ADL Appalled at Turkish Prime Minister’s Linkage of Zionism with Anti-Semitism

New York, NY, February 28, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was “appalled and horrified” by a statement by Turkish Prime Minister which linked “Zionism” with expressions of hatred, including anti-Semitism.

In a speech before a United Nations event in Vienna dedicated to promoting understanding between East and West, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared: “We should be striving to better understand the culture and beliefs of others, but instead we see that people act based on prejudice and exclude others and despise them. And that is why it is necessary that we must consider – just like Zionism or anti-Semitism or fascism – Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.”

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:         

We are appalled and horrified by Mr. Erdogan’s linkage of Zionism and anti-Semitism at a conference devoted, ironically enough, to improving understanding of other cultures.

In the past, the prime minister has carefully distinguished between his deep animus toward Israel and his condemnation of anti-Jewish sentiments.  To now link Zionism – a nationalist movement for a Jewish homeland akin to that which brought about the modern Turkish Republic – and hatred toward Jews, Muslims and fascism, is a gross misunderstanding of Zionism. 

Such a statement echoes the reprehensible U.N. resolution of 1975 equating Zionism with racism.  It represents an act of hostility toward the Jewish people and an affront to those deeply committed to promoting understanding among peoples and combatting expressions of hate.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.