Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan grouped Zionism with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia as a “crime against humanity” in a speech at a United Nations summit on tolerance held in Vienna on Wednesday, Israel Hayom reported.
“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan was speaking at the fifth global forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was seated behind Erdoğan on the dais, did not react.
Erdoğan’s comments echoed U.N. General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted on Nov. 10, 1975 by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), which determined “that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The resolution was revoked in 1991 by UN General Assembly Resolution 4686.
“The status accorded to Palestine at the U.N. General Assembly [in recognizing it last November as a non-member observer state] was indeed a historic achievement. This has been a very important turning point in global peace,” Erdoğan added.
The non-governmental monitoring organization UN Watch criticized Erdoğan’s comments and urged all members of the alliance’s High-Level Group, which comprises eminent people, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “to denounce remarks that fundamentally contradict the very purpose of a forum supposedly dedicated to mutual tolerance.”
“Erdoğan’s misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmadinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world, will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel,” UN Watch said on its blog.