Turkish prime minister compares Netanyahu to Paris terrorists

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Turkey’s prime minister compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the terrorists in the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead.

“Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre,” Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday in televised responses to reporters’ questions.

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Davutoglu made the comments three days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters he did not understand how Netanyahu “dared” to go to the rally and march in Paris last weekend. Davutoglu also attended the march.

Netanyahu responded to Erdogan on Wednesday, telling a group of visiting AIPAC leaders on Wednesday that “I believe his shameful remarks must be repudiated by the international community, because the war against terror will only succeed if it’s guided by moral clarity.”

Davutoglu on Thursday accused Netanyahu of “crimes against humanity,” specifying the Israeli raid on a boat bound for Gaza in an attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip that left 9 Turkish citizens dead.

He said that Netanyahu’s government “made almost natural the killing of Palestinians at every opportunity.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday called Erdogan an “anti-Semitic neighborhood bully.”

“It’s bad enough that leaders in Europe fail to condemn blatant human rights violations in Turkey itself, he said, “but their ignoring of the hatred and the incitement against Israel that this man cultivates is something that we cannot ignore.”

Davutoglu also called the new cartoon on the cover of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine a “grave provocation,” and said: “Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult.”