Washington, D.C. – The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Hellenic Israel Alliance, Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Ted Deutch, condemned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments made in recent days concerning Israel’s military response to continued rocket attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization:
“The outrageous rhetoric being attributed to Prime Minister Erdogan in his recent public speeches and interviews is par for the course. Accusing the State of Israel of engaging in systematic genocide and calling the country a terror state is not only wildly inaccurate, but laughable coming from a leader who has exhibited hostility to the rule of law by depriving his own citizens basic human rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of speech. Israel has endured rocket fire for years yet has shown extraordinary restraint in the face of the existential threats it faces on a daily basis. Still yet, Hamas has refused ceasefire agreements and has continued to attack Israel and her civilians while Erdogan’s inflammatory rhetoric stokes the fires of war. It is shameful and it should be condemned,” Bilirakis declared.
“Prime Minister Erdogan’s accusation that Israel is committing war crimes worse than Hitler’s Nazi regime is despicable and is a disgraceful affront to the memory of the six million people who perished in the Holocaust,” Deutch said. “It is Hamas, not Israel, that is refusing to accept a ceasefire and choosing to continue firing rockets indiscriminately at innocent Israelis. It is Hamas, not Israel, that is deliberately using ordinary Palestinians as human shields for their rockets while its terror leaders flee to fortified bunkers. If the Prime Minister wishes to speak out against violations of international law, he should call on Hamas to accept a ceasefire and recognize Israel’s right to exist instead of drawing despicable comparisons to the systematic slaughter of millions during the Holocaust.”
On July 19, Prime Minister Erdogan made accusatory comments in a speech given in the city of Ordu. In the past he has made inflammatory remarks about Israel