A weekend war of words between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued to rage Sunday, with Netanyahu calling Erdogan an “anti-Semite” who is obsessed with Israel while “slaughtering the Kurds.”
His comments came after Erdogan called out Netanyahu over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and the prime minister responded by pointing to Turkey’s operation against the Kurds in its border region with Syria.
“Just now I was exposed to the daily lunacy of the anti-Semitic dictator Erdogan,” Netanyahu said. “He is obsessed with Israel. He knows what a moral army is and he knows what a genuine democracy is, as opposed to an army that massacres women and children in Kurdish villages and a state that, to my regret, is becoming more dictatorial day by day.
“But there has been an improvement,” he added. “Erdogan used to attack me every two hours and now it is every six hours.”
Netanyahu made the remarks at a meeting in Tel Aviv with Christian soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces ahead of Christmas.
Earlier Sunday, Erdogan said of Netanyahu, “You are an oppressor, cruel and at the head of state terror.”
In a televised speech in Istanbul, he also accused Israel of “occupying Palestine” and committing “sins, crimes against humanity, massacres.”
Erdogan, a staunch supporter of the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas and long a harsh critic of Israel who regularly likens its actions toward the Palestinians to the mass Nazi murder of Jews during the Holocaust, kicked off the spat a day earlier, when he accused Israel of assaulting innocents.
“The Jews in Israel kick people lying on the ground. In fact, Jews don’t kick men but also women and children when they fall on the ground,” Erdogan said in a speech to young Turks at an Istanbul meeting of the Turkey Youth Foundation. “But as Muslims, we’ll confront these people [the Jews] if they have courage to deal with us, and we’ll teach them a lesson.”
Netanyahu told Erdogan in a tweet late on Saturday that he “should not preach to Israel” as “the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey.”
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