The eight co-chairs of the US House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism on Thursday issued a statement condemning anti-Semitic remarks made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“We call upon President Erdogan to retract and renounce his remarks, which only serve to fuel the dangerous rise in global antisemitism and increase the threat to the Jewish community,” the US lawmakers said.
The co-chairs of the Task Force are Democratic Representatives Ted Deutch of Florida, Marc Veasey of Texas, Grace Meng of New York and Ted Lieu of California, and Republicans Chris Smith of New Jersey, Kay Granger and Randy Weber of Texas and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
Erdoğan, speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting on Monday, called Israel a “terror state” and a “murderer state.”
Erdoğan also lashed out at US President Joe Biden for his diplomatic support for Israel. “You are writing history with your bloody hands in this incident that is a serious disproportionate attack on Gaza, which is leading to the martyrdom of hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.
The following day the US sharply criticized the Turkish president for his remarks. “The United States strongly condemns President Erdoğan’s recent anti-Semitic comments regarding the Jewish people and finds them reprehensible,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
“We urge President Erdoğan and other Turkish leaders to refrain from incendiary remarks, which could incite further violence,” he said.
Erdoğan’s press aide Fahrettin Altun, however, rejected the accusations, saying ,“The US statement about our President Erdoğan’s remarks on the Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians is absolutely unacceptable.”
Erdoğan waged a diplomatic campaign to impose sanctions and other punishments on Israel for a military offensive that has claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians since May 10.