NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Palestinian bid to have the United Nations back a unilateral declaration of independence aims directly to sweep Israel away, Alan Dershowitz warns.
The prominent Harvard law professor and political commentator made the claim during a Media Conference Call hosted by the Hudson Institute and Touro College. Dershowitz said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who will go before the UN General Assembly Friday to appeal for support for the UDI bid, has referred to the "occupation" as extending throughout the entire former Palestine mandate.
"What happened 63 years ago was that Israel was established as a state. He isn't talking about any occupation since 1967, when Jordan attacked Israel and Israel occupied the West Bank. What he's talking about is Israel being itself an occupying country over Palestine," added Dershowitz.
Dershowitz will be one of 18 prominent speakers Thursday at a conference across from the UN aimed at countering the Durban III gathering that day. Others include former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee; former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton; and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel.
Titled "The Perils of Global Intolerance: The United Nations and Durban III," the conference will take place at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York.
Chairing it will be Anne Bayefsky, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust. Those two organizations are to host the counter conference.
"We will provide a direct answer to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will be speaking on Thursday simultaneously across the street," said Bayefsky, whose own odyssey as a human rights activist provides an additionally gripping account of the role she and the counter-conference backers have played in highlighting the hypocrisy of the UN's "Durban process" as a bulwark against racism.
"We will answer the charge of Israeli racism and blow the cover off what lies behind the Palestinian unilateral move."
Another of the speakers, Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, pledges to "uncover new aspects" of the problem of a military build-up in southern Lebanon in violation of Security Council resolution 1701.
"There is a massive military build-up underway south of the Litani River, including the emplacement of Hezbollah rockets within civilian homes and in and around civilian infrastructures in Lebanese villages," Gold says.
Renowned African American author and documentary filmmaker Shelby Steele – who will also speak at the "counter conference" Thursday – joined Dershowitz in the Media Conference Call, as did U.S. Congressman Tom Price (R-GA), Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.
Steele argued that Arab-based efforts to tear down Israel are wrapped up in a Palestinian fear of feeling "inferior" to Israel should it gain independence.
"Coming from black America," Steele said, "I know that when groups get close to freedom … there is a kind of terror. The Palestinians have been pursuing these sort of surrogate goals of destroying Israel, of hating Jews. And I see these … as avoidances of the real problem that the Palestinian people face, which is a lack of development."
Price said that "nobody knows what's on the other side of this bridge" that represents the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. Whatever happens this week is a consequential action," he said. "This is not just an exercise in pontification. There are real consequences that will occur."
Price warned of possible increased backing for an effort already under way to change the way the United States funds the United Nations. He also warned of the possible U.S. defunding of the Palestinian Authority.
"There will be significant pressure within both the Republican and the Democratic conference in the House, and I presume the Senate as well, to alter the financial arrangement between the United States and the United Nations, and in addition the United States and the Palestinian Authority – as well as other nations that are strongly supportive," Price said.
The counter conference runs from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York, across from UN headquarters.
For general questions on the "Perils of Global Intolerance" conferences, including a full list of speakers, see www.DurbanWatch.com.
IMPORTANT SCHEDULE UPDATES:
1. From approx. 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET, on Thurs., Sept. 22, there will be an informal media availability for journalists to interview John Bolton, Elie Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz, Ron Lauder and other distinguished speakers about breaking developments at the UN meeting. (Location: Millennium UN Plaza Hotel)
2. From approx. 2:40 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 22, there will be an informal media availability for journalists to get immediate comment from Ruth Wisse, Jon Voight, Shelby Steele, Douglas Murray and other distinguished speakers about Pres. Ahmadinejad's speech and other breaking news. (Location: Millennium UN Plaza Hotel)
The Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust aims to understand, explore and evaluate contemporary mechanisms for protecting human rights and the rule of law in view of the lessons of the Holocaust and its aftermath. http://www.touro.edu/ihrh
Hudson Institute is a nonpartisan policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis. Founded in 1961, Hudson is celebrating a half century of forging ideas that promote security, prosperity, and freedom. http://www.hudson.org
PJTV is proud to be bringing the DurbanWatch event straight to you via a live webcast beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, September 22. You can find out more details about the event by clicking here.
SOURCE Hudson Institute and Touro College