(JNS.org) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Monday evening with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul, where the two reportedly discussed ways to “protect Jerusalem against attempts of judaization.”
The meeting followed Erdogan’s comments at a Turkish conference, in which he rebuked Israel for its Muezzin Bill, which would place limits on the volume of mosque loudspeakers late at night and during early morning hours. Erdogan also called on Muslims to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque en masse in support of the Palestinians, and compared Israeli policy with apartheid South Africa and racism “practiced against black people in the past in America.”
Turkish Ambassador to Israel Kemal Okem was summoned by Israel’s Foreign Ministry Tuesday to clarify Erdogan’s anti-Israel statements. The ambassador was informed Israel would not remain silent in the face of such rhetoric, reported The Jerusalem Post.
“Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians—and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also slammed Erdogan Tuesday, saying, “The connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem dates back more than 3,000 years. Jerusalem is and will remain our eternal, united capital forever.”
The mayor invited Erdogan to visit Jerusalem to “see for himself” how the capital city has flourished under Israeli administration.