The Palestine Return Centre (PRC) has announced that it will be sponsoring U.S. academic Norman Finkelstein, a harsh critic of Israel, in a tour of U.K. universities during the first week of November. According to the PRC announcement:
Renowned Jewish-American political scientist and author, Professor Norman Finkelstein, will be undertaking a tour of UK campuses between the 7th and 11th of November entitled ‘How to solve the Israel – Palestine conflict’. The tour is sponsored by The Palestinian Return Centre (prc.org.uk) and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (j4big.wordpress.com). It will include the University of Leeds (7/11, 7 PM), University of Manchester (8/11, 7 PM), University of Nottingham (9/11, 4 PM), University of Birmingham (10/11, 6 PM) and culminating in a lecture at Logan Hall in the institute for education in London (11/11, 7 PM). More details on tickets can be found using the contacts published on Professor Finkelstein’s website (http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/speaking-engagements/) for each individual talk.
Dr. Finkelstein is probably best known for his book “The Holocaust Industry” in which he argued that the memory of the Holocaust was being manipulated by Jewish groups for political purposes and he has accused Israel of attacking Gaza because Hamas wanted a diplomatic settlement.
This is not the first of Dr. Finkelstein’s U.K. appearances. In February 2009, a post reported that the Muslim Association of Britain, a part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood, was organizing a conference scheduled to include prominent Jewish/Israeli critics of Israel together with individuals associated with Hamas. Dr. Finkelstein was identified as one of those critics.
Another earlier post featured a statement by Ikhwanophobia, an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood front website, that explained how the Brotherhood had “affable relations” with Jewish intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Dr. Finkelstein and how both had expressed their support for the website:
The Muslim Brotherhood explicitly denies that their organization is anti-Semitic. The former Egyptian MB Chairman Mr. Mohamed Mahdi Akef argues that there is no con?ict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jews, however he asserted that there are conflicts between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Zionists who, Akef asserted “are not Jews.” This is the endorsed attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood, which expresses the MB ideology. In all reality the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys affable relations with the Jewish intellectuals and academics. To ikhwanophobia.com In fact when the MB contacted prestigious Jewish intellectuals to support it in the struggle against racism and smear casting. We found them extremely co-operative and helpful. Professor Noam Chomsky simply described the site as an interesting project. Professor Norman Finkelstein, was also supportive of the fresh website; ascertaining that he would certainly want to cooperate with the site whenever it was mutually advantageous and convenient. This attitude from professor Finkelstein is a clear indication that the Muslim Brotherhood does not stand against Jews, on the contrary, the MB encourage affiliation and cooperation with the Jews so long as they do not support the racist Israeli-Zionist agenda.
Another earlier post reported that the British government had submitted a formal request to Israel that it investigate the UK-based Palestinian Return Center (PRC). The Jerusalem Post report cited discussed the Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood background of the PRC and its role in the campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel:
The Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv based research and strategy organization that advises the government, has recommended that Israel lead a campaign to expose the Hamas presence in London – to “out, name and shame” leaders of campaigns that undermine the Jewish state’s existence by exposing their backgrounds and agendas. Eran Shayshon, a senior analyst at Reut, told the Post on Thursday that the PRC’s activity in London contributed dramatically to London’s status as a key delegitimization hub – a matter the institute highlighted in a major report it published in November, reiterating that the PRC was a Hamas-affiliated organization central also to Muslim Brotherhood operations in the UK. “The result of this activity is that the Hamas narrative has made significant inroads in mainstreaming itself within the London Muslim community,” he said. “A further result is that in the eyes of some elements within Britain’s liberal elite, Hamas represents the sole authentic and legitimate Palestinian representative – as may also be indicated by the fact that a university in London hosts their event,” Shayshon added. According to Israel, the PRC’s leaders include prominent Hamas activists such as Majed al-Zeer, Zaher Birawi and Majdi Akeel. “Another activist, Assan Paur, also serves as a member of the Interpal Board of Trustees, also deemed a terrorist organization by Israel and the US on account of its direct involvement with Hamas global funding,” the order claimed. Israel also claimed that the PRC was a leading contributor to a group called the European Campaign for Ending the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), and had been involved in transporting one of its main activists, Arafar Madi, to plan the violent confrontation on the Mavi Marmara ship during the Gaza flotilla incident in May. “They had worked in cooperation with the IHH Foundation in Turkey, as well as other Hamas fundraising bodies within Europe and around the world,” the order stated. Based in northwest London, the PRC was established in 1996 by Palestinian academic Salman Abu-Sitta. According to a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs last month, titled “Mapping the Organizational Sources of the Global Delegitimization Campaign Against Israel in the UK,” Abu-Sitta often equates Israel with Nazis and asserts that the “Palestinian Holocaust is unsurpassed in history.”The report, written by Bar- Ilan University academic Ehud Rosen, identifies five of the PRC’s trustees – Zeer, Birawi, Akeel, Arafat Shukri and Ghassan Fa’war – as having a “clear” Muslim Brotherhood background. At its London conference in 2009, the PRC invited MEP Kristina Morvai, leader of the far-Right Hungarian nationalist party Jobbik and ally of British Nationalist Party leader Nick Griffin.In July of that year, Haaretz quoted Morvai as saying: “I would be glad if the so-called proud Hungarian Jews would go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tail rather than vilifying me.”