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FREE GAZA MOVEMENT'S BOARD OF ADVISORS

As of October 8, 2009, the Free Gaza Movement's Board of Advisors included the following individuals:

* James Abourezk was the first Arab-American to serve in the U.S. Senate, representing South Dakota from 1973 to 1979. In 1980 he founded the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. According to Abourezk, President George W. Bush and his "neocon advisers" decided to invade Iraq in 2003 with "Israel's interest in mind," not America's. Specifically, Abourezk charges, "Israel wanted Saddam out of the way because ... [h]e was someone, like Hizbollah, who stood in the way of Israeli hegemony over the entire Middle East." In the final analysis, says Abourezk, the United States is "being led around by the nose by the Israeli government" and the "Israel lobby."

* M. Cherif Bassiouni is an emeritus professor of law at DePaul University, where he has taught since 1964. He believes that the "application of the death penalty for apostasy," which is the punishment mandated by Sharia law, should "under no circumstances be subject to criminal sanctions" -- meaning, if Muslims carry out a death sentence on apostates from Islam, those Muslims should not be punished, least of all be subject "to the death penalty."

* Noam Chomsky -- author, linguistics professor, and leftist icon -- has condemned Israel's "horrible regime" of "repression and violence.” He views Israel as "a state based on the principle of discrimination"; "virtually a U.S. military base"; and a supporter of "terrorism." For a comprehensive profile of Chomsky, click here.

* Gretta Duisenberg is an international human-rights activist from The Netherlands. The founder of “Stop the Occupation,” an advocacy organization that works in Holland and throughout the European Union, Duisenberg has berated the “all-powerful Jewish lobby,” both in the Netherlands and the U.S., for its influence on foreign and domestic policies. She and her late husband flew the Palestinian flag from the balcony of their home in the mostly Jewish section of Amsterdam South. She has marched in pro-Palestinian demonstrations alongside Muslim youth who chanted “Hamas, Hamas, All Jews to the Gas.” And she has claimed that Israelis kidnap Arab boys in Gaza, remove their organs, and then return them to their hometown.

* Jeff Halper, co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, characterizes Israel as an "apartheid state," a practitioner of "state terrorism," and a nation that "endangers its neighbors [and] peoples of far-away lands" because it has "no moral brakes." For a comprehensive profile of Halper, click here.

* Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna is the Archbishop of Sebaste from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Ordained on December 24, 2005 at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, he is the second Palestinian to hold the position of Archbishop in the history of the diocese. According to Hanna:

  • "[T]here will be no Palestine without Jerusalem as its capital. It is ridiculous to imagine Palestine without Jerusalem, because it beats in the heart of every Palestinian."
  • "I am very sorry to hear about some religious groups in the United States that support the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Such support cannot be justified from a Christian point of view ... These groups need to re-read their bible, because the bible calls us to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed and not with the oppressors."
  • "I want to stress on the fact that the [separation] wall is illegal ... thus our duty [is] to dismantle this racist wall.... I do not think security reasons have to do anything with it [the wall] ... It is just an excuse to take more land illegally and separate Palestinians from each other."
  • "I say to all the Palestinian refugees they should still not give up their right of return. It is a right that could not be canceled by time. It is a human right because every Palestinian refugee should return to his/her home."

* Peter Hansen served as United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General from 1996-2005. He once said, "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don't see that as a crime. Hamas as a political organization does not mean that every member is a militant ..."

* Naomi Klein is the author of numerous international bestsellers, including The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. She also writes a regular, syndicated column for The Guardian and The Nation. In January 2009, Klein wrote: "The best strategy to end the increasingly bloody occupation is for Israel to become the target of the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa" -- namely, a "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" campaign. For a comprehensive profile of Klein, click here.

* John Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary filmmaker who characterizes Israel as a "rogue state" and a "criminal state." Asserting that "no other country has such a record of lawlessness," he complains that "Israel has defied hundreds of United Nations resolutions" while brazenly denying "the right of Palestinians to return to their homeland, the most basic right of all human beings." Adds Pilger: "Israel has a Godfather, the United States, which uses it to guard America’s empire in the Middle East." Likening Zionism to "South Africa’s racist apartheid," Pilger contends that "Israel’s objective has been unchanged" since its founding: "the expulsion of the native people and the theft of more land." For a comprehensive profile of Pilger, click here.

* Leila Sharaf is a Jordanian Senator and former Minister of Information. She is the Board of Trustees chair at Philadelphia University; a Board of Trustees member at the American University of Beirut; a member of the International Academic Council of the United Nations University for Peace; and a former board member with the Arab Organization for Human Rights.

* Aengus Ó Snodaigh is an Irish political leader and activist. In 2009 he called for the Irish Government to campaign for "an end" to the European Union's "preferential trade agreement with Israel." Moreover, he expressed support for "the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli goods."

* Baroness Jenny Tonge is a human-rights activist and a member of the British House of Lords. In November 2010, Tonge declared that “[t]he treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide." Further, she suggested that this alleged maltreatment may have stemmed from "the power of the pro-Israel lobby here [in Britain] and in the USA," or perhaps from America's "need ... to have an aircraft carrier called Israel in the Middle East from which to launch attacks on countries such as Iran."

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