US National Security Adviser Rice slams Ankara mayor over anti-Israel tweet
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
National Security Adviser Susan Rice speaks at the "National Leadership Assembly for Israel" convened by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014. AP PhotoU.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice has slammed Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek over his remarks regarding anti-Israel protests in Turkey, labeling them as “just hate.”
In a speech at the National Jewish Leaders Assembly in National Press Club in Washington on July 28, Rice reiterated the Obama administration’s support for “Israel’s right to self-defence” in Gaza, blaming Hamas for “initiating this conflict.”
“And, today, we also see anti-Semitism flaring up around the world, including in Europe,” Rice said, stressing that the right of free expression should not lead to “anti-Jewish riots.”
“It’s one thing when the message is ‘end the fighting,’ but when the message is ‘Death to the Jews,’ it’s an outrage. And it’s dangerous when the mayor of a major city takes to Twitter to invoke Hitler and incite hostility against the Israeli Embassy, which he called ‘the despicable murderers’ consulate.’ That’s just hate, and it’s got to stop,” Rice said.
Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, a firebrand member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), supported anti-Israel protests in Turkey earlier this month, tweeting on July 20, “We don’t want the murderers’ representative in Turkey.”
Israel reduced its diplomatic delegation in Turkey to the “minimum required” on July 18, after violent pro-Palestinian protests that it linked to the Turkish government’s fiery public criticism of Israel.