Liberman Slams 'Neighborhood Bully' Erdogan

FM responds to Erdogan's tirade 'that takes us back to 1930s,' condemns European leaders who tolerate anti-Semitism, and CNN.

Yaakov Levi,

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

In an address before Israel diplomats, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) struck out against European leaders who tolerate anti-Semitism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and CNN - all against the background of the attack in Paris last week on a kosher grocery store.

“One of the reasons for increasing anti-Semitism in Europe is that the leaders there remain silent in the face of hatred of Jews and Israel. Civilized, politically correct Europe’s silence over an anti-Semitic, neighborhood bully like Erdogan and his gang takes us back to the 1930s,” said Liberman, referring to the period prior to the Holocaust when the Nazis instituted many anti-Semitic laws.

The comments are a response after Erdogan said at a news conference in Ankara on Monday that he could "hardly understand how he (Netanyahu) dared to go" to the march. He demanded Netanyahu "give an account for the children, women you massacred," accusing him of "state terrorism."

“In the world and in Europe, most of the discussion was about freedom of expression, extremism and Islamophobia,” he said of the attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, in which 12 people were killed.

But missing from the public discussion, he said, was the particular target of the attack on the Hyber Cacher market Friday, just days after the Charle Hebdo massacre."That the Jewish and anti-Semitic aspects were hardly mentioned is particularly grave,” Liberman said.

As responsible for the negative atmosphere is the mass media – in particular news network CNN, said Liberman.

“I was impressed not at the large number of people who came to the rally on Sunday in Paris against terror, but the desire to be politically correct and ignore basic facts. On CNN, they did their best to ignore the Jewish aspect of the attack on the kosher grocery. They spoke about terror and attacks, but never mentioned that the store was Jewish one, and that the victims were Jews," he said.

The solution, said Liberman, was to tell things as they are. 

In a word of advice to the diplomats, Liberman told them to “never be politically correct. Speak out about the criticism you hear about Israel, about the hypocrisy of those criticizing us. We must tell the truth – that is the best diplomacy, even if it is unpleasant. This is what I expect from you as diplomats, wherever you serve.”




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