UPDATE: Two days after I first highlighted this some media is now reporting that the bomber did indeed specifically target the Israeli group. See below for more.
The first we knew of any Israeli connection to yesterday's terrorist attack in Istanbul was when one of the Turkish Government officials put out a tweet saying that she wished Israelis had been killed rather than only wounded. Then came the (incorrect) claim that the Israelis involved were all Arabs. And every media source claimed that the attack was almost certainly carried out by Kurdish separatists.
As soon as I heard that one of the fatalities was actually an Israeli I suspected this was an ISIS/Jihadist attack and nothing to do with the Kurds (and it has since been confirmed that the attacker was a known Jihadist). Now we know that 3 Israelis (all Jews and not Arabs as originally claimed) were killed and many others were injured. Most reports mention 4 dead in total including the suicide bomber; the "2 dead Americans" cited in many reports were actually two of the Israelis as they held dual passports. Although there were reports of some Irish wounded I have not seen any of that confirmed anywhere.
That means that in the centre of Istanbul a Jihadist suicide bomber managed to target a group of people who just happened to be almost exclusively Israeli Jews. Apart from the bomber himself all the dead were Israeli Jews (which will make that Turkish Government official very happy after all) as were most of the injured.
We also know that all of the Israelis involved were part of an organised tour. This is a fact which would have been known to many people in Turkey - a country where 96% of the population have unfavourable views of Jews and where they hate Israelis more than anybody else in the world. Given that Turkey hosts thousands of ISIS terrorists - as well as many other terrorists operating under Iranian funding - a large group of Israelis in the centre of Istanbul would have been a very attractive and easy target. While Israelis are positive people who like to travel and often think that their foreign hosts are all delighted to meet them (despite the persistent evidence to the contrary), they sadly will have stood out like a sore thumb. Both ISIS and Hezbollah have stated their desire to target Israelis everywhere. When you consider all of those facts - and throw in also the number of terrorist attacks that have taken place in Turkey recently - the idea that an Israeli group should choose the centre of Istanbul for their holiday destination is surprising to say the least.
Maybe it was all just one big, very unlucky, coincidence that a group of Israelis in the centre of one of the most antisemitic places on earth found themselves side-by-side with an Islamist suicide bomber. But my recommendation would be for Israelis - especially in groups - to avoid places like Turkey. Not simply because of the fact that there have been terrorists attacks there (that really would be giving in to terrorism) - but because the terrorists especially would like to kill Israelis and Jews; and in an Islamist country, especially, there are no Israeli security personnel to stop them.
Finally, after it became clear that the only victims were Israelis the story was dropped from all the main stream media apart from minor reports which simply still talk about an attack with unspecified victims 'likely to have been carried out by Kurdish separatists'. Sadly (but now typical for this increasingly useless newspaper) the Jerusalem Post also quickly relegated the story to a minor mention on its web pages so that it could continue to focus on what leftists seem to think is the greatest threat to world Jewry - Donald Trump.
Postscript: Now that the attack is known to have been directed only at Israelis the story no longer appears on the BBC New website (see screenshot below). Also I suppose the BBC will exclude it from their list of worldwide terrorist attacks as they have routinely done in the past. (their previous lists always exclude terrorist attacks in Israel).
|Screenshot of BBC Middle East News taken 17:21 on 21 March 2016.|