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October 1, 2014 9

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

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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February 4, 2014 0

Counter-speech Against a French Anti-Semite

Counter-speech is a vital tool to com­bat hate speech, and ADL’s coun­ter­part in French-speaking Switzer­land, CICAD, pro­vided an excel­lent exam­ple of counter-speech last night against the anti-Semitic French come­dian, Dieudonné.

CICAD stand near the Nyon theater, featuring Dieudonné quotes like, “For me, the Jews are a cult, a fraud.”

CICAD stand near the Nyon the­ater, fea­tur­ing Dieudonné quotes like, “For me, the Jews are a cult, a fraud.”

Dieudonné, who has been con­victed and fined mul­ti­ple times for anti-Semitic speech in France, sched­uled sev­eral per­for­mances in Nyon, Switzer­land, a town just four miles over the border.

Last night’s per­for­mance coin­cided with the British government’s deci­sion to declare Dieudonné per­sona non grata, for­bid­ding him entry into the UK.  Dur­ing the per­for­mance, Dieudonné referred to Queen Eliz­a­beth II and made his often anti-Semitic quenelle gesture.

The Nyon munic­i­pal­ity decided on Jan­u­ary 13 not to ban Dieudonné’s per­for­mances, while “firmly con­demn­ing any racist and/or anti-Semitic state­ments.”  Fol­low­ing that deci­sion, CICAD sought and received per­mis­sion from the Nyon munic­i­pal­ity to set up an infor­ma­tion booth next to the the­ater to pro­vide audi­ence mem­bers with doc­u­men­ta­tion of Dieudonné’s anti-Semitic hate speech, includ­ing Holo­caust denial.

ADL cham­pi­ons counter-speech and edu­ca­tion to address hate speech, and this approach is a cen­tral theme of Viral Hate: Con­tain­ing Its Spread on the Inter­net, the most recent book by ADL National Direc­tor Abra­ham H. Fox­man and Christo­pher Wolf, ADL Civil Rights Chair.  CICAD reminds us that this strat­egy works well on the ground too.

CICAD will be pre­sent­ing a French-language ver­sion of ADL’s Con­fronting Anti-Semitism: Myths and Facts at the Geneva Inter­na­tional Book Fair, April 30-May 4, one of the most impor­tant in Europe with almost 100,000 vis­i­tors each year.

 

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January 8, 2014 1

Speaking Out Against Dieudonne

Update: Accord­ing to France 24, Dieudonne was taken into cus­tody on Jan. 22 for allegedly assault­ing a bailiff who came to col­lect fines Dieudonne owes for “incit­ing racial hatred.”

Along­side French gov­ern­ment actions to ban per­for­mances of Dieudonne’s new show, con­cerned and respon­si­ble offi­cials and civil soci­ety lead­ers are pub­licly voic­ing out­rage at the behav­ior of the anti-Semitic come­dian and the grow­ing use of the quenelle ges­ture he invented.dieudonne-speaking-out

The Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil of France’s Black Asso­ci­a­tions (CRAN) issued a state­ment, say­ing “For a long time, Dieudonne fought against racism and the far right.  We still remem­ber with emo­tion his actions in the town of Dreux. But for sev­eral years his main fight seems to be against the Jews of France, and he is closer and closer to the far right, his for­mer ene­mies. The CRAN has noticed this evo­lu­tion with dis­may and can only deplore it. (…) The CRAN calls on the Blacks of France not to accept the quenelle or the appeals to anti-Semitism…”

Com­ment­ing on the quenelle ges­ture, pop­u­lar­ized by Dieudonne, the pres­i­dent of the French Coun­cil of the Mus­lim Faith (CFCM) Dalil Boubakeur con­demned its use by the French soc­cer player, Nico­las Anelka, say­ing he opposed “all anti-Semitic or racist acts or state­ments in sports.”

Even the own­ers of Dieudonne’s home the­ater, La Main d’Or, are look­ing for legal means of break­ing his lease.

Pres­i­dent François Hol­lande said, “No one should be able to use this show for provo­ca­tion and to pro­mote openly anti-Semitic ideas.”

Inte­rior Min­is­ter Manuel Valls, who issued the request to local offi­cials to pre­vent the per­for­mances, said, “Dieudonné is deeply anti-Jewish.  We must carry out a polit­i­cal cam­paign to mobi­lize soci­ety against him.”

Cul­ture Min­is­ter Aurélie Fil­ip­petti said, “Mr. Dieudonne is no longer a come­dian.  He has become a Holo­caust denier and revi­sion­ist.”  And Jus­tice Min­is­ter Chris­tiane Taubira called him a “piti­ful buf­foon” and “recidi­viste anti-Semite.”

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