Palestine, Jerusalem, and Iran
By: Michael Springmann/Arab America Contributing Writer
Following a surprise invitation to attend an all-expenses-paid trip to the 6th International New Horizon Conference (about al-Quds, i.e. Jerusalem), I arrived in Mashhad, Iran on May 11, 2018. From the 12th to the 14th, the conference covered an extremely broad range of subjects, such as U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, the new multi-polar world, the plight of the Palestinians, and Israel’s involvement in chaos and terrorism.
Who Was There?
Speakers came from all over the world. They included journalists, such as Pepe Escobar, Giulietto Chiesa, Tesa Tešanović, and Hafsa Kara-Mustapha; former government officials such as Philip Giraldi, ex-CIA; Michael Maloof, ex-Defense Department; Peter Van Buren, ex-State Department; and Scott Bennett, ex-U.S Army psychological operations officer. A number of European politicians attended and spoke as well. Some were Karl Richter, Munich city councilman, and Ivan Pernar, founder of the Croat party Human Shield.
Most Effective Speaker?
Rabbi Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta, a group opposing the existence of Israel. Son of a Holocaust survivor, the Rabbi hammered the truth: that Judaism is a religion, not a national identity. Speaking on the Sabbath without a microphone as Orthodoxy required, he noted the crimes of the illegitimate Israeli government against the Palestinians. True to his role of Teacher, Weiss stressed that Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise, their political meddling, and their wars. Throughout his time in Iran, the Rabbi wore his traditional Orthodox attire–with the addition of a stole in the Palestine black and white pattern with the country’s red, black, white, and green colors added.
Real Public Diplomacy.
After the conference’s conclusion, the 50 participants fanned out to cities across Iran. Each of the many groups, three or four members each, then met with local journalists, clerics, and politicians. Spread over several days, there was genuine give and take, with hard questions being asked and answered.
Highlights of my visit to Qazvin, about 150 km (90 miles from Tehran), was a meeting with the representative of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and a visit to a seminary. Accompanied by activist Alison Weir and Giulietto Chiesa (who had included me in his film Zero, about September 11, 2001), I heard the Leader’s delegate and clerics in the seminary stress the unity of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. All worshipped one God, all had a code of ethics, all believed in doing good and avoiding evil. Unsaid, but presumably understood, was the idea that Israel, the Zionist Entity, was not true to its 10 Commandments.
Qazvin From the Air
Concern about the future led Nader Talebzadeh, the conference organizer, to suggest forming a permanent group to continue what had begun in Mashhad. All the participants, including former British PM Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, a journalist and convert to Islam, thought it a grand idea and vowed to press on.
Michael Springmann is an attorney, author, political commentator, and former diplomat. He has written Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World and a second book Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb. Both are available on Amazon. The books’ website is: www.michaelspringmann.com