“The children of those subjected to all sorts of torture in concentration camps during World War II are now attacking Palestinians with methods that would put Nazis to shame,” Turkey’s president charged.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan repeated his libel against Israel Friday when he likened IDF actions during last week’s violent riots at the Israel-Gaza border to what the Nazis did to the Jews during the Holocaust.
“The children of those subjected to all sorts of torture in concentration camps during World War II are now attacking Palestinians with methods that would put Nazis to shame,” he said at an emergency meeting Friday of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which he had called in response to the violent Hamas-led riots that ended in the death of 62 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.
“I will say openly and clearly that what Israel is doing is banditry, brutality and state terror,” he added, ignoring Wednesday’s admission by senior Hamas leader Salah Bardawil that 50 of the 62 killed by the IDF were members of his terrorist organization and that three others were claimed by Islamic Jihad.
This was not the first time the Turkish leader has made such comparisons. In 2014, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas, which was indiscriminately shooting dozens of rockets over the border at the time, Erdogan said, “Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism.”
Last November, in an interview with an Israeli news program, he refused to take back those words, saying, “I don’t agree with what Hitler did and I don’t agree with what Israel did in Gaza.”
“There is no point in comparing and asking who is more barbaric,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan tough on Israel ahead of elections
Ahead of elections in Turkey which he is expected to win, Erdogan seems to have toughened his rhetoric against Israel, apparently out of a belief that this will improve his showing.
In addition to the Nazi comments, Erdogan said that he will review economic and trade ties with Israel, and urged Islamic countries to uphold a recent decision calling for economic sanctions against any country that follows the US in moving its embassy to Jerusalem or recognizes the city as Israel’s capital.
Relations between Israel and Turkey soured dramatically in the aftermath of clashes last week on the Israel-Gaza border in which dozens of Palestinians were killed, leading to a diplomatic spat that saw the ambassadors and consuls general of both countries expelled or withdrawn to their homelands.
Erdogan, speaking to journalists as he flew from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Turkey on Sunday, said members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which Turkey currently chairs, should follow through on their resolution to punish countries that recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The OIC also called on its member states and the international community to implement a boycott of products from Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.