Turkish Jews write an open letter protesting government’s call to denounce Israel

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Several prominent Turkish Jews have written an open letter reprimanding their government for publicly asking the Jewish community to denounce Israel’s operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

In the letter, published by the Hurriyet Daily News Friday, Jewish academics, writers and media figures stated that they do not feel obligated to express an opinion on “Israel’s latest attack on Gaza.”

“No citizen of this country is under any obligation to account for, interpret or comment on any event that takes place elsewhere in the world, and in which he/she has no involvement. There is no onus on the Jewish community of Turkey, therefore, to declare an opinion on any matter at all,” they wrote, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Former Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who took office as President last week, has spoken out harshly during Israel’s conflict with Hamas by comparing the Jewish state to Nazi Germany and by demanding that Turkish Jews denounce Israel.

“Asking the Jewish community to speak up about Israel reeks of anti-Semitism,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Abraham Foxman wrote in an op-ed in the Huffington Post earlier this month.

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