Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Conference: Palestine, Israel and Germany – the boundaries of open discussion

Where: Freiburg, Germany

When: 10-11 September 2011

More details available here

Freedom of speech and expression are recognised by many as primary human rights. However, when it comes to discussion on topics concerning Palestine, Israel and Germany we often face rigid and concrete boundaries that clearly suppress free and creative discourse. We somehow grasp what we are allowed to say but are also conscious of a variety of thoughts we better keep unsaid.

Yearning for humanism and willing to bring a change about,  the conference seeks to liberate the contemporary ideological, spiritual, cultural and political discourse. We will try to identify the mechanisms that stifle freedom of speech, with the hope that sometime soon, we will be able to say what we think and to mean what we say.

The conference "Palestine, Israel and Germany - Boundaries of Open Discussion" will elaborate on some 'contentious' topics such as suppression of truth, history, narration, mainstream-media complicity and media coverage, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism versus criticism of Israel and responsability. We will also try to show practical solutions for Palestinian self-determination.

Issues to do with boundaries of discourse will be located as key elements in a long overdue consciousness shift.

Don´t miss the opportunity to listen and to discuss on these issues with some of the most creative writers and commentators!

For more details, click here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Gaddafi delegation visits Israel for support, hands over "digital media"

From The Jerusalem Post, 12 July 2011:

A delegation from Libya sent by leader Muammar Gaddafi recently visited Israel and met with opposition leader Tzipi Livni and other officials, Channel 2 reported on Sunday [11 July].

According to the report, the delegation of four senior Libyan officials received visas from the Israeli embassy in Paris after gaining approval from Israeli security services. Once in Israel, the delegation immediately asked to meet with Livni.

Upon receiving the invitation for a meeting, Livni immediately turned to security officials, who gave their approval for the opposition leader to meet with the Gaddafi delegation.

According to the report, Gaddafi's motive in sending the officials was to attempt changing Israeli perceptions of the embattled Libyan leader, and to try and prevent Israel from supporting Libyan rebels, who have been fighting government forces for months.

As part of that effort, the Libyans reportedly gave Livni "digital media", which she handed over to security officials. [Redress Information & Analysis Editor adds: The "digital media" possibly consists of information about Palestinian groups and Palestine solidarity activists. This would be consistent with previous Gaddafi behaviour: in the late 1990s/early 2000 he handed over to the British confidential information about his erstwhile allies, the Provisional IRA.]

In the four-day visit, the senior Libyan officials reportedly met with other Israeli officials in addition to the opposition leader [Livni].

Earlier this year, a leader of a Jewish group told &&i&The Jerusalem Post&& that Libya secretly offered to give Israelis of Libyan descent an undisclosed sum of money if they agreed to form a "Libyan political party".

Meir Kahlon, chairman of the World Organization of Libyan Jews, said that between 2005 and 2007, he and two other members of his organization had secretly travelled to Amman to meet with a representative of the Libyan government over the unresolved issue of Jewish assets in the North African country.

“He said that they could not give us money directly because we live in Israel, but they were willing to give us money if we were to form a Libyan political party,” said Kahlon, who lives in the Tel Aviv suburb of Or Yehuda.

“He didn’t say how much, and I can’t tell you the name of the official, but the offer was on the table.”

Also see

"Gaddafi secretly tried to buy Knesset influence in 2007"

"Gaddafi invites Libya's former Jews to dialogue" 

Here is the Israel Channel 2 report – it's in Hebrew only, unfortunately.