Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan_reutersPhoto: Reuters

Israel Rejects Turkey’s UN rhetoric

World Leaders are currently attending the annual week-long opening of the United Nations General Assembly. Among those addressing the plenum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seized the opportunity to condemn Israel – for what he referred to as, ‘its ongoing atrocities against the Palestinian people and the city of Jerusalem.’

Ankara’s leader claimed that the current Israeli government, under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, bear full responsibility for the perpetuated conflict and suffering of the Palestinian people. Erdogan further urged the international community to protect the long-accepted consensus that a two-state for two-peoples roadmap be the sole solution to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He said: “Esteemed delegates, today, the Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation have become one of the most striking places of injustice.” / “The current Israeli government and the (U.S.) Administration, right next to these (unspecified) murders and atrocities, is intervening and attacking the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and holy sacred lands and artifacts. As Turkey, we have a very clear stance on this issue, the immediate establishment of an independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories on the basis of the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital is the only solution. “

With regard to the American peace initiative, the political dimension of which has yet to be unveiled; President Erdogan warned that the plan will most definitely lead to more bloodshed. In his words: “Is the aim of the initiative, promoted as the deal of the century, to entirely eliminate the presence of the state and people of Palestine? Do you want another bloodshed? All actors of the international community, particularly the U.N. should provide concrete support to the Palestinian people, beyond more promises.”

Responding to Erdogan’s rhetoric; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a filmed statement from his residence in Jerusalem, in which he ridiculed the Turkish leader’s statements as ‘absurd and deceptive.’ Netanyahu said: “The one that does not cease to lie about Israel, the one that does not cease to massacre the Kurds in his land, the one that denies the heinous genocide of the Armenian nation, should not preach to Israel. Erdogan, stop lying.”

The Israeli Prime Minister also released a separate statement, in which he joined France, Britain and Germany in accusing Iran of bearing responsibility for the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia. According to him: “Britain, France and Germany have said that Iran is responsible for the recent attack in Saudi Arabia. Let me say on behalf of the state of Israel, very simple: Iran did it! A – Z. Israel will know how to defend itself against this type of aggression, and we call on all the members of the international community to join President Trump’s efforts to increase the pressure on Iran. That’s the only way to stop Iran’s aggression.”

Meanwhile at the United Nations headquarters in New York, French President Emmanuel Macron used his address to the General Assembly to reiterat his warning that the “risk of a serious conflict based on a miscalculation or a disproportionate response” has reached an all-time high in the Persian Gulf, especially after the September 14th Iranian attacks on Saudi oil installations. He said:

The attacks on the 14th of September against Saudi Arabia have clearly changed the situation. And so, bearing that in mind, today, we have a risk of a serious conflict based on a miscalculation or a disproportionate response. Peace is at the mercy of an incident of a miscalculation and the consequences for the region would be very serious, too serious for us to live on the edge of a cliff.”

President Macron also took the opportunity to reject accusations that Europe’s conduct toward Iran has been naïve, saying: “I’m not naive at all and I don’t believe in miracles. I believe that it takes courage to build peace. And that is why it’s important for the United States, Iran and the signatories of this agreement to show this courage.”

During his remarks to the U.N.G.A., U.S. President Donald Trump responded to global criticism of Washington’s conduct over Tehran’s malign behavior, by emphasizing that the White House is not interested in war. That said, the American leader asserted that his Administration will never fail to defend America’s interests. Trump further warned the international community ‘not to subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,’ and repeated that as long as the Islamic Republic continues to sow destruction and terror, the United States will move to apply additional pressure. According to Trump: “The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, cooperation and mutual gain with all, but I will never fail to defend America’s interests.” / “All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s blood lust. As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.”