Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday stormed off the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, red-faced after verbally sparring with President Shimon Peres over the recent fighting in Gaza.
Erdogan was angry after being cut off by a panel moderator after listening to an impassioned monologue by Peres defending Israel’s recent 22-day offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Erdogan told Peres: “You are killing people.”
Have a listen to this clip.
Erdogan’s response starts with a name check. That name is Gilad Atzmon.
Gilad Atzmon’s view is that it is he – and not the Left and particularly not the Jewish Left – who people listen to on the subject of Palestine. Well, Avi Shlaim gets a mention too…
The President continued:
“I did not target at all in any way the Israeli people, President Peres or Jewish people. To the contrary during the panels I attended both in lunch and tonight, I specificaly stressed that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity,” Erdogan added in the press conference.
Nevertheless, despite that disavowal, this must be a very proud moment for Gilad. Tony Greenstein must be green with envy – the man he has claimed is a fringe figure, who will discredit the Palestinian cause has the ear of the Islamist leader of Turkey.
And this is what he has to say.
Tony Greenstein in the comments says:
Why should I be green with envy that the PM of Turkey, who is really an ex-Islamist today, cited Atzmon? He’s welcome to him for the reasons cited, viz. the genocide of Kurds and the attempt to deny the Armenian holocaust. He is a bourgeois leader with the trappings of Islam.
If he’d mentioned me it wouldn’t have been green but red with embarrassment.
For the second time ever in my life, I find myself in agreement with Tony Greenstein.!