Thursday, February 28, 2013

Erdogan Calls Zionism "Crime Against Humanity" While UN chief Ban Ki-moon Remains Silent

In November 1998, the Institute for Jewish Policy Research released its annual report on current trends in anti-Semitism… [and] quoted the then-mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in June 1997, at a meeting organized by the municipality to celebrate the city’s conquest by the Ottoman Turks, remarking: “The Jews have begun to crush the Muslims of Palestine, in the name of Zionism,” the mayor said, “Today, the image of the Jews is no different from that of the Nazis.”
Erdogan: "The Image of the Jews Is No Different from that of the Nazis", Gatestone, February 11, 2013

UN Watch reports on Turkey's Prime Minister's continued assault on Israel, this time as Turkey's Erdogan to UN Conference: "Zionism is Crime Against Humanity":
UN Watch expressed shock over anti-Jewish remarks delivered by Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan at a UN summit for tolerance, and urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon -- who was present on the stage yet stayed silent -- to speak out and condemn the speech. The Geneva-based human rights group also called on Erdogan to apologize.

Speaking yesterday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue, Erdogan called Zionism, the movement founded in 1897 for Jewish self-determination, a "crime against humanity," likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia.
Here is a video of Erdogan's comment:

Of course this is not the first time that Erdogan has demonized Israel.
However, there is the potential for some backlash against Erdogan and Turkey.

In The Tower, The Israel Project's new blog, Oren Kessler writes Past Anti-Semitism Risks Diplomatic Fallout For Turkey PM Erdogan:
Turkish officials are evaluating what if any diplomatic damage will result from new evidence of past anti-Semitic remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan...

Foreign policy experts have described the Erdogan government’s ongoing refusal to pursue rapprochement with Jerusalem as “schoolyard behavior,” noting that government officials are “for whatever reason… incapable of rational and level-headed behavior when it comes to Israel.” Should it become plausible that Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party’s orientation toward Israel is grounded at least partially in anti-Semitism, it may become more difficult for Western media outlets and wires to describe the Prime Minister and his party as “moderate” or “mildly” Islamist.
The obvious question is just how much more of this behavior by Erdogan is necessary before the media catches on. More importantly -- what will it take for the nations of the world to recognize Erdogan's persistent Antisemitism for what it is and do something about it.

Considering the reluctance of the West to take consistent strong action against either Iran or its Hezbollah terrorists, one should not be too hopeful.

UPDATE: It turns out that Secretary of State Kerry is meeting with Erdogan tomorrow. Noah Pollak Executive Director, Emergency Committee for Israel has issued a statement on When Kerry meets Erdogan:
"Yesterday, at a UN-sponsored conference and in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that Zionism is a "crime against humanity." Moon, who was on stage with Erdogan, said and did nothing in protest. But tomorrow, the new Secretary of State, John Kerry, arrives in Ankara to meet with Erdogan.

"What will Kerry say? How will he respond to Erdogan? If he says nothing, he will be turning a blind eye to an explicit denial of the Jewish State's right to exist. The denial of Israel's right to exist is defined by Kerry's State Department as a form of anti-Semitism. Will Kerry stay silent in the face of such a reprehensible statement by a member of NATO, a major recipient of advanced American arms, and -- ostensibly -- a U.S. ally?

"President Obama likes to say that "when the chips are down, I have Israel's back." Erdogan's call for the destruction of Israel does not mean the chips are down. But shouldn't the U.S. president and secretary of state speak out when they hear such a statement? Will American leaders remain silent in the face of eliminationist rhetoric from leaders who seek our good favor? We will see tomorrow whether Secretary of State Kerry and the White House have Israel's back, not when the chips are down, but when the leader of an important country over whom the U.S. has substantial influence speaks in a way that forecasts and encourages the worst kinds of deeds."

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