Erdoğan lambastes Israel over new law, Netanyahu calls it a compliment

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan / AFP PHOTO / RONEN ZVULUN AND OZAN KOSE

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that an Israeli law declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination legitimizes oppression and shows that Israel is a fascist and racist country where the spirit of Adolf Hitler has re-emerged, Reuters reported.

“Erdoğan is massacring the Syrians and the Kurds and is jailing thousands of his own people. This great democrat’s criticism of the Nation State Law is the greatest compliment it could be paid,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied.

The legislation approved on July 19, adopted after a tumultuous Knesset session, makes Hebrew the country’s national language and defines the establishment of Jewish communities as being in the national interest.

Arabic, previously considered an official language, was granted only special status.

Arab citizens account for some 17.5 percent of Israel’s more than 8 million population. They have long complained of discrimination.

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