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Date: Sun, 08 Apr 2001
From: "AZAR Association"

Jordan: Revisionist Historians Panel Postponed by Government Decree

 

April 8, 2001
Amman, Jordan

As you probably know, there was supposed to be a Forum on Revisionist 
Historians in Amman at 6:30 this evening.  However, on the night of Friday 
two days ago, the three speakers and the moderator of the proposed Forum 
received phone calls, some at one or two in the morning.   Hayat Atiyah, 
Arafat Hijjazi, Ibrahim Alloush, and Hisham Ghassib were instructed to make 
themselves available at nine o’clock the following morning in the office of 
the Chief of Police in downtown Amman.

On Saturday morning, everybody went to the office of the Chief of Police 
with the exception of Dr. Hisham Ghassib who thought the phone call at two 
in the morning was some kind of practical joke.   He was later tracked down 
in the University where he is dean, and summoned to the office of Talat 
Nawayseh, the Governer of Amman, along with the other three participants in 
the Forum.  The head of Preventive Security, the Chief of Police, and 
another high-ranking officer in civilian clothes were all present at the 
meeting as well.  After inquiring about the Forum on Revisionist Historians, 
the Governer said: “This Forum will have to be postponed, as it is affecting 
His Majesty’s visit to the United States rather negatively!”

The four participants in the Forum objected to the postponement and argued 
against it.  Dr. Hisham Ghassib objected to the principle of being summoned 
by officials of the Ministry of the Interior without having committed any 
violation of the law.  Dr. Ibrahim Alloush objected to the principle of 
executive branch interference in the functioning of the institutions of 
civil society and in intellectual activities [that do not even pertain to 
the Jordanian regime or normalization with “Israel”].  Hayat Atiyah and 
Arafat Hijjazi argued that they are not even members of the Jordanian 
Writers Association and thus should not be the ones with whom the 
postponement is discussed, as the Forum is an activity sponsored by the 
Jordanian Writers Association.   The pressure to postpone the Forum lasted 
all before noon.  Eventually, the heads of security and the Governer made 
clear that the Forum would be postponed regardless.  They went out of the 
room, called Fakhri Qawar, the President of the Jordanian Writers 
Association, then came back and called the meeting to an end [but not before 
pointing out to Ibrahim Alloush that he keeps on writing as if there is no 
government in town!].

In the meantime, and before the Governer’s call, it seems that the Minister 
of Culture, Mahmoud Al Kayed, had called the President of the Jordanian 
Writers Association as well.  The Minister of Culture told Fakhri Qawar that 
he was informing him on orders from Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb, who was 
acting on orders from King Abdallah himself, that the Forum on Revisionist 
Historians in Amman must be postponed because it was affecting their visit 
to the United States negatively.  But could that be due to Zionist pressure, 
or else, could it be due to Zionist pressure?!  It must be one of the two of 
course..  And the question always remains: to succumb or not to succumb.

Part II: A Discussion on Revisionist Historians in the Evening

On the eve of the same day, Saturday, April 7, 2001, Palestinian grass-roots 
leader Bahjat Abu Gharbiyah was speaking at the Association against Zionism 
and Racism to commemorate Land Day, the Deir Yassin Massacre, and the Right 
of Return.   The hall was packed.  There was standing room only.   Ali 
Hattar, a member of the board of the Association against Zionism and Racism 
who was just released from jail three days earlier, walked in to a cheering 
crowd.  After Bahjat Abu Gharbiyah finished his outstanding presentation, 
Ali Hattar gave a moving speech in which he vowed to continue his work 
against normalization with “Israel”, for which he was jailed, and for which 
he is due to go on trial soon.  Then, the whole event turned into an open 
discussion on the events of the day and the government’s order to postpone 
the Forum on Historical Revisionism.  Speaker after speaker rose up 
spontaneously to declare their support for revisionist historians and to 
condemn the betrayal of the “Arab” intellectuals who called on the Lebanese 
government to ban the Conference on Zionism and Historical Revisionism in 
Beirut, Lebanon.  It was a fabulous gathering.

Part III:  The Event at the Jordanian Writers Association

The Jordanian Writers Association did not issue a statement postponing the 
Forum on Revisionist Historians.  News of the postponement spread, however.  
Still, dozens of people showed up for the event.  Among those who were 
supposed to speak, only Hisham Ghassib and Ibrahim Alloush were there.  
Fakhri Qawar, the president of the Jordanian Writers Association, opened 
with a declaration of postponement which included a vehement objection to 
the precedent of meddling in the affairs of Jordanian intellectuals by the 
Ministry of the Interior.  Drs. Hisham Ghassib and Ibrahim Alloush then 
spoke briefly to explain what had transpired and why historical revisionism 
is such a serious threat to Zionism that merits official interference at the 
highest levels.

Fakhri Qawar then made the following declarations on the behalf of the 
Jordanian Writers Association:

1)      The Forum on Revisionist Historians has been postponed, not cancelled.  
The new date for the Forum will be set soon. [Will be keeping you posted].

2)      The Jordanian Writers Association has already resolved to launch a 
petition to condemn the “Arab” intellectuals who called on the Lebanese 
government to ban the conference on Zionism and Historical Revisionism in 
Beirut.  [The researcher who was accorded the responsibility of writing the 
text of the petition was pointed out and acknowledged].

3)      The Jordanian Writers Association will send an official note to the 
authorities to declare its opposition to interference by the Ministry of the 
Interior in its business.  The note will include a condemnation of the 
practice of summoning intellectuals to offices of the executive branch.

Part IV:  Forthcoming

Zionists on the left and the right and Zionified “Arabs” have not heard the 
last of this yet.  This is only the beginning ..

Later
Ibrahim Alloush




  

    

    

    
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