Israel on Thursday rebutted comments made Wednesday by Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek to members of Turkey’s Jewish community at a Holocaust memorial event. Cicek compared the atrocities of the Holocaust to the death of Palestinians in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza last summer.
“As we remember the pain of the past, no one can ignore the last attacks on Gaza, in which 2,000 innocent children, women were massacred,” Cicek said, Reuters reported. “We need to see the picture as a whole.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said that Cicek “unjustly and harshly criticized [Israel] at a moment that is absolutely inappropriate.”
“Israel expresses its disappointment that a solemn event of an international nature dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust victims was misused in order to criticize Israeli policies,” he said.
Cicek’s comments are the latest in a recent series of harsh remarks about Israel made by Turkish officials. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has committed “crimes against humanity” equivalent to the Islamist terror attacks in Paris, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Netanyahu of carrying out “state terrorism.”