Days of Palestine, New York –Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused on Monday the Israeli occupation of having indiscriminately massacred innocent babies during its war on Gaza.
Erdogan also rebuffed previous Israeli accusations against him of being anti-Semite. “Criticizing Israel massacres that defy international law, and trample on human rights and life is not anti-Semitism,” Erdogan said during a speech in New York.
“Holding a state that massacres ten people by stopping an international ship taking aid to Gaza is not anti-Semitism,” he added, referring to the Israeli occupation navy attack on an international flotilla sailed in the Mediterranean to break the strict Israeli siege on Gaza. Ten Turks were killed.
“And it is not anti-Semitism to criticise an administration that massacres, kills babies, children, innocent babies, children, in their homes, mosques, hospitals, schools, beaches, parks, without any discrimination,” Erdogan said.
“When we look at Palestine, we don’t see Arab, Sunni, or Hamas,” he said, “we first and foremost see people.”
The fate of the Palestinian people is important to all people of conscience and lies at the heart “of many of the issues” in the Middle East, he said. Israeli occupation knows this and yet decided to put “its own people and the people of the region in fire,” he added.
“Maybe I am one of the first prime ministers in the world to have said that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity,” he said. Indeed, Turkey has always helped Jews when they were persecuted, be it during the Spanish Inquisition or during the Holocaust, he declared.
“Our criticism is not directed to the Jews. It is only and solely directed at the Israeli administration and its policies, and no one should distort this. There is a distinction here,” he argued.
“Whenever we criticise the massacring of innocent women in Palestine, some circles engage in a campaign to distort the perceptions about Turkey. Whenever we criticise the killing of innocent children, babies, in the Middle East, some media organisations target us.
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But, he vowed, these “smear campaigns” will not deter Turkey from continuing its current policies towards the Israeli occupation.