Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (podium, right) and Ban Ki-moon (seated second from left)
GENEVA, Feb. 28 – UN Watch expressed shock over anti-Jewish remarks delivered by Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan at a UN summit for tolerance, and urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon — who was present on the stage yet stayed silent — to speak out and condemn the speech. The Geneva-based human rights group also called on Erdogan to apologize.
Speaking yesterday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue, Erodgan called Zionism, the movement founded in 1897 for Jewish self-determination, a “crime against humanity,” likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia. Click here for video (minute 8:00 to 8:30); click here for Turkish news report.
“We remind secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized that the UN’s 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of anti-Semitism, and he welcomed its repeal.”
UN Watch urged all members of the Alliance’s High Level Group, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “to denounce remarks that fundamentally contradict the very purpose of a forum supposedly dedicated to mutual tolerance.”
“Erdogan’s misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmandinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world, will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel.”