continue. The goal of ruining Turkey's peace and stability and
weakening our economy cannot be ignored either. Turkish-Israeli relations,
which are already good, will grow closer. The aim is to shock and confuse us.
Meanwhile, the message to Europe that its turn might be next shouldn’t be
ISRAEL: "Who Said It
Was Bin Laden?"
Ron Ben-Yishai maintained in business-oriented Globes
(11/16): "Saturday's atrocious
bombings against the two Istanbul synagogues could well have been a secret
Syrian response to the recent Israel Air Force strike at Syria.... If the attacks were carried out under
Hizbullah's auspices, directly or by emissaries, Turkey and the U.S. should
consider further measures, including economic and diplomatic sanctions against
Syria, and perhaps even a military operation against Syria and Hizbullah."
"Anyone Who Messes With Turkey"
Ben Caspit wrote in popular, pluralist Maariv (11/16): "All roads lead to al-Qaida, believe
Israeli intelligence officials in the wake of an initial investigation into the
identity of the perpetrators of the terror attack yesterday in
Istanbul.... Senior [Israeli] security
officials said Saturday that they believed that if an international terror
organization indeed was behind the terror attacks, this constituted a strategic
error on its part. 'Turkey is a regional
super-power that has made a name for itself in its refusal to bow to terrorism
and in particularly strong responses to it,' said one source. 'You can ask the Syrians, who got into the
trouble with Turkey and felt the price on their own flesh. Now that the Turks have tasted the taste of
terror attacks, that won’t contribute to world terrorism.'"
"Prepare, And Fast"
Alex Fishman held in popular, pluralist Yediot Aharonot
(11/16): "The deadly terror attacks
in Istanbul are part of a phenomenon which is only going to get worse. Extremist Islam has decided to derail what it
calls 'the train of Western imperialism.'
For them, the Jews are its engine, the spearhead of that
imperialism. Therefore attacks against
Jews, Jewish institutions and Jewish symbols throughout the world are likely to
spread. The attack in Istanbul was
perpetrated by al-Qaida in spirit if not in deed. The double attack was also intended to
undermine the Turkish regime. It is part
of a series of attempts by al-Qaida and its offshoots to topple moderate,
pro-Western Muslim regimes. The goal is
to delegitimize the moderates, sow fear and put extremist Islam in power by the
end of the process.... The developing
reality obligates the government of Israel to make quick decisions and invest
resources and concern to developing awareness within the Jewish
communities.... Israel cannot be the
only player on this field. It must build
cooperation between governments, intelligence agencies, foreign ministries and
police to stop this malignant plague."
"The Folly Of Insane Islam"
Former ambassador to Turkey and former Foreign Ministry
Director-General Alon Liel remarked in popular, pluralist Maariv
(11/16): "The terror attack on the
two central synagogues in Istanbul is first and foremost a terror attack that
was committed by insane Islam against sane Islam. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been Turkey's
prime minister for a year, is an Islamist and even a former fundamentalist. But he turned his back on the unyielding
radical Islam and embraced pro-Western and modern moderate Islam, and in
practice became its supporter. Erdogan,
a devout Muslim in his private life, decided that in Turkey's public life
democracy needs to lead, and not Islam, and by so doing presented a huge challenge
to all of the Khomeinists, in all their shapes and forms. The perpetrators of the terror attacks, in
their insanity and stupidity, Saturday pushed Turkey completely to the side of
the West and created for themselves a bitter enemy that is destined to make
things very difficult for them in the future."
EGYPT: “The Appalling
Istanbul Crime: Once Again the Danger is Threatening All”
Pro-government Al Ahram Editor-in-chief Ibrahim Nafie
commented (11/18): “The appalling
attacks in Istanbul are crimes by all means committed by a black terrorism that
threatens all of our lives. Such operations have no connection with the
legitimate resistance operations against occupying forces--which do not target
civilians at all. Terrorist groups only
exploit the issues of Palestine and Iraq--which involve justice and aggression
against Arabs--to make excuses to public opinion for their appalling crimes and
defame Arab regimes. However, ending the Israeli occupation of Arab
territories...and the American occupation of Iraq will be the first steps in
our collective battle against terrorism.”
Gamal Badawi held in pro-opposition Al Wafd (11/18): “The Jewish synagogue in Istanbul suffered
terrorist attacks before in 1986 and in 1994. This means this synagogue is
targeted by terrorist elements...which seek to blame Moslems, since they are on
top of the global terrorist list which the U.S. and Israel propagate.... The man who made this allegation [accusing
Moslems] is an unknown figure.... Why do
we not say that the attack was plotted in order to improve Israel’s image in the
EU after the recent poll that showed it as the primary threat to global peace? Why do we exclude Turkish Jews as
Small-circulation pro-government Al Gomhouriya
Editor-in-Chief Samir Ragab stated (11/16):
“We undoubtedly oppose any aggression on civilians regardless of their
religion, nationality or affiliation. The victims of the Istanbul attacks
yesterday have paid the price of the mistakes of others who had no conscience,
morals or religion.... What led to all
this chaos and ignited the fire of terrorism?.... We hope Americans realize how their unjust
aggression [on Iraq] led to an unprecedented collapse and brushed aside all the
honest advice given to them before the attack.... Similarly, what do Israelis expect from their
mean conduct against Palestinians? Violence and counter-violence have been an
American-Israeli product because of their total ignorance of the nature of
Pro-opposition Al Wafd Editor-in-Chief Abbass el Tarabili
maintained (11/16): “Islam recognizes
the right of other to worship...thus we, as Moslems, reject the Istanbul
attacks.... Truly, Israel does not
respect mosques...and Zionist soldiers stepped with their shoes inside them,
but we refuse Moslems committing such acts....
We do not rule out that these operations were a Zionist plot in order to
draw the world’s sympathy to the Jews.”
"Back To The Truthful Call"
Dammam’s moderate Al-Yaum opined (11/18): "Following the terrorist operation that
took place in Al-Muhaya in Riyadh, another terrorist act occurred in Istanbul. In view of that, the current individual
efforts to fight terrorism should be converted into an international,
collective one; all countries should participate in developing and finalizing a
real plan of action, since terrorism will spare no one. What happened in the Kingdom, Turkey and the
U.S.A. could happen in any country in the world. Consequently, the Kingdom’s calls to
establish an international plan must be taken seriously in light of the
spreading phenomenon of terrorism and its increasing danger, which is
threatening all human communities."
"Who Benefits From The Hostility Towards Islam?"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz editorialized (11/18): "Nobody really knows what al-Qa’eda
wants. But all signs are that the
organization has become Islam’s worst enemy....
For the sake of the Muslim world, and for Islam to regain its original
reputation as a religion of peace and love, all Muslims must combine their
efforts to eradicate this group of criminal outlaws."
"Unfortunate Attacks Could Spark Israeli
Ahmed Rabhi observed in London-based
influential, pan-Arab Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat (11/17): "The killing of Jews in the Turkish
synagogues was part of a plot that serves only Israel and the enemies of Arabs
and Muslims throughout the world.... The
Istanbul terrorist operation represented a gift to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon. From now on, the Israeli propaganda machine will use all its strength
in turning international attention away from the atrocities committed by the
Israeli Army against the Palestinians and earn international sympathy for the
Jewish and Zionist cause.... The blowing
up of religious sites, no matter what the reason, is condemned because it leads
to loss of innocent lives.... But we
should guard against any Israeli backlash against Islam and Muslims, rather
than against terrorism and the terrorists that are responsible for the Istanbul
"No Way To Deny"
Abha's moderate Al-Watan emphasized (11/16): "Today, only a few days after the
explosion at al-Muhaya residential compound the latest destructive act that
carries the fingerprints of Al-Qa'eda [in Istanbul], there are still Al-Qa'eda
sympathizers denying the group's responsibility. This fits with their pattern after September
11, when they watched innocent people become the victims of Al-Qa'eda...time
will prove Al-Qa'eda's responsibility."
"Terrorists Have No Right To Speak For Arabs, Muslims"
The moderate English-language Daily Star
opined (11/17): "Saturday’s
bombings at two synagogues in Istanbul drew some condemnation in the Arab and
Islamic worlds, but far more is needed to dispel the dangerous notion that ours
is a civilization that wants its will to be expressed by violence. One should,
to say the least, have an exceedingly pressing reason before setting out to
kill innocent Jews at prayer and anyone else who happens to walk by. That
reason does not exist in this instance, and by acting in the manner they have,
the assailants in question have rendered a grotesque disservice to Arabs and
Muslims--who should not be shy about deploring such acts, especially when the
perpetrators claim to be acting in their name.
It is not just media outlets and governments that need to speak out
against terrorism...civil society...should voice outrage at having their
reputations smeared by a strategy of bloodletting that serves no purpose other
than to make this part of the world even more unstable.... No one has the right to decide for all Arabs
and Muslims that their interface with the rest of the world is to be one of
senseless carnage. The Arab and Islamic
worlds have had more than their share of problems in terms of communicating
their grievances. Apart from being
morally reprehensible, terrorism of the Istanbul variety also makes such
communication even more difficult. Like
conventional military action, guerrilla warfare and other forms of
low-intensity political violence are sometimes appropriate when all other
options have been exhausted. This is not one of those cases.... The alternative is to let a small minority of
extremists dictate to the regular citizens who constitute the majority that
their livelihoods will be undermined, their reputations fouled, and their
"A Civilizational Clash"
Editor Raouf Khalsi commented in independent
French-language Le Temps (11/16):
"Since its foundation in 1985 by Salih Mirzabeyoglu, the 'IBDA-C,'
the extremist group of the Islamic Front of Fighters of the Big East,
perpetrated attacks against bars, discotheques and churches in
Istanbul.... The fact that it resolved
to provoke a massacre in two synagogues in Istanbul, one of which is called
Neve Shalom (meaning peace), perpetrated also on the Hebrew religious day of
Sabbath, is exactly what doesn't serve the cause of Islam.... Indeed, the worst oppression in the face of
which Muslims must take action is this specter of obscurantism that the great
orators and fanatics agitate, the new ideologues of the wrong exegesis and
pseudo interpretations of the Koran....
It is not non-Muslims who are targeted and this tendency is liable to make
Christians and Hebrews understand that this drift, with its manifold
ramifications, is disseminating throughout certain sensitive regions around the
world, and hurting more the religion in the name of which they are
speaking.... Now, this tragedy does not
concern only non-Muslims. It is easy, in fact, to imagine the systematic
reaction of Sharon. Indeed, it is one of the most difficult fights that
humanity has ever engaged in unison against any form of religious
drift.... Because it is not a religious
fight, but rather a clash of civilizations...without forgetting, of course, the
share of responsibility of the West, Europe and the US: it is them who created
this bed of terrorism...and this Bush cannot deny."
UAE: "Reckless Terror
The English-language pro-government Gulf News declared
(11/17): "Once again the hand of
terror has lashed out with the fatally flawed expectation that violence will
serve in furthering political causes. No matter by whom it is done, or under
what banner, the murder of innocents must be deplored in the strongest terms.
As has been done by world and religious leaders worldwide, among them French
President Jacques Chirac and Pope John Paul II.
In the immediate aftermath of this horror directed at two synagogues in
Istanbul, however, it is important to reflect on a statement by Amr Moussa, the
Arab League's Secretary-General. While taking a stand that attacks against
civilians was unacceptable, Moussa made it clear to Israel that it was inciting
terrorism through its contempt for international resolutions. Only saner voices within Israel, that can
somehow make themselves heard over the blind policies of the warmongers, can
nudge the Jewish state towards positions that will enable moderates on all
sides to even make a dent in the problem.
This latest carnage, in which the hand of Al Qaida is not ruled out,
only serves to remind governments in the region that far more proactive
measures and greater exchange of intelligence are imperative against the forces
of international terrorism."
"Why There Have Been So Many Terror Attacks Recently"
Deng Li, Yin Zheng and Li Wei contended in official China Radio
International-sponsored World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)
(11/17): "The fact that terrorists
have expanded their targets to places people couldn't have imagined before the
attacks proves that some new characteristics have appeared in terror
organizations. The new round of terror
attacks has made people realize that the U.S. anti-terror fight in the Gulf
region has produced certain negative effects.... Al-Qaeda has adopted certain new
policies.... A third generation of
Al-Qaeda's leadership has emerged....
The Iraq war conducted by the U.S. to a certain extent stimulated
religious radicals in many countries.
They may plot terror activities and join terror organizations. The participation of these new
terrorists...shows that terror activities have expanded.... The main difficulty that the U.S. has encountered
in the Middle East lies in its methodology....
If in the first place the U.S. did not oust Saddam's regime but reformed
and made use of the regime, their lives might not be as difficult as it is
today.... Due to the mistakes that the
U.S. has made, the situation has become irreversible. The rampant expansion of terrorism in the
Gulf area and its confrontation with the anti-terror alliance may last for a
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):
"Watch Out For The Return Of Terrorist Groups"
Pro-PRC Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao remarked (11/18): "An email sent out yesterday by the
self-claimed 'al Qaeda' threatened more terrorist attacks around the world,
specifically car bombs in Britain, Italy, Australia and Japan. Last week, 'al Qaeda' also threatened a
large-scale attack against the U.S. within the month. Though people may doubt the email threat,
terrorist bombings around the world have increased, as has the scale of the
attacks. We should not underestimate the
capabilities of international terrorist groups.... Now more and more people realize that one of
the major reasons for the prevalence of international terrorism stems from
international counter-terrorism struggles....
U.S. hegemony and unilateralism will not only hurt the international
counter-terrorism effort, but will also fundamentally jeopardize the U.S.'
long-term security and strategic interests."
"World Community Should Join Hands To Counter Terrorism"
Liberal Mainichi observed (11/18): "A terrorist group, believed to be
linked with the Al Qaeda terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for
bombings at two synagogues in Istanbul and the Italian military police
headquarters in Nasiriyah. Al Qaeda terrorists are also believed to have been
responsible for the recent Riyadh bombing. Acts of terrorism have been
intensifying in and around Iraq with US troops and international organizations
becoming a bulls eye for terrorists. The
'Al Qaeda-linked' group has called Japan a close US ally and threatened to
strike Tokyo if Japan sends SDF troops to Iraq. It will only play into the
hands of terrorists if Japan reacts nervously to such threats of terrorism. The
GOJ should handle these threats in a cool-headed manner and take sufficient
precautionary anti-terror measures. Members of the world community should join
hands to launch a long-term war on terrorism, including the eradication of
international supporters who continue to finance the terrorists. The UN should
also play a central role in combating terrorism."
INDIA: "U.S. Turns To
Independent Urdu-language Urdu Times declared (11/17): "The Zionist-influenced world media
reported the explosion in Istanbul (Turkey, a Muslim country) on their set
pattern: it was done by 'Islamic' terrorists.
However, if the refusal of Turkey (and other Muslims countries as well)
from sending troops to serve American occupation of Iraq is taken into
consideration, one can easily identify the reason and the forces behind such
incidents. Turkey's refusal to provide
its troops as asked by the U.S. was unforgivable for which it had to be
punished. Saudi Arabia has already been
made to taste violence and other Muslim countries will also be targeted one by
one, with no exception for the ones swearing with loyalty to the US."
Attacks In Turkey: Islamic World Must Take Cognizance"
An editorial in leading mass-circulation Urdu-language Jang
read (11/17): "Doubts that the U.S.
is going to target more Islamic countries are increasing. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have refused to send
their troops to Iraq after which bomb blasts have started taking place in these
two countries. The Riyadh bomb blasts
have been credited to the account of Al-Qaeda, which has declined owning them
and has put the blame at the U.S. doorstep.
The Muslim countries should ponder why these suicidal attacks are only
being carried out in their countries.
Isn't it an attempt to bring Islam and Muslims into disrepute? This seems to be an attempt to create
internal chaos and strife paving the way for foreign aggression and
"Turkey: First Suicide
Lahore-based independent Urdu-language Din editorialized
(11/17): "This is the first suicide
attack in Turkey, no such incident has been reported from the country
earlier. The international media
Sherlock Holmeses and think tanks must analyze when armed militancy was
started, by which country, and by the followers of which religion? The answer to this is an open secret. It is a fact that Israel's Jewish and Zionist
leadership takes the credit for having introduced the modern day world to
terrorism. The international Zionist organization 'Zionist International Jewry'
terms terrorism as inevitable for the creation of Greater Israel.... It is ironic that the country that started
the war against terrorism continues to have several Jewish terrorist outfits in
many of its states.... Can anyone deny
the fact that the Jewish Defense League was established in the U.S.? Its founder Meir Kahne was so prejudiced that
he worked to eliminate anyone who opposed Israel.... It is the influence of these Zionist
terrorist outfits that American authorities feel no hesitation in supporting
every condemnable Israeli act. If the
international community and the global superpower want to stop the tide of
suicide attacks, they must rein in Israel and take measures to stop Israeli
atrocities against Palestinians, and to withdraw troops from Palestinian
"An Ugly New Round Of Anti-Semitism"
Canada's leading Globe & Mail
editorialized (11/18): "The suicide
bomb attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul on the weekend are only the latest
evidence of a new wave of anti-Semitism that is sweeping the globe.... In the suburbs of Paris, arsonists burn a
Jewish school to the ground. In a town near Berlin, vandals paint swastikas on
the tombstones of a Jewish cemetery....
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad tells a conference of
Islamic nations that "Jews rule the world by proxy." The audience
applauds.... That this ancient and
poisonous form of hatred should be welling up again, just 60 years after the
Holocaust, is a grim and shocking development.... Once a European phenomenon, anti-Semitism has
taken root in the Arab and larger Islamic world. Polls after Sept. 11 showed
that many Arabs believe that the Israeli security services, not al-Qaeda
terrorists, carried out the attacks....
The sad result of all this is that Jews around the world feel besieged,
worried and insecure.... There is only
one thing to do about the new anti-Semitism: confront it head on. The last time
this brand of hatred was unleashed on the world, it ended in the death of six
million. After that, the world vowed Never Again. To be true to that vow, we
have to fight anti-Semitism at every corner."
ARGENTINA: "A Safe
Paula Lugones contended in leading Clarin (11/17): "The previous weeks have been disastrous
for President Bush. A more organized Iraqi resistance attacks his men in Iraq
and people are already speaking about another Vietnam. The few countries that
dared join him in his warlike adventure--such as Spain and Italy, for
example--endured violent attacks and there's growing pressure for their
soldiers to return home.... In this
context, Al Qaida's reappearance with the blasts in Istanbul and its claim of
the attacks against the Italian headquarters in Iraq underscore the gross
calculation mistakes of the U.S. and force it to an immediate review in their
strategy. Where is Bush's promise of a 'safe world' resulting from the war in
Afghanistan and Iraq? As far as never before."
BRAZIL: "Still Al
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo stated (11/18): "Everything indicates that the double
attack against synagogues in Istanbul was carried out by Al Qaeda.... The attack has some characteristics that have
become a trademark of the organization, such as the type of target--Jewish
interests without any concern with Muslim lives.... The action was compatible with a supposed
reorganization of Al Qaeda....
Unfortunately, victories over Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq have been
insufficient.... It is an unequal
conflict in which terrorism has the advantage of operating in a cowardly
fashion, in the shadows, without the need to explain anything to anyone. The problem
of terrorism is complex and must be faced in its several nuances. Fighting
without respite against criminal organizations is one of them. But the world
will only be able to say that it won the threat when the political questions
that originate or facilitate terrorism have been resolved."