AJC Praises Parliamentarians Call for EU Action on Erdogan's Israel Remarks

Mar 10, 2013, 14:42 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, March 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised a group of European parliamentarians for urging EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton to formally condemn Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hateful, inflammatory rhetoric towards Israel.

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"The European Union should join with the White House and UN Secretary General in condemning Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's inexcusable verbal assault on Israel," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Baroness Ashton ought to follow-up affirmatively during Monday's Foreign Policy Affairs Council with the parliamentarians' call for moral clarity in support of Israel and Zionism."

Erdogan, speaking at a UN conference in Vienna on March 1, called Zionism, the historic Jewish movement for national self-determination, a "crime against humanity."

"We condemn this statement in no uncertain terms and call on you to do the same," stated the letter to Ashton from European Parliament members. "Anything short of a firm rebuke is insufficient."

The 20 parliamentarians who signed the letter include representatives of Poland, Britain, Holland, Romania, Finland, Hungary, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Spain.

"As a fellow democracy, we in the European Union must support Israel against those who challenge the country's very existence," wrote the parliamentarians. "What makes this situation even more troubling is that it comes from a leader of a country seeking to join our Union."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee