Some 20 European Union
Parliament Members sent a letter to the EU Foreign Policy Chief in which they strongly condemned remarks
made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
last month. The Turkish PM drew international condemnation when he said that Zionism is a crime against humanity during a UN conference.
This is the first time that such a large number of European parliamentarians come out so strongly against anti-Israel
In the letter the representatives said: "We condemn this statement in no uncertain terms and call on you to do the same at the next Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 11 March. Anything short of a firm rebuke is insufficient.
"As a fellow democracy, we in the European Union must support Israel
against those who challenge the country’s very existence. That was clearly Mr. Erdogan’s intentions when he coupled Zionism with Anti-Semitism,
Islamophobia and Fascism – three manifestations of hate we in the European Union fight against.
"The banality of Mr. Erdogan’s comparison needs little explanation: Zionism is the fulfillment of the national rights and aspirations of the Jewish people and must not be denied."
They added that while comments like those made by Erdogan had been made before, the fact that Erdogan – the prime minister of a country seeking EU membership – made them even more troubling.
The signatories said that Erdogan must answer for his hateful statements and that they were sure the EU would ensure he does so at the next council meeting.