Israeli Minister: Erdogan’s threat to open embassy in eastern Jerusalem ‘pathetic’

Elkin dismissed as “pathetic” Erdogan’s declaration regarding a Turkish embassy in eastern Jerusalem.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s declaration that he will open an embassy in the “State of Palestine” in eastern Jerusalem is “pathetic,” and will not come to fruition, an Israeli minister stated Monday.

“God willing, the day is close when officially, with God’s permission, we will open our embassy there,” Erdogan said on Sunday, in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Speaking to IDF Radio on Monday, Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin dismissed Erdogan‘s threat as “pathetic,” saying Israel would not allow it to happen.

When asked about the fraying reconciliation deal recently signed between Israel and Turkey, Elkin said that Erdogan doesn’t need to be “treated with silk gloves” and not everything he says needs to be taken seriously.

Israel signed a reconciliation deal with Turkey in the summer of 2016, and Israeli officials had hoped that it would temper Erdogan’s venom towards the Jewish state and help repair ties. However, this has not happened.

While the Turkish leader may appoint an envoy to man the post in “Palestine,” Elkin said Erdogan could wait hundreds or thousands of years until Jerusalem becomes the Palestinians’ capital. “It won’t happen,” Elkin stressed.

Ankara has threatened to sever ties with Jerusalem.

Israel controls all of Jerusalem and would not allow such a move on Turkey’s part, and therefore the declaration should be seen as a purely political move by Erdogan, who uses harsh anti-Israel rhetoric as a way to gain popularity on the Arab street.

Yehuda, a resident of Istanbul, dismissed Erdogan’s intimidation as an attempt to deflect internal political pressure in an attempt to have the public focus on another issue. “Every time there is a problem in the country he deflects public attention to another issue. If you ask here [in Turkey] where Jerusalem is, half of the people could not answer you,” he told IDF Radio.