A recent conference in Tehran attended by AFP underlined the global support for Palestine—and challenged President Donald Trump to stand up for the oppressed.
By Kevin Barrett
TEHRAN, Iran—The expression “Tehran conference” usually refers to the historic meeting of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin in November 1943. But a more recent Tehran conference—the Sixth International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada—held Feb. 21 and 22, may turn out to be just as historic.
Nearly 1,000 people from roughly 80 nations around the world, including heads of parliament and other high-level dignitaries, met in Tehran to vow all-out support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. And although all of Iran’s highest officials participated, including President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Laranjani, military chiefs Mohammed Bagheri and Mohammad Ali Jafari, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, it was Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei’s eloquent voice and long-term commitment to the Palestinian cause that carried the most weight.
This author was one of nine Americans participating as part of a non-governmental-organization sponsored sub-delegation of about 50 pro-Palestine alternative writers and intellectuals from around the world. The U.S. contingent spanned the ideological spectrum from the left (Sander Hicks) to the right (E. Michael Jones) with most falling somewhere in between.
Many of the U.S. participants have been marginalized in their own country for voicing strong anti-Zionist positions, including critiques of Jewish tribal power that are taboo in the West. People like E. Michael Jones of Culture Wars magazine, Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review, and Mark Glenn of Crescent and Cross are vilified and banned from mainstream discourse in the West, yet welcomed and appreciated in Iranian intellectual circles. Jones calls Tehran “the capital of the free world.”
Likewise, two anti-Zionist Naturei Karta rabbis, Yisroel Dovid Weiss and Ahron Cohen (whose car was destroyed in a 2014 arson attack), are despised and excluded from the American and British Jewish communities, yet wildly popular in Iran.
Khamenei opened the conference by laying out the problem in no uncertain terms: “[Israel’s] entity and identity are dependent on the gradual destruction of the entity and identity of Palestine.” In other words, Zionism equals genocide. Khamenei termed Zionism a “cancerous tumor” and said the cure is fearless resistance, which will, in stages, gradually put Israel into an untenable situation, leading to a peaceful ending of the Zionist experiment in aggression, wholesale theft of land and resources, and Jewish-superiority apartheid. All of the leading Palestinian resistance groups sent high-level representatives to the conference. These included Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
All of those sometimes feuding groups have managed to get on the same page during the past few months, thanks in part to the Iranian commitment to bringing together all the main currents of Palestinian freedom fighters. Hezbollah, the Lebanese group fighting Israeli occupation and ISIS, was also represented.
Iran’s commitment to unifying the world’s pro-Palestine forces is especially heroic given current political realities. In recent years, Israel has succeeded in consolidating its power not only in America and the West, but also in the backward, dictatorial portion of the Arab world. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil sheikhdoms are now openly allied with the Zionists.
Against this background, President Donald Trump and some of his advisors have taken extreme anti-Iran positions that conflict with the U.S. national interest. Two weeks after his inauguration, Trump called Iran “the world’s leading terrorist state.” Yet, in reality, Iran and its ally Hezbollah are the world’s leading fighters against the only two “Islamic” militant groups that target the West: al Qaeda and ISIS.
So why does Trump think Iran sponsors terrorism? Because his good friend Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his Zionist son-in-law Jared Kushner tell him so. The Zionists consider anti-Israel resistance groups “terrorists.”
Iran supports them. That is why the Zionist-dominated United States has gone along with Israeli efforts to label Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad “terrorists.”
The U.S. is shooting itself in the foot by siding with the Zionists against the people of the Middle East and the world. A Chinese delegate at the conference expressed shock when I told her I was from the United States.
“What?” she asked me. “You are from America? Why do the Iranians let you in?”
While American businesses are basically banned by their own Zionist-run government from trading with Tehran, other nations, led by the Chinese, are making money by dominating global trade with the Iranians, the most productive, technologically sophisticated people in the Middle East.
Will the Trump administration ultimately let go of its Iran hawks, like former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and decide to pursue America’s interests rather than those of Israel?
If that day ever comes, a whole lot more Americans—businessmen and tourists, not just dissident writers like this one—will be borrowing the book title from Flynt and Hillary Leverett and Going to Tehran.
Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.