Report: Turkish PM Erdoğan Says Israel’s Mentality ‘No Different From Hitler’s’
Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s third-largest newspaper, on Tuesday led its online edition with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s weekly appearance in parliament, where he referred to comments falsely attributed to Israeli Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked in The Daily Beast last week that “all Palestinians are our enemies,” as being no different to Adolf Hitler.
Hurriyet wrote: “Referring to a female Knesset member who reportedly said that ‘all Palestinians are our enemies,’ Erdoğan said this mentality was no different to that of Hitler. ‘If these words had been said by a Palestinian, the whole world would have denounced it,’ he added.”
While Erdoğan’s Hitler reference, which was absent from an AFP report from Ankara on Tuesday, was indicative of his animosity to Israel, the inaccurate and mis-attributed quote he seized upon sp0ke to the heightened war of words as media outlets tried to paint black-and-white narratives of the ongoing conflict.
The line came from an article in The Daily Beast last week that tried to illustrate how the “toxic atmosphere in Israel and the occupied territories grows even more poisonous, as extremists on both sides ratchet up the hate talk,” with journalist Gideon Resnick choosing to feature MP Sheked’s Facebook page as barometer. However, in Resnick’s zeal to make his point, he pounced on an article by Uri Elitzur, a former Netanyahu associate and journalist, written in 2002, in the midst of the second Palestinian Intifada, that was posted to her Facebook on July 1, and put his words in the MP’s mouth.
Her only comment was: “Relevant today as it was then: ‘the Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we need to fight back.'”
In a follow-up piece three days later, Sheked told Resnick, when he phoned her, that his mistake, which The Daily Beast didn’t correct, but rather “updated,” has caused her death threats and forced her to take on armed bodyguards to protect her life.
Erdoğan jumped on the controversy to further indict Israel, saying to his group in parliament, “What Israel has been using in Gaza since last week is not explainable. Israel continues to terrorize. Moving beyond individual terrorism, it’s now committing state terror.”
Striking an even more defiant and nationalist tone, Erdoğan said, “No country in the world, except Turkey, can stand against Israel’s attacks and urge it to stop. I recall, once again, that those who commit brutalities will sooner or later pay the price,” according to Hürriyet.
“They say, ‘Hamas is rocketing as well.’ Yes, but there are no casualties. You killed 200 Palestinians. The Israeli people will never be in security and prosperity if they continue these policies,” he said.
Erdoğan reiterated that Turkish-Israeli ties would not be normalized if Israel continues to “kill innocent children and continue its operations on Gaza.”
He welcomed Egypt’s initiative for a ceasefire, which has been accepted by Israel but refused by Hamas, but said it was not enough, and that Israel should “immediately lift the illegal embargo on Palestine.” The embargo was enacted to prevent Hamas from receiving arms and rockets from its allies, but, as Erdoğan did not mention, Israel, despite the Hamas bombardment, has continued to ship humanitarian aid and food supplies into Gaza.