Fri Mar 1, 2013 8:43AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is furious at his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for describing Zionism “a crime against humanity.” "I strongly condemn the comparison that the Turkish prime minister drew between Zionism and fascism," Netanyahu said on Thursday, adding, "I had thought that such dark and libelous comments were a thing of the past." He made the remarks in response to Erdogan’s Wednesday speech at the opening session of Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in the Austrian capital city of Vienna, where he said, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.” The Turkish premier further decried the rising racism in Europe as “a serious problem for the Alliance of Civilizations Project.” The development comes as, Turkey severed all ties with Israel over the 2010 killing of nine Turkish activists on a flotilla aid headed to Gaza, setting an official apology, paying compensation to the families of the victims and ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip as preconditions for the normalization of relations with the Israeli regime. Meanwhile, Turkish newspaper Radikal said recently that secret meetings had been held between Israeli and Turkish officials and Tel Aviv might apologize for “operational errors” during the fatal raid. Israel has also expressed readiness to meet the second condition, offering compensation, the report said, adding that Turkey has decided to overlook the third condition. MR/HMV
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