Israel Feels the Heat Amid Ocalan Rumors

  • Share
  • Read Later
Whether or not it actually helped Turkey catch Abdullah Ocalan, Israel is paying a price. "No matter what the reality, the perception of such a connection will do the damage," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. Israeli security personnel shot dead three Kurdish protesters and wounded 15 who had forced their way into Israel's Berlin consulate Wednesday. The attack followed media reports -- fiercely denied by Israel -- alleging that the Mossad intelligence agency had helped snare the Kurdish rebel leader. Israel has closed embassies across Europe in anticipation of further attacks.

Special Report Ocalan's capture may have other unintended consequences -- such as boosting the guerrilla leader's political claims. "Ocalan isn't considered the leader of the Kurds," says Dowell. "He's one among a number of contenders -- and possibly the least appealing. But his arrest may make him the focal point of Kurdish resistance." The rush of European governments to demand fair treatment for the captive suggests that when Ocalan finally appears in court, Turkey could find its Kurd policy on trial along with him.

Discuss the Kurds and the arrest of Ocalan>>