Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is following in the path of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, MK Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday. Lieberman spoke a day after the Turkish premier accused Israel of being behind the ouster of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
"He [Erdogan] has continued Goebbels' ways," Lieberman, a former foreign minister and the leader of Yisrael Beytenu, told Army Radio.
"Those who apologized before Turkey [over the deadly Turkish-led Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010] should do some soul-searching; so should those who attacked me and Yisrael Beytenu for our criticism over Israel's apology."
On Tuesday, Erdogan said he had "evidence" of Israel's involvement in the Egyptian coup last month, citing a statement by a French Jewish intellectual during a meeting with an Israeli official.
The Egyptian cabinet rejected Erdogan's statement as baseless and "bewildering," saying its patience was running low with Turkey, one of the biggest critics of the July 3 military coup.
Israel said Erdogan's claim was not worthy of comment.
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. condemned Erdogan's statement, and called his accusation "offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong."
In a nationally televised speech on Tuesday, Erdogan also took a swipe at Muslim nations, accusing them of betraying Egypt by supporting the country's military-backed new leaders.
As "evidence" for the alleged Israeli involvement, Erdogan spoke of a meeting held in France before the 2011 Egyptian elections between an Israeli official and a French intellectual whom Erdogan quoted as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood would not be in power even if it won the elections.
"What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is. We have the evidence in our hands," Erdogan said in a televised address to officials from his Islamist ruling party. "That's exactly what happened."
An Erdogan aide later told The Associated Press that the evidence Erdogan to which was referring was a video "available on the Internet" of a press conference by Tzipi Livni (who in 2011 was Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader, and is now Israel's justice minister), and French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as far as he knew, this was the only evidence of the claim.
The Livni-Levy meeting mentioned by Erdogan actually took place at Tel Aviv University, not in France as claimed by the Turkish prime minister.
A video of the two, dating back to 2011, shows Levy saying: "If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values."
Pressed further as to whether he would urge Egypt's military to intervene against the Muslim Brotherhood, Levy said: "I will urge the prevention of them coming to power, but by all sorts of means."
Levy could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Egyptian government said it found Erdogan's statement "very bewildering" and that it was "baseless" and "not accepted by any logic or rational."
"Its purpose is to strike at the unity of Egyptians," the statement said.
In Israel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Erdogan's comments did not merit a response.
"This is a statement well worth not commenting on," he said.
Erdogan also criticized Muslim nations for not denouncing Morsi's ouster, saying: "Today, despite the betrayal of brothers, no one will be able to prevent the Egyptian people from taking over the administration of Egypt."
A day earlier, Turkish leaders had strongly criticized the Turkish secretary general of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, accusing him of inaction over events in Egypt and suggesting he should resign.
Erdogan has been a strong backer of Morsi as an example of a democratically elected Islamic leader. Turkey and Egypt recalled their ambassadors last week as relations worsened.
The Turkish leader has drawn parallel between Morsi's ousting and a series of anti-government protests in Turkey in June that he has blamed on an international conspiracy to topple his democratically elected government through illegal means.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay, said soon after the protests that the "Jewish diaspora" was involved in the protests, but later retracted the statement, saying he had been misunderstood.