Please allow me to disturb you for the following. It appears that the Jewish Voice of NY has seriously dropped the ball on critical reporting regarding the documentary “The Turkish Passport” [in your April 19 issue].
The documentary is an unacceptable misrepresentation of the historical record. I would like to refer you to a review of the documentary, available at: www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=35380
Ugur Ümit Üngör
NIOD: Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies
Dear Dr. Üngör:
First of all, thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding this issue. It’s gratifying to see that the Jewish Voice is being “heard” not only throughout the East Coast, but even as far away as The Netherlands. Now, in regards to the matter at hand…
We’ve had a chance to read your review, and encourage our readers to do the same. While we are distraught to think that the information presented in “The Turkish Passport” might be distorted, or in some cases, even fabricated, we are not surprised. This is not so dissimilar from PR efforts by the Bulgarian government, touting the fact that they alone, among the Axis Powers, “saved” their Jews. In fact, they only shipped off those Jews dwelling in the areas they annexed to the death camps. Of course, if you were to gun down half the people in a crowded room, and chose not to shoot the other half, claiming that you “rescued” the survivors is disingenuous to say the least. For a more thorough exploration of Hungary’s role in the Holocaust and the subsequent whitewashing thereof, we recommend Shelomo Alfassa’s Shameful Behavior: Bulgaria and the Holocaust. Mr. Alfassa, incidentally, penned an exposé on the subject following the Burgas terror attack, when mainstream media began parroting the myth of Bulgaria’s wartime benevolence as fact; it appeared in our July 27 issue, and can still be read in the Special Features section of JewishVoiceNY.com.
As for the Turks, again, we are disappointed to find that their benevolence toward those persecuted by the Nazis may be exaggerated—disappointed, but not surprised. What is surprising is that the Israeli Consul for Media Affairs Shahar Azani implicitly endorsed the film by speaking at its screening here in New York.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that our managing editor was a student of Turkish history and politics, having even gone on academic exchange to Istanbul’s prestigious Bosphorus University—his focus, however, was more on Ottoman history than World War II per se. Perhaps it was his affinity for Turkish culture, and the JV’s hope that the once fruitful alliance that until recently united the nations of Turkey and Israel would one day be revived, that made us want to believe in the accuracy of “The Turkish Passport.” Perhaps the Hon. Shahar Azani was similarly motivated. We at the Jewish Voice would like to offer him the opportunity to make his thoughts on the subject known.
While we’re not saying that we consider your analysis of the documentary to be the final word on the subject, we do thank you for your interest in this subject, and in the Jewish Voice. You have given us, and our readers, some serious food for thought.
The Jewish Voice
Keeping our Business
Kudos to you, and to the Investigative Project on Terrorism as well, for your coverage of the money laundering scandal involving Standard Chartered. Of course, they’re not the first bank to be revealed to be laundering money for drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and rogue states like Iran in recent months. They’re not even the first British one, as you noted in last week’s editorial. Not to stereotype, but I know, by virtue of my own acquaintances, that your newspaper appeals to a fairly affluent readership. I certainly hope that those of your readers who invest internationally, will take this information to heart, and vote with their wallets when it comes to who they do business with. Giving your money to banks that work with criminal organizations, and worse, criminal governments – that’s not kosher!
ALL THE BEST,
NEW YORK, NY