Erdogan on Israel's Nation-state Law: Hitler's Spirit Has Reemerged

Netanyahu hits back, says Turkish president's assault is the biggest compliment to the recently approved legislation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking in Istanbul last week
MURAD SEZER/רויטרס

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday attacked Israel's recently approved nation-state law, saying that the spirit of Adolf Hitler has reemerged in some Israeli administrators.

Erdogan said that the approval of the nation-state law shows Israel is the most fascist and racist country in the world, adding that he law legitimizes unlawful actions and oppression against Arab minorities.

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Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back at Erdogan, saying the Turkish president "slaughters Syrians and Kurds and imprisons thousands of his citizens."

"The fact that the 'champion of democracy' Erdogan is attacking the nation-state law is the biggest compliment for this law." According to Netanyahu, under Erdogan's rule, Turkey is becoming a "dark dictatorship while Israel is carefully safeguarding equal rights for all of its citizens, before the law and after it."

In a speech to ruling AK Party lawmakers, Erdogan also said Israel had shown itself to be a "terror state" by attacking Palestinians with tanks and artillery. 

Israel passed the nation-state law earlier this month, a controversial law that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that "the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people," sparking outrage from Israel's Arab community and provoking concern from the international community.