Open Letter To The Doha Debates’ Producers

The following message was sent on Jan 25, 2009 to the BBC’s “Doha Debates” ([email protected]), the Qatar Foundation that finances them ([email protected]) , and to the BBC, as of the posting date of this letter March 1, 2009, none of the above ever sent even an acknowledgment of our message.

After the devastation in Gaza that lasted over three weeks, you decided on January 18 2009 to put to your scripted House who had no qualms in attending your debate while the BBC refuses to broadcast a humanitarian appeal to Gaza, the following resolution: “This House believes that political Islam is a threat to the West
This choice of wording is extremely suspect and contributes nothing to informed debate; in fact, it looks like a page from the Israeli propaganda machine (Hasbara). It hijacks the agenda and diverts the attention from fresh Israeli atrocities, while putting the blame on the shoulders of the victim by opening the door to debate whether Hamas as a political Islamic movement (and the Palestinian people it represents) is a threat to the “West”.

First, I would question which intelligence service headquarters drafted this resolution?

Second, if your resolution was drafted to serve the long term interests and understanding of the Arab people and European and North American people (as opposed to the agenda of multinationals and governments), it would be put the following way:

“This house believes that the North American and European unconditional support for Israel is a threat to the West”. Or, “This house believes that the bias of most Western media, including the BBC, is a threat to world peace”.

Also Arab public opinion, who you presumably are targeting with your “Doha Diatribes” have many other concerns aside from “Threats to the West” especially after the massacres in Gaza. Maybe some of your future resolutions should read:

  1. “This house resolves to boycott the West on all levels for their complicity in Israeli war crimes against Gaza.”
  2. “This house denounces the silence and complicity of the Arab regimes in allowing Israeli war crimes to continue unabated” for over three weeks, while Palestinian children and civilians were being slaughtered.
  3. “This house demands that a special international tribunal be set up to prosecute Israeli war criminals and their accomplices.”
  4. “This house urges the UN General Assembly to impose economic and military sanctions until Israel implements all UN resolutions.”
  5. So if you really care about the future of the people of the Middle East, I challenge you to introduce any of the above resolutions for debate.

    We will make our position public on the Voice of Palestine, Canada (VOP), and we will also announce your response if care to answer my email. If you prefer to debate your position on the VOP, we offer you an open invitation at a mutually convenient time.

    Waiting to hear from you.
    Hanna Kawas
    Chairman, Canada Palestine Association
    Co-host Voice of Palestine