Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office said on Tuesday that comments from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in which he blamed Israel for the military coup and crisis in Egypt have no validity.
An official from the Prime Minister's Office said the comments made by Erdogan were "nonsense."
The United States responded to Erdogan's accusations on Tuesday, saying it "strongly condemns" the "offensive" comments.
"We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister
Erdogan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent
events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong," White House
spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.
Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf on reiterated the comments and
said the Turkish leader's comments harmed the diplomatic process going
Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party on
Tuesday that his government had evidence Israel had a hand in events
that led to the ouster of Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Muslim
Brotherhood, from Egypt's presidency.
"What do they say in Egypt?
Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in
our hands documentation," Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK
Party on Tuesday.
In the wake of the violence in Egypt last week—
which led to the deaths of thousands of demonstrating civilians and the
wounding of thousands more— Turkey called the incident a "massacre" at
the hands of the Egyptian military.
Erdogan's rant was not worthy of a response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday.
is a statement well worth not commenting on," Palmor said.
The Turkish premier, who has a history of
anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic remarks, blamed Israel on Tuesday for the
events that brought about Morsi's ouster.
“Who is behind [the
ouster]? There is Israel,” Erdoğan said at a meeting of his AK Party in
Ankara. “We have [a] document in our hands.”
The document, it
emerged, was a video of a discussion held at Tel Aviv University on the
Arab Spring in June 2011 between Tzipi Livni, then the head of the
opposition and today the Justice Minister, and French Jewish
intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy.
Levy, during the symposium,
said, “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say
democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Of course not.
Democracy, again, is not only elections, it is also values.”
said Hamas' takeover of Gaza "was [a] putsch, a coup; a democratic
coup, but a coup. Hitler in 1933 was a coup; a democratic coup, but a
Asked by the moderator, former New York Times
Jerusalem correspondent Ethan Bronner, whether he would urge Egypt’s
military to intervene against the Muslim Brotherhood if they would win a
legitimate election, Levy said: “I will urge the prevention of them
coming to power, but by all sort of means.”
discussion, Erdogan said, ‘The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power
even if they win the elections, because democracy is not the ballot
box.’ This is what they said at that time.”
come just a few weeks after he blamed unrest in his own country on an
“interest rate lobby," widely believed to be a metaphor for western
Jewish businessmen. He also likened Zionism in the past to fascism, and
has routinely accused Israel of waging a campaign of “genocide” against
Even Turkey's Hurriyet Daily
News seems to be tiring somewhat of Erdogan's anti-Israel rants and
conspiracy theories. The lead to an article on Erdogan's comments
Tuesday that appeared on the paper's website began with the words,
"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went back on the warpath August 20,
accusing one of Ankara’s most prominent bogeymen, Israel, of complicity
in overthrowing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi."
comment Tuesday came some five months after Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu – at the behest of US President Barack Obama – phoned the Turkish prime minister and apologized
for operational errors that may have led to loss of life on the Mavi
Marmara ship that tired to break the naval blockade of Gaza in 2010.
that apology was supposed to have paved the way for an Israeli-Turkish
reconciliation, talks for compensation payments quickly bogged down as
the Turks added that they now wanted an Israeli admission that the
compensation payments was the result of a wrongful act. Expectations
that the apology would lead relatively quickly to the exchange of
ambassadors failed to materialize.
What the apology did do, one
Israeli official said Tuesday, was remove US pressure on Israel to
reconcile with Turkey, since in the eyes of the US, Netanyahu did what
he needed to do.
Jerusalem Post Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.