JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkey’s prime minister compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the terrorists in the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead.
“Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre,” Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday in televised responses to reporters’ questions. He noted the Israeli raid in May 2010 on a boat bound for Gaza in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip that left nine Turkish citizens dead.
Davutoglu made the comments three days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that he did not understand how Netanyahu “dared” to march in the rally against terrorism last weekend in Paris. Davutoglu also attended the march.
Netanyahu responded to Erdogan on Wednesday, telling a group of visiting AIPAC leaders on Wednesday that “I believe his shameful remarks must be repudiated by the international community because the war against terror will only succeed if it’s guided by moral clarity.”
Davutoglu said that Netanyahu’s government “made almost natural the killing of Palestinians at every opportunity.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday called Erdogan an “anti-Semitic neighborhood bully.”
“It’s bad enough that leaders in Europe fail to condemn blatant human rights violations in Turkey itself, he said, “but their ignoring of the hatred and the incitement against Israel that this man cultivates is something that we cannot ignore.”
Davutoglu also called the new cartoon on the cover of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a “grave provocation.”
“Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult,” he said of the cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.