Turkish Officials will not Attend Israeli Holocaust Conference

Published: June 11th 2010
in News » Israel

Yad Vashem

Ever since the flotilla confrontation, Israeli-Turkish foreign relations have plunged to an unprecedented low. Now, the tension is being felt among the Israeli and Turkish people as well: an official Turkish delegation has canceled its participation in the Seventh International Conference on Holocaust Education. 


The conference is to be held this weekend at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, by the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.


It is expected to draw over 200 diplomats and researchers from 30 countries. The purpose of the convention is to discuss how to preserve and promote the memory of the Holocaust and the struggle to diminish anti-Semitism, racism and Holocaust denial.


Dan Tichon, former deputy speaker of the Knesset, is the chairman of the event, and Yakov Rozen is in charge of politically coordinating with all the participants. 


At first, the Turks approved their participation in the event, however, "following the flotilla incident, they removed their participation," said Yakov Rozen. "Thankfully, the rest of the countries that were invited don't mix up day to day news with the Holocaust remembrance.”


In the meantime, it has been published that the Israeli government has blocked all access to its servers for Turkish users. This includes all Israeli government websites. The reason is the recent surge in cyber attacks by Turkish hackers on Israeli websites. The relentless hackers have also tried to hack the sites of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), the Mossad, the foreign office and the Prime Minister's office.


Moreover, "Tehila"- the central body that provides government ministries and institutions with highly secure internet services- fought the malicious hackers, before deciding to block all Turkish access.


Despite the fact that Turkish hackers now have a hard time infiltrating Israeli sites, this one way "firewall" has one big disadvantage: it blocks those Turkish users who want to hear what Israel has to say. Now, they cannot access the foreign office site or the IDF's spokesman site.


Another downside is the fact that Israeli diplomats stationed in Ankara and Istanbul can't surf Israeli websites either.

Related articles: (turkey, israel, holocaust, yad vashem, jerusalem)

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