The Middle East Panel From Hell

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Over at the Atlantic's Davos Report (which is v. interesting; you should read it), I have a piece about the Turkish-Israeli meltdown at last year's meeting:

Erdogan had come ready for a fight. The folder he carried onto the stage - a folder that reportedly carried the seal of his Muslim party, and not that of the more secular-leaning Turkish foreign ministry - contained anti-Israel polemics downloaded from the Internet. Peres, too, was ready for battle, and after a twelve-minute speech by Erdogan, Peres responded at length, and boisterously. Erdogan was playing to type - his party has made Israel a special target of attack - but Peres was forced into a role he dislikes, that of reflexive defender of his tribe. In the recent past, Peres was famous for positing the idea that a new, modern, detribalized Middle East was in the making. But in Davos, he felt forced to play what he described to me after the event as an archaic role.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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