Protests dominate Sabeel conference in Boston


North American Friends of Sabeel (FOS) held a conference on October 26-27, 2007 to "look at ways the South African apartheid model of ethnic/racial segregation is applied in Palestine today." The conference featured a keynote address by Desmond Tutu, who labeled Israel an ‘apartheid state’. NGO Monitor has documented Sabeel’s virulent activities to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel in the past, including leadership of church divestment campaigns, use of anti-Semitic imagery and rejection of the "two-state solution." In addition to featuring well-known speakers (including Desmond Tutu, John Dugard – UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in the Palestinian Territories, and Noam Chomsky), conferences such as the one held in Boston are merely another platform for Sabeel (and its NGO partner, the Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions – ICAHD) to advance a highly distorted narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict that blames Israel for terrorism and ignores Palestinian corruption, and to wage political war against Israel. Sabeel’s conference aroused considerable criticism and debate in the media, including important articles by Jeff Jacoby, Dexter Van Zile and others in the Boston Globe, The New York Sun, and Minneapolis City Pages, as well as comment in the Israeli press.