Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday hit back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who blasted him this week for “daring” to attend an anti-terror solidarity march in Paris.
“I believe his shameful remarks must be repudiated by the international community, because the war against terror will only succeed if it’s guided by moral clarity,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as telling visiting leaders of the US pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
Netanyahu, as well as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, joined other world leaders at Sunday’s Paris march in memory of 17 people killed in Islamist terror attacks last week, among them six Jews, four of whom were targeted at a kosher supermarket in the city.
At a news conference in Ankara on Monday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Erdogan said he could “hardly understand how he (Netanyahu) dared to go” to the massive march in the French capital.
The Turkish president urged Netanyahu to “give an account for the children, women you massacred” and accused him of leading “state terrorism” against the Palestinians.
In his retort on Wednesday, Netanyahu said: “I’ve yet to hear any world leader condemn the comments by Erdogan, not one.
“He said that Israel should not have been represented in the march in Paris, and the reason he gave was our actions to defend our citizens against the thousands of rockets hurled at our cities by the terrorists of Hamas,” he added.
Earlier Wednesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called Erdogan an “anti-Semitic neighborhood bully” and accused Europe of contributing to increasing anti-Semitism on the continent by ignoring Erdogan’s recent anti-Israel statements.
“European states’ silence in the face of the recurring diatribes of Erdogan, who calls our state a terror state, leads to the same murderous hatred against Jews in Europe,” the foreign minister declared. It’s bad enough that leaders in Europe fail to condemn blatant human rights violations in Turkey itself, he said, “but their ignoring of the hatred and the incitement against Israel that this man cultivates is something that we cannot ignore.”
“If one looks for the reasons for increasing anti-Semitism in Europe — why and how it happens — this is one of the reasons. The silence of the lambs of cultured Europe — the Europe of political correctness — in the face of an anti-Semitic neighborhood bully like Erdogan and his friends brings us back to the situation of the 1930s.”