NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC called Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's latest condemnation of Israel a vile assault aimed at nothing less than delegitimizing Israel.
Erdogan, addressing a UN conference in Vienna, labeled Zionism a "crime against humanity."
Shockingly, his remarks have elicited zero criticism to date from the heads of state and other dignitaries participating in the fifth global forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
Ironically, the Alliance is a UN initiative aimed at crossing cultural and religious divides between communities.
"Prime Minister Erdogan's hostility towards Israel, which we first noted in our initial meeting with him in Ankara in 2003 and reversing the attitude of previous Turkish governments, has descended to a new low," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Calling Zionism, which is the foundation of the Jewish state and the movement for Jewish self-determination, a crime is both appallingly intolerant and dangerous."
Speaking at the opening session of the Alliance of Civilizations, Erdogan said: "Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity."
"It's particularly noteworthy that Erdogan, who seeks a higher profile in global affairs, including in Europe and North America, would exploit a UN conference devoted to enhancing understanding between Muslim and Western nations to propagate his unabashed animosity towards another UN member state, admitted to the world body in 1949," said Harris. "And the current silence of world leaders, many of whose countries enjoy friendly relations with Israel, is regrettable and, yes, telling."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee