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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Duke conference speakers endorse terrorism

By Aaron Klein
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

Speakers at a Duke University Palestinian solidarity conference that starts today have advocated suicide bombing and are connected to terrorist organizations, charged the university's Conservative Union.

The Palestinian Solidarity Movement, allied with the controversial International Solidarity Movement, an organization that openly supports Hamas and calls for the destruction of Israel, is holding its fourth annual conference to "put pressure on the Israeli government, partly by urging universities to sell their stock in companies with military ties to Israel," WorldNetDaily previously reported.

Attendees of the three-day event will listen to speakers explain their strategies for taking action against Israel, including lectures entitled, "Divestment: The Weapon of the Global Fight for Justice" and a talk on "How to effectively use the media and improved public relations to advance the Palestinian cause."

Now a list of speakers, which was recently released, has revealed that several of those featured openly advocate terrorism.

In a recent article, Charles Carlson, who will lead a workshop at the conference, called Palestinian suicide bombers intelligent bombs "because the body bombers act in a logical fashion...Lest there be any doubt, this writer supports the Palestinian right to launch bombs on Israelis any way they know how...I salute the 58 Intelligent Bombs; they were not cowards, nor were they 'homicide bombers,' as President George W. Bush calls them."

Carlson specifically encourages the use of children as weapons, declaring, "How dare anyone, even Yasser Arafat, condemn youth for choosing to sacrifice their life for something in which they believe...I pray for these sad children and do now join those who condemn them."

Carlson also calls for the mass murder of Israeli youth, asserting, "Each wedding, Passover celebration or Bar Mitzvah [in Israel] is a potential military target..."

Also, the Rutgers Society, which will teach a workshop at the PSM conference, lost its funding from the Turner Foundation because of its role in providing military-style training to members of the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front, which are both recognized by the FBI as terrorist organizations.

Rutgers director John Sellers openly advocates vandalism and property destruction. "I think you can be destructive, you can use vandalism strategically. It may be violence under the law, but I just don't think of it as violence," said Stellers, charges the Conservative Union.

Also leading a workshop at Duke will be Fadi Kiblawi, who advocates killing Jews everywhere. He wrote an article, "The helplessness, the degradation. It is enough to make one indifferent when they [Jews] die in a freak accident in a wedding hall while dancing Dabkeh. It is enough to make one want to strap a bomb to one's chest and kill those racists...The enemy is not just overseas. The enemy is also amongst us."

Another PSM conference leader, Abe Greenhouse, was arrested in 2003 for smashing a pie in the face of Israeli Minister and former political prisoner Natan Sharansky, who was about to begin a speech at Rutgers University.

"President Brodhead, is this your idea of 'education through dialogue'?" the Conservative Union asked in an open letter advertisement to University President Richard Brodhead that detailed the speakers connections to terrorism.

The conference will be PSM's fourth national gathering, following previous events at Berkeley, Michigan and Ohio State. Some PSM critics have charged those earlier events were hotbeds of anti-Semitism, with some attendees shouting, "Kill the Jews," and "Death to Israel!"

Rann Bar-On, a graduate student who has identified himself as an activist for the International Solidarity Movement and is a member of the campus group sponsoring the PSM conference, said he thinks the event will foster a useful dialogue on campus.

Bar-On said PSM supports nonviolent action on behalf of the Palestinian people, but neither he nor the group would sign a statement prepared by Jewish groups condemning terrorism.

"We don't see it as very useful for us as a solidarity movement to condemn violence," Bar-On told The Herald-Sun last month.

And a statement on the PSM website says: "As a solidarity movement, it is not our place to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted by the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation."

Last year's original conference organizer, Charlotte Kates, reportedly said, "Why is there something particularly horrible about 'suicide bombing’ except for the extreme dedication conveyed in the resistance fighter's willingness to use his or her own body to fight?"

PSM spokesperson Fayyad Sbaihat dismissed Kates quotations as having been "taken out of context."