Erdogan Attacks Netanyahu for ‘Daring’ to Attend Paris March

January 12, 2015  

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday attacked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for “daring” to attend the weekend’s anti-terror solidarity march in Paris, accusing him of leading “state terrorism” against the Palestinians.

The comments were the latest verbal assault against Netanyahu and Israel in general by Erdogan, under whose rule Turkey’s relations with Israel have steadily deteriorated.

“I also hardly understand how he (Netanyahu) dared to go there. For once, you give an account for the children, women you massacred,” Erdogan told a joint press conference in Ankara alongside Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas and Netanyahu, as well as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, all joined the solidarity march in Paris in the memory of 17 people killed in Islamist terror attacks last week.

But Erdogan said Netanyahu had no right to be there following Israel’s 50-day conflict with Islamist terrorists in Gaza. 

“How can you see this individual who carries out state terrorism by massacring 2,500 people in Gaza waving his hand?” said Erdogan.

“He is waving his hand as if people are very enthusiastically waiting for him,” said Erdogan, referring to the images of Netanyahu acknowledging supporters in Paris.

Erdogan is known for his angry outbursts at the Jewish state, declaring in July that Israel had “surpassed Hitler in barbarism”. 

In 2009, Erdogan walked off the stage at the World Economic Forum after an angry exchange with the Israeli president, Shimon Peres.

He has also been accused of inciting against Jews in general; anti-Semitism in Turkey has risen considerably in the years since his Islamist AKP party took power, prompting many young Turkish Jews to leave the country – often to Israel.

France’s Jews, at least, were in fact “enthusiastically waiting” for Netanyahu to arrive. The Israeli PM was mobbed by supporters as he entered Paris’s Grande Synagogue, with people chanting his nickname “Bibi!” and calling on Israel to “save” them from the growing wave of deadly anti-Semitism in France.

Mahmoud Abbas’s presence at the rally has also been heavily criticized, particularly by Israeli officials, who point to the long list of terrorist attacks and record of anti-Semitic incitement coming from his own Fatah and PLO organizations.

Jewish Home party head and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett led the criticism, in comments which also slammed the presence of the Emir of Qatar.

“If we want to fight terror, we have to call it by name. Both Abbas and the Emir of Qatar, who was also invited to the rally, have their hands full of the blood of terror. How can the West fight terror if it is willing to live with terror?” he asked.

Further noting Abbas’s notorious thesis in which he denies the scale of the Holocaust, Bennett fired that inviting him to an anti-terror event “makes a farce of the whole thing. We have to wake up and call this what it is – not generic ‘terror,’ but Islamic terror that is hitting us with full force.”

AFP contributed to this report.

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