AJC Denounces Turkish Prime Minister’s Shameful Outburst at Davos

January 29, 2009

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC called today’s vicious verbal assault on Israeli President Shimon Peres by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan “a public disgrace that may well encourage further outrages against Israel and Jews.”

“When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill,” Erdogan yelled at Peres, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, during a panel on Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Erdogan then stormed off the stage.

“Prime Minister Erdogan’s tantrum at Davos throws gasoline on the fire of surging anti-Semitism,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. “Erdogan’s unjustified remarks and disrespect of Israel’s president are yet another demonstration of how criticism of Israel is becoming increasingly virulent.”

AJC also was stunned to see Erdogan quote with approval the obscure writings of a Jew turned anti-Semite, a former Israeli citizen named Gilad Atzmon, who has said that “the Jewish state is the ultimate threat to humanity and our notion of humanism.”

“When the author of such ravings is quoted by the prime minister of a democratic country, we must seriously ask ourselves where reason ends and hatred begins,” Harris said.

“The relationship between Turkey and Israel is a vital one that has enjoyed the support of American Jews,” Harris continued. “But we cannot remain silent in the face of such appalling rhetorical denunciations of Israel, particularly when there has been a worrying surge of anti-Semitism in Turkey in recent weeks.”

In a letter to Erdogan last week, AJC and four other American Jewish organizations expressed profound concern over the current wave of anti-Semitic manifestations in Turkey.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee

Source: newswire

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