Thursday, 7 March 2013

Belgian Jewish leaders invite head of anti-Israel university to debate with Shimon Peres

Belgian Jewish leaders invited the head of the Free University of Brussels to a debate which, unsurprisingly, turned out to be a disastrous "blame-Shimon-Peres-and-Israel-game". The audience was shocked by the violence of the charge.  President Peres who was scheduled to answer questions, but left immediately after answering Mr Vivier's accusations. There are people in Belgium who hold positive views on Israel but they are ignored, why do Belgian Jewish leaders turn to Israel-bashers? Yet again, the debate was not about Israel. The debate was about the Israel-Arab conflict and the badness of Israel.  The Free University of Brussels is a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment and honestly the Rector who wascriticised for accepting the invitation to meet Peres had to be shown to be more than critical of Israel.  The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was created by Pierre Galand and others from the ULB who called Shimon Peres a "war criminal" ("behind his facade of a man of peace he is a war criminal" and the "representative of a criminal State"). M. Peres praised the United States and President Obama. Well done Mr. Peres and sorry for the affront.

Yossi LempkowiczEJP:

Speaking on Tuesday at an event hosted by the umbrella representative groups of the Belgian Jewish community, the president Shimon Peres responded to "concerns" about the Israeli government’s policy expressed by the rector of the Brussels Free University (ULB), Didier Viviers, who was invited to debate with the Israeli leader in presence of ambassadors, academics, politicians and members of the Jewish community.

 Viviers’s presence at the event had been sharply criticized by several fellow professors as well as by pro-Palestinian and extreme left pro-boycott activists who staged a demonstration in front of the Palais des Academies where the event took place. "I accepted the invitation to discuss with the president and to ask him a few questions as part of our freedom of speech," he said. "My university, Mister President, is concerned about violations of international law. The colonisation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal and violates the Geneva Convention," the rector told Peres. He also questioned the president's personal position on the issue and what he called the "double discourse." "While you are in favor of negotiations with the Palestinians on the issue, colonisation, which is the main obstacle, continues, even in East Jerusalem, a policy which is condemned by the Europeans," he said, before bluntly asking : "Mr President dont’you feel that you are used by Netanyahu and Lieberman."

In his lenghty response, Peres recalled that the Arabs rejected the partition plan of Palestine in 1947 into a Jewish and an Arab state. "The Arabs rejected it while we accepted." "Israel was attacked seven times, went through seven wars not only with the Palestinians but also with Arab countries." "We made peace with Egypt and Jordan and we gave back all land and water, and though people still criticze us.," he said. Recalling the time when he had to replace Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin after he was assassinated in 1995, Peres stressed that Palestinian terror followed began with several bloody bus bombings. "But we later started a peace process with the Palestinians, we helped buit their economy, their security. We agreed to give back the Gaza Israeli settlements completely. Instead of creating a state, Hamas, a terror group, took control of Gaza." " We have to complete our negotiations with the Palestinians but Hamas, which controls Gaza, doesn’t want to negotiate while the PLO under President Abbas in the West Bank doesn’t have control over the whole situation."  [...]

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