B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
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.