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Press Release

ADL Calls on Turkish Leader to Reassess His Views of Hamas After Denying the Group is Involved in Terrorism

New York, NY, May 13, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Turkey's prime minister to reassess his views of Hamas following a televised interview in which he described the violent Palestinian terrorist organization as "a resistance movement" and a "political party" and outright denied its terrorism.

In his May 11 appearance on Charlie Rose, asked about the Palestinian organization's history of engaging in terrorism, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied, "Where is terrorism?" The Turkish leader went on to describe Hamas' 2006 victory in Palestinian elections, saying the group "entered into the elections and after the elections this is how they were reacted, I mean, calling them terrorists…."

"We are extremely troubled by Prime Minister Erdogan's insistence that Hamas is not a terror organization but a 'political party,' when all the world knows that this is simply not the case at all," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While Hamas may have prevailed in an election, that fact does not negate the group's hateful ideology, commitment to the destruction of Israel, and the anti-Semitism enshrined in its Charter and repeatedly propagated by its leaders."

In a letter to Erdogan, ADL urged the prime minister to reassess his views, pointing to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements by Hamas leaders and its long campaign of terror against civilians. The League's letter outlined the history of violent attacks carried out by Hamas terrorists, including suicide bombings and the thousands of rockets Hamas terrorists have indiscriminately fired from Gaza into the Israeli cities of Sderot and Ashkelon. The letter also cited excerpts from the Hamas Charter, in which the group's anti-Semitism is on full display.

"Respectfully, Mr. Prime Minister, Hamas terrorism is visible in Israel every day," wrote Mr. Foxman. "Indeed, Hamas' campaign of terror has pervaded all of Israeli society."

In response to the newly forged alliance between Fatah and Hamas for a unified Palestinian government, ADL is calling on President Mahmoud Abbas and other moderate Palestinian leaders and the international community to add a "fourth condition" for the terrorist group to gain international recognition and legitimacy: Reject anti-Semitism.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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