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)
Last week, as Jewish Lobbies continue to invest enormous efforts in dictating and imposing a rigid and unquestionable Holocaust narrative, Israeli Haaretz published a short, succinct and courageous report challenging the validity of the Wannsee Conference as proof of the Nazi ‘final solution’.
Just ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Israeli paper reported that Dr. Norbert Kampe (63), director of the “Wannsee Conference” Memorial Centre in Berlin, has challenged some of the most widely-accepted historical ‘facts’ associated with the conference and its meaning.
Jewish Holocaust scholars have always insisted that the master plan for the Nazi Judeocide was conceived at the Wannsee Conference but Dr. Kampe is quoted as saying that the conference dealt only with “operational matters” instead of being a platform of any form of “decision making”. To prove his point, Kampe pointed to the fact that Hitler and his ministers were not present at the conference. Furthermore, he says, “At the time, January 1942, there was no organized plan for extermination camps.”
And yet, Haaretz admits, “Make no mistake. Kampe is not anti-Semitic. Certainly not a Holocaust denier. On the contrary. As expected of a professional historian, he studied countless relevant texts, documents and testimonies on the particular event… His conclusion is the direct outcome of an educated analysis of written material in his possession.”
So courageously, a Hebrew paper praises Kampe and his “fascinating historical lesson” and also acknowledges that the Israeli Ministry of Education lacks the capacity to engage in any form of informed Holocaust debate. Haaretz clearly admits that
“to this day no one knows with complete certainty and confidence what exactly happened on 20 January 1942, in this pretty villa in the wealthy suburb of Berlin.”
Only one copy of the Wansee Conference protocol, found in 1947, survived the war, others having been deliberately destroyed by the Nazis in an effort to conceal evidence. This protocol is the only authentic documentation as to what happened in Wannsee and one of the few that made explicit use of the term “final solution”. However, Haaretz concedes that, like any historical document, the Wannsee document should be read carefully. The words “death” or “murder” do not appear in the conference protocol. Instead, it refers to “natural diminution”, “appropriate treatment”, “other solution options” and “different forms of solutions.” In fact, the only explicit references in the document deal with deportation rather than extermination. Even the famous table attached to the protocol that counts the Jews in each occupied country, does not state that those Jews are destined to be destroyed.
Just a few days ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, a Hebrew paper found the courage to admit that “decades of Holocaust research could not find a clear and explicit command made by high-level Nazi officials to engage in systematic mass extermination of Jews.”
According to the Israeli paper, the Nazis disguised their true intentions in some “ambiguous orders” and “secret codes”, which were supposed to lead officers to interpret and to react upon what they believed to be Hitler’s will.
The moral here is simple. Once again we learn that some Israelis are far ahead of the Western press and academia in their criticism of Jewish ideology in general and the Zionist Holocaust narrative in particular.
Scottish independence would bring an end to the UK’s nuclear deterrent as there are no other suitable locations for the base in Britain, warns a report from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
The Nowhere to Go report commissioned by CND revealed there is no viable alternative for the Trident nuclear weapons’ bases than its existing sites in Coulport and Faslane in Scotland, implying that the bases have nowhere to go if Scots vote for independence from the UK.
Kate Hudson, the general secretary of CND, said, “Trident is at a dead end, strategically and economically. Now we can add ‘geographically’ to the list too, as Ministry of Defence sources have confirmed CND’s analysis: that there ‘simply isn’t anywhere else’ for Trident to go.”
Asked in the Scottish parliament last week whether an independent Scotland would do a deal to keep the Trident, the Scottish First minister Alex Salmond replied, “It is inconceivable that an independent nation of 5.25m people would tolerate the continued presence of weapons of mass destruction on its soil.”
However, senior British defence officials have suggested that they could negotiate a treaty permitting the Trident missiles, submarines and warheads to remain in Scotland. Philip Hammond, the UK defence secretary, has also suggested that Scotland would be forced to pay the costs of relocating Trident nuclear deterrent.
Meanwhile, slamming the imposition of nuclear weapons on Scotland, Scottish CND chairman Arthur West described Scotland independence as “an opportunity to make a difference and to put an end to weapons of mass destruction in Britain.”
- How Scottish independence could spell the end of Trident (liberalconspiracy.org)
- Latest Poll: 51% Favour Scottish Independence (ansionnachfionn.com)
US President Barack Obama has confirmed that the United States has used non-UN-sanctioned CIA assassination drones to strike targets in the northwestern tribal belt of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.
In reply to questions about the use of terror drones by his administration in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube on Monday, the US president said, “a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA” — Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
“For the most part, they’ve been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and we’re very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” Obama said.
This is the first time Washington has acknowledged using the remotely piloted aircraft to strike targets within Pakistan.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Liaghat Ali Khan, professor of Washington University, to further talk about the issue. What follows is the text of the interview:
Press TV: Does it make a difference at this point in time now the US president Barack Obama has admitted using drones in Pakistan? Is it going to make a difference in the strategy that the Americans have been using?
Khan: Thank you very much for letting me speak on this issue.
I think this is a great event in international law that the head of the state of the United States openly admits that the United States engages in extrajudicial killing of persons in a foreign country.
Extrajudicial killings are prohibited under international law because the person who is killing is the judge, is the jury and is the executioner.
So this is a great event in this matter that now legal circles can validly ask the United States that what is its bases and what is its legal medium to which it decides to use drone attacks to kill people.
Washington plans to take bids for the management of drone operations in Iraq over the next five years
US President Barack Obama has acknowledged Washington’s unauthorized surveillance drone operations in Iraq where the un-mandated move has sparked outrage among senior Iraqi officials and the public.
“The truth is we’re not engaging in a bunch of drone attacks inside Iraq. There’s some surveillance to make sure that our embassy compound is protected,” said Obama in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube on Monday.
The confirmation came after The New York Times disclosed that the US State Department began operating some drones in Iraq last year on a trial basis to help protect the US Embassy and that it stepped up their use after the last US troops left the country in December.
The report has infuriated senior Iraqi officials who say Washington must respect the country’s sovereignty and consult with the Baghdad government before carrying out any operation now that “the war is over.”
“I think that there’s this perception that we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes, willy nilly,” Obama said, adding, “It is important for everybody to understand that this is kept on a very tight leash.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also claimed that her department uses unmanned aerial vehicles to take pictures of US facilities and personnel abroad.
Meanwhile, The Times said that senior Iraqi officials told the newspaper that the US had not consulted with Iraqi government about the drone operations and that despite the official US withdrawal from Iraq, it maintains a strong presence in the country.
The daily said that since getting the approval for using surveillance drone aircraft over Iraq might be hard given the political tensions between the two countries, the US continues drone operations in the country without formal approval from Iraq.
It added that Washington plans to take bids for the management of drone operations in Iraq over the next five years.
- Iraqis terrified of US drones (rt.com)
- Iraq Is Angered by U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies (nytimes.com)
In the media firestorm surrounding the recent Megaupload takedown, there has been little lacking in the way of drama (police helicopters, midnight raids, safe rooms, shotguns, and inflatable tanks, for starters). The legal battles between the government and Megaupload are unlikely to end soon. In the meantime, however, many ordinary users of Megaupload’s services have been swept up in the government’s dragnet, and, as a consequence, have lost access to their own data.
Megaupload, of course, had many lawful customers (see here and here, for example). Yet those people were given no notice that they might lose access to their data and no clear path to getting their property back. Setting aside the legal case against Megaupload, the government should try to avoid this kind of collateral damage, not create it.
We learned yesterday that the government has finished its investigation of Megaupload’s servers and claims that the companies that own those servers – Carpathia and Cogent – are free to delete their contents. Luckily, those companies aren’t following the government’s example of shooting first and asking later. To that end, Carpathia has put together a site at www.megaretrieval.com where Megaupload customers can contact EFF and provide information to help assess the scope of the issue and possible responses.
If you believe you are one of these users, are based in the United States, and are looking for legal help to retrieve your data, please email your contact information to Megauploadmissing@eff.org. While we will try to respond to everyone, you should understand that we are still at the preliminary stages of our investigation.
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