Photo Credit: AMISOM Photo / Ilyas Ahmed
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Mogadishu, Somalia, January 25. 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday told a visiting delegation led by Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Isaak Haleva, and the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, with representatives of the Alliance of Rabbis in the Islamic States (ARIS) that Turkey views antisemitism as a crime against humanity, just like Islamophobia, Anadolu reported.

At the meeting at the presidential complex in the capital, Ankara, Erdogan told the visiting rabbis: “Just as we see Islamophobia as a crime against humanity, we also see anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity,” and added: “I do not accept any approach that marginalizes people because of their faith or ethnic origin.”

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The Turkish President praised the contributions of his country’s Jewish citizens over the centuries, and said: “We did not allow inhuman ideas such as racism, antisemitism, intolerance to other religions to find ground in these lands.” He also said, “We need to be in solidarity in the fight against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia, especially in Western countries.”

And then Erdogan addressed the blue and white elephant in the room, saying, “Turkey’s greatest desire is a Middle East where societies from different religions, languages, and ethnicities live together in peace.” He suggested that the past decade and a half of terrible relations between Turkey and Israel were rooted in Turkey’s warnings to the Israeli government to “ensure that matters are approached via the perspective of long-term peace and stability in the Middle East.”

He’s only been educating his less bright younger brother, see…

Erdogan then continued his patronizing message to Israel, saying that “relations with Israel in the fields of economy, trade, and tourism are progressing in their own way,” but, naturally, “Israel’s sincere and constructive attitude in the context of peace efforts will undoubtedly contribute to the normalization process. Turkey-Israel relations are vital for the stability and security of our region.”

He concluded: “The steps to be taken on the Palestinian issue, especially in Jerusalem, will contribute to the security and stability of not only the Palestinians but also Israel. In this regard, I attach great importance to our renewed dialogue with both Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.”

It’s the nicest Erdogan has been in years to the Jewish State, but, clearly, his essential demands remain the same: no Israeli moves in Jerusalem – which includes the ownership disputes in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood and Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.