Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hate in Switzerland; World Economic Forum

Ynet News Online carries this report from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The few Israelis who arrived Tuesday at the Swiss ski-resort town of Davos to attend the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of approximately 2,500 business leaders, were in for a bitter surprise: A scathing and malicious article blasting Israel was included in a special booklet handed out to all the conference's attendees.

The article calls on its readers to boycott Israel and compares Zionism to the most radical forms of racism. The booklet, titled "Global Agenda," bears the logo of the World Economic Forum and includes an introduction written by the conference organizers. It appears to be an official publication of the World Economic Forum and is included in every file handed out to conference participants. It is also distributed at the Zurich Airport and at Swiss hotels.

The booklet includes an unusually harsh article written by Mazin Qumsiyeh, a lecturer at a number of American universities, titled "Boycott Israel." The article includes an unequivocal call to establish a global movement against Zionism and a global movement against the "Israeli apartheid", as well as anti-Israeli, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic remarks and threats, the likes of which are usually published in marginal magazines in the West or by radical Islamists.
The European protests of this book have been positively deafening; in other words, you will not hear a single voice raised above a whisper. I guess some things never change and European Anti-Semitism is just as alive and well as it was 70 years ago.

1 comment:

World Economic Forum said...


Davos, Switzerland, 26 January 2006 – With great concern and pain, I just learned that Global Agenda,a publication distributed to our members at the Annual Meeting 2006, contains an article calling for a boycott of Israel. This article is totally in contradiction to my own, and the Forum’s, mission and values. For 36 years I have been committed to fighting for mutual understanding in the world. The Forum has been deeply involved in the efforts to create better relations and reconciliation in the Middle East and throughout the world.

As soon as I learned about this article, I immediately investigated how this situation could have developed. I concluded there was an unacceptable failure in the editorial process, specifically an insufficiently short period for review of content – for which there is no excuse. I, on behalf of the Forum, profoundly apologize and express my regrets to everyone.

I can assure you that appropriate steps have been instituted to ensure that this will never happen again.

I would like to confirm to all our friends in the Middle East, and throughout the world, that the Forum will continue, under my leadership, to do everything possible to foster dialogue and open communication among all parties, based on mutual respect and recognition, and not on confrontation.

Klaus Schwab
Founder and Executive Chairman
World Economic Forum