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October 5, 2012 Off

Anti-Israel “Tribunal on Palestine” to Take Place at Cooper Union this Weekend

The Rus­sell Tri­bunal on Pales­tine (RTOP), which aims to bring the issue of Pales­tin­ian rights to “a court of the peo­ple,” will hold its fourth and final ses­sion this week­end at Cooper Union in Man­hat­tan. Three pre­vi­ous RTOP ses­sions that have taken place in Barcelona, Lon­don and Cape Town since 2009 pro­duced con­clud­ing doc­u­ments call­ing Israel an apartheid state, describ­ing the Gaza block­ade as “slow motion geno­cide” and denounc­ing alleged “cor­po­rate com­plic­ity” in the Israeli occupation.

The tribunal’s “jury” and “wit­nesses” are com­prised of anti-Israel activists and ana­lysts like Cyn­thia McK­in­ney; Mairead Maguire, a par­tic­i­pant in the May 2010 flotilla; and John Dugard, a South African attor­ney and for­mer Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on human rights for the U.N. who authored a report com­par­ing Israeli poli­cies to apartheid, as well as Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Alice Walker, the author of The Color Pur­ple. In light of this extremely biased com­po­si­tion, it is obvi­ous what the final “ver­dict,” which will be announced at a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day, Octo­ber 8, will look like.

A num­ber of promi­nent anti-Israel activists are also sched­uled to speak at spe­cific ses­sions, includ­ing Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the Free Gaza Move­ment; Phyl­lis Ben­nis, a co-founder of the U.S. Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion; and Diana Buttu, who recently appeared at a “one-state solu­tion” con­fer­ence at Har­vard University.

In fact, the tribunal’s web­site makes it clear that it will not be an objec­tive inquiry: “The Tri­bunal aims to bring atten­tion to the com­plic­ity and respon­si­bil­ity of var­i­ous national, inter­na­tional and cor­po­rate actors in the ongo­ing Israeli occu­pa­tion of Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­ries and the per­pet­u­a­tion of Israel’s impunity under inter­na­tional law.”

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February 10, 2012 1

One-State “Solution” Conference to be Held at Harvard in March

Update: ADL wel­comed Har­vard University’s Feb­ru­ary 24 state­ment fol­low­ing receipt of a let­ter from ADL’s National Direc­tor to Harvard’s Pres­i­dent, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust. The Har­vard Uni­ver­sity state­ment, which acknowl­edged ADL’s con­cerns, said in part: “We would never take a posi­tion on spe­cific pol­icy solu­tions to achiev­ing peace in this region, and cer­tainly would not endorse any pol­icy that some argue could lead to the elim­i­na­tion of the Jew­ish State of Israel.” 

Just one month after the major

BDS con­fer­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, a con­fer­ence to exam­ine the “pos­si­ble con­tours” of a one-state “solu­tion” is sched­uled to take place at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment over the first week­end in March. 

The event will fea­ture Stephen Walt, the co-author of the 2007 book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. For­eign Pol­icy,” which infa­mously asserted that the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. has exces­sive power and divided loy­al­ties and uses its power to sti­fle crit­i­cism of Israel against America’s true interests. 
Walt is not the only anti-Israel aca­d­e­mic who will speak at the con­fer­ence. The list includes Uni­ver­sity of Exeter pro­fes­sor Ilan Pappe, Har­vard Law School fel­low Diana Buttu, Bay­lor University’s Marc Ellis and many oth­ers.  Sev­eral of the anti-Israel activists who head­lined the Penn BDS con­fer­ence will attend next month’s event as well, includ­ing Ali Abunimah, Dalit Baum and Sarah Schulman.
The con­fer­ence pro­gram focuses on the inevitabil­ity of a one-state “solu­tion” and strate­gies for over­com­ing the obsta­cles that might oth­er­wise pre­vent it. Based on the speak­ers list and pro­gram, it seems likely that the mes­sages prop­a­gated at both con­fer­ences will be vir­tu­ally indis­tin­guish­able from one another with regard to their one-sided crit­i­cisms of Israel and lack of con­sid­er­a­tion for the com­plex­ity of the conflict.
One other thing to note: In con­trast to last weekend’s BDS con­fer­ence, the “One State” con­fer­ence is receiv­ing sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial and insti­tu­tional sup­port from Har­vard, includ­ing fund­ing from two uni­ver­sity depart­ments, the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs and the Office of the Provost.

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