Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, is set to host the Third National Palestine Solidarity Conference November 9-12. If this year’s conference is anything like the last two conferences – and judging by its leadership and sponsors it will be – its participants should be treated to another anti-Semitic and anti-U.S. “hate fest.”
Reports of last year's exhortations to "kill the Jews" by organizers like UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian and featured guest of honor, Sami Al-Arian, currently in federal prison as a leading fundraiser for Islamic Jihad, have not slowed this event down a bit. According to the conference organizers this will be an event to analyze tactics and develop strategies, skills and knowledge with educational workshops and activist training sessions (with trainers flown in from the Middle East yet) to once again push the ideas of "divestment and apartheid" and "peace with justice in Palestine." The conference is also to be a forum to work "against Zionism and imperialism"; that is, to agitate for the destruction of the State of Israel and the defeat of Americans in Iraq.
According to Arafat and Hamas in Arabic media, "peace" and "justice" will only occur when Israel ceases to exist and becomes another Arab Islamic state. "Zionism" means the existence of Jews in “Arab” lands (including 1948 Israel), and "imperialism" means any U.S. presence in the area necessitated by the War On Terror. Nothing new. But this year there is a new twist: an emphasis on the so-called “Right of Return.” False accusations of "apartheid" and calls for divestment have been a way for the Palestinians' campus minions and their leftist allies to try to weaken Israel within the international community. Israel is the only pluralistic society in the Middle East with democratic and equal rights for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity; the Arab nations, including the Palestine Authority, haven't one democracy between them, and in many nations Jews are forbidden from owning land. Yet the students’ ire is always directed at the pro-Western, democratic nation, not the fundamentalist/Islamist nations of the Arab crescent.
What will be new this year is the focus on the “Right of Return” of Palestinian refugees (and their second, third or even fourth generation children who have never trod the streets of Israel). A look at this year’s key organizers and fundraisers shows this will be a major part of this year’s conference. Steve Sosebee of the Palestine Right To Return Coalition (PRRC), also known as Al Awda ("the return" in Arabic), is a key organizer. Sosebee also heads another "charity" called the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF). Sosebee's "charity" used to run a website out of Texas that glorified suicide bombers. A tour of the Al Awda website repeats the Hamas position that there can be no valid negotiations regarding the “return” of every "Palestinian" to what is now Israel – even those from succeeding generations never born there – Israel must simply accept its national suicide.
Under former PA Prime Minister Mohammed Abbas, the Right of Return was to be discussed in terms of compensation after a two-state solution. The U.S. has now refused to recognize Israel's objection to the Right of Return in the Road Map and the Palestinians smell blood. In fact, the organizers of this conference even have a section on their registration form asking attendees if they endorse the Right of Return to distinguish from those who might accept a two-state solution.
Look for that to be the condition pushed by the Palestinians through their future terror attacks, as their supporters here, freshly trained in media techniques at this conference, fight the PR war on our nation's campuses.
Al Awda met in Toronto last July 3rd to reenergize the Right of Return Movement in North America. And they will have plenty of Saudi money to do that with: other sponsors include CAIR, the Saudi front group linked to Hamas whose leaders seem to keep getting arrested for complicity in terrorism and the Muslim Students Association, another Saudi front group on our nation's campuses. The Saudis, naturally, are the main donors to Hamas.
The conference promises a number of seminars such as "Organizing for Divestment on a Small Campus," "Using Campus Newspapers" and "Deconstructing Zionist Strategies on Your Campus." To deflect charges of anti-Semitism, the organizers have found another Jewish frontperson to make the media overlook the mountain of evidence that the last two conferences called for murdering Jews. Adam Shapiro filled this role in recent years; now Ora Wise will take over as the jihadists’ token Jew. Ms. Wise will no doubt be the perfect quisling to attest that the organizers only intend to kill Israeli Jews. (What a relief!)
The rest of the event’s sponsors are linked to the International Action Center, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark's radical front group familiar to readers of FrontPage Magazine. Besides adding their forces to the effort to dismantle Israel, as well as shilling against U.S. policy in Iraq. Look for their handiwork on campuses this spring as the terrorist attacks persist abroad.