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Wiesenthal Center Praises Secretary Kerry for Directly Denouncing Turkish PM Anti- Israel and Anti-Jewish Slur at the Secretary of State's Ankara Press Conference

March 1, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center commends US Secretary of State John Kerry for directly and forthrightly taking on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's slanderous accusation made earlier this week at UN conclave when he said Zionism is a “Crime against Humanity”.*

“Secretary Kerry is to be commended for publicly objecting to Erdogan's outrageous attack against Zionism, the bedrock of the Jewish people's historic narrative. If our Turkish NATO ally wants to contribute to peace the first step would be for the Turkish Prime Minister to stop his verbal assaults against the Jewish state and her supporters around the world,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish NGO. “We are grateful to the Obama Administration for speaking out against Erdogan's slur and the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Egypt's President Morsi,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

*(Earlier this week, PM Erdogan used a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations forum in Vienna promoting West-Islam dialogue, to label Zionism “a crime against humanity”. With UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon sitting alongside, Erdogan denounced racism in Europe and that many Muslims “who live in countries other than their own” are often discriminated against, and added:
“We should be striving to better understand the culture and beliefs of others, but instead we see that people act based on prejudice and exclude others and despise them,” Erdogan said, adding according to a simultaneous translation provided by the UN and first reported by the UN Watch NGO: “And that is why it is necessary that we must consider — just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism — Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”)

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

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).