AJC Welcomes White House Statement Criticizing Turkish P.M. Erdogan's Scapegoating of Israel

AJC Welcomes White House Statement Criticizing Turkish P.M. Erdogan's Scapegoating of Israel

New York – August 21, 2013 – AJC welcomed the strong condemnation by the White House of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest verbal attack against Israel.

Yesterday, Erdoğan accused Israel of manipulating events in Egypt. Speaking to members of his political party, the Turkish leader said: “What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation.”

In response, White House spokesman Josh Earnest commented: “We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdoğan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong,”

“Prime Minister Erdoğan has a habit of blaming Israel – and, for that matter, the Jews – when things go wrong in the region,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “It’s classic scapegoating. He tried the same thing earlier this year when there were widespread protests against his own rule in the streets of his own country.

“Indeed, ever since an AJC delegation first met him in Ankara in 2003, shortly after he assumed his current office, we took note of the Turkish leader’s barely concealed hostility. Thankfully, the United States has spoken out in this instance. Will other democratic countries do the same, or choose to remain silent in the face of such blatant anti-Semitism?”