The conference was condemned by the CCOJB, the Forum of Jewish organizations in Antwerp and the American Jewish Committe (AJC, JTA).
Abou Jahaja posted on the AEL site an article headlined "Hizbollah in the Belgian Federal Parliament", saying that this is a milestone for the Belgian parliament. (AEL)
The parliament president Herman Van Rompuy and fraction leaders Dirk Van der Maelen (SP.A) and Bart Tommelein (Open VLD say that the request for the conference room did not specify that the attendees were Hizbollah members. Lahssaini, the organizer, says that he gave a list of attendees without party affiliation and that those involved should have done their job.
The AEL: Thanks to the IUPFP The Belgian people got the opportunity to receive in the capital of Europe the executive figures of the most important resistance movement in the Arab world and this in the most politically symbolic building of Belgium: the federal parliament."
Van Rompuy: Any request by Lahssaini or with a Palestinian logo will from now be looked on with suspicion.
The conference was also reported by ESISC.
More updates within the post.
Two Capitals, Two Conferences
On Monday, the International Union of Parliamentarians for Palestine (IUPFP) will convene in the Belgian Federal Parliament in Brussels to discuss "The Palestinian prisoners: their suffering and their resistance". The 'Palestinian prisoners' are those arrested by Israel for terrorism. It is ironic that Belgium hosts such a conference barely a week after it moved to arrest its own terrorists. (Belgium: Al-Qaeda cell apprehended)
The use of the conference hall was organized by Fouad Lahssaini (Ecolo, the green party). He had made the request already on November 12th, and was granted December 10th. The list of attendees was provided to the Belgian parliament, but no further mention of their position. The IUPFP only advertised the conference on their site on Sunday (December 14th).
Most members of the IUPFP are parliamentarians and ministers of such peace-loving countries like Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, but there are several European parliament members listed as members as well:
* Vincent Van Quickenborne (Belgium), an Open VLD minister in the Belgian federal government. Van Quickenborne denied in the past that he's still publicly involved in such issues. (NL)
* Mohamad Daif (Belgium) - Socialist Party member of the Brussels region parliament
* Saidi Fatiha (Belgium) - Socialist Party member of the Brussels region parliament
* Margarita Maria Ferre Luparia (Spain) - former senator for the United Left.
* Jamal Omar Karsli (Germany) - former member of the North Rhine-Westphalia parliament for the Greens and later the FDP. Karsli had gotten in political trouble for comparing Israel to the Nazis (wiki)
* George Galloway (UK) - Respect parliament member.
* Abdulwahed Biazove (Russia)
It is not the first time the IUPFP meets in Brussels. In May of this year the organization met in order to 'celebrate' Israel's 60th anniversary. The conference, titled "Sixty Years on Al-Nakba… Sixty Years of Resistance", introduced studies equating Zionism with Racism and explaining why Israel cannot possibly be a Jewish state.
The General Director of the International Union of Parliamentarians for Palestine is Dyab Abou Jahjah, and he also pushed for creating the Belgian branch of the organization (PDF). Abou Jahjah, a member of Hezbollah, came from Lebanon to Belgium posing as an asylum seeker and later recieved Belgian citizenship on false premises. During the Israel-Hezbollah war, he left Belgium in order to fight Israel. In 2007 he announced he was going back to Lebanon permanently.
Among the speakers in this conference are prominent Palestinian and Hizbullah activists:
* Dr. Hassan Khresheh (Khrayshe), vice president of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
* Abdullah Kassir: Secretary general of the IUPFP and former Lebanese MP, he is also the current general manager of the Lebanese Al Manar TV station [This is the TV station of Hezbollah, its broadcasts are banned in the US, France and Spain and in hotels in Germany].
* Dr. Hussein Al Hadj Hassan: Lebanese Member of parliament- Hezbollah
* Gretta Berlin: From the Free Gaza Movement that has been organizing boat trips to Gaza in order to break the siege.
The speakers will be presented by Mr Luk Vervaet president of the Belgian Branch of IUPFP. Vervaet, of the Belgian left, is a good friend of Abou Jahjah's.
This conference is the complete opposite of another conference that took place yesterday in another capital. On Sunday, under heavy security, Geert Wilders spoke in Jerusalem in the "Facing Jihad" conference. He spoke about his movie, Fitna, and his view of the threat of Islam. Israeli parliament member Arieh Eldad, who arranged the conference, said that he intends to create a 'freedom bloc' in the European Parliament, which will fight for freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
Among the speakers in this conference were prominent anti-Jihad activists:
* Prof. John Lewis - professor of political science at Duke University
* Dr. David Burkay - lecturer of political science at Haifa University
* Itamar Marcus - founder of Palestinian Media Watch and one of the founder of IMRA.
* Prof. Shlomo Sharan - professor of education at Tel Aviv University
* Dr. Daniel Pipes - director of the Middle East Forum
* Simon Deng - Former Sudanese slave and human rights activist
And the two mentioned parliament members, Prof. Arieh Eldad of Israel and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands.
One conference focused on fighting the Jihadi threat, the other is composed of people who dedicate their lives to fighting for Jihad.
Geert Wilders spoke under heavy security in Jerusalem, for fear of being killed by Islamic terrorists for his expressing his opinion. The people convening in Brussels have come to discuss the rights of those Islamic terrorists.
In Jerusalem Westerners convened to discuss the threat of Islam to Europe and the West. In Brussels, the Capital of the EU, Muslims will convene to talk about how to support the Muslims in their fight against Israel.
Two Capitals, Two Conferences.
To Jihad or not to Jihad? Depends on which conference you go to.
For more info: Greta Berlin and Hezbollah members due to give conference at Belgian Parliament (English), Conférence du Hezbollah prévue au Parlement belge (French) and Hezbollah te gast in het Parlement (Dutch)