Herzog Talks To Erdogan Who Called Israel ‘Blood-Suckers” During War

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: AP); Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog (Twitter)

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Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog spoke Monday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The 40-minute conversation follows a years-long rift between Turkey and Israel, during which Erdogan has made numerous provocative comments about the Jewish state and has courted Hamas. During Operation Guardian of the Walls, Erdogan, who hosts Hamas’ headquarters in Turkey, claimed that Israel is a “terrorist state,” and said that Israelis “are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They only are satisfied by sucking their blood.”

Erdogan’s comments prompted a rebuke from the US State Department, with spokesperson Ned Price saying that the US “strongly condemns Erdogan’s anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible.”

Following the two presidents’ conversation, Herzog’s office released a statement saying: “The presidents see great importance to the continuation of contacts and dialogue despite all the disagreements in order to promote positive steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will also contribute to the improvement of Israeli-Turkish relations.”

The Turkish statement echoed Herzog’s message but ended with a focus on the “Palestinian issue,” stating that “Erdogan told Herzog that the international community expects a complete, permanent and comprehensive two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict per UN resolutions.”

Over the weekend, Erdogan met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul and promised to support the PA against “Israel’s atrocities.”

“Turkey will not remain silent about Israel’s actions and the peace and stability in the region will not be possible as long as the Israeli occupation continues,” Erdogan said.

Israel and Turkey’s relationship deteriorated over the past decade, despite the two countries maintaining strong commercial ties, with both countries expelling each other’s ambassadors in 2018. Erdoğan has repeatedly made derogatory statements about Israel and has also hosted Hamas leaders in Ankara and even granted citizenship to 12 Hamas terrorists, one of whom has been designated by the US as a terrorist and has a $5 million bounty on his head.

Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel in 1949 and the two countries maintained warm ties until Erdogan’s rise to power.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)