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May 12, 2014 0

Pro-“Resistance” Conference In Beirut Draws American Activists

A recent con­fer­ence held in Beirut to dis­cuss issues related to Pales­tin­ian polit­i­cal pris­on­ers fea­tured the par­tic­i­pa­tion of mem­bers of sev­eral Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist groups, as well as the atten­dance of at least three Amer­i­can activists.Arab-International Forum of the Solidarity Organizations Supporting Freedom Prisoners in the Prisons of the Zionist Occupation

For­mer U.S. Attor­ney Gen­eral Ram­sey Clark, a founder of the Inter­na­tional Action Cen­ter (IAC), report­edly brought an Amer­i­can del­e­ga­tion to the con­fer­ence, billed in the Arab media as “The Arab-International Forum of the Sol­i­dar­ity Orga­ni­za­tions Sup­port­ing Free­dom Pris­on­ers in the Pris­ons of the Zion­ist Occu­pa­tion.” The Amer­i­can activists were joined by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP) and Pales­tin­ian Islamic Jihad, as well as ambas­sadors from sev­eral coun­tries, includ­ing Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Yemen, Morocco, and Sudan.

The con­fer­ence took place at the Com­modore Hotel in Beirut on April 30. Maher al-Taher, the Polit­i­cal Sec­re­tary of the PFLP, spoke at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the con­fer­ence and deliv­ered greet­ings from the PFLP’s Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Ahmad Sa’adat who is cur­rently serv­ing a 30 year sen­tence in an Israeli prison for his role in lead­ing the PFLP. In his remarks, Al-Taher said, “Sa’adat’s mes­sage is to end the nego­ti­a­tions entirely; they have failed and this has been proven repeat­edly. We must develop a new strat­egy on the basis of Pales­tin­ian resistance.”

Char­lotte Kates, a long­time activist with Al-Awda and a coor­di­na­tor for the North Amer­i­can Net­work for the Stead­fast Sup­port of Pris­on­ers, also spoke at the con­fer­ence. Accord­ing to a news arti­cle about the con­fer­ence in The Ambas­sador, a daily Lebanese Arabic-language news­pa­per, she said: “We remain in sup­port of the cause, which the pris­on­ers have been killed and fought for…and top­ping it is the Right of Return and the lib­er­a­tion of their coun­try from the occupation…We are in sol­i­dar­ity with the pris­on­ers and in sol­i­dar­ity with the Pales­tin­ian cause, and we declare and stand by the side of the Pales­tin­ian and Arab resistance.”

Accord­ing to a news arti­cle about the con­fer­ence from Al Watan Voice, a daily Pales­tin­ian Arabic-language news­pa­per, other notable atten­dees of the con­fer­ence were Issa Qaraqe, the Pales­tin­ian Min­is­ter of Pris­on­ers’ Affairs and Fadwa Bargh­outi, the wife of impris­oned Fatah leader Mar­warn Bargh­outi. Dur­ing her address, Bargh­outi report­edly said, “We are here to revive the issue of the pris­on­ers and to expose the crimes of the Israeli occu­pa­tion in inter­na­tional forums.”

This is not the first time a con­fer­ence held in Beirut fea­tur­ing Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist groups has attracted West­ern­ers. In Jan­u­ary 2009 and 2010, sim­i­lar con­fer­ences were held in Beirut, which Clark and other Amer­i­can activists attended as well.

News reports indi­cate that this year’s con­fer­ence con­cluded with a series of pro­posed action steps, includ­ing an affir­ma­tion by par­tic­i­pants “that the Resis­tance option in all its forms is the short­est way to lib­er­ate the pris­on­ers from Israeli jails.” A sec­ond action step from the con­fer­ence report­edly called for Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) cam­paigns against “all for­eign com­pa­nies and states that pro­vide logis­tic, secu­rity, or admin­is­tra­tive sup­port” to Israel on issues related to deten­tion of pris­on­ers in Israeli jails.

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August 9, 2012 0

Anti-Semitism Ever Present on Al-Awda’s Anti-Israel Listserve

One of the old­est and best-known pro-Palestinian orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S. main­tains a list­serve that reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic pro­pa­ganda and con­spir­acy the­o­ries to its members.

On Tues­day, the orga­ni­za­tion, Al-Awda, dis­trib­uted an arti­cle via the list­serve called “Zion­ist Media Dom­i­na­tion: The Jew­ish Sui­cide Bomber That You Never Heard of.” The arti­cle was writ­ten by a 9/11 con­spir­acy the­o­rist who claimed that an unsuc­cess­ful ter­ror­ist attack on the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the early 1980s was cov­ered up in the media because the per­pe­tra­tor was an Israeli and Zion­ist Jews have “supreme control…over the Amer­i­can press.” The author, Mar­tin Iqbal, also repeated his long­stand­ing con­spir­acy the­ory that the Israeli Mossad “took part in the 9/11 attacks.”

This arti­cle was sent to the listserve’s sub­scribers twice, once by a Pales­tin­ian activist from the UK who reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes anti-Semitic con­tent and once by a North­ern California-based activist named Paul Larudee. Larudee has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the domes­tic anti-Israel move­ment, includ­ing co-founding the Inter­na­tional Sol­i­dar­ity Move­ment and the Free Gaza Move­ment, which was largely respon­si­ble for the May 2011 Gaza flotilla.

Larudee has occa­sion­ally sent extreme mes­sages to the list­serve, includ­ing a mes­sage sev­eral days ear­lier con­tain­ing what is described as “a list of a 100 Israeli Air-Force pilots under active duty” replete with pho­tos, their ID num­bers and dates of birth. The mes­sage describes the sol­diers as “war crim­i­nals” who have been pro­vided with a “con­trived veil of anonymity [that] enables their crimes with­out them suf­fer­ing any fear.” The next line reads, “Please use and spread this infor­ma­tion as widely as possible.”

On the day of the Bul­garia ter­ror­ist attack that killed five Israeli tourists, the list­serve, which is hosted by Yahoo! Groups, con­tained an arti­cle by well-known Holo­caust denier Michael Hoff­man. The arti­cle, titled “Israeli false flag/black op in Bul­gar­ian ter­ror attack?” artic­u­lated con­spir­a­to­r­ial Iran­ian claims that Israel would carry out ter­ror­ist attacks against its own cit­i­zens abroad in an attempt to frame Iran.

Older mes­sages also con­tain nasty imagery about Jews and Israel. A par­tic­u­larly offen­sive arti­cle dis­trib­uted to the list­serve in 2010 described Israel as a soci­ety of “racists, can­ni­bals and Nazi-minded mur­ders and child killers” and alleged that the then-ongoing cam­paign for Gilad Shalit’s release was being “pub­li­cized by the Jewish-controlled media in Europe and North America.”

E-mails in 2009, which ADL reported on at the time on our Web site, were marked by claims that Israel secretly orches­trates Pales­tin­ian sui­cide bomb­ings, that Jews are guilty of engag­ing in organ traf­fick­ing and that it is sen­si­ble to “doubt” the verac­ity of the Holo­caust. One mes­sage referred to FOX News and CNN as “Zion­ist Jew network[s]” that are con­trolled by “Jew Zion­ist masters.”

And in 2007, Al-Awda dis­trib­uted com­mu­niqués from the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine (PFLP). Nearly all of the com­mu­niqués expressed sup­port for ter­ror­ist activ­ity, extolling “mar­tyrs,” encour­ag­ing the “resis­tance,” and detail­ing vio­lence against Israeli troops.

While each mes­sage posted to Al-Awda’s list­serve includes a dis­claimer stat­ing that it rep­re­sents “the views of their authors and not nec­es­sar­ily those” of the orga­ni­za­tion, the listserve’s set­tings state that all post­ings require approval by a group mod­er­a­tor in order for them to be sent to list recip­i­ents. It seems that the mod­er­a­tors of the Al-Awda list­serve will­ingly approve these mes­sages of hate and conspiracy.

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