Gaza, The case for Middle East Peace – WEF

 

It is rare that you can see history happening. The above webcast meeting does more to explain the cuurent situation than reading 10 000 articles. It is a first class primer on body language. It is over an hour long but  if you have not seen it watch it all the way through.

It begins with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon describing the situation now in Gaza. Then it goes on to Prime Minister Reecip Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, then there is Secretary General Amre Moussa of the League of Arab States and last but not least was President Shimon Peres of Israel.

I got the impression that PM Erdogan spoke from the heart. He discusses various things, interestingly he slips in a little detail about being kept waiting with his wife coming into Israel from having been in Ramallah. A lot of the details he describes how he has proposed and try to deliver aid to Gaza. The other hot button issue for Erdogan is the treatment of Hamas as a political party. Erdogan has been attacked for his Islamist views and threatened with life bans from Turkish politics because of it.  Erdogan’s bona fides are out there, he has helped Israel in the past and he is helping negotiations with Syria. 

Amri Moussa spoke in English like a true diplomat, this was the first time I have heard him speak and put his point of view across. He sort of warns Israel that they have to make peace this year or else. He made the telling quip that he knew that Peres would speak last and the longest.

Then comes President Shimon Peres. He sounded like he was at Jewish fund raiser, it was almost a rote speech. He pulled out the Hamas charter etc. He did not even try to apologise for keeping the Prime Minister waiting at the border. Peres does reveal the double standard, for Palestine, only Abbas is allowed to speak, but for Israel, Olmert needs the permission of  Knesset.

Erdogan trys for a rebuttal of Peres but is cut short. I do feel that Erdogan should have five minutes but the fix was in, the takeaway message was supposed to be that of Israel. With Erdogan’s walkout, everybody remembers him and then they want to know what he said. (All of this is immaterial in the age of the internet since the meeting can be intensely scrutinised. )

Israel, if you want repair relations with Erdogan then

  • Apologise for the wait
  • Do not keep any Turkish aid to Gaza waiting, expedite if necessary.
  • Release the women and children you hold as a gesture of good faith.

For any Pro-Israelis out there, at the end of the day Israel can do what it likes but time is against it. Don’t  blinded by the rhetoric, watch what your government actuallydoes and decide what you want for your children.

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