US condemns Erdogan's 'anti-Semitic' remarks on Israel

State Department spokesman says "anti-Semitic language has no place anywhere" after Turkish President refers to Israel as a "terror state".

Elad Benari ,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The United States on Tuesday strongly condemned recent comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against Israel.

"We urge President Erdogan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

"Anti-Semitic language has no place anywhere," he added.

While Price did not specify which Erdogan remarks the United States considered anti-Semitic, his condemnation came after the Turkish President slammed Austria and US President Joe Biden for their response to the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Arabs.

He said that Biden was "writing history with bloody hands" because of his support for Israel and also criticized Austria for flying the flag of Israel last week.

"I condemn Austria for hanging the Israeli terror state's flag," Erdogan said, adding, "The Austrian state seems to be trying to make Muslims pay the price for [its role] in the Holocaust."

While Israel and Turkey have diplomatic relations, those relations have been strained in recent years as Erdogan, who is a strong advocate of Palestinian Arab rights, has frequently criticized Israel.

The two countries signed a comprehensive reconciliation deal in 2016, ending a six-year diplomatic standoff following a violent encounter between Israeli soldiers and Islamist radicals on a ship attempting to break through the security blockade on Gaza.

Even since the signing of that agreement, the Islamist Turkish President has continued his verbal attacks on Israel.

In the past, Erdogan has accused Israel of being a “terrorist state”, and called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “terrorist”, after IDF forces opened fire on infiltrators during a Hamas-led confrontation on the Israel-Gaza border.

He also stated that his country will oppose anyone who supports Israel and that Turkey will continue to promote the Palestinian cause regardless of efforts to undermine it mainly by supporters of the Israeli regime.