Last Saturday in Tampere (15.9.07), Finland’s Defenders of Peace (Rauhanpuolustajat) arranged a seminar with the Israel/Palestine Center for Research & Information (ICPRI) under the title of “Israel/Palestiina – onko rauhalle edellytyksiä? / Israel/Palestine – Are there conditions for peace?
The DOP invited Mutassim Abu al Hawa and David Rosenberg to tell about their work and the conditions for a possible peace in the Middle East. As soon as I heard that the DOP was involved, and that the topic was the Israel/Palestinian situation, I knew that the seminar had nothing to do with true peace initiatives.
After reviewing the ICPRI’s website, I can understand why the DOP invited them to Finland. In May 2004, the IPCRI conducted an Israeli-Palestinian workshop to discuss democracy and the peace process. After the discussing the question “Is Democracy a prerequisite to peace?” , the workshop decided:
“They reached the conclusion that democracy and occupation don’t go together: you can’t be an occupier and still be Democratic”
Duh. See the simple minded logic at work? It’s not tyranny, corruption, religious supremacist ideology and mayhem that keeps the Palestinians from statehood, its the “undemocratic Israel” that’s the fly in the soup.
Also, according to ICPRI /DOP, every state that has had to occupy another, is anti-democratic, no matter what the circumstance and no matter what the UN charter says about it. That means the victorious Allied armies’ occupation of Germany made them somehow “anti-democratic” (The exception was the totalitarian USSR, which really was anti-democratic) .
Back to the meeting. All the signs pointed to a “bash and trash Israel event” with all the crazy left-wingers, one after the other, telling the crowd that was gathered, “just how evil the Jewish state really is”. The seminar could have been more accurately titled “I hate Israel, just let me count the ways”.
According to a source of the Tundra Tabloids who was present at the meeting:
This Israeli guy who made the presentation, David Rosenberg, was an Israeli communist who spent his whole presentation criticizing the Israeli government, showing maps about the restrictions on movement in West Bank and advocating the Palestinian case. As a matter of fact, the Palestinian guy present, Mutassim Abu al Hawa did not need to say anything at all – he was just sitting there and nodding his head.
Mr. Rosenberg spoke for 2 hours and the keywords for his presentation (which he repeated over and over again) were: fences, walls, trenches, check-points, earthmounds, earthwalls, roadbarriers, West Bank barrier, problems to get permissions.
He then said that the restrictions on movement have nothing to do with security but are completely political. He blamed the settlements for being too expensive for Israel and announced that his goal and vision is to get all Jews out of West Bank.
In the end of his presentation he showed an add from Ha’aretz published in 1967 which said “Keeping the occupied areas will make us the nation of victims and murderers.” He then added “if only did we listen.”
Someone asked if Israel is actually trying to achieve some kind of ethnic cleansing by making the life of the Palestinians so difficult that they would end up moving out of WB. Mr. Rosenberg said “depends on who you asked,” then saying that if asking the government they would deny it but the far right and settlers would say it openly that all of WB is theirs and Palestinians should leave.
Since he didn’t say anything else I had to make an extra comment, asking him kindly to remind the people that the public opinion in Israel and ordinary people there are not after ethnic cleansing but hoping for peace. He then made the correction.
The thing is that these guys came to Finland for a 2 week tour, meeting a lot of young people with basically this message : “Israeli government does it’s everything to make the life of Palestinians in the WB as difficult as possible.” This is just feeding their wrong ideas of the conflict and basically making them more anti-Israel.
The effect by this kind of events on the people/audience is big and makes me wonder how important it is on the other hand to get people from over there to come and speak to the Finns – but if only they were people who know the facts and see the whole picture instead of being blinded by their idealism.”
That’s the problem with a closed society like Finland, in which the Left’s indoctrination has been pretty much completed. Since there is only one side to a debate things are made easy for the propagandists, issues can be explained in very simplistic terms, “wall”, apartheid”, “roadblocks, “occupation” etc etc. No matter how idiotic the claims may be –even to those Palestinians who are disseminating the nonsense– Israel is to the pro-Palestinian Left, this evil, imperialistic dominating society where everything is bad, bad, bad.
Any reasonable person looking at Israeli society would conclude, like other democratic societies, that injustices exist, but that the fabric of its society is sound, that though problems exist, Arabs and Jews do get along together. The recent visit to Israel by Maulana Jameel Ahmed Ilyasi, leader of India’s 200 million Muslim community, proves that much. Ilyasi stated that:
“My impression was initially that the Israelis are certainly dominating Muslims out here. Once I came here, that impression completely changed,” Ilaysi said. “I saw the reality on the ground, the mutual respect Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews have for each other. Constant conflict is not the reality here,” Ilaysi said, describing his visit to the Israeli-Arab village of Abu Gosh, frequented by Israeli Jews.”
Maulana Ilyasi later called on Pakistan to recognize the Jewish state of Israel.
I also find it troubling that these two propagandists were able to get into high schools to further disseminate their biased nonsense. If any of the Tundra Tabloids’ Finnish readers have any knowledge of the schools these two visited, please pass that information on to the comment section. *L* KGS