The Israeli media have criticised remarks made by Turkey’s Prime Minister at the official opening of the 5th UN Alliance of Civilisations Global Forum in Vienna. Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Zionism, Israel’s founding ideology, as a “crime against humanity”.
Haaretz newspaper said that despite efforts to bridge the gap in Turkey-Israel relations Erdogan appears to seize every opportunity to attack Israel. However, Zionism was not the topic of Erdogan’s speech; he included it along with a number of other “anti-humanity” ideologies which lead to discrimination and racism. In his speech to the Forum, Erdogan decried rising racism in Europe and the fact that many Muslims who live in countries other than their own often face harsh discrimination.
“We should be striving to understand the culture and beliefs of others more, but instead we see that people act based on prejudice and exclude others and despise them,” he said. “That is why it is necessary that we must consider – just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism – Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”
UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, which was adopted by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions), stated: “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Under intense US pressure, the international organisation revoked this resolution in 1991.