The following are excerpts from reports of an anti-Israel convention in Beirut. New TV and Al-Manar TV aired these reports on February 23, 2005:
Reporter: Despite the daily Israeli violations against the Arab people and the Palestinian people in particular, Arab politicians and clerics participated alongside American Jews in the second convention of the International League of MPs defending the Palestinian cause. The convention was titled 'The Fight of Return for the Palestinian people.'
Hizbullah MP, 'Abdallah Qusseir: The participants from the Jewish community are not Zionists – they are even anti-Zionists. They support the Right of Return, and oppose the existence of the State of Israel. We consider this the convention's trump card. Hizbullah has never been against religions. Hizbullah supports all religions, it supports interfaith dialogue, and it has no problem with any religion. Hizbullah considers Zionism to be the enemy, not the Jews as a people or a religion.
Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss: Jerusalem should be the Palestinian capital. This is what the Jewish Orthodox around the world think. Zionism has misleadingly shown the world that Jews cannot live in coexistence with the Arabs. All the proposals to establish two states, and so on, will never succeed and are contrary to God's will. We must return all the rights to the Palestinians the lawful owners of the land.
Rabbi Ahron Cohen: We have come here really to show that Zionism and Judaism are two different things. What Zionism is doing is against the values of Judaism. The massacres of the Palestinians are saddening and terrifying tragedies which occur because of the existence of a Zionist government. We hope the Zionist regime will be dismantled peacefully.
Reporter: But there were differing views about the Jewish participation.
PLO Secretary-General in Lebanon, Khaled 'Aref, Colonel Khaled 'Aref: In my opinion, their participation gives this convention a boost, showing the world that Palestine has a people and negating the Zionist claim that Palestine is a land without a people.
Said 'Alama, Lebanese Lawyers Association: I have some reservations about the participation of [Jewish clerics]. The reservations are because it is still too early for us to meet like this, with all due respect to other religions.
Hamas Representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan: Revealing our position politically may have been necessary , especially now, when the resistance fighters are accused of being nihilists or anti-humanity because they are accused of terrorism.
Reporter: The convention will continue for three days and Arab and international studies about the Right of Return will be presented.
Reporter: Well, our message is always the same: The Jews in Israel must return to their roots and must observe the Torah and the teachings of Judaism. They must leave this Zionist state, which violates the Jewish religion, and stop persecuting these people. This way all problems will be solved.