Deputy Foreign Minister:
'Erdogan, who commits war crimes, preaching to us?'

Hotovely prepares for the transfer of other embassies to the capital, while addressing row with Turkey and European condemnation.

Shimon Cohen ,

Tzipi Hotovely
Tzipi Hotovely
Hadas Porush, Flash 90

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely skips between the opening of the US embassy and the opening of the Guatemalan embassy, ​​and in the middle deals with reprimands to ambassadors, expulsion of ambassadors, condemnations by the UN and demands for clarifications from leading countries around the world. Arutz Sheva heard from her about the diplomatic challenges currently underway.

"The most important thing that needs to be said is that last month we have been working intensively with the European countries and explaining in the clearest way that Hamas organized a terror demonstration here that has nothing to do with a civil demonstration. Hamas’ entire false narrative is shredded to pieces by facts and footage.

"We show how anyone who approaches the fence is holding burning kites or weapons, and the goal is to strike at communities in the Gaza vicinity. These people are terrorists in every respect and our job is to protect the communities.”

"We knew in the Foreign Ministry that there would be criticism, but we did not change the basic message that Israel must act out of self-defense and protection of its citizens," says Hotovely. “That’s how any country would react. There aren’t many countries that are threatened by a cruel terror organization like Hamas.”

Regarding the feeling that Europe has not internalized the Israeli message, while Egypt apparently did understand and conveyed sharp messages to Hamas, Hotovely said, "If we examine all the countries in Europe, there is no wave of protest against Israel, but in many ways, a lower-level response for the diplomatic world," says Hotovely. "We know condemnations from the past and there is very great hypocrisy that we are not prepared to accept - the hypocrisy in which Israel is not allowed what other countries are allowed to do."

And what about Turkey? "We have a complex story with a leader who is trying to create votes in the Turkish public and in the Muslim world at the expense of Jerusalem and his relations with Israel. We strongly condemn Erdogan’s words. We certainly blame him as someone who commits war crimes and is the last who can preach morality to a democratic and human rights-preserving state like Israel. "

However, the deputy minister adds that Israel sees importance in continuing relations with Turkey, as an important axis in the region. "Turkey is important because of a number of reasons including air routes - almost all the flights passing from Israel to Europe and the Far East pass over Turkey - there is economy, tourism and other components. We are not quick to fold up the flag and are not talking about removing the diplomatic echelon, but rather about diplomatic relations that are facing raucous arguments, but not a crisis resulting in a removal of relations. "

"We speak harshly against Erdogan’s words straightforwardly. He is a man who supports Hamas, and whoever supports Hamas is doing something that supports all the killing going on in Gaza. For us, Erdogan is part of the problematic factors and not part of the stabilizing factors, but we have to understand that there is a great price for severing relations with an important country such as Turkey. When you think about the distant future, and not just about the latest argument, you have to remember that there is value to Israel-Turkey relations and that it is easiest to throw it all away. We’re not in that situation.”

We asked the Deputy Minister to address the inauguration of the Embassy of Guatemala in Jerusalem this morning, and she said, "It was very warm, a country that loves us very much, the second country that recognized Israel in 1948. The Prime Minister noted Guatemala Street in Jerusalem as a result of their support for us from the beginning of the State of Israel.”

"We have a very warm relationship. I met with their foreign minister two days ago. She had praise for Israel. There is a strong and deep Christian base there, and thanks to this, they see the act as a religious recognition of the Holy City as the capital of Israel. These are things that excite and delight us. "

As for what will happen in the next few days, Hotovely says, "Next in line is Paraguay this Monday and later Honduras, and there are more contacts with one European country, and then extensions of the Czech Republic will be transferred, and I hope that contacts with Romania will progress. This is the central file that I am dealing with at the Foreign Ministry, beyond the burning issues.”

Regarding the Knesset Speaker’s words during his visit to France calling for the transfer of the French Embassy to the capital, Hotovely said that "We welcome the fact that Edelstein is calling on the French to do so, but as part of the analyzes and assessments, France is not very likely to transfer the embassy," Hotovely says. Our call at the Foreign Ministry is for all countries to transfer their embassies, ​​but France is not expected to do so at the moment.”

"The reason for this is that the EU is very determined on this issue, and every European country that works against this decision breaks a consensus and needs an act of leadership," she said. “The status of France as one of the leaders in Europe does not seem to allow for this, but we demand it from them all.”