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October 2, 2014

Details Emerge On Anti-Semitic Gathering In Tehran

As Iran’s 2nd New Horizon Conference wraps up in Tehran, new information is emerging about conference attendees, who included U.S. and international anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and anti-war activists.

In his opening speech, Nader Talebzadeh, the director of the New Horizon Conference, explained the goal of the conference as, “distributing the articles and thoughts of top intellectuals and philosophers worldwide among Iranian universities and artists,” and that, “The emergence of ideology of criticizing the dominance of the Zionist lobby over the USA and EU, which is going to make some changes in the West, has made it an essential and attractive subject to learn.” Talebzadeh added in an interview on the sidelines of the conference to a Press TV correspondent that, “These are the people [the attendees] that are censored in the West” for their views, which include promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.

Press TV also conducted an interview with Wayne Madsen, a U.S. anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, who claimed that the U.S. government and Congress are under Zionist control, “The Israeli agenda, which the Christian and Jewish Zionists adopt one hundred percent, is what is sold to members of Congress, and that develops into legislation, resolutions; no one votes against anything [the Zionists] put up as far as a resolution.”

Among the speakers on the first day of the conference was anti-Israel journalist Garth Porter. In his speech to the attendees, Porter leveled accusations against Israel, the Mossad and CIA for manufacturing the Iranian nuclear crisis. Brazilian journalist Pepe Escobar echoed Porter’s message and predicted that Iran will become more active in world affairs as its stature and influence in the region increases.

On the second day of the conference, Art Olivier, a U.S. 9/11 conspiracy theorist and filmmaker, promoted his upcoming film about the life of pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie. The film, Olivier said, will allow young Americans “to see the reality of Rachel’s life which happened 11 years ago and are going to realize the atrocity of Zionist actions against Palestinians and the people of Gaza.” Olivier also promoted the anti-Semitic canard that the U.S. film industry and Hollywood in particular are under the domination of Zionists.

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CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin interviewed on Iranian state media

Other U.S. participants also gave brief interviews to Farsi-language media during panel breaks, including CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, who told IRIB Channel 1 that some of the topics at the conference addressed U.S. funding for war at expense of providing adequate healthcare for American citizens, and that, “These conferences should lift the pressure off of the Palestinian people.” Also present at the conference was Reverend Stephen Sizer, a vicar in the Church of England who, according to the UK-based Community Security Trust (CST), has been accused of promoting anti-Semitic links on his website.

Some of the notable panel discussions held during the three-day conference included “Zionist fingerprints on the 9/11 cover-up;” “The Gaza war & BDS Movement against the Zionist regime,” which Medea Benjamin was part of; “US-Israeli dual citizens working in the interest of Israel: the case for treachery;” and “The ‘Islamic’ State meme, its precursors, & the US-Israel-Saudi triangle.”

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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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July 22, 2014

Anti-Israel Demonstrations Call for Boycott of Israel

On Monday, July 21, there were at least four anti-Israel demonstrations held throughout the U.S. At these protests, demonstrators held signs with slogans such as “Who would Jesus bomb?” and “Stop Israeli occupation and apartheid,” while other protesters spoke out at a local City Council meeting to call for a boycott of Israel.

Here’s a round-up of what took place:

Washington, D.C.

A demonstration against the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit, organized by CODEPINK and the Washington, D.C. Metro Jewish Voice for Peace chapter, brought out about 50 demonstrators holding signs with slogans such as “Who would Jesus bomb?,” “Rapture thru death of Palestinians???,” “Thou shalt not!! Kill #FreeGaza,” and “Netanyahu War Criminal.”

As attendees of the conference walked inside to attend the evening program featuring Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, the protesters chanted slogans and delivered speeches. One protester remarked to attendees, “Where in the Scriptures does Jesus say kill the children from the air? Where does he say bomb the hospital? Where does he say blow up entire families? Where does he say engage in torture? Cruelty has nothing to do with Christianity.”

In addition, some of the protesters made their way into the event and heckled Ambassador Dermer during his speech by screaming “free Palestine” five times. Those protesters were reportedly removed from the session.

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Portland, OR

Fewer than 50 protesters gathered outside the office of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden to conduct a “die-in.” Some of the participants laid on the ground with mock tombstones placed on top of them, while others held signs calling for boycott, divestment, and sanctions and an end of aid to Israel.

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Ann Arbor, MI

Three people reportedly spoke to the City Council yesterday and urged them to hold a public hearing on a boycott of Israel. One of the speakers, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, reportedly told the City Council that Israel is an “outlaw state” and that they have been murdering Palestinians “since the beginning.” By the end of her comments, chants erupted to “Boycott Israel, Stop bombing Gaza!”

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