Israel criticizes ‘Nazi’ accusations against Germany

Israel criticizes ‘Nazi’ accusations against Germany

Israel criticizes ‘Nazi’ accusations against Germany

AA photo

Israel has criticized recent comparisons of the current German government to the Nazi regime, implicitly referring to recent comments from Turkish government officials.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told dpa that such comments are “unacceptable.”

“The state of Israel is against anything that might diminish or trivialize the memory of the Holocaust,” Nahshon said, adding that “there is no place for these kinds of comparisons.”

While not mentioning Turkey directly, his comments come after accusations by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 19 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been employing “Nazi methods.” 

Erdoğan had claimed that “Germany’s mission was not to support terrorist organizations.”

“Merkel, now you’re applying Nazi methods against my brothers who live in Germany, and against my ministers and lawmakers who visit there. Does this suit the ethics of politics? Your mission is not to support terrorist organizations, but to extradite them,” he said at an event in Istanbul, adding that Germany would “like to reopen Nazi gas chambers.” 

“If they weren’t ashamed, they would revive the gas chambers,” he added.

Ankara has been embroiled in a row with Berlin and other European capitals over campaigning among the Turkish diaspora for the April 16 referendum that will decide whether the current parliamentary system should be shifted to an executive presidency.

NATO ally Turkey has repeatedly accused Germany of using “Nazi” tactics” to ban ministerial appearances and has caused anger in Germany by detaining German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel.  

Merkel said on March 20 that her demand that Turkey cease drawing Nazi comparisons with Germany and its allies applies “without ifs or buts,” pointing to a government threat that it could prevent Turkish politicians from entering the country.

“My comment that the Nazi comparisons on Turkey’s part must end is valid without ifs or buts,” Merkel said at a joint press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Hannover.

“Unfortunately we see that these comparisons have not ceased, and we are not going to allow ... every taboo to be broken with no regard to the suffering of those who were persecuted and murdered under Nazism,” she said.