Saturday 24 October 2009

François Houtart, a Belgian anti-Zionist priest, awarded UNESCO prize for tolerance and non-violence

François Houtart, a Belgian priest and professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, has been awarded (shared) the 2009 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. The announcement reads (excerpts):

"François Houtart (Belgium) for his life-long commitment to world peace, intercultural dialogue, human rights and the promotion of tolerance, and in recognition of his outstanding efforts to advance the cause of social justice in the world.

Mr Houtart is an ardent promoter of North-South cooperation and the founder of the Tri-Continental Centre (CETRI), a non-governmental organization renowned for its work on development issues and in the International Council of the World Social Forum. Known throughout his life as a defender of human rights, he has contributed significantly to the advancement of the inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue. As a noted sociologist of religions and theology, he has authored numerous publications and given lectures in over 100 universities around the world. An honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of Vietnam and Cuba and a member of the Commission on Struggle against Racism of the Ecumenical Council of the Churches, he has served as President of the Committee for Human Rights in Burundi (1986-1992); founder and director of the international review "Social Compass" (1960-1990); and President of the International League for People’s Rights (2003-2008)."

What the announcement leaves out is that François Houtart is a staunch anti-Israeli/US militant :

* he signed an appeal launched by Nadine Rosa-Rosso to all candidates for the 736 seats in the European parliament to remove Hamas from the EU terror list (International List Of Hamas Supporters Published, Harry's Place);

* he is a member of the Russell Tribunal for Palestine, concocted by another Belgian, Pierre Galand (Brussels: Launching of the "Russell Tribunal" on Palestine) the third such mock tribunal cooked up in Belgium ...;

* he is the chairman of the BRussells Tribunal - Peple vs Total War, that is co-chaired by Jean Bricmont, professor at the Catholic University of Louvain. Pierre Klein, professor at the Free University of Brussels is the secretary; and

* he is a member of the "People's Court" in which "individuals of concience" tried Israel for "crimes committed by the Israeli army in Lebanon during the summer 2006 [which] are a violent affront to the universal human conscience"(Israel on trial in Brussels: Iranian and Syrian Ambassadors give standing ovation to judges and Lebanon war mock tribunal condemns Israel and U.S.).

[1] On the Centre Tricontinental (CETRI), one can find : 17 articles on Palestine, 0 article on Burundi (in spite of the fact that, according to the statement, the UNESCO prize was awarded for the priest's commitment to the advancement of human rights in Burundi), 3 articles on the Congo, 0 article on Soudan, 9 articles on Sri Lanka etc. It's strange the little attention Burundi, the Congo et Rwanda receive because they were Belgian colonies, and there is a mutually strong link between citizens of these countries and Belgium.

We had a look at the sources of the articles posted on the CETRI blog and we were not disappointed: Electronic Intifada, Le Monde Diplomatique, Counterpunch (surprise surprise Counterpunch ), Palestine Monitor, etc.

- Jean Bricmont and The De-Zionization of the American Mind - The anti-US ravings of an arrogant man

- Special Report: "Pierre Galand (Belgium) Using Political NGOs to Promote Demonization & Anti-Semitism in the UN & EU"

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