Jewish Human Rights Group Says ‘Anti-Semitic Diatribe’ by Turkey’s Erdoğan ‘Unmatched Since Hitler and Goebbels’
Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday said an “anti-Semitic diatribe” by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was “unmatched since Hitler and Goebbels.”
The group said it is urging U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders to repudiate Erdoğan who evoked Hitler to describe Israel defending herself from Hamas’s ceaseless rocket barrage and broken truces.
Erdoğan told thousands at a rally, “They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won’t grow up; they kill men so they can’t defend their country … They will drown in the blood they shed…”
In a statement, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Wiesenthal Center, and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, said, “These lines are the words of a modern day Goebbels who believes that if you repeat a lie often enough it will eventually be accepted as truth.”
“After such a diatribe we fear for the safety of the Jewish communities in Turkey and in Europe,” they said. “His calumny is virtually a warrant to attack Jews everywhere.”
“The entire world knows what Erdoğan would do if thousands of rockets were fired at his cities,” they said. “The time has come for President Obama and the world’s leaders to reign Erdoğan in and repudiate his unadulterated anti-Semitism.”
Last week, Erdoğan, via Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, responded to an open letter from the American Jewish Congress asking for the return of its ‘Profile of Courage’ award, bestowed in 2004 for Erdoğan’s stance on fighting terrorism and working towards peace. In his own open letter, reported by Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News, Turkish Ambassador Serdar KÄ±lÄ±ç said, “Prime Minister Erdoğan will be glad to return the award.”
Jack Rosen, president of the New York-based AJC, accused Erdoğan of “dangerous rhetoric” and “inciting violence against the Jewish people,” with a series of speeches condemning Israel and by not condemning protests in Turkey that devolved into violence at the Israeli embassy and consulate and even the Israeli ambassador’s private residence.
“A decade after we gave you our award, you have become arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world — spewing dangerous rhetoric for political gain and inciting the Turkish population to violence against the Jewish people,” Rosen said.
Political analysts in Ankara, as reported by Reuters, pointed to the upcoming election in Turkey, where Erdoğan’s Israel-bashing has helped him secure a dominant lead ahead of the vote.