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Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a sharp condemnation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following his comparison of the state of Muslims in Europe and that of the Jews before the Holocaust.

He claimed Monday that “the rising Islamophobia in the West has turned into a wholesale attack on our book [Quran], our prophet [Mohammed] and everything we consider holy,” he alleged in a televised speech.


“Relocations, inquisitions and genocides towards members of different religions is not a practice that is foreign to Europe,” he claimed, alleging that Europe was actively committing crimes against Muslims.

“The crimes against humanity committed against Jews 80 years ago, the acts against our Bosnian siblings in Srebrenica just 25 years ago are still in the memory,” he added.

“Israel rejects the disgusting comparison made between the struggle against Islamist extremism in France, and Nazi policy and racism against Jews in Europe before World War II,” stated Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lior Haiat.

Erdogan has previously been criticized for his anti-Semitism.

Erdogan focused his anger on France and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two are already in conflict over French policy against the separatism of Muslim communities across the country.

Erdogan attacked Macron on Saturday, saying “he needs mental health care because of his approach to Islam.”

“What’s this man Macron’s problem with Muslims and Islam,” Erdogan asked in a speech to the ruling party.

In response, Paris recalled its ambassador from Ankara and threatened Erdogan with sanctions.

On Monday, Erdogan continued his attack on France and called for a boycott of French products in Turkey.

“I am now telling my nation, just as they are saying in France not to buy anything from Turkish brands, I call on my nation here and now: do not pay attention to French-labelled goods, do not buy them,” he declared.

France has not declared a boycott of Turkish products.

To this, Haiat responded that the “call for a total boycott of French products is no more than a cynical political exploitation of freedom of expression that incites hatred, and is similar to the hypocritical calls for boycotts of Israeli goods.”

Several Muslim countries have launched a boycott on French products following France’s struggle with its large Muslim population and their fight against free speech in the country.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.