Erdogan Walks Out

Judah at World Politics Review posts on an interesting story:

For all the diplomatic fallout of the Gaza War, the deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations might be the most alarming. This Youtube video of the Davos Forum where Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed off the stage (at the 1:01:30 mark) after not being permitted to respond to Israeli President Shimon Peres’ remarks, is stunning. Peres’ remarks, too, are remarkable for their passion at a forum that is known for its collegial calm. (They begin at the 39:30 mark.) Notice, too, the body language of Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa during Peres’ remarks.

Erdogan’s anger was directed at panel moderator David Ignatiius for not allowing him to finish his remarks, even if it was the bitter difference of opinion on Gaza that was the subject of discussion.

My Commentary
1) First, this is the same David Ignatuis who in November actually claimed that Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi   issued a fatwa in support of Obama’s campaign.

2)  Erdogan’s frustration is real and representative of widespread sentiment in the Arab and Muslim world.   Israel always trots out the elderly Shimon Peres to make the “why can’t we all get along” speech at these kinds of forums and that always wows Western audiences.  But from the perspective of the pro-Palestinian side  this is old and insulting.  Peres might be serious about peace, but he has very little influence in Israeli politics.   And when Peres talks about how much Israel wants peace, there’s 300 million Arabs scratching their heads,  wondering how that squares with the three week trashing of Gaza which left a good 400-500 women and children dead.  So I can easily see how Erdogan would be pissed sitting through Peres’ 25 minute “Let’s give peace a chance” spiel and then have  Igantius tell him its time to eat dinnner and no he can’t speak for more than a minute.