The only way to respond to those who are against Zionism is to get up and fight, Bayit Yehudi chairman MK Naftali Bennett said on Thursday.
Bennett was responding to comments made earlier in the day by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who compared Zionism to fascism.
Bennett, who visited the hesder yeshiva in the community of Karnei Shomron for an event honoring students who have concluded their studies and are about to join the IDF, said, “Our answer to all those who think that Zionism is a crime against humanity is to sit and study and then to get up and fight.”
“We are here because of the Torah. The Torah is the reason for our existence,” added Bennett. “The Torah gives us the reason to exist here and the army gives us the opportunity to be here.”
Earlier, Erdogan used a speech about Islamophobia in Europe at the opening session of the fifth UN Alliance of Civilizations to attack the Jewish State.
“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” the Turkish leader told the gathering.
The remarks were the latest in a series of verbal attacks against Israel that the Turkish Prime Minister has gotten into a habit of making over the past several years.
Israel has made numerous efforts to repair the fractures in the relationship with Turkey that first appeared following Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Gaza terrorists in the winter of 2008-2009.
Erdogan’s Islamist rage over the Jewish State’s air strikes on Gaza terrorist targets, launched to silence the constant rocket fire that had rained down from the region for years on southern Israeli communities, did not abate, however.
The subsequent deaths in May 2010 of nine armed men who attacked IDF commandos boarding a Turkish-owned vessel in an illegal flotilla attempting to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza further worsened the breach.
Earlier this week Erdogan slammed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for slaughtering his own citizens, but also took advantage of the opportunity to once again verbally attack Israel.
“We will not remain silent in the face of the cruel dictator, the mute devil, who mercilessly carried out massacres against his own people, but who has remained silent and unresponsive toward those who have occupied his own territories for decades,” he said.
Erdogan’s comments on Thursday were also condemned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said, "This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.”
Responding to Erdogan’s remarks, MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said on Thursday, “38 years ago the UN passed a dark resolution about Zionism and declared that it is racism. Unfortunately, even now, it looks as though this inappropriate comparison gets attention at the UN.”
She added, “Just like Chaim Herzog ripped up the UN resolution at the time, so do we now have to tear the mask from the face of Erdogan, who ostensibly speaks against racism but at the same time spreads anti-Semitism.”