Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sharply criticized the Turkish prime minister, Recep Erdogan for his statement that "Zionism is a crime against humanity" equating it with fascism and anti-Semitism. Breaking its usual practice not to respond to Erdogan's malignant gossip, in order not to aggravate further relations with Ankara, Prime Minister's office issued Netanyahu's statement condemning Erdogan's latest comments. "It comes to about meaningless and false statements, whose days, we thought, have long gone by," said Netanyahu.
In addition, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that Jerusalem is watching Erdogan's comments in the Turkish media, and considers them "empty words that simply reflect ignorance". "Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people, and to deny any people their right to self-determination and to their national movement is absurd," he said. "In the future, we will refrain from commenting on such nonsenses."
Washington too has condemned Erdogan. "We reject the characterization by Prime Minister, Erdogan of Zionism as a crime against humanity because it is offensive, unfair and totally incorrect," the statement by spokesman for U.S. National Security Council Tommy Vietor says. "We encourage people of all faiths, cultures and ideas to condemn the actions and hateful attitudes in order to overcome the differences of our time," he said. By the way, the improvement of Turkish-Israeli relations should be one of the major issues in the course of today's visit by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Ankara.