The World Economic Forum in Davos suffered acute embarrassment on Day 2 of the conference when it was revealed that an article in its Global Agenda magazine distributed to all 2,340 participants called for a boycott of Israel on the same day that Hamas rode to victory in Palestinian elections. The official position of Hamas denies the existence of the state of Israel. The article is entitled “Boycott Israel” and the deck says “Global civil society ought to boycott Israel until it ends its apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians.” It is written by Mazin Qumsiyeh. The magazine was in every hotel room and went unread, by and large by Davos participants—until today.
Klaus Schwab sent out an email to all participants stating “With great concern and pain, I jus learned that Global Agenda, a publication distributed to our members atthe Annual Meeting in 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 underwstanding in tthe world. The Forum has been deeply involved in the efforts to create better relations and reconciliation in the Middle East and throughout the world.”
Schwab goes on to say there was “an unacceptable failure in the editorial process, specifically an insufficiently short period for review of content—for which there is no excuse. He went on to say that he and the Forum would continue to “do everything possible to foster dialogue and communication among all parties based on mutual respect and recognition and not confrontation.”
The Conference hall where most of the business of the WEF is conducted buzzed with the news and participants wondered how such an inflamatory article could have passed through the editorial process without setting off alarm bells.
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