Turkey says Netanyahu calling Israel a state of Jews  “blatant racism”

Turkey on Tuesday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “blatant racism” for saying Israel was “the nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his administration are vocal critics of the Israeli government. Tensions rose last year when the two presidents exchanged verbal salvos over deadly clashes along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, with Erdoğan accusing Israel of state-sponsored terrorism and fascist tendencies.

“Netanyahu says that Israel is ‘a nation state not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people,'' Turkish presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın tweeted. “I strongly condemn this blatant racism and discrimination. 1.6 million Arabs/Muslims live in Israel. Will the Western governments react or keep silent under pressure again?” Kalın asked.

Kalin’s reaction follows comments by Netanyahu who said Israel was "not a state of all its citizens", in a reference to the country's Palestinian Arab population. 

"According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people - and only it," Netanyahu wrote on Instagram.

Israeli Arabs make up about 17 percent of Israel’s population.