The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has announced on its website it will be holding a webinar in early November 2020 on the ‘One state solution’ for the Palestinian / Israeli conflict. According to the announcement:
October 24, 2020 The failure of the Two state solution, due to the destructive actions by Israel, and continued building of illegal settlements on Palestinian land, has brought about renewed interest in the Single, democratic state solution to the settler-colonial conflict in Palestine…This solution was the official position of the PLO until 1988, and is the only solution which offers equal rights for all in Palestine, and an end to the ravages of militarised Apartheid.
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The webinar is expected to host 4 speakers:
- Muhammad Marandi – professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, described in the announcement as an academic and political analyst. US-born Marandi, who received his Ph.D. at Birmingham University, is known to have defended the execution of 2 oppositionists who took part in the unrest, which followed the 2010 Iranian elections. He is the son of Iranian politician and former Health Care Minister Alireza Marandi.
- Awad Abdl Fettah, former General Secretary of the Arab-Israeli anti-Zionist Balad Party, is described in the announcement as a political activist and writer who leads a Haifa-based campaign based promoting the foundation of one democratic state ‘in the whole of Palestine’
- Ghada Karmi – UK academic described in the announcement as a leading author on Palestine and the Israeli occupation and a life-long political activist. Karmi has published an article on a news portal linked to the Muslim Brotherhood/Qatar, where she wrote: “Terminating Zionism is the only way to a permanent peace.”
- Michel Warschawsky – described in the announcement as a veteran journalist and peace activist and founder of the Jerusalem based Alternative Information Center (AIC), a Palestinian-Israeli news organization that disseminates information, research, and political analysis on Palestinian and Israeli societies. Warschawsky (aka Mikado) was the leader of the Israeli far-left Marxist Revolutionary Communist League (previously Matzpen-Jerusalem). In 2016 he spoke with the IHRC about “his transformation from a Zionist soldier to pro-Palestinian advocate and activist.”
The webinar is supported by several far-left groups, as well as two groups tied to the Iranian influence network in the UK. The Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission (AIM) is a UK based group, which an Israeli think-tank described as the UK branch of the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly, an Iranian Shi’ite clerical organization with global outreach. Shabbir Hasanaly, who served as Director in the now inactive Muslim Channel alongside the IHRC’s chairman Massoud Shadjareh, had developed an app for the AIM.
The Inminds Human Rights Group, another supporter of the webinar, is known to be close to the IHRC’s chairman Massoud Shadjareh.
Established in 1997, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is a UK based NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations since 2007. Its website says it works with different organizations from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds “to campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional, or political background.” The IHRC is considered supportive of the Iranian regime, and for many years has been central to organizing the events of the annual International Quds Day, initiated by the Iranian revolutionary regime. The IHRC’s chairman is Massoud Shadjareh, who is close to the anti-Israel website inminds.com and served as a director in the now inactive Muslim Channel; his wife Arzu Merali is a co-founder, writer, and researcher at the IHRC. Another Muslim Channel director Shabbir Hassanaly, a scholar and web developer, is said by the UK Times to have been “one of a number of individuals and organizations in the UK…whose views and activities are closely aligned to the religious ideology of the Iranian government.” He developed applications for other pro-Iranian organizations such as the Iranian TV channel Press TV and AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM). In October 2019, the Times reported that since 2013, the IHRC has also been receiving donations through the UK taxpayer-funded Gift Aid scheme for charitable organizations.