Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been a vocal opponent of Israel’s military offensive into Gaza over the last several days, but in an interview with CNN International that aired on Thursday morning, he escalated his rhetoric, standing by an analogy he made between the modern Israeli government and the Nazis.
“I completely stand by my comments,” Erdoğan said through a translator, referring to parallels he drew between Israel and the Nazis last week. “You can see that what Israel does to Palestine, to Gaza right now, has surpassed what Hitler did to them.”
He made sure to clarify that he does not “approve” or “accept” what Hitler did to the Jews during World War II, but added, “Right now we do accept this persecution, this massacre, this genocide by Israel.”
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported over the weekend that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Erdoğan’s “anti-Semitic” comments during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki called Erdogan’s statements “offensive and wrong,” adding that “of course, this kind of provocative rhetoric is unhelpful and distracts from urgent efforts to bring about a cease-fire.”
Watch video below, via CNN International:
[Photo via screengrab]
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