Gaza Update: David Ignatius Can’t Be Late For Dinner
True to his establishment media roots, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius stopped Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan when he attempted to respond to Shimon Peres who had claimed that Israel was “committed to peace” and then "launched an aggressive defense of his country’s 23-day assault on Gaza and with a raised voice and pointed finger:
"Why did they fire rockets? There was no siege against Gaza," Peres said, his voice rising. "Why did they fight us? What did they want? There was never a day of starvation in Gaza."
"What would you do if you were to have in Istanbul every night a hundred rockets?" Peres shouted. The audience of international officials and corporate chiefs applauded Peres’s emotional defense of an assault that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead.
When "Erdogan tried to rebut Peres … asking Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, to let him speak once more:"
“Only a minute,” Ignatius replied.
The Prime Minister began by saying:
President Peres you are older than I am. Maybe you are feeling guilty and that is why you are so strong in your words. You killed people. I remember the children who died on beaches."
And then continued:
“I remember two former prime ministers in your country who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks”.
“I find it very sad that people applaud what you said. There have been many people killed. And I think that it is very wrong and it is not humanitarian.”
Ignatius said, “We can’t start the debate again. We just don’t have time." Erdogan said, “Please let me finish.” Ignatius responded, “We need to get people to dinner."
Erdogan walked out of the meeting saying:
"I don’t think I will come back to Davos because you don’t let me speak. The president spoke for only 25 minutes. I have only spoken for half of that."
Way to go, Ignatius. . . we can’t have a world leader reminding us that the Israeli actions in Gaza were “barbaric,” and that the Bible says “Thou shalt not kill.” After all, we wouldn’t want the elite at Davos to be late for dinner, now would we?
Erdogan flew home to Turkey where “Thousands turned out in the Turkish capital to greet Mr Erdogan’s plane.”