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.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.