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Turkey slams Israeli PM Netanyahu's 'blatant racism'

AFP  |  Istanbul 

on Tuesday denounced Benjamin Netanyahu's "blatant racism" after he called the nation-state of "the Jewish people" only, not all its citizens.

and often have tense relations with Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause, a of Israeli policies.

"I strongly condemn this blatant racism and discrimination," wrote on his official account both in Turkish and English.

"1.6 million Arabs/Muslims live in Will the Western governments react or keep silent under pressure again?" he asked.

In campaign mode before April 9 elections, Netanyahu said all citizens including Arabs had equal rights but referred to a deeply passed last year declaring Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people.

"Israel is not a state of all its citizens," Netanyahu wrote in response to comments from an Israeli

"According to the we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people -- and only it," he said, in comments that made waves in Israel.

Israel and in 2016 ended a rift triggered by the Israeli storming of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead and led to a downgrading of diplomatic ties.

Netanyahu has been accused by critics of demonising Israeli Arabs, who make up some 17.5 percent of the population, in a bid to boost right-wing turnout for April polls.

He is facing a tough challenge from a centrist political alliance led by former military and ex-minister

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 12 2019. 16:00 IST