In light of compelling information available on the Internet about the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 as well as the destruction of three World Trade Center buildings with micro-thermite during the course of a well-planned Israeli linked false flag operation in 2001, the issue of Zionist false flag terrorism against the American people to achieve militarist aims is now widely understood. Less well known and further in the past the Lavon affair is another documented case of Israel framing Arabs in an attempt to generate Western reaction. The planned attack of the Lavon affair was foiled by Egyptian security, more recent attacks have been outside of Arab jurisdictions. Revelations about the details of these particular acts of terror, notwithstanding subsequent efforts by the US government to cover them up by preventing public inquiries, along with ongoing mass media disinformation regarding the facts, have confirmed a disturbing pattern of control that is leading toward mass revulsion amidst the population.
Recently, newspapers reported that a Libyan, Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, accused of being the “Lockerbie bomber”, was released from imprisonment in Scotland. It is truly remarkable that his incarceration dragged on for so long, for it was already evident during the course of the trial, that no credible evidence linking him to the crime existed. In the meantime, mainstream media in Britain have reported that he was framed, through false testimony and the intentional withholding of exculpatory information by the court. His appeal was likely to be granted, and attention would inevitably have focused on the question of who actually did carry out the bombing. The calculation appears to have been, that one might circumvent such a situation by releasing him on “humanitarian” grounds, in exchange for dropping the appeal. No later than two years ago, it must have become clear to anyone following the case, that al Megrahi would have to be released, because the head of a Swiss company Mebo, Edwin Bollier, admitted, after the statute of limitations for such a crime had expired, that key evidence used in the trial had actually been faked. Also, in June 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, upon a three year investigation, reported that there may have been a miscarriage of justice.
Fingering the perpetrators of this act of terror that occurred more than two decades ago is inconvenient because the plausible outcome of an analysis of the situation, back then, while taking into account motive, means, and opportunity, could surely point to a group of known terrorists, enjoying strong support in the United States among influential supporters of Israel, as the primary suspects. These Zionist terrorists and their Jewish supremacist supporters have become so successful through their campaigns of mass murder that they have actually formed and developed a state with a huge military and propaganda apparatus. Indeed, as people have begun to realize, they have effectively taken over the United States government through corruption, coercion and blackmail. Some of their staunchest supporters are in control of financial, media, and academic institutions, thus wielding undue power. Though many have been aware of the facts for a long time, controllers need to present a different story for public consumption, hoping to induce a distorted perception among the masses.
The time elapsed since that fateful bombing over Scotland is half of the time elapsed since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. With the benefit of hindsight and an improved realization of the nature of Zionist inspired terrorism, both historically and currently, a review of the political circumstances during the two final months in 1988 sheds light on what could have been a primary motive for the bombing. On November 1, 1988, elections for the twelfth Knesset took place in Israel, with an outcome that made the formation of a stable government difficult. Exactly one week later, American elections took place, in which Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush beat Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts. During the transition phase of the ensuing weeks, certain political developments could take place that might have seemed too risky to push through if Congress had been in session.
One week after the American elections, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), operating from Tunis, attempted to regain control of events in Palestine, where a popular uprising, the Intifada, had been going on for months. Thus, on November 15, in Algiers, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) formally proclaimed a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and Yasser Arafat as its president. Additionally, the PNC voted to revise the PLO charter and recognized the UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis of an international peace conference. This announcement was an important milestone in the Palestinian struggle against the ongoing, forceful, and illegal occupation of their land by an oppressive Israeli regime, and the lame-duck administration of Ronald Reagan would have to address the issue somehow.
According to a 1975 memorandum agreement with Israel, arranged by Henry Kissinger, the United States agreed to not recognize or negotiate with the PLO unless the organization formally recognized Israel and accepted UN resolutions 242 and 338 as the basis for peace in the Middle East. Even engaging in curt small talk with a PLO representative at a party in Amman during the summer of 1979 was taboo. One may recall that Ambassador Andrew Young was forced into resignation from his position as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during the Carter Administration. Zionist leaders had somehow convinced themselves, that these conditions were too onerous for the PLO to adhere to, and were thus complacent in believing that the US government would continue to refuse any dealings with the PLO. They felt much assured when Secretary of State George Schultz refused a visa to PLO Chairman Arafat a day after he had requested one at the American Embassy in Tunis, so that he could address the UN General Assembly in New York in December. This decision, by Schultz, based on the PLO’s alleged association with terrorism, surprised the diplomatic community.
In early December of 1988, at the invitation of the Swedish government, Arafat met in Stockholm with a group of five American Jews, including Stanley Sheinbaum, one of the Regents of the University of California at the time, to discuss the Middle East situation. After a couple of days of talks, on December 7 Arafat announced the existence of Israel and denounced all forms of terrorism. However, George Schultz proclaimed that the PLO “still has a considerable distance to go” before the United States would deal with it. Israel’s expectations were thus upheld again. During this time, Israel had still not formed a government. However, a week later, on December 14, Arafat gave a press conference in Geneva and clarified the points he had given in a speech at the UN there the previous day. Though the language he used was barely different from that of previous statements rejected by Schultz as being insufficient, this time Schultz accepted the formula and promptly announced that the US State Department would begin discussions with the PLO.
News of this development was greeted with great shock and dismay at the time by Israeli politicians and the public. The PLO was their archenemy, regarded as a group of terrorists bent on destroying them. Extremist Zionists in particular perceived the announcement to recognize the PLO as the end of their dreams for a greater Israel, a genuine existential threat to their future survival. They had just been publicly stabbed in the back by the American administration. This decision could not stand, a strong message, would have to be sent, in response. The Americans could not get away with this, how “dare they” act independently.
With this pace of development, what might the new American regime do upon Bush’s inauguration? This was indeed a most serious development, and Israeli politicians gathered to engage in crisis discussions and expedited negotiating sessions in order to form a new government and deal with this unexpected threat. The possibility of events occurring beyond their control seemed real, and it became an imperative to forestall the U.S. engaging with the PLO.
Exactly one week after the formal American recognition of the PLO, Pan Am Flight 103, exploded in the air on its journey from London to New York on December 21, 1988. Only a few hours after news of this event became public, the reporter for a local television station in California interviewed an “expert on terrorism” live from his location at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica. Interestingly, when asked which group might have engaged in such an act of terrorism, the expert from RAND, upon citing the usual Arab suspects, cautioned that one should not exclude the possibility that a rogue group inside the Israeli military might have felt compelled to carry this out. This was truly unfiltered commentary, as the initial news came trickling in. Afterward, once the mainstream television media had regained their grip, explicit suggestions like this were presumably not heard again. (In contrast, with the benefit of months of operative planning, on September 11, 2001, the media worked from a prepared script; Osama bin Laden was declared the suspect within minutes of the demolition of the second World Trade Center tower, and the collapse of WTC Building 7 was announced at least twenty minutes before it actually occurred.)
Initially, one angle of speculation had been, that the attack was meant to target South Africa because a high level delegation of officials from its government, most notably foreign minister Pik Botha, were said to have been on that flight. Yet later the media reported that Botha had changed his scheduled flight to an earlier one that day and was indeed to arrive in New York. Ad hoc, raw news items like this, with the connotation of a possible advance tip-off, naturally arouses suspicion, especially since the South African government had few close political allies at the time, and so the media did not dwell on this message either. As it turned out, the South African government officials had been booked for Flight 103 but wound up flying to New York on an earlier plane. The next day they were present at UN headquarters to sign the Tripartite Agreement with representatives from Cuba and Angola. Years later, it was revealed that other people mysteriously chose not to take that flight at the last moment. Students from Syracuse University consequently got last minute seats which earlier were said to have been full. Which group of possible perpetrators could have had the technical means to both access the passenger list of a future flight and forewarn selected people? One cannot but help recall what seems to have been an analogous situation, many years later on September 11, 2001, when a select group of individuals received advance warning about the impending operation through an Israeli-based text messaging service, Odigo.
According to a former American ambassador to Qatar, Andrew I. Killgore, who has written articles about the Lockerbie bombing in the Washington Report for Middle East Affairs, there are other interesting facts surrounding the Lockerbie bombing that are not widely known. For instance, in 2002 (but presumably also earlier during investigations) a retired security guard, Ray Manly, revealed that the Pan Am baggage area at Heathrow Airport had been broken into 17 hours before Flight 103 took off. Certainly, planting a bomb directly onto an intended plane is a surer method of targeting that flight than sending an unattended piece of luggage laden with a bomb from Malta to Frankfurt, and then from there to London, which is the narrative that prosecutors concocted to frame al Megrahi. In the case of the latter method, there is no way of being sure that the suitcase will actually be on the target flight, but alternatively there is a slight chance, due to general sloppiness, that it could wind up on a flight one definitely would not want to target.
Killgore refers to reports that Pan Am had commissioned a team to handle the baggage security at 25 branches around the world. One member of that team was Isaac Yeffet, who headed a company by the name of Alert Management Inc. Employees of Yeffet’s company had full access to the Pan Am facility at Heathrow Airport and thus might have been expected to detect an unattended bag coming from Malta, or prevent the introduction of a bomb at Heathrow.
According to media reports, Isaac Yeffet is the former chief of security for El Al and an ex-director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, and now runs a security company based in New Jersey. In this context, the reader might recall, that responsibility for security at all three airports of alleged hijackings on September 11, 2001 also lay with an Israeli owned company.
One feature of grand scale terrorist events, such as airplane bombings, is that perpetrators tend not to reveal themselves to the public, so the question of culpability becomes a mystery. One method of following up is for the perpetrators to attempt to make it appear as if though an enemy was actually responsible. Israeli operatives have repeatedly deployed this trick for at least half a century, at least since the incident in Cairo that led to the Lavon Affair. However, it is impossible to fool the entire population. After the Lockerbie bombing, the predominately Jewish controlled media in America planted several accusations against various groups or governments, Ahmed Jabril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Nidal, Syria, Iran, and of course Libya. Yet none of these groups really had the means or opportunity to carry out such an operation. Palestinians certainly didn’t have a motive in light of the breakthrough for their cause a week earlier, which didn’t preclude hypotheses of some rival Palestinian group committing the act out of sheer jealousy or disagreement from being presented.
As if these accusations and hypotheses in the media were not enough to distract and saturate the public with psychological propaganda, the New York Times Magazine, on Sunday March 18, 1990 (which coincided with the date of the only parliamentary elections in East Germany) proffered yet another malicious insinuation. Appearing as a bold headline on its cover, above a photo of the front of the jumbo jet lying on its side in Lockerbie, one could read the following words: “The German Connection”. This was likely part of the New York Times’ conspicuous “hate campaign” against Germany in general, but also against the impending German reunification in particular, which during early 1990, during the time of the negotiations leading to the so-called “Two Plus Four Agreement”, had reached a feverish pitch, spearheaded by former executive editor A. M. Rosenthal in various vitriolic editorials.
Another noteworthy piece of information relates to the disappointment of some British family members of persons who had been on that flight, with the way the case was developing. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was said to have blocked a full judicial inquiry into the issue. This raises the question, which group in Britain would have had sufficient influence to prevail upon the highest governmental official? An alternate explanation is, that President George H. W. Bush had prevailed upon her to tone down the investigation, which merely shifts the same question of complicity or cover-up toward power circumstances in the United States.
However, it was reported in 1993 that according to Minister of Parliament Tam Dalyell, Thatcher, who also had the role of being the head of intelligence services, stated unequivocally, that Libya did not carry out the bombing. It would seem that there was pressure to hide certain facts.
The violent destruction of an airplane with innocent people is also a highly political statement directed toward an élite group of decision makers in order to affect a particular policy. Therefore, it is fair to surmise that the perpetrators, who had to have had the motive, means, and opportunity to carry out the heinous crime, intended to signal their involvement, without stating it explicitly. If the intended recipients of such hints of involvement were themselves top-level criminals or terrorists, with blood on their hands, they would tend to acknowledge the hints in a different manner than the public inevitably would and, unlike the public, not get emotional about the situation. This can be viewed as part of a political game engaged in by psychopaths. Therefore, one should monitor official statements or communiqués for clues. During the Cold War there were American specialists called Kremlinologists, who would notice subtle and innocuous messages or announcements with important meaning. This is the diplomatic language of polite understatement.
On December 23, 1988, within two days after the Lockerbie bombing Israeli politicians agreed to form a coalition or unity government, headed by Yitzhak Shamir, who had gone to high school in Bialystok and became a terrorist in Palestine before World War II, after Hebraizing his surname from Jeziernicky. On that day, Shamir addressed the newly formed twelfth Knesset, in which he made multiple references to the PLO and the implications of its international recognition (which on the following day, Christmas Eve, included a meeting between Chairman Arafat and Pope John Paul in the Vatican). Below are key passages, translated into English by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
It is regrettable that we were forced to strenuously disagree with the recent U.S. decision regarding a dialogue with the PLO which, as far as we see and know, has not changed its character or ways, its malicious covenant and the terrorism that it perpetrates. We know this from the statements of its central figures, and from its actions in the field, and the government of Israel, in accordance with its guidelines, will not negotiate with it. We still hope that the U.S. will reconsider its decision vis-a-vis the PLO. We have paid close attention to the statements made by administration spokesmen regarding their approach to the issue of terrorism; we hope that after due consideration, they will draw the necessary conclusions regarding the PLO. The developments in the international arena and the challenges that we will face oblige us to overcome our differences in order to confront the problems together, and to overcome the obstacles and dangers that have been placed in our way. I am referring chiefly to the large-scale propaganda and diplomatic offensive being conducted now against Israel in the international diplomatic arena by the terrorist organizations and their friends and supporters, an offensive which is based on deception and on misleading. Its obvious objective is to gain international support for the establishment of a PLO-Palestinian state within Eretz Israel. In addition, we see special preparations being made to exert great pressure on us to cause us to make a complete withdrawal to the suffocating borders of 1967.
At that time there was no Internet, so only a few of the people who do not understand Hebrew were actually privy to the text at the time. Adopting a Talmudic perspective and the aggressive mindset that prevails among militant Zionists in Israel, one could certainly rationalize the Lockerbie bombing as an act of self-defense, a means to prevent suffocation and encirclement before such efforts can attain momentum. Shamir’s violent life had been filled with acts of terror. In this light the Lockerbie bombing can be viewed as an irate expression of “strenuous disagreement”.
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The current leaders of the West Bank Palestinians are physically, politically and financially taken hostages by the Oslo agreements that they negotiated, signed and promoted. Oslo City was the venue of the secret Israeli-Palestinian ‘peace agreement.’ Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat signed the agreement’s ‘Declaration of Principles’ on the lawns of the White House, hosted by US President Clinton on Sep 13, 1993. Arafat who sold Oslo to his people as ‘the peace of the brave’ was jailed in his Ramallah headquarters and he allegedly was executed by his Israeli Oslo partners after fulfilling his role in recognizing the State of Israel.
The Palestinian Oslo negotiators promised their people that Oslo was a plan to create an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza while some senior PLO members rejected the agreements and many Palestinian intellectuals and foreign observers concluded that Oslo would lead the Palestinians to nowhere. Edward Said, Palestine’s most prominent intellectual, criticized the agreement because it had not addressed the refugees and Jerusalem questions. Edward Said was ridiculed by members of the Oslo team and his books were banned in the West Bank and Gaza by orders from Arafat as a retaliation measure.
It was a common knowledge that Israel had absolutely no intention of conceding Jerusalem or the Palestinian refugee right of return, but the two issues were shelved by Oslo agreements until the so-called “final status talks” which was nothing but a fig leaf to surrender to Israel the most important issues. The UN Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948 affirmed the right of Palestinian refugees who had fled or had been expelled during the war to return to their homes. Resolution 194, a direct application of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was adopted by the United Nations unanimously in 1948. After signing Oslo agreements, the US Administration under President Clinton that was the main sponsor of Oslo argued at the UN, that past UN resolutions on Palestine were “obsolete and anachronistic” after the signing of Oslo.
The American journalist Tomas Friedman who is known for his pro-Israel writings described Arafat’s letter to Rabin recognizing Israel as a humiliation for Arafat and the PLO and an Israeli decisive victory over the Palestinian national movement. He wrote that the letter was “not a statement of recognition. It is a letter of surrender, a type-written white flag in which the PLO chairman renounced every political position on Israel he has held since the PLO’s foundation in 1964.” Arafat’s letter to Rabin promised to assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance with Oslo agreements; prevent violations and discipline violators; and declared inoperative all the articles in the Palestinian Covenant which denied Israel’s right to exist.
The Israeli journalist Danny Rubenstein predicted at the time of Oslo signing and the establishment of the Palestine Authority (PA) that the “autonomy” which the Israelis accepted for the Palestinians was the autonomy “of a POW camp, where the prisoners are autonomous to cook their meals without interference and to organize cultural events.”
On August 8, 1995, the Financial Times was dismayed that the unfair pattern of water seizure by Israel had not been changed years after Oslo agreements: “Nothing symbolizes the inequality of water consumption more than the fresh green lawns, irrigated flower beds, blooming gardens and swimming pools of Jewish settlements in the West Bank”, while nearby Palestinian villages were denied the right to drill wells.
After giving Oslo team the benefit of the doubt, the Palestinian leader, Haidar Abdel-Shafi concluded that Oslo agreements and the PA would fail the Palestinian national cause. For those who do not know, Haidar Abdel-Shafi was the head of the Palestinian negotiating team in Washington that was boycotted by Israel for insisting on having a commitment by Israel to withdraw from East Jerusalem and dismantling the settlements as part of any acceptable interim agreements. Israel chose to negotiate with Oslo team which agreed to Israel’s demand to leave Jerusalem, the refugees and the settlements issues until the “final status talk” of the negotiations.
The Oslo agreements partitioned the occupied lands into zones where the Palestinian Authority is allowed to have different administrative and security powers. Besides the towns and malls and highways built on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem for Jews only, there are many other visible failures of Oslo agreements. Oslo gave Israel the power to divide the Palestinians into groups with different gradation of legal statuses and different security regimes depending on where they live. There are the Israeli Palestinians, Jerusalem Palestinians, Palestinians who reside between the apartheid wall and the green line, Palestinians in zone A or B or C, Gaza Strip Palestinians, the 1948 refugees, the 1967 refugees and the Palestinians who came with Arafat from Tunisia.
The Oslo team in the West Bank still believes the Palestinian issue is a border dispute between two states, but the facts on the ground suggest the Palestinians’ struggle today is existential. The Israelis including the left have adopted the theology of the rabbis that calls for Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians to be based on “Jewish history”, Jewish ethnicity and Jewish religion. The Israelis perceive the settlements, especially in Jerusalem, as an integral part of their national heritage closely tied to the Jews “glorious past.” Some Israelis liken the Palestinians to the biblical Philistines or Amalek, a nation that, in the Torah, “God Commands” the Israelites to “expunge!!” Rabbi Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba settlement wrote in 2009: “We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them where they came from, if necessary by paying.” Due to the military training indoctrination and religious beliefs, the attitude of the Israeli young generation toward the Palestinians is more radical than their parents.
The news from Israel suggests the right-wing government is popular and if a new parliamentary election takes place today, Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party will be a winner. As long as the majority of the Israeli people support the ethno-security regime and do not pay the cost of occupation, the status quo in the occupied lands will continue. Due to its success in ruling the West Bank Palestinian population through the proxy of the Palestinian Authority that is financed by the donor countries and the siege of Gaza, Israel does not feel a need for making any concession to the Palestinians as long as the Oslo team controls the Palestinian population. The Israelis believe they can manage the conflict until the Palestinians are ready to settle the conflict on Israel’s own terms.
The Israeli architect of Oslo, Yossi Beilin, wrote a letter dated April 4, 2012 to his Palestinian Oslo partner, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the president of the Palestinian Authority. The letter stated that the Oslo agreements were based on “the Beilin-Abu Mazen talks” and described the agreements as “a process that promised to lead to a partition of the land in a few years [not the withdrawal from the occupied lands] ……and a fitting symbolic and economic resolution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees [not according to the UN resolution 194].” Beilin reminded Abbas that the PA was an interim phase of the agreement and “One simply cannot continue with an interim agreement for more than 20 years.” Beilin’s letter suggests that if the PA is not dissolved after two decades of signing the Oslo agreements the territory administered by the PA will become the de facto Palestinian state.
The Oslo team has failed to deliver on its promises to establish an independent Palestinian state. Under Oslo team leadership, the vast majority of the Palestinians in the occupied lands are poor, living on donors’ handouts, fearing the confiscation of their land, subjected to ethnic cleansing, family separation and home demolition. They experience daily humiliation creeping for hours along the pocked, blockaded roads assigned to them by the Israelis. The Palestinians are living under military rule in disconnected enclaves, surrounded by sprawling massive Jewish settlements, Jewish only roads, and the separation wall; or they are living in the besieged Gaza and millions are left homeless without citizenship in refugee camps.
Due to their failed policies, the Oslo team has disqualified themselves politically and legally from leading their people. Time has come to declare the Oslo “peace process” over and allow a new leadership that thinks differently to step in. The new team should reject imposing Jewish hegemonic conceptions on the millions of Palestinians as individuals or groups. They should demand equality within the framework of one state over all historical Palestine.
- Hasan Afif El-Hasan is a political analyst. His latest book, Is The Two-State Solution Already Dead? (Algora Publishing, New York), now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
- Time for a change! (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Solidarity and Realpolitik: My Response to Jeff Halper (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- What Marwan Barghouti Really Means to Palestinians (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected demands presented by representatives of the European Union (EU) to release a number of Palestinian political prisoners under a confidence-building measure that would also increase popular support to president Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestine News Network reported that a number of EU counties also called for creating a “Blacklist” that would include the names of extremist Israeli settlers, in order to prevent them from traveling to EU countries. The settlers will likely be those who did not only attack Palestinians but also attacked Israeli soldiers and policemen.
The Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that Abbas and the Quartet Committee for Middle East peace (the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia), called on Israel to approve a request made by Abbas demanding the release of Palestinian detainees who have been imprisoned by Israel since before the Oslo Peace Agreement that was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993.
According to Maariv, the envoys asked Netanyahu to release 123 detainees, members of the Fateh movement of Mahmoud Abbas, and other factions that are part of the PLO; this excludes, among other factions, detainees who are members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
It is worth mentioning that the same proposal was presented by EU Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, during her visit to the region last month.
Netanyahu refused the proposal and told Quartet envoys that now is not the time to release political prisoners to boost Palestinian support to president Abbas.
He added that the release of prisoners should not be a “demand, or one of preconditions” for the resumption of talks, but hinted that he might grant the Palestinian Security Forces more privileges in the in Area B in the West Bank. Area B is under full Israeli Security control.
- Shabak tortures and ill-treats Palestinian detainees with impunity (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The participation of Arab officials and institutions at a major Israeli security conference has drawn staunch criticism from Palestinian and human rights activists.
The annual Herzliya conference, which includes high-profile guest speakers focusing on Israel’s major security challenges, invited a number of key Arab speakers, including Jordan’s Prince el Hassan bin Talal and senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.
Omar Barghouti of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel slammed Arab involvement at the conference as “an act of complicity in the promotion of Israeli occupation and apartheid.”
The conference, which is being held for the 12th year, aims at enhancing Israel’s national security through developing the country’s military and intelligence fields.
“The participation of any Arab speaker…[is] a move that undermines our struggle for freedom and our right to return and self-determination,” Barghouti said.
The conference is being held under the name of “In the Eye of the Storm: Israel and the Middle East” and will be attended by Israeli and international speakers as well as several Arab political, business and academic figures.
Some of the most prominent participants also include Salman Shaikh, Director of the Brookings Doha Center, and Riad al-Khouri, a member of the International Council of Quest-scope in Amman as well as others.
“The Palestinian civil society calls on all Arab participants to immediately withdraw from the Herzliya conference and respect the demands of the majority of the Palestinians who fully support the BDS campaign,” Barghouti added.
Herzliya’s website listed Saeb Erekat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) chief negotiator, as a speaker at the conference, but an official source told al-Akhbar that he was never invited to the conference and therefore will not be attending it.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official was the only member of the PLO to be invited to the Israeli conference, but declined the invitation.
A spokesperson for the Palestinian Embassy in Lebanon – who also wished to remain anonymous – declined to confirm who of the PLO was invited and would attend.
However, sources in Ramallah told Barghouti that Erekat had been invited to the conference, but withdrew following pressure from the Palestinian civil society.
“If true, this would crucially deny other Arab participants their Palestinian excuse,” Barghouti said.
“We hope that all Arab – and international – participants will withdraw from this shameful conference. Raising awareness about this form of Arab complicity is a key goal of our campaign.”
BDS campaigners aim to increase Israel’s international isolation and raise awareness of the plight of Palestinians suffering under Israeli military occupation.
“Our campaign for a boycott of the Herzliya conference is based on this meeting’s singular importance in building Israel’s strategy, especially in the security and military fields, to enhance its oppressive system of settler-colonialism, occupation and apartheid,” he explained.
Barghouti said Israel is “keen to display” the Arab officials and figures at the conference since it “boosts its propaganda efforts and cover up its increasingly isolated regime.”
The BDS activist also condemned the participation of the Brookings Doha Center, whose director is participating in the event despite the institution working to cement itself in the Arab world.
An “academic endeavor should never justify complicity in covering up grave violations of human rights and international law,” Barghouti said.
“At a time when BDS is achieving spectacular successes and turning Israel into a world pariah, these Arab participants are knowingly colluding in Israeli propaganda efforts, siding with the wrong side of history.”
Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Doha Center failed to respond to an interview request before this story was published.
2. Dr. Saeb Erekat: Chief Palestinian Negotiator for “the Process of Settlement” with the Zionist entity since 1996 and senior member of the Palestinian-”Israeli” negotiations, which accomplished “the Oslo Accords” in 1993. On the 12th of February, 2011, he made his resignation to the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas after “the Process of Settlement” had reached a dead end. Seldom has Erekat missed membership in the negotiations of Palestinian delegations with the representatives of the “Israeli” Occupation. In the Conference he is addressing the recent developments of the Palestinian-”Israeli” relations entitled:
“THE RISE OF POLITICAL ISLAM ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST: ARAB SPRING OR ISLAMIST WINTER?”
“THE RISE OF POLITICAL ISLAM ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST: ARAB SPRING OR ISLMAIST WINTER?”
“POST ASSAD: WHAT NEXT FOR SYRIA AND LEBANON?”
“GOVERNING “ISRAEL’S” ECONOMY: SOCIAL JUSTICE VS CAPITALISM”
8. Nahed Khazem: Mayor of the Shafa Amr (Shfaram) Municipality in the Western al-Jalil (Galilee) in the north of occupied Palestine; is well known for his cooperation and good terms with the Zionist-government ministers, particularly with the Culture Minister Gideon Saer. Khazem also participates in merging Arabs with “the “Israeli” community” in the Galilee Region. He is lecturing on:
- Palestinians for Dignity: Saeb Erekat, Go Home (alethonews.wordpress.com)