Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Turkey's Rambo Takes Aim At Israel

While we're on the topic of media, Foreign Policy is reporting that relations between Israel and Turkey will likely suffer another blow with the upcoming release of a Turkish spy film. “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine” is the latest adventure for Agent Polet Alemdar, who Foreign Policy describes as a sort of “Rambo for the Islamic world”; Alemdar's target this time is Israel, specifically Israeli agents who intercepted a Turkish aid ship bout for Gaza.

You likely remember the story of the Gaza-bound relief flotilla intercepted by Israeli forces earlier this year; while several of the boardings went off peacefully, the boarding of the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara went terribly with a battle breaking out on deck between the Gaza activists and Israeli commandos, which left nine of the Mavi Marmara's crew dead. “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine” is the story of Alemdar's quest for revenge against the Israeli agents responsible for the events aboard the Mavi Marmara, a story that actually sounds a lot like the movie Munich, the story of Israeli agents exacting revenge against the Palestinians who planned the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Similarities aside, the Israelis are livid over the release of “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine”, which they say is another example of the “creeping anti-Semitism” in Turkey today. It's worth noting that Israel-Turkey relations hit another low point recently after a Turkish television movie about secret agents painted Israel's Mossad is a very unflattering light. Following the airing of that movie, the Turkish ambassador to Israel was publicly dressed down on Israeli television, an act that outraged the Turks.

But it's not only the Israelis who are angered over their portrayal in another country's pop culture, Chinese officials are also fuming over recent depictions of their officials in the British spy series Spooks (MI-5 here in the states). According to reports in the British press, government officials in China have ordered Chinese television networks not to do business with the BBC in protest over a storyline in the latest season of Spooks, which cast the Chinese as the bad guys planning to, among other things, set off a “dirty bomb” in London if the British interfered with their plans; a pretty strong reaction considering that Spooks doesn’t even air in China. Officially, the Chinese foreign ministry said it would have to “look into the matter” of the alleged BBC boycott.
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