February 28, 2013
Erdogan's Unchallenged Bigotry and Diplomats' Silence Legitimizes Hate
The Simon Wiesenthal Center decried UN Secretary General's silence at a UN conclave in Vienna as Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan charged that Zionism is "a crime against humanity," lumping it together with racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Erdogan said in part:
“We witness very frequently the alienation of the ‘other’ in various countries instead of efforts to understand the culture and beliefs of the ‘other,’” he said. “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” adding that “Certain politicians’ defamation of a religion or a sect by mass communication tools only makes pre-conceived notions bigger and deepens the gap.”
"Erdogan is exactly the type of bigoted politician he bemoaned in his speech. It has been clear for some time that Prime Minister Erdogan has chosen to walk in the hateful footsteps of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and use the denigration of Israel and the millions of proud Zionists around the world to establish his credentials with the Islamist street. His anti-Semitic bombast is degrading 500 years of relations with the Jewish people and putting Turkey's Jewish community at risk of attack from extremists," charged rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish International Human Rights NGO.
"Frankly however, we are deeply disappointed that the UN Secretary General, the world's leading diplomat sat through the attack in silence. We note that the US, UK, Canada and Australia declined to attend in the first place, but that both Germany and France were in attendance. We urge the leaders of those two countries along with all NATO members to publicly denounce this hate-mongering," Cooper added.
"With the upsurge of anti-Semitism raging across Europe, such a slander, left unchallenged will only further embolden anti-Semites everywhere," the Wiesenthal Center official concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).