Friday, 16 May 2008

Norman Finkelstein at Brussels Nakba commemoration day

Belgian daily Le Soir has gushingly announced that Sunday 18 May will mark Nakba: a Belgian day of commemoration (Nakba: journée belge de commémoration) and noted that "nakba" (catastrophe) is the Palestinian word for the creation of Israel.

Belgium has quite a few homegrown anti-Israel bashers, though none has achieved world celebrity status. To make up for this and to give a touch of excitement to what otherwise would have been a lacklustre and poorly attended event, Norman Finkelstein has been invited to participate and give a talk entitled "60 years of dispossession, 40 years of occupation".

Another "celebrity" speaker will be Israeli Michel Warchawski, a sort of Ilan Pappé French-speaking alter ego.

Oddly (but it could be just posturing, as the programme indicates "subject to confirmation"), Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Karel De Gucht is also due to make an appearance at the Nakba commemoration to take part in a debate on the theme: "When will Belgium play the Palestine card?" ("Quand la Belgique jouera-t-elle la carte de la Palestine?") - this implies that despite the huge brouhaha it hasn't, so far.

By the way, in 2008, Brussels has and will be hosting lots of events hostile to Israel ... to coincide with Israel's 60th birthday. Here is a small sample:

Masarat, Belgium in the Middle East, by the Islam in Europe blog

Content of Belgian-sponsored Palestinian festival irks Jews, JTA

Zan Studio of Ramallah - anti-Israeli artists invited to Belgium

Palestinian festival sparks controversy - Belgium

Israel on trial in Brussels: Iranian and Syrian Ambassadors give standing ovation to judges

Lebanon war mock tribunal condemns Israel and U.S.

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