US Jews welcome Turk PM's post-debate remarks, urge for softer tone

US Jews welcome Turk PMs post-debate remarks, urge for softer tone

Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading Jewish Organization in the U.S., welcomed Saturday Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's remarks after the heated debate with Israeli president in Davos saying his criticism did not target Israeli people or Jews. The group, however, urged Erdogan to use a more moderate tone in his criticisms.

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"We welcome Prime Minister Erdogan's comment upon returning to Istanbul that his criticism was not directed toward the Israeli people or Jews."
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in a statement posted on the group's website.   

 

Erdogan had stormed out of the tense Gaza session with Israel's President Shimon Peres on Thursday in Davos after the moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, refused to give him floor. He said after the incident that his reaction targeted the moderator, not Israeli people or Jews.

 

The statement, however, urged Erdogan to use a moderate tone in his speeches regarding Israel in order to ease the tension in Turkey.

 

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"We believe that a more moderate tone in the prime minister's criticism of Israel would help to tamp down the recent outpouring of anti-Semitism in Turkey," it said.

 

The statement said Erdogan's harsh statements have been used by some in Turkey to justify "vicious anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts of intimidation targeting Jews".

 

"We are concerned his angry outburst in Davos will only add to the already tense atmosphere," the statement said.

 

The Turkish prime minister told in an interview published in The Washington Post Saturday he is very upset at the American Jews who criticized him over his harsh rhetoric regarding Israel's Gaza operations.

 

In a letter to Erdogan last week, the ADL and and four other American Jewish organizations expressed profound concern over the current wave of anti-Semitic manifestations in Turkey.

 

In 2005, Erdogan received an award from the ADL on behalf of Turkish diplomats who saved Jews during the Holocaust. He strongly condemned anti-Semitism as he accepted the award presented by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

 

The statement also said the organization was pleased to see that Peres reached out to Erdogan by telephone immediately after the incident to "clear the air and calm the situation".

 

"Despite the affront to an Israeli head of state, President Peres vigorously rebutted each of the outrageous charges leveled against Israel," it said.

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

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