Jonathan Kay from the the National Post in Canada published an article picking up our story about the possibility that Palestine House in Toronto may be behind the TIFF “protest” letter. He managed to attract two responses, one from Palestine House and one from the owner of the phone number that created the mystery about the possible link between Palestine House and the “protest” against the Toronto Film Festival. You can read those responses and further analysis of this mystery on my next post. But please do read this one first because it so happens that while Mr. Kay was publishing his article, I had been updating the original post with the following new information that, in my opinion, strengthens the claim about the connection of not just Palestine House, but possibly even the Palestinian National Authority with reference to this propaganda coup taking place in Toronto.
Below is the new material added to the post, but please do read the original. Needless to say, I am not a reporter and do not have the tools of a reporter or media outlet to prove these allegations. Since my identity is known only to some of the other authors on this site, I encourage anyone reading this to be skeptical about what I write and look into it yourselves because I believe the evidence is fairly strong. Since this story has now been picked up by a real newspaper, there is no reason why the “protest” letter authors cannot explicitly explain their relationships, if any, particularly as they relate to their TIFF “protest,” to Palestine House and, or to the Palestinian Authority. Of course, indirect relationships count since this has been a nice little propaganda coup for the Palestinians.
Also, the letter authors should state openly whether they side with Palestine House and Mr. Masri’s apparent advocacy for a single state that might still be called Israel but would essentially destroy Israel’s identity as a Jewish state. I refer to one of the letters on Palestine House’s website and to a recent article by Masri detailing the necessity of a “right of return” of all refugees to Israel.
Here’s the update to the original investigative post:
UPDATE: In yesterday’s press conference given by some of the signatories to the “protest” letter, sitting on the podium were John Greyson, Elle Flanders and Mazen Masri. This is the first we’ve seen of Mazen Masri in this campaign so I looked him up. First of all, he is listed as one of the information contacts on the CAF letter that identifies the phone number of Palestine House. Second, he is one of the organizers of the conference held recently at York University that focused on a single state solution (i.e. the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state). Amazingly, he is one of the organizers even though he only had a Masters degree (it appears he may have earned his doctorate since). But, best of all, his brief internet biography (which he presumably wrote himself) states:
“Mazen Masri is former legal advisor on refugee issues to the Palestine Liberation Organization. He is active with NGOs working on Palestinian refugees issue, and has written and lectured on the topic. He holds law degrees from the Hebrew University and University of Toronto.”
To those of you who don’t know, the PLO is the heart and soul of today’s Palestinian Authority. According to Wikipedia (forgive me for using Wikipedia but their source is a Palestinian Authotrity document submitted to the UN) “The Palestinian Authority was formally created by the Palestine Central Council, itself acting on behalf of the Palestine National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was made accountable to the PLO Executive Committee…”
Could this connection be our smoking gun? Is Mr. Masri still talking to his colleagues at the “PLO?” Is he connected to Palestine House and has he had a hand in forming this “protest” of the Toronto International Film Festival? Is he the “scholar” to which Kathy Wazana referred in her letter claiming that the group checked with “scholars” before publicizing the open letter to the TIFF?
By the way, Mr. Masri’s education at Hebrew University in Jerusalem was subsidized by Israeli taxpayers. Apartheid indeed!!!
UPDATE: There are now two responses to the National Post article based on Jewlicious.com research. One is from Palestine House and the other is from the owner of the phone number that appears under the title “Palestine House Media.” Read it all here.
Also, for more Jewlicious.com reading about this:
The original investigative post connecting the Palestine House Media to the “protest” letter writers to the Toronto Film Festival
Exposing Naomi Klein’s Boycott Denial
Response to the “protest” letter against TIFF, 2009
Response to John Greyson’s letter to TIFF, 2009
Olmert’s offer to the Palestinians
Abbas choosing to stall on peace talks. Again.
The PA did not change its charter as per their Oslo obligations. This was recently publicly confirmed before the Fatah conference by two of Fatah’s leaders including Dahlan.
(Greyson, Flanders, Masri photo source)
Er, what’s your point? The PLO controls Hollywood? Isn’t that just the flip side of ‘the Zionists control Hollywood’ conspiracy theories that we as Jews bristle at?
I highly doubt this Masri character, a graduate student, has some type of enormous power to manipulate over a thousand artists – most of them people of impeccable moral integrity – into taking a position like this.
Get a life and do something useful with your time ‘anonymous’ blogger… 🙂
Tsk tsk, Enav, I thought we were discussing matters of such great importance, apartheid, human rights violations, ethnic cleansing, etc., that a film festival had to be disrupted and films needed to be labeled as coming from a place that practices apartheid and which was built on the ruins of another people. What greater use of my time is there than discussing these matters?
In answer to your question at the beginning: no.
As for “Masri” having the “power to manipulate” a thousand people, I don’t believe I wrote that anywhere or anything close to it.
Try again, Enav, and please do a better job this time. Thanks.