Rubio to Turkey: Stop ‘anti-Israel’ comments

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told the prime minister of Turkey to stop his “anti-Israel” rhetoric and warned against any provocation. 

Rubio said he was “troubled” by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent comments where Erdogan compared Israel’s attacks against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

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“Such deplorable comments and anti-Israel views have become increasingly common among senior Turkish officials and severely undermine our mutual interest in collaboration to address the common challenges our nations face,” Rubio wrote in a letter to the prime minister on Wednesday. “I urge you to halt this incendiary rhetoric regarding Israel.”

Israel has been defending itself against rocket attacks from Hamas militants in Gaza. The United States has said it supports Israel’s right to use military force to defend itself.

Israel has instituted a naval blockade to prevent Hamas from importing additional weapons through the Gaza port. In his letter, Rubio cited reports that organizations in Turkey are planning to breach that blockade.

“I write with great concern about your comments regarding Israel’s recent actions in Gaza, and reports that organizations operating in Turkey are planning to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza,” Rubio wrote. “I encourage you to take all appropriate measures to keep these organizations from provoking a confrontation with Israeli forces and violating this blockade.”

Rubio is considered a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate.

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