Erdogan, Peres and the Soufflés of Davos

Davos Walk-Off
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, shares the stage with Israel’s President Shimon Peres at the annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month. Erdogan later stalked off after verbally sparring with Peres over Gaza. (AP photo / Alessandro Della Bella)

Sandy Tolan’s open letter to Prime Minister Erdogan.

To: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey
From:  The Protocol Desk, World Economic Forum
RE:  Last week’s unfortunate incident in Davos.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I write with grave concern over your impertinent remarks to the president of Israel at the World Economic Forum last week, which threatened to delay dinner for hundreds of extremely important global thinkers. I would like to make you aware that these leaders, many of them bankers who had to resort for the first time to flying into Davos by commercial (read public) airliner, had heard quite enough of your spouting off about Gaza.

It was bad enough that Mr. Shimon Peres was forced to respond to the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who spoke of the “unacceptable” bombing to rubble of the United Nations compound there and the deaths of 1,300 Gazans. Making matters worse was your outlandish suggestion that this destruction in Gaza was excessive.

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You can’t be impartial about aid

‘THE BBC is right’, writes  Mark Steel. ‘If they broadcast that appeal for aid to be sent to Gaza it would be taking sides. The Israeli Defence force could legitimately say “We’ve gone to enormous lengths to kill people, then you go and help keep them alive. How do you square that with your remit to be neutral?”‘

THE BBC is right. If they broadcast that appeal for aid to be sent to Gaza it would be taking sides. The Israeli Defence force could legitimately say “We’ve gone to enormous lengths to kill people, then you go and help keep them alive. How do you square that with your remit to be neutral?”

So the BBC needs to look at other areas in which its ‘impartiality’ could be called into question. To start with they’ll have to scrap Crimewatch, which clearly takes the side of the murdered against the murderers. Maybe they could get round this by having a new balanced Crimewatch, in which the police plea for witnesses to a crime, but then the presenter says, “Next tonight — have you seen this man? Because Big Teddy and his gang are desperate to track him down and do him in for ringing us up earlier. So if you have any information please call us, where Nobby the Knife is ready to talk to you in complete confidence.”

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