ISTANBUL/JERUSALEM—“The Jews in Israel kick people lying on the ground. In fact, Jews don’t kick men but also women and children when they fall on the ground,’’ declared Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an address to a group of Turkish youth on Saturday.
‘’But as Muslims, we’ll confront these people if they have courage to deal with us, and we’ll teach them a lesson,” he added in a new anti-Israel diatribe.
On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted : ‘’The occupier which kicks people lying on the ground is easily offended. Netanyahu is a cold-blooded killer of modern times, responsible for massacres of thousands of innocent Palestinians, bombing children on beaches. Turkey will never stop exposing the truth.
Erdogan himself, in another speech on Sunday, said of Netanyahu, “You are an oppressor, cruel and at the head of state terror,” and accused Israel of “occupying Palestine” and committing “sins, crimes against humanity, massacres.”
The Israeli Prime Minister responded with a statement, saying, “Just now I was exposed to the daily lunacy of the antisemitic dictator Erdogan. He is obsessed with Israel. He knows what a moral army is and he knows what a genuine democracy is, as opposed to an army that massacres women and children in Kurdish villages and a state that, to my regret, is becoming more dictatorial day by day.”
“But there has been an improvement,” Netanyahu concluded. “Erdogan used to attack me every two hours and now it is every six hours.”
The Netanyahu-Erdogan relationship remains bitter despite a 2016 reconciliation deal between their countries to restore ties that had been frozen following the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident in which 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed in a violent clash with Israeli naval commandos aboard the MV Mavi Marmara.