Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Israel to Hitler and predicted that the Jewish state "will drown in the blood that they shed" at a rally prior to his presidential election last month, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translation of his address posted on the Internet on Aug. 3 shows.
"Just like Hitler tried to create a pure Aryan race in Germany, the State of Israel is pursuing the same goals right now," Erdogan told a cheering crowd.
He continued his anti-Semitic rant, accusing Israel of genocide.
"They kill the women so that they will not be able to give birth to Palestinian babies. They kill the babies so that they will not be able to grow up to be men. They kill the men so that they will not be able to defend their homeland."
Given attitudes like that from the political leadership, it's easy to see why Turkey, though a NATO ally, has become a base of Hamas operations. Turkey is considered a top Hamas funder. More than a dozen Hamas officials now live there, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported last month. That includes Saleh al-Arouri, who acknowledged Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva students in June.
In addition, Arouri reportedly was involved in a coup plot against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that was broken up by Israeli officials during the summer.
Erdogan is notorious for his anti-Semitic statements and worldview. In the past, he has referred to Zionism as a "crime against humanity" and senior Turkish officials have blamed their country's internal problems on the Jews.
Meanwhile, Turkey has balked at joining emerging coalition of countries trying to beat back the terrorist Islamic State which has been terrorizing neighboring Syria and Iraq. As many as 1,000 Turkish citizens have joined the Islamic State, and critics say the country has not done enough to seal its borders to stem that tide.
Turkey's open support for a designated terrorist organization, according to the U.S. and key Western allies, should be scrutinized in light of the fact that Turkey remains a NATO member.