The following appeared on Tuesday, March 15th in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

You shall not kill!

By Burak Bekdil

It was 2010, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was speaking, as tempered as always, to a crowd as tempered as the prime minister could be.

“These [people] even see babies in their cradles as a threat. They have killed babies in their mothers’ arms,” he boomed.

“These people,” naturally, were the Israelis.

Addressing Israel’s leaders from a public rally in Turkey, Mr. Erdoğan said in both Turkish and English: “You shall not kill.” Then he showed his linguistic capabilities and went on: “You still don’t get it? Then I shall speak to you in your own language: Lo tir’tsach!” He was referring to the sixth of the 10 commandments in the Old Testament.

In various other speeches, Mr. Erdoğan claimed that his fits of anger toward the death of children were “indiscriminative” of race and religion. “Wherever, whenever,” he often said, “a child has been killed,” he would fiercely stand against the murderers. All the same, he has been mute since Saturday.

In the early hours of Saturday, a Palestinian broke into a house in the settlement of Itamar and stabbed to death a couple and their three children, aged 3 months, 4 years and 10 years old. The slain bodies were discovered by the couple’s 12-year-old daughter who was not at home when the murder was committed.

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