Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center this week accused Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of anti-Jewish sentiment that was “unmatched since Hitler and Goebbels.”
The American group, who exist to promote the rights of Jewish people across the world, said that they are urging US President Barack Obama and other world leaders to take action against Erdoğan after recent comments made regarding recent Israel-Palestine conflicts.
At a recent political rally Erdoğan said on the subject of Israel:
“They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won’t grow up; they kill men so they can’t defend their country … They will drown in the blood they shed…”
In response to the president’s speech Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said “ these lines are the words of a modern day Goebbels” before going on to accuse Erdoğan of anti-Semitism that equated to hate speech.
Erdoğan’s words however did not provoke a strong negative reaction within his own country. As a majority Muslim country many Turkish citizens have fiercely opposed Israel’s actions towards Palestine. Last month angry protesters raided the Israeli embassy and flew the Palestinian flag in response to Israel’s most recent ground attack on Palestinian territory.
The opinion within Turkish society is one largely against Israel which is leading some to be concerned that pro-Palestinian sentiment may lead to anti-Jewish acts of racism and violence.