Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of “genocide” against the Kurdish people after Erdogan claimed Wednesday that Netanyahu was “no different than Hitler” due to Israel’s war against Hamas.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Erdogan made the accusation in a speech Wednesday:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is no different than” Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed in a Wednesday speech.
Erdogan said that Netanyahu was no different from Hitler and likened Israel’s attacks on Gaza to the treatment of Jewish people by the Nazis.
Earlier in December, the Turkish president said that Netanyahu would be tried as a war criminal over Israel’s ongoing offensive in the Gaza Strip, referring to the Likud party leader as the “butcher of Gaza.”
Comparing Israel to the Nazis is considered a form of Holocaust denial and antisemitism.
Netanyahu responded, in a statement released by the Government Press Office:
“Erdogan, who is committing genocide against the Kurds and who holds the world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his regime, is the last person who can preach morality to us.
The IDF, which is the most moral army in the world, is fighting to eliminate the most abhorrent and brutal terrorist organization in the world, Hamas-ISIS, which has committed crimes against humanity, and which Erdogan has praised and whose leaders he hosts.”
Netanyahu and Erdogan have been trading barbs in recent days, as Breitbart News reported:
Erdogan set off the latest exchange with an anti-Israel diatribe in a speech delivered at an Istanbul meeting of the Turkey Youth Foundation on Saturday. “The Jews in Israel kick people lying on the ground,” he claimed. “In fact, Jews don’t kick men but also women and children when they fall on the ground. But as Muslims, we’ll confront these people if they have courage to deal with us, and we’ll teach them a lesson.”
Later on Saturday, in response, Netanyahu issued a statement, saying, “Erdogan — the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey — should not preach to Israel.”
Erdogan and Turkey have supported Hamas for many years. There is speculation that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was actually in Turkey, and not Qatar, during the October 7 terror attack that launched the war.
Turkey triggered a diplomatic crisis when it tried to help terrorists infiltrate Gaza through a “flotilla” on the Mediterranean in 2010. Israel and Turkey, once strong military allies, repaired relations four years later.
Update: Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz joined in the condemnation of Erdogan:
I condemn the statements made by Turkish President Erdogan.
Statements that are blatant distortions of reality and a desecration of the Holocaust’s memory.
Hamas was the organisation that perpetrated a despicable massacre. Removing the threat of Hamas from the citizens of…
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) December 27, 2023
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.