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UN Watch Briefing

Issue 414

Turkey's Erdogan to UN Conference:
"Zionism is Crime Against Humanity"

Ban Ki-moon Stayed Silent, Must Speak Out

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (podium, right) and Ban Ki-moon (second from left)
 

GENEVA, Feb. 28 UN Watch expressed shock over anti-Jewish remarks delivered by Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan at a UN summit for tolerance, and urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon -- who was present on the stage yet stayed silent -- to speak out and condemn the speech. The Geneva-based human rights group also called on Erdogan to apologize.

Speaking yesterday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue, Erdogan called Zionism, the movement founded in 1897 for Jewish self-determination, a "crime against humanity," likening it with anti-Semitism, fascism, and Islamophobia. click here for Turkish news report.

"We remind secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized that the UN's 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of anti-Semitism, and he hailed its repeal."

UN Watch urged all members of the Alliance's High Level Group -- including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rabbi Arthur Schneier and Professor John Esposito -- "to denounce remarks that fundamentally contradict the very purpose of a forum supposedly dedicated to mutual tolerance."

"Erdogan's misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmandinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world," said Neuer, "will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel."

Quotes of Erdogan's Feb. 27, 2013 Speech to 5th UN Alliance of 
Civilization Global Forum, from Turkey's 
Hurriyet Daily News:

"In a similar fashion, I must state that rising racism in Europe is a serious problem for the Alliance of Civilizations Project,” Erdoğan said, adding that the “disrespectful” attitudes to Muslims in certain countries hurt consciences.

“Aside from countries indifferent to Muslim countries, disrespectful attitudes toward Muslims living in certain countries continue to hurt consciences,” said Erdoğan.

“We witness very frequently the alienation of the ‘other’ in various countries instead of efforts to understand the culture and beliefs of the ‘other,’” he said. 

“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Erdoğan said, slamming politicians who use communication tools to deepen the gap between cultures. 

“Certain politicians’ defamation of a religion or a sect by mass communication tools only makes pre-conceived notions bigger and deepens the gap,” Erdoğan said.





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