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October 1, 2014 0

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

medea-benjamin-iran

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

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.

Accord­ing to the festival’s English-language web­site, the week-long event fea­tured “films about Iran’s Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq war] as well as anti-Semitic and anti-American pro­duc­tions in sup­port for human rights.”

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July 22, 2014 2

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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April 15, 2013 2

Anti-Israel Organizations Attack Israel with Tax Day-Themed Campaigns

Today, April 15, is “Tax Day,” the date by which all Amer­i­cans are required to sub­mit their tax returns to the Inter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice (IRS). While it is an appro­pri­ate day to spend a few min­utes think­ing about what our gov­ern­ment spends our tax dol­lars on, there are sev­eral anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions that are cap­i­tal­iz­ing on today’s dead­line to ini­ti­ate cam­paigns about what the U.S. gov­ern­ment should not spend its money on: aid to Israel.

In the past week, two promi­nent anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions have launched a new web­site and a new report call­ing for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Although a pri­or­ity that has long been at the fore­front of the domes­tic anti-Israel movement’s agenda, it has picked up steam in recent years due to eco­nomic con­cerns caused by the Great Reces­sion, seques­tra­tion and bud­get deficits.

The first cam­paign, titled “Demand a Refund,” was ini­ti­ated by the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion in coor­di­na­tion with Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, Jew­ish Voice for Peace, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Com­mit­tee (ADC) and CODEPINK. The campaign’s web­site fea­tures a peti­tion from tax­pay­ers to Pres­i­dent Obama which reads, in part, “As a tax­payer, I am out­raged that your admin­is­tra­tion is report­edly open­ing nego­ti­a­tions to give Israel up to $40 bil­lion in U.S. taxpayer-financed weapons,” an appar­ent ref­er­ence to defense weaponry and tech­nol­ogy that the U.S. sells to Israel.

The peti­tion claims that Israel uses Amer­i­can weapons to “com­mit sys­tem­atic human rights abuses” and “oppress Pales­tini­ans.” It also crit­i­cizes Pres­i­dent Obama for increas­ing the amount of aid to Israel dur­ing his admin­is­tra­tion. The orga­niz­ers of the peti­tion hoped to gain 10,000 sig­na­tures by today (the cam­paign was launched last week). At present there are a lit­tle more than 3,000 signatories.

And just last week, the anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tion If Amer­i­cans Knew (IAK) released a new report titled “The Stag­ger­ing Cost of Israel to Amer­i­cans” to coin­cide with Tax Day. Orig­i­nally pub­lished in 1998, the new ver­sion of the report was writ­ten by Pamela Olson, a new ana­lyst for IAK.

Although the report makes sim­i­lar alle­ga­tions to the anti-aid peti­tion high­lighted above – not­ing, for exam­ple, that “it is crit­i­cal to exam­ine why we lav­ish so much aid on Israel” – the lan­guage cited in this report is far more egre­gious. It claims that U.S. aid to Israel is a result of the “Israel lobby” and insists that the U.S.-Israel rela­tion­ship harms the U.S. because Israel causes “rage and resent­ment among bil­lions of peo­ple… and sells America’s mil­i­tary secrets to its enemies.”

In its men­tion of the “Israel lobby,” the report goes so far as to allege that the U.S. and Israel do not enjoy a strong rela­tion­ship because of shared val­ues or inter­ests but because “Con­gress­men receive pay­ments and sup­port from the lobby in exchange for their loy­alty.” The report also asserts that U.S. aid to Israel makes the pos­si­bil­ity for peace between Israel and the Pales­tini­ans “even more distant.”

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