Last year I wrote a piece about a peace conference at the University of Helsinki titled After the death of the "peace process": Which way for peace in Israel/Palestine?. The forum was hosted by the self-proclaimed Finnish peace organization, Hakunilan kansainvälinen yhdistys and financially supported and sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Education. Last year''s panel included Ilan Pappe, an Israeli revisionist historian, Ali Abunimah, the founder of Electronic Inifada and Bruno Jäntti, the chairman of ICAHD Finland.
This year’s event takes place October 2 at the University of Helsinki and is hosted by ICAHD, Hakunilan kansainvälinen yhdistys, and supported and financed once again by the Finnish Ministry of Education.
However, this time the Finnish doves have put together a line-up to make Pappe, Jäntti and Abunimah look like Likudniks’.
The hosts decided to invite Pertti Multanen, a notorious - even in Northern European standards - Israel basher known for his vitriolic attacks against Israel. Multanen, a lecturer of development studies at the University of Helsinki, will speak about "Economic collaboration between Finland and Israel." (Notice the term collaboration).
During Israel''s war on terrorism in 2002, Multanen belittled waves of suicide bombings into Israel by arguing that "under the guise of the so-called war on terror, Ariel Sharon and his ministers have been able to fight their own little anti-terrorism war". He added that "Israel is instilling the roots of terrorism into Palestine by warring, killing, raping and pillaging Palestinian areas".
The second panelist, Samia Botmeh, does not require further introduction considering her relatively damning resume. Botmeh is a representative of the Boycott National committee, director of the Centre for Development Studies at Birzeit University and the topic of her lecture at the conference is "From de-development to disintegration: the effect of colonisation on the Palestinian economy."
Finally, Inna Michaeli from the Coalition of Women for Peace, WhoProfits Project will discuss "Captive markets and loose profits: understanding the Israeli occupation economy".
Needless to add, the conspiratorial introductions, their sinister connotations and the chillingly demonizing tones are likely to provide the audience with a hate fest to remember. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend, but I hope you will. For more information, please contact the host of the evening at firstname.lastname@example.org.