This is the closest thing to a declaration of war, at least verbally. Veteran Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of being “worse than Hitler”; and he was quick to respond, calling his Turkish colleague responsible for the “genocide of the Kurds”.

Because it involves two of the United States and the West’s main allies, one of whom is also a former NATO member, the crossing of swords is particularly worrying. Hostility between Erdogan and Netanyahu goes back a long way, but strengthened with the outbreak of war in Gaza after the withdrawal of the respective ambassadors. The Turkish leader warns that Israel treats Palestinians – not only in the Gaza Strip but also in the West Bank – “worse than Hitler treated Jews in concentration camps.” And this suggests that as long as the war lasts, relations between the two countries will continue to be frozen.

Netanyahu, for his part, warns Erdogan that he is not someone to give moral lessons because “it is responsible for the genocide of the Kurds, and has a record of imprisoning opposition journalists. The war waged by the Turkish state against Kurdish separatists, both on its territory and in neighboring Syria and Iraq, has left some 40,000 dead, double those estimated so far in Gaza.

In his response on the social network “supporting and sheltering the Islamic State and Hamas”. An accusation that Ankara only partially rejects. Turkish authorities admit that some “political” leaders of the radical Palestinian movement have offices in Turkey, while Israel claims to have proof that Hamas military leaders also move freely there.

The blood will not reach the river, even if the annals do not recall such a tense relationship between the two powers of the region. Erdogan assumed his role as “enfant terrible” of NATO, to also play that of leader of Islam, without falling completely into the Islamist political drift. Thus, he presents himself as a defender of the Palestinian cause, sometimes wrapped in his emblematic scarf, or with spectacular blows like the one reported today by the “Times of Israel”. The newspaper reports that a famous presenter from a Turkish government-controlled television channel was fired for appearing on screen next to a coffee cup bearing the logo of Starbucks, a commercial channel linked to a lobby Jewish.