Friday, January 30, 2009

Israel concerned over rising anti-Jewish sentiment

To alarmed Jews in Turkey, prime minister Erdogan's antics at Davos - quoting at least one antisemite in his rejoinder to Israel' s president Shimon Peres's impassioned speech - must have seemed the icing on an ever-rising cake of Turkish antisemitism. Here's a news item in the Turkish paper Zaman:

"Turkey's Jewish community is worried about anti-Jewish feelings spreading through Turkish society following Israel's deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli minister of welfare and social services said yesterday.

"Isaac Herzog, who is also the minister of the diaspora, society and fight against antisemitism, made his remarks during a radio program on the Israeli army radio station, the Anatolia news agency reported, noting that the program focused on the reaction of the Turkish public against Israel's offensive.

The Israeli government has been in constant contact with the Jewish community in Turkey concerning the issue, Herzog said. Anti-Israeli feelings and enmity toward Jews have been confused with each other following Israel's operation into Gaza, and "the Jewish community has been worried about its life and property safety," he added.

"Herzog, however, noted that the Turkish police had been taking the necessary precautions and that both the prime minister and members of the Turkish Cabinet had been sensitive, particularly in the past 10 days, concerning the issue."

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