Netanyahu slams Erdoğan’s words on Israel’s Gaza offensive as ‘anti-Semitic’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference. AP Photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned as “anti-Semitic” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s criticism of the latest military operation in Gaza, Israeli newspaper Hareetz reported on July 20.

Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone conversation that Erdoğan’s recent remarks, accusing Israel of massacring Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and carrying out war crimes “worse than Hitler” were anti-Semitic, adding that they “desecrated the memory of the Holocaust.”

During an election rally on July 19, the Turkish prime minister slammed the latest military operations, describing Israel as a “terrorist state.” “The terrorist state Israel has attacked Gaza once again, hitting innocent children who were playing on a beach,” he said.

“They always curse [Adolf] Hitler, but they [Israel] now even exceed him in barbarism. Some Americans ask why the prime minister [Erdoğan] makes such comparisons with Hitler. What’s that to you? You’re America, what’s Hitler got to do with you?” Erdoğan added, criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama for stressing Israel’s “right to self-defense” over its military operation in Gaza.

In a phone call with Netanyahu hours before Erdoğan’s speech, U.S. President Barack Obama backed Israeli’s right to self-defense but warned against an escalation in Gaza.

“What self-defense? One Israeli is killed and over 300 Palestinians ... What kind of defense is that? Israel has everything, including nuclear bombs, but they say the Palestinians shouldn’t be armed. With what will they defend themselves then?” Erdoğan...

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