Anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly face just 75 years after the Holocaust in Europe which resulted in the genocide of six million Jews. Reflections of that horrific time are prevalent once again around the world, but Turkey takes the prize for “Jew hate” this week.
A disturbing picture of a cellphone store in the heart of Istanbul in Turkey was sent to the main Turkish Jewish news site, Salom, recently. It shows a sign in the window of the centrally located store proclaiming “No Jew Dogs.”
The European Jewish Press reports that the sign was set on the backdrop of religious Jews wearing white skull caps who were dancing in front of an Israeli army tank. The store, which is located in a commercial district called Tahtakale, where there are many Jewish-owned stores, was condemned by the increasingly worried Jewish community in the city.
A local Jewish businessman told reporters,
“If a sign like this was hung against any other population aside from Jews, the world would be expressing shock and the sign would be removed immediately. But when it’s Jews, no one opens their mouths, and this could bring serious results.”
The latest bout of anti-Semitism in Turkey comes after violent protests in July during Operation Protective Edge in which Israel was defending itself against thousands of short and long-range rockets fired by Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. The riots in Turkey became so bad that Israel was forced to pull its diplomatic staff from the country after its embassy and consulate in Istanbul and Ankara were attacked.
The Jew-hatred is made worse by the recently elected President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is more of an Islamist than a Democratic leader. Historically, Erdogan has been a huge critic of Israel and even Jews of his own country who he has alienated over the years with offensive comments.
During the recent war in Gaza, Erdogan went to the unprecedented and highly offensive measure of comparing Israel’s operation to the actions of genocidal Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
The Jews of Turkey have resided there in peace for hundreds of years. They hope that an appropriate response will be forthcoming from government officials and locals alike to condemn the type of fascist sign displayed recently at the Turkish cellphone store in Istanbul.