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October 1, 2014

Iran New Horizon Conference Draws U.S. Anti-Semites, Holocaust Deniers

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Medea Benjamin participating in the 2nd New Horizon Conference in Tehran

Update — 10/02/14: Read more about the 2nd New Horizon Conference and its U.S. and international participants.

Iran kicked off its anti-America and anti-Israel New Horizon Conference as the final part of the 13th International Resistance Film Festival in Tehran. The three-day conference opened on September 29 and marks the second time Tehran has hosted the event. According to organizers, the event will include “tens of elite thinkers, philosophers, activists and politicians worldwide” who will discuss and “expose” Zionist control of the film industry and the influence of the “Zionist lobby in America.”

As in the previous conference, this year’s New Horizon Conference has drawn the participation of several anti-Israel activists, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers. A new presence at the conference is the participation of a so called American anti-war activist, Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of CODEPINK.

In addition to Benjamin, the conference’s official website published the names of several American and international anti-Semites, anti-Israel activists and Holocaust deniers that are expected to be in attendance, including Maria Poumier, a French conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier; Claudio Moffa, an Italian Holocaust denier; Kevin Barrett, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist and frequent contributor to Iran’s English language propaganda news network, Press TV; Garth Porter, an anti-Israel journalist; Pepe Escobar, a Brazilian anti-Israel journalist; and Art Olivier, a former elected official from California and 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

Moreover, Iranian news agencies have reported that a number of other individuals are scheduled to also attend the three-day conference in Tehran. Iranian news agencies have reported the expected participation of Alison Weir, the  director of If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest, two grassroots anti-Israel organizations; Ken O’Keefe, an anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist former U.S. Marine and a regular contributor to Press TV; Wayne Madsen, an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist; Cyrus McGoldrick, the former Civil Rights Manager for the New York chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations; Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French anti-Semitic comedian and the creator of the anti-Semitic “quenelle” gesture; and Mark Siljander, a former U.S. Representative (R-MI) who was found guilty in 2010 of two federal charges relating to his ties to an Islamic charity alleged to have funded terrorist groups.

The conference was opened with remarks by the personal advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mohsen Ghomi, who boasted that the conference itself is “the biggest threat to Zionists,” and that “American officials are puppets of the Zionist lobby who are taking advantage of American ignorance.” Anti-Israel journalist Garth Porter said during his presentation on Monday that the Mossad and CIA are responsible for manufacturing the nuclear crisis with Iran.

The 2nd New Horizon Conference comes on the heels of the 13th annual International Resistance Film Festival that ran in Tehran from September 22-29. The film festival included submissions from dozens of countries, including Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, and was organized by the Cinematic Community of the Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.

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August 21, 2014

Anti-Zionist Group Targets Jewish Institutions

Over the past two weeks, demonstrators from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States, have entered Jewish institution buildings to directly confront the leaders of major American Jewish organizations over their support for Operation Protective Edge.

On four separate occasions, members of JVP made their way into buildings belonging to Jewish institutions and began to protest inside. Their goal in getting inside the buildings was to hand deliver an open letter calling the institutional Jewish community’s support for Operation Protective Edge “painful” and “a betrayal of our [Jewish] history and values.”

1. New York City (August 20) – Members of JVP’s New York City chapter entered the UJA-Federation offices in Manhattan. One of the protesters, who live-tweeted from the demonstration, wrote “Occupying UJA federation office in NYC now.” The protesters eventually moved their demonstration to the sidewalk outside of the building.

2. Denver (August 19) – The Front Range JVP chapter led a group of protesters into the JEWISHcolorado building in Denver. Inside the building, protesters attempted to deliver their petition to JEWISHcolorado’s President and CEO Doug Seserman. After their request was denied, they moved the demonstration to the building’s lobby and then eventually outside of the building after 911 was reportedly called.

3. Durham (August 12) – A small group of protesters from JVP’s North Carolina chapter interrupted the “Community Gathering in Support of Israel and Peace,” which was sponsored by the Jewish Federations of Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill. While a speaker was delivering a presentation, members of the group interrupted his speech, unfolded a large banner and began to make demands from institutional Jewish leadership about their stance on Operation Protective Edge.

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JVP members at the Philadelphia Jewish Federation building

4. Philadelphia (August 8) – Protesters from JVP’s Philadelphia chapter made their way into the Jewish Federation offices in Philadelphia. After gaining entrance, they demanded to meet with the Federation’s CEO Naomi Adler. After being told that they would not receive an appointment, a small portion of the group refused to leave the building and continued to protest inside, reportedly leading to their arrest.

Six other protests have also taken place outside of Jewish institutions over the past month, although various groups such as Al-Awda and the newly-founded If Not Now, When?, have organized those. No attempts were made to enter the Jewish institutions in those cases, but like JVP, the protesters called on the Jewish community to condemn Operation Protective Edge.

At least 25 other protests have taken place outside of buildings affiliated with Israel or Israeli companies. At one of those demonstrations, members of JVP and Jews Say No! made their way into the offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF). Once inside, the demonstrators began to protest and conducted a “die-in.” Nine protestors were reportedly arrested.

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May 17, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Marks Nakba Day With Contemptuous Anti-Israel Statements

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Mohammad Badie’s article

As Palestinian supporters across the Middle East were demonstrating in commemoration of the nakba, the Arabic term meaning ‘catastrophe’ used to refer to Israel’s establishment in 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood and its General Guide Mohammad Badie issued statements to their followers laced with contempt for Israel and Jews.

In a commemorative statement on its English-language website, Israel is described by the Brotherhood as a “hostile terrorist racist expansionist monstrosity” that “constantly and actively works to Judaize Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories,” with assistance from the U.S. and West.

Mohammad Badie wrote in his weekly Arabic-language newsletter a piece titled, “Palestine … the Soul of the Islamic Nation.” In the article, Badie warns “Zionists to stop playing with fire by insulting the Al Aqsa by defiling and entering the mosque to sing and play in its courtyard.”

Badie also described the nakba not as an event that only affects Palestinians, but one that has been felt across the Arab and Muslim worlds. Badie characterized Israel’s creation as “the memory of confiscating land and property, and insulting Muslim and Christian holy places in the Holy City [Jerusalem]; in short, it is the memory of the invasion, rape and occupation of a sacred and blessed place in the Muslim and Arab abode.”

He went on to urge believers to “liberate the homeland from the filth of the brutal Zionist occupation, which is backed by the Western forces that claim freedom and human rights.”

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