Turkish PM Says Israel Behind Morsi's Ouster

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Turkey's Islamist prime minister is accusing Israel of interfering in the Egyptian revolution.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel Tuesday of masterminding the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Erdogan last made headlines in June's crackdown against civilian opposition to converting a favorite Istanbul park into a shopping center, complete with a mosque and a replica of Ottoman-era military barracks.

In a meeting with members of his Islamist Justice and Development Party, also called AKP or AK Party, Erdogan said he had documented proof Israel was behind Morsi's ouster.

The documentation was a videotaped discussion at Tel Aviv University in June 2011 between then-opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Bernard-Henri Levy, a French Jewish intellectual.

In the course of the discussion, Levy said, "The Muslim Brotherhood will not be in power [in Egypt] even if they win the elections because democracy is not the ballot box."

"This is what they said at that time," he pointed to as proof Israel was behind the events in Egypt.

For Erdogan, who some say never misses an opportunity to badmouth the Jewish state, Levy's remarks were sufficient to show Israel's involvement in the overthrow of Morsi's government.

White House spokesman Josh Ernest called Erdogan's inference "offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong."

But he received even harsher criticism from former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who called him the heir to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

"Anyone who heard Erdogan's words, which were full of hate and incitement, understands without any doubt that we are talking about the successor to Goebbels," Lieberman said, adding that "his plotting is in the same vein as the Dreyfus trial and the Elders of Zion."

Lieberman currently serves as chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

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