By Yochanan Visser, Israel Today—
Turkish-Israeli relations hit a new low this week after Turkey’s hot-headed dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israel “a terror and an apartheid state” that was committing “genocide” in Gaza.
Erdogan also accused Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu of having “the blood of Palestinians on his hands” after 60 Palestinian Arabs died during violent protests and terrorist actions along the Israel-Gaza border on Monday.
“Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 Commandments,” the Islamist Turkish tyrant wrote on his Twitter account.
Netanyahu immediately shot back and said he would not take lessons in morality from a leader “whose hands are stained with the blood of countless Kurdish citizens in Turkey and Syria” and “sends thousands of Turkish soldiers to hold the occupation of northern Cyprus and invades Syria.”
The Israeli PM added that he would not accept “preaching” by Erdogan as Israel is trying to defend itself against an “invasion by Hamas.”
Erdogan earlier said he would never recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“We will never accept the US attempt to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital,” the Turkish dictator told reporters after meeting with British PM Theresa May.
After calling Israel “an occupier,” Erdogan then claimed history would never forgive the US for relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“History will not forgive you (US), we will see this reality; history will never forgive Israel, we will see this too,” he claimed.
After this verbal spat, Turkey decided to expel the Israeli ambassador from Ankara on Tuesday, while Erdogan declared three days of mourning in solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs who were killed a day earlier.
Ambassador Eitan Naeh was ordered to go to Israel “for a while” by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the state-controlled news agency Anadolu News reported.
The Israeli diplomat was subsequently humiliated at the airport, where he had to undergo a very strict security screening in front of TV camera crews who were invited to witness the spectacle.
Israel responded by booting Hüsnü Gürcan Türkoğlu, the Turkish consul in Jerusalem who exclusively deals with Palestinian Arabs, a move which triggered a new Turkish reprisal.
Yossi Levy Safri, the Israeli consul-general in Istanbul was ordered home, while thousands of angry demonstrators took the streets of the city chanting anti-Israel slogans and salutes to the “resistance in Gaza.”
The demonstrations against Israel in Turkey have been organized by Islamist leaders with close ties to the Erdogan regime.
Among them is Bülent Yıldırım, the head of the Islamist IHH organization, which was also responsible for the violent confrontation with Israeli naval officers aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which tried to breach the legal Israeli maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza in May 2010.
The incident in 2010 caused a collapse of Turkish-Israeli relations that lasted until March 2013, when former US President Barack Obama pressed Netanyahu to mend ties with Erdogan’s regime.
Israel has now warned the current crisis could affect Turkey’s ability to deliver aid to Gaza.
The Islamist regime in Ankara is one of the largest sponsors of the Hamas-controlled enclave in southern Israel and also tries to use charity as a means to increase its influence among Jerusalem Arabs.
On Wednesday, evening reports came in that Egypt and Israel were not allowing Turkish planes to use their airports in order to deliver aid to Gaza and to take wounded Palestinian Arabs to Turkish hospitals.
Israel Security Cabinet member Yoav Galant called Erdogan a “dangerous man” who supports Israel’s enemies.
Galant harshly criticized the Turkish regime and suggested Erdogan was behind the botched 2016 coup in Turkey that put tens of thousands of the regime’s supposed opponents behind bars or robbed them off their jobs.
“Erdogan promotes a policy stating that it will bring peace and quiet with Turkey’s neighbors, but in reality Turkey has reached a situation of all-out dispute – from Greece to Syria, and with European countries too,” the former IDF general said.
Right-wing Israeli lawmakers now contemplate introducing legislation that would recognize Turkey’s genocide in Armenia at the beginning of the last century and would ban Israelis from travelling to Turkey for vacation.
“Go on vacation in the Galilee or Golan. You too play a role,” Education Minister Naftali Bennet, the leader of the Jewish Home Party, advised his fellow Israelis.
Others, however, warn the two countries “have reached the brink of the abyss” and advise both sides “not to jump.”
Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, meanwhile, admitted the riots on the Israel Gaza border by Palestinian Arabs had nothing to do with “peaceful resistance” as the Turks claim.
“When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public,” al-Zahar told al-Jazeerah.
“This is peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support,” Hamas’ co-founder added.