Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan compared Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked to Adolf Hitler Sunday, a day after accusing Israel of “state sponsored terrorism” against the Palestinians in Gaza.
According to Turkey’s Zaman website, Erdoğan made the remark in parliament, apparently referring to a hatchet job on Shaked by Daily Beast journalist Gideon Resnick, who cherry-picked a series of quotes from a 13-year-old article by the late journalist Uri Elitzur, and then mangled them in order to portray Shaked as a violent fanatic. A spokeswoman for MK Shaked told Zaman that “It is preposterous to argue that Member of Knesset Shaked called for harming innocents. Member of Knesset Shaked condemns violence of any kind,” but the statement did little to derail Erdoğan’s latest attacki. “What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler’s?” Erdoğan asked.
If Operation Protective Edge has given Erdoğan fuel for his ongoing anti-Israel rants – earlier this week he accused Israel of “state terrorism” for responding to Hamas rocket fire, and said that Israel “has sprayed bullets and caused deaths, as it does every Ramadan” – it is hardly his first venomous barrage vis-à-vis Israel and against Jews.
As early as 1998, as mayor of Istanbul, Erdoğan said “the Jews have begun to crush the Muslims in Palestine, in the name of Zionism. Today, the image of the Jews is no different than that of the Nazis.”
Later, in 2009, he said that President Shimon Peres “knows the job of killing… very well… We know how you shot and killed children on the beach,” before storming off a stage he had shared with Peres.
More recently, he said Jews were behind the military coup against Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi. Since becoming prime minister in 2005, Erdoğan has frequently accused Israel of “terrorism” against Palestinians and sought to drive a deep wedge between the one-time allies.