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Israel says Turkish leader fueling anti-Semitism
Washington Post, 26 January 2010
JERUSALEM -- An internal Israeli Foreign Ministry document accuses Turkey's prime minister of fueling anti-Semitism with his criticism of Israel, an official said Tuesday, threatening to spark a new diplomatic row with one of its few Muslim allies.
The ministry's report comes two weeks after Israel's deputy foreign minister enraged Turkey by summoning the country's ambassador for a humiliating public reprimand shown on Israeli TV. Although Israel was forced to apologize, the report said the reprimand made it clear to Turkey that there must be a limit to its criticism.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been a fierce critic of Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip last year. The report accused Erdogan, leader of an Islamic-oriented party, of going too far with his rhetoric and creating "negative public opinion" toward Israel.
"He does this by repeating motifs in his speeches of describing the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza and blaming Israel of committing war crimes, going as far as using anti-Semitic expressions and incitement," the report said.
It said Erdogan, for instance, does not distinguish between "Israeli" and "Jewish," turning criticism of Israel into anti-Jewish diatribes.