The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Arab Dissidents’ Strange Bedfellows

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail

If it’s true that, as Shakespeare famously put it, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” then pro-democracy Arab dissidents must be very miserable indeed.

CyberDissidents.org is a project launched in 2008 by the Jerusalem-based Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies “to research and focus attention on the online activities of democracy advocates and dissidents in the Middle East, in the hope of empowering them at home and raising awareness of their plight abroad.” Until its demise in 2009, the Adelson Institute was located at the Shalem Center, a controversial research institute associated with right wing Zionist causes. Founded in 1994, the Shalem Center was initially funded by its current chairman, Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune. Lauder is also president of the Jewish National Fund, which promotes ethnic cleansing through planting forests on expropriated Palestinian land. The Adelson Institute was set up in 2007 with a $4.5 million grant from Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who, like Lauder, is a patron and confidante of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Under the direction of Natan Sharansky, the former Israeli minister who resigned his cabinet seat in 2005 in protest over Ariel Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan, the institute held a “Democracy and Security” conference in Prague in 2007. It brought together Israeli officials; their American neoconservative sympathizers with their favourite Middle Eastern dissidents in tow—most notably, Richard Perle’s Israel-admiring Syrian protégé Farid Ghadry; and the newly-installed Eastern European democrats swept to power in the wake of a wave of neocon-backedcolor revolutions,” the latter group presumably serving to inspire the Arab and Iranian participants to emulate them.

Read the rest of this article here.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

May 3, 2011 at 2:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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