Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday slammed Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for "outrageous" and "false" statements he made in a weekend interview to CNN.
Erdogan accused Israel in the interview of using the Holocaust to justify its acts against the Palestinians and to perpetuate the idea that "they are the victims all the time." He also said there were no accurate statistics about the number of Israelis killed in the conflict, suggesting up to "200", while while "hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed" as a result of Israel's attack on Gaza alone.
Netanyahu said, "both allegations are false. These are outrageous charges against Israel that have nothing to do with the facts."
"The Holocaust was the worst crime in history perpetuated against our people," and thousands of Israelis had been murdered in Palestinian terror acts, Netanyahu said.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also blasted Erdogan over his statements on CNN, calling Turkey's leadership radical, extremist and terror supporting.
Erdogan had warned that Turkey's relations with Israel "may never be normal again" in the wake of the Israeli takeover of the Gaza bound Mavi Marmara in May 2010, in which nine Turks were killed.
"We gave our warnings to Israel. This is the reason for war. This is something you cannot do in international waters. But as a great state, we have been very forgiving. That's why we have been very patient," Erdogan had said.
Lieberman commented "we have no problem with Turkey. We certainly respect the Turkish nation and Turkey as a state. Our problem is first and foremost with the current Turkish leadership - the radical and extremist Islamist leadership that supports and nurtures terror."
Speaking at a gathering to toast the Jewish New Year with Yisrael Beiteinu party members, Lieberman said "it is no coincidence Ergodan supports Hamas. The IHH is also on the list of terror organizations in Israel and Germany, as well as Hezbollah," he said, referring to the Turkish NGO that organized the 2010 flotilla that tried to breach the blockade of Gaza.
Lieberman referred to the list of IDF soldiers allegedly involved in taking over the Mavi Marmara, which IHH reportedly released yesterday. The foreign minister said Israel was behind them and they had nothing to fear.
Lieberman said Erdogan gave an excellent performance on CNN. "When I ask myself what we can do in PR, I say...we should let Erdogan talk all day and all night. The more he talks, the more support Israel will get," he said.
Speaking about the Palestinians bid for statehood at the UN, Lieberman said "We knew how to stand fast...When you close the ranks and believe in your way, at the end everyone will be convinced you are right. I remember the gloomy forecasts of catastrophe, defeat and isolation," he said.
"I have many objections to the Quartet's statement, but ultimately when the Quartet, the UN, European Union and the United States sign a document saying the negotiations wil resume with no prior conditions, I think this is a considerable thing," he said.
Lieberman scoffed at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying it is clear today who was running away from confrontation. "The prime minister told Abu Mazen, we're in New York, come, let's meet here and start. Abu Mazen responded almost hysterically. He entered the car, fled to the airport so that he won't be pressured to open talks," he said.
Lieberman said Israel will deny Abbas' demand to change economic clauses in the Oslo accords.
"I can say with complete certainty: We won't open even a comma and let nobody dream we'll give in on this point...There's no reason to be overjoyed and no place for hysteria. There's no diplomatic tsunami, not even rain," he said.