IHH Leader Calls Zionism A Virus Infecting Humanity



MEMRI has translated comments by Bulent Yildirim, the head of the Turkish charity known as IHH, in which he says “Our Problem Is Zionism – Which, Like a Virus, Has Infected All Humanity.” According to the MEMRI translation:

At an event in the southern Turkish coastal town of Alanya, Bulent Yildirim, the head of the Islamic Human Rights and Freedom Organization (IHH), which organized the May 2010 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, told an audience of over 1,000 about the organization’s plans to send a second flotilla to Gaza, consisting of 15-20 vessels, as well as land convoys and an airplane.

“Until Our March to Al-Aqsa is Completed, This Sea Intifada and Land Intifada Will Continue”
“We are getting ready… There will be a ship from every country… in Europe. Our own Mavi Marmara will also set sail from Europe… Vessels will come from everywhere in the world…
“Israel will learn this: The Mediterranean does not belong to Israel… Just because we have had shahids, we are not fearful… We will not step back…
“Let all know this: Until the blockade on Gaza is lifted… and until our march to al-Aqsa is completed, this sea intifada and land intifada will continue!
“Also, it will not be only by sea. We are preparing for land convoys as well. And with Allah’s permission, our project for the purchase of an airplane will soon be realized. This way we will reach Gaza by air too.”
“Our Problem Is Zionism – Which, Like a Virus, Has Infected All Humanity!”
“What do we say to the world leaders? Do not expect us to live in peace, when people in Gaza are dying… And do not expect us to remain silent when al Aqsa mosque is a prisoner…
“We are saying this: We don’t have a problem with the Christians or Jews. Some of them were with us in our ships… But we do have a problem with one place! And we declare it with courage… without fear… We say this with no hesitation: Our problem is Zionism – which, like a virus, has infected all humanity!”

[1] Dha, Zaman, Turkey, April 7, 2011.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has recently published a report titled “Turkey, the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and the Gaza Flotilla” which profiles the IHH. The JCPA report conclusions state:

Although IHH declared that the flotilla was humanitarian in nature, the history of IHH suggests that it is not only a humanitarian organization. Some of the IHH’s key founders fought in the 1990s in the Mujahidin Brigade of the Bosnian Army along with many veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. In addition, there have been multiple reports of terrorist/jihadist activity by IHH, including allegations that IHH was in possession of weapons and explosives, was recruiting soldiers for jihad and sending them into war zones such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya, and that calls had been made from IHH headquarters to an al-Qaeda guest house. The reports also say that during the 2003 Iraq war, IHH sent donations and aid to areas under insurgent control in Iraq, including to Fallujah in mid-2004, before US and British forces defeated a coalition there made up of al-QaedaIraq and former Baathists at the end of the year. Finally a French magistrate testified in a US court that IHH played an important role in the 2000 al-Qaeda Millennium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In addition to these reported terrorist ties, this report demonstrates that IHH and the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network had numerous contacts with Hamas and the Hamas government in Gaza including joint press conferences, delegations to Gaza, and telephone calls with Hamas leaders, including Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. IHH and its leaders met with senior Hamas activists including Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, held joint press conferences with Hamas spokesmen, and attended a Hamas rally in Gaza. The Turkish/MB network also had a relationship with the Union of Good, a coalition of charities headed by Youssef Qaradawi raising money for Hamas and reported by the Israeli government to include IHH as a member organization. This relationship included hosting a congress of the Union in Istanbul that included the IHH chairman as well as the reported transfer by IHH of tens of thousands of dollars to two Hamas charities associated with the Union. Both Israel and the US have designated the Union of Good as a terrorist organization.Aside from these terrorist connections, this report demonstrates that IHH and the rest of the Turkish/MB network are in fact Islamist, politicized organizations.

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