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Erdogan: Why Did Washington Condemn My Remarks on Israel?

Turkish Prime Minister criticizes the United States for its response to his claims of Israel's involvement in the Egypt crisis.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/25/2013, 6:10 AM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
AFP/File

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not letting down on his attacks on Israel.

On Saturday, Erdogan criticized the United States for its response to his claims of Israel's involvement in the Egypt crisis, reported AFP.

The Turkish leader on Tuesday accused the Jewish state of being behind the military-backed ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi last month.

Erdogan told members of his AKP party that “Israel is behind the coup in Egypt, we have evidence.”

He reportedly cited an unnamed French intellectual who he claims said in 2011 that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t be in power even if they are elected because “democracy is not the ballot box.”

Erdogan stressed that the intellectual was Jewish, the implications of which are consistent with a long string of anti-Semitic comments and conspiracy theories issued by the Islamist Prime Minister, whose party is sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.

His accusation was furiously rejected by the White House which described it as "offensive and unsubstantiated and wrong."

In response, Erdogan said, "Why is the White House making a statement on this? The White House should not have spoken about this. If there's somebody to speak on this, it should have been Israel.”

In televised remarks, he also said that the White House's statement "upset" him, calling Washington's approach to its NATO ally "unbecoming."

But he added, "This is very important to show the world's double standards," without elaborating.

Erdogan's comments about Israel have also infuriated Egypt's new rulers who said the Turkish leader's latest words "have no basis in fact and are not accepted by any sane or fair person."

Egypt warned Turkey that it was losing its patience over Erdogan’s remarks, saying the comments aimed to divide Egyptians.

"The cabinet stresses that Egypt's patience is wearing thin," said Egyptian ministers.

In Israel, an official in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office told AFP Tuesday, "These comments by the Turkish prime minister are nonsense."

MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) hit back at Erdogan's comments on Israel, comparing him to Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels.

"Anyone who heard Erdogan's hate filled rhetoric and statements of incitement understands beyond any doubt that this is a person who continues in the footsteps of Goebbels. His libels are like those of the Dreyfus trial and the Elders of Zion," said Lieberman.