H. E. Frances Guy – Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Lebanon

Audio Lecture given at AUB titled “More fraternity than friction: The role of values and policies in relations between the United Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic world.” I think we can all agree theres lots of friction and no fraternity from the UK Government. Actions speak louder than words and while activists in the UK halted the shipment of bombs through Scotland to Israel, the UK Government was extremely supportive of Israel’s July War.  Guy perhaps hits the nail on the head when she says that the UK involvement in Iraq was based on self interest: maintaining a favourable relationship with the United States.  With that in mind it seems a little naive to say that the UK has no interest in Palestine other than in promoting peace.  The UK has the same interest in Palestine as Iraq of supporting the US position, not to mention UK arms deals with Israel and the importance of supporting Israel to political party funding (both parties have an active “Friends of Israel” group to compete for this).

More fraternity than friction: The role of values and policies in relations between the United Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic world.

Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People

This short video on Democracy Now is really excellent! Please watch it!

Where are the human images of Arabs and Arab Americans? That’s the topic of a new film called “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People.” The book and the film explore the American cinematic landscape to reveal a stark pattern of Arab stereotyping and its disturbing similarity to anti-Semitic and other racist caricatures through history. We play excerpts of the film and speak to acclaimed media critic Jack Shaheen, author of the book it’s based on.

Continue reading

Tariq Ali: Hezbollah and Canada

    Produced for Radio Tadamon! by Stefan Christoff.

tadamontariq.jpg

Terrorism is a contested terrain, a political landscape on which the highest levels of international military power engage in a deadly war. In 2007 terrorism remains an ominous threat, a political ghost invoked in the foreign policy rhetoric of Canada’s Conservative government surrounding the ‘War on Terror’.

In 2002 Canada unveiled an official list of ‘terrorist’ organizations, strikingly similar to the US governmental list of an equivalent nature. Today the Lebanese political movement Hezbollah, both the military and political wings, is officially considered a ‘terrorist’ organization by the government of Canada, a policy only endorsed by two additional countries internationally, the US and Israel.

In the Middle East, from Lebanon, to Palestine, Hezbollah is commonly viewed as a national liberation movement, which in 2006 successfully halted Israel’s major military assault, to the shock of the world. As a political and social force in Lebanon, Hezbollah remains a major player at the highest levels of government and in the most impoverished sectors of society.

In Canada a public debate on the listing of Hezbollah as a ‘terrorist’ organization was ignited in 2006 as Israeli military forces attacked Lebanon killing over 1100 civilians. Debate on Hezbollah’s categorization as a ‘terrorist’ organization draws attention to Canada’s post 9/11 ‘national security’ laws and regulations which included the formalization of a Canadian list of ‘terrorist’ organizations in 2002.

In the context of the debate on Canada’s categorization of Hezbollah as ‘terrorist’ I had an opportunity to interview novelist, historian, political campaigner Tariq Ali on Hezbollah. This interview was conducted in Montreal, touching on the history of Hezbollah as a political force in Lebanon & the Middle East, while also addressing Canada’s designation of the movement as ‘terrorist’ in the post 9/11 political environment.

* Radio Tadamon! is produced by the Tadamon! collective, a group of social justice activists working to build ties of solidarity between movements for social / economic justice in the Middle East / Montreal, while organizing within the Diaspora community of Montreal.

* Tadamon! Montreal is current organizing a political campaign to challenge Canada’s listing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Radio Tadamon! reflects on Lebanon war

Podcast, Radio Tadamon!, Aug 12, 2007

A protest in Montreal against Israel’s war in Lebanon, August 2006. (Aaron Lakoff)

This special edition of Radio Tadamon!, a monthly hour-long radio program broadcasted in Montreal and uploaded to the Internet, focuses on commemorating the July 2006 Israeli military assault on Lebanon. The 34-day war left over 1,300 Lebanese civilians dead, large parts of the national infrastructure destroyed and southern Lebanon littered with over a million unexploded cluster bombs.

The program features multiple testimonies and reflections on the 2006 war on Lebanon recorded at a Montreal community commemoration event that attracted hundreds of participants from the Montreal region.

Also included in the program is an interview with May Hayder, a Lebanese community organizer in Montreal with Al-Hidaya Association who touches on a number of key issues regarding the current political turmoil in the Middle East, from the history of conflict between Israel and the Arab world, to the impact of the 2006 war on Lebanon on the Lebanese Diaspora in Canada and finally to the designation of Hizballah as a terrorist organization in Canada.

  • Listen Now [MP3 – 11.2 MB, 24:28 min]

    This radio report was produced for Radio Tadamon! by independent journalist Stefan Christoff. Radio Tadamon! is a project of Tadamon! (meaning “solidarity” in Arabic), a Montreal-based collective of social justice organizers and media activists, working to build relationships of solidarity with grassroots political movements for social and economic justice between Beirut and Montreal.

  • http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article7154.shtml

    An Issue Of Justice: Origins Of The Israel/Palestine Conflict – Norman Finkelstein

    The best lecture I’ve heard on the creation of Israel and how we’ve arrived at the present day situation. Mostly about the Israel/Palestine conflict but also covers the invasion of Lebanon. Interestingly the title of this blog was inspired by this lecture where Finkelstein advises calling solidarity groups “justice for Palestine” groups.

    Informing Finkelstein’s analysis is a universal ethics… He…is following the example set by the great Jewish prophets.” —The Nation
    “Norman Finkelstein is one of the most radical and hard-hitting critics of the official Zionist version of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the historians who support this version…” —Avi Shlaim, St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford
    The facts are not complicated. Finkelstein dispels the ideological fog surrounding this historic conflict.
    Finkelstein lays out the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict with clarity and passion, arguing that any other similar conflict would be perfectly understood, yet this one exists beneath a blanket of ideological fog. Finkelstein cuts through the fog with indisputable historical facts, optimistic that the struggle is winnable, and that it is simply an issue of justice.
    Norman Finkelstein was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1953. He is the son of two holocaust survivors. He received his doctorate from Princeton University, for a thesis on the theory of Zionism. He is the author of four books, including The Holocaust Industry, his writings have also appeared in many prestigious journals. Currently, he teaches political science at DePaul University in Chicago.

    Links