— by David Streeter
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor condemned Turkish Prime Minsiter Tayyip Erdogan’s hateful remarks about Zionism:
We reject Prime Minister Erdogan’s characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity, which is offensive and wrong. We encourage people of all faiths, cultures, and ideas to denounce hateful actions and to overcome the differences of our times.
Also, Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to “bring Erdogan to task” for his comments during their bilateral meeting. As Secretary Kerry flew to Ankara, a Senior State Department Aide criticized the remarks:
This was particularly offensive, frankly, to call Zionism a crime against humanity […] It does have a corrosive effect (on relations). I am sure the secretary will be very clear about how dismayed we were to hear it.
B’nai B’rith International’s statement on the subject after the jump.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement on the subject:
At a United Nations “Alliance of Civilizations” summit, convened to focus on global tolerance, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan engaged in a deplorable act by calling Zionism “a crime against humanity.”
B’nai B’rith International strongly condemns Erdoğan’s effort to revive inflammatory language equating Zionism with racism. This insidious canard was introduced at the United Nations in 1975 and rightly revoked in 1991. Erdoğan has reintroduced this odious charge to the U.N. environment.
Zionism is the embodiment of the millennia-old Jewish longing for self-determination and a return to the Jewish homeland.
Erdoğan made his pronouncement before an audience of senior-international leaders in Vienna, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
This is not the first time Erdoğan has made inciteful remarks about Israel or Jews. In November, he called Israel a “terrorist state,” during the Hamas-instigated fighting in Gaza.
B’nai B’rith calls on Erdoğan to apologize for his remarks and urges the United Nations to condemn these sentiments.