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August 11, 2016 3

Tunisian BDS Conference Raises Questions About Qatari Involvement

On August 4th, the Qatar-based Arab Cen­ter for Research and Pol­icy Stud­ies (ACRPS) launched a three-day aca­d­e­mic con­fer­ence in Tunisia titled “Boy­cott as a Strat­egy to Counter Israel’s Occu­pa­tion and Apartheid: Present-day Real­i­ties and Aspi­ra­tions.” The con­fer­ence served as a reminder of BDS activists’ efforts to expand their agenda and fur­ther their goal of dele­git­imiz­ing the state of Israel, but also illu­mi­nated poten­tial rifts within the movement.

Panelists at the BDS conference in Tunisia

Pan­elists at the BDS con­fer­ence in Tunisia

While ACRPS claims to be an inde­pen­dent research insti­tute, it appears to have strong ties to the Qatari gov­ern­ment. This could sug­gest that indi­vid­u­als closely affil­i­ated to the Qatari gov­ern­ment may be inter­ested in play­ing a big­ger role in advanc­ing the BDS movement.

ACRPS reg­is­tra­tion doc­u­ments list Sul­tan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a promi­nent Qatari busi­ness­man, as the founder of the Cen­ter. Report­edly, Al Kuwari, who is closely affil­i­ated with Qatar’s royal fam­ily, is also listed as the direc­tor of sev­eral Qatari inter­na­tional media out­lets. He is also described as the per­son in charge of extend­ing the reach of the Qatari soft diplo­matic power under the lead­er­ship of the Emir of Qatar. Fur­ther­more, reports from pre­vi­ous ACRPS events present the Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani as a reg­u­lar guest of honor at many of the group’s events.

The Qatari con­nec­tion could raise the hack­les of BDS activists who are skep­ti­cal of Qatar’s for­eign pol­icy posi­tions, and are con­cerned that the country’s involve­ment would trans­form the grass­roots move­ment into a ‘state brand­ing’ project. On the first day of the con­fer­ence, mem­bers of the Tunisian BDS chap­ter dis­rupted the ses­sion and protested against what they con­sider as the Qatari government’s con­nec­tion. They also protested against the direc­tor of the ACRPS, Azmi Beshara, because he served as a mem­ber of the Israeli Knes­set in the past, which the activists con­sider as an act of trea­son. An ear­lier state­ment on the offi­cial Face­book page of the Tunisian chap­ter of the BDS move­ment called fora boy­cott of the con­fer­ence because the ACRPS and the con­fer­ence itself “are spon­sored by the Qatari gov­ern­ment” which, accord­ing to the Tunisian chap­ter, is “one of the Arab gov­ern­ments most active in nor­mal­iza­tion with Israel.”

This BDS con­fer­ence was built on a series of pre­vi­ous events hosted by the ACRPS and focused on ques­tions about the objec­tives of the BDS move­ment and the role of the Arab states, émi­gré com­mu­ni­ties, and Pales­tini­ans. One speaker, Osama Abu Irshaid, the National Pol­icy Direc­tor of Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, said “it is a must to trans­form the BDS move­ment into a sys­tem and a frame­work that will go beyond only boy­cotting cor­po­ra­tions that sup­port Israel to the de-legitimization of Israel as well.” ACRPS issued a paper sup­port­ing Irshaid’s goals.

Other speak­ers at the con­fer­ence included Max Blu­men­thal, a promi­nent anti-Israel blog­ger, Peter Slezak, the co– founder of the Australian-based Inde­pen­dent Aus­tralian Jew­ish Voices, and Richard Falk, the for­mer United Nations Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Pales­tin­ian human rights.

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August 9, 2016 Off

Oregon Police Save Woman Held Hostage by Armed White Supremacist

A SWAT team with the Glad­stone Police Depart­ment in North­west­ern Ore­gon res­cued a woman being held hostage by a bar­ri­caded white suprema­cist fol­low­ing a shootout with police.jeffreygiddingstattoos

The inci­dent began on August 8, 2016, when Jef­frey Carl Gid­dings, a con­victed felon and career crim­i­nal, fled on a bicy­cle from an offi­cer who was attempt­ing to stop him for a traf­fic violation.

A short time later, Gid­dings allegedly opened fire on a police sergeant who had located him in the park­ing lot of a Sub­way restau­rant.  The sergeant was struck in his bal­lis­tic vest and is report­edly in excel­lent condition.

Gid­dings then took a woman hostage and bar­ri­caded him­self in the Sub­way.  A respond­ing SWAT team tried to nego­ti­ate with Gid­dings, but he made demands and refused to give up.  Fear­ing for the hostage’s safety, the SWAT team shot Gid­dings and saved the woman. Gid­dings suf­fered a non-life threat­en­ing injury and was taken to the hospital.

Gid­dings’ face and body are cov­ered in tat­toos.  Many of them are sym­bols used by white suprema­cists includ­ing the words “Aryan Pride”, a Celtic Cross and “16/23,” a numer­i­cal code for PW or “peck­er­wood.”  Addi­tion­ally, Gid­dings has IPS tat­toos on both his neck and col­lar­bone area which is the acronym for the Insane Peck­er­wood Syn­di­cate, a white suprema­cist prison gang with mem­bers in Ore­gon and Washington.

This is the sec­ond shootout in the United States between police and domes­tic extrem­ists this month, and the ninth so far this year.

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August 3, 2016 3

Anti-Muslim Extremists’ Disgraceful Attack On The Family Of An American Hero

Khizr Khan has been in the pub­lic eye since he spoke at the 2016 Demo­c­ra­tic National Con­ven­tion.  In react­ing to Khan’s promi­nence, some long-time anti-Muslim activists are seek­ing to dis­credit him.

Walid Shoebat

Walid Shoe­bat

Anti-Muslim extrem­ist, Walid Shoe­bat, who is known for pro­mot­ing Chris­t­ian mil­i­tancy, pub­lished an arti­cle on his web­site claim­ing that Khizr Khan, the father of Cpt. Humayan Khan is “a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Agent Who Wants To Advance Sharia Law And Bring Mus­lims Into The United States.” Cpt. Khan was killed in com­bat in Iraq in 2004 and posthu­mously was awarded the Bronze Star and Pur­ple Heart for his service.

The arti­cle bases this claim on a schol­arly paper pub­lished in the Hous­ton Jour­nal of Inter­na­tional Law in 1983 titled Juris­tic Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Islamic Law, which Shoe­bat claims was writ­ten by Khizr Khan. How­ever, it is not clear that this is the same Khizr Khan who is the father of the slain Cpt. Khan.

Based on this schol­arly paper, Shoe­bat claims that Khan’s fas­ci­na­tion with Islamic Sharia stems from his life in Saudi Ara­bia, and that the paper cites Islamic Law, a book writ­ten by a Mus­lim Broth­er­hood ide­o­logue, Said Ramadan.  For Shoe­bat and oth­ers like him, fab­ri­cat­ing absurd claims to attack oppo­nents is noth­ing new. How­ever, what is unusual here is that anti-Muslim extrem­ists are using this vile tac­tic to defame griev­ing fam­i­lies of fallen Amer­i­can soldiers.

Pub­licly exposed after a 2011 inves­tiga­tive CNN report revealed his fab­ri­ca­tion of sev­eral sto­ries about his back­ground, Shoe­bat pro­motes a form of anti-LGBT/anti-Muslim Chris­t­ian mil­i­tancy. He also posts arti­cles on his web­site that express hos­til­ity towards Jews. One arti­cle writ­ten by his son Theodore pub­lished on Shoebat’s web­site on June 18, 2015 claims, “There are many Jews (the major­ity in Amer­ica are far-left) who har­bor anti-Christian sen­ti­ments, and express vit­riol when you try to talk about Christ with them.”

In Feb­ru­ary 2016, Shoe­bat, who claims to have con­verted to Chris­tian­ity, attacked evan­gel­i­cal lead­ers who con­demned his son’s remarks that in “a bib­li­cal society…every f-g would be rounded up and killed.” Shoe­bat responded to their crit­i­cism of this com­ment by ask­ing, “So how far will the Evan­gel­i­cal move­ment in the United States go to please the LGBT agenda?”

Other anti-Muslim extrem­ists echoed Shoebat’s attack on the Khan fam­ily. Some of them are plan­ning to attend an upcom­ing anti-Muslim event in Los Ange­les about Islam and West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion on August 21st.

The event will fea­ture speak­ers known for their anti-Islamic big­otry includ­ing Elis­a­beth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Frank Gaffney, and Pamela Geller. The event will also fea­ture Mor­ton Klein, Pres­i­dent of the Zion­ist Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­ica (ZOA) as a speaker.

By attack­ing the Khan fam­ily, who made the biggest sac­ri­fice a human can endure, the hate­ful agenda of anti-Muslim extrem­ists has reached a new low.

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