Turkish strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of being racist and becoming a state based on apartheid, following the passing of the Nation State Bill late last week. In response, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu accused Erdogan of “massacring Syrians and Kurds.”
The Knesset’s decision to pass the bill was a controversial one within Israel, but it provoked a hailstorm of accusations from outside the country. “We reject the Israeli government’s efforts to establish an apartheid state,” Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter, referring to the legal segregation of blacks and whites in white-ruled South Africa.
Erdogan decried the bill – which passed with 62 lawmakers in favor and 55 against – declaring it a “racist step” and an effort to “legally erase the Palestinian people from their homelands. His country’s foreign ministry also weighed into the fracas, saying “it tramples on the principles of universal law and disregards the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.”