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February 28, 2013 2:30 pm

Simon Wiesenthal Center Criticizes Ban Ki-Moon’s Silence as Erdogan Calls Zionism a “Crime Against Humanity”

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Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations. Photo: wiki commons.

An official with the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s silence at a UN conclave in Vienna as Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan charged that Zionism is “a crime against humanity,”equating it to racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Speaking Wednesday, Erdogan said, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”

“Frankly… we are deeply disappointed that the UN Secretary General, the world’s leading diplomat, sat through the attack in silence,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish International Human Rights NGO, said on Thursday. He added: “We note that the US, UK, Canada and Australia declined to attend in the first place, but that both Germany and France were in attendance. We urge the leaders of those two countries along with all NATO members to publicly denounce this hate-mongering.”

Cooper also criticized Erdogan, saying he “is exactly the type of bigoted politician he bemoaned in his speech. It has been clear for some time that President Erdogan has chosen to walk in the hateful footsteps of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and use the denigration of Israel and the millions of proud Zionists around the world to establish his credentials with the Islamist street. His anti-Semitic bombast is degrading 500 years of relations with the Jewish people and putting Turkey’s Jewish community at risk of attack from extremists.”

“With the upsurge of anti-Semitism raging across Europe, such a slander, left unchallenged will only further embolden anti-Semites everywhere,” the Wiesenthal Center official concluded.

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