Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gaza Discussion at Davos: Far More Dramatic Than Its End

The buzz at Davos Thursday was about Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's exit from a discussion on Gaza--and from the conference altogether-- after moderator David Ignatius of the New York Times refused to allow him more than a minute to respond to the statement of Israeli President Shimon Peres. (Peres received 25 minutes in which to speak; Erdogan had 12, as did the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa. The fourth participant, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon clocked in with eight minutes.) Unfortunately, the Prime Minister's exit makes for a showy two minutes of television chatter. What most reporters will overlook is the intensity of the drama that played out in that hour; the passion, exasperation, tact, resentment and, sadly, lies that claimed space on that stage. What also seems to be overlooked are the expressions of hope that, with Obama as president, the U.S. will return to its role as a truly honest broker. It was an odd sensation to watch this video, and to hear the U.S. spoken of in almost--almost--hopeful tones. May we act in ways that justify such a feeling.

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