Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor - Excerpts from Talk April 25 2010 and Interview on Shalom Portland

program date: 
Wed, 04/28/2010

Excerpts from a talk in Portland April 25th 2010 by Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor, and interview on Shalom Portland

Shalom Portland presents excerpts from a talk last Sunday at Congregation Beth Israel by Israeli Consul General for the Pacific Northwest Akiva Tor, and an interview recorded by Ed Kraus afterwards.

Topics include the current political situation between Israel and Palestine, the nuclear threat from Iran, the blockade of Gaza, and perspectives on the peace process.

Because of time limitations for broadcast, only excerpts of Akiva Tor's remarks, selected questions from the audience at Beth Israel, and the interview is included.  If you would like to hear a complete, unedited tape of the public part of the event you can visit the Beth Israel website at www.bethisrael-pdx.org , their audio player is near the bottom of their home page.

 

  • Length: 0:16 minutes (243.26 KB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Comments

Akiva Tor's talk

Akiva Tor's talk is not merely one-sided, not merely misleading, he is lying. Israel, in addition to building more housing for Jews in established settlements (itself illegal), is knocking down houses in Palestinian neighborhoods in strategic locations in order to make those neighborhoods unlivable and unviable for Palestinians. Israel has crossed the line and is an apartheid state.  Submitted by Gerson Robboy

Akiva Tor's Remarks

Hello Gershon, thanks for commenting. 

I hope you heard the entire program before writing.  If found Akiva Tor willing to aknowledge the neccesity of a Palestinian state,  and he spoke candidly about the difficulties dealing with Jerusalem.  He was not given any direct questions however about house demolitions in neighborhoods that are primarily Arab, as the questions that day centered around the specific home construction announcement that happened during Biden's visit, which are in a neighborhood expected to remain Jewish and Israeli after a peace deal.

After his prepared remarks, I used my interview time to question the wisdom of Israeli policy.  Due to time limitations, only a third of what I recorded in total could be aired.  I found him more open to aknowledging the failures of the moment than I was expecting.  He aknowledged that Israel is taking sides in the Fatah/Hamas struggle, that this is in contradiction to the concept of the elections, he aknowledged that the Gaza blockade has not actually accomplished the goals of stopping arms flow or dislodged Hamas, he aknowledged that the settlers in far flung areas that will eventually become Palestine will have to be removed, by force if necessary.  He explained a history of negotiations between the PA and various Israeli governments, that lines up with the accounts given by other peace activists like Mark Rosenblum from Americans for Peace Now. 

He even went quite out of his way to discuss that Israeli society has entrenched discrimination that needs to be addressed.  You might listen to my interview of Lee Gordon from Hand in Hand on another Shalom Portland episode for more about breaking down discrimination barriers, and I have other audio I have not yet aired on this same topic.  Rather than simply taking the easy way out and declare that he is lying, that Israel is an apartheid state, how about aknowledging that peace will only come about through a process of negotiation and compromise, and that in order to negotiate you have to listen to the other side?  

How about celebrating the fact that KBOO is the only broadcast media outlet in Portland to get a taped interview with Akiva Tor during his visit?   I'm quite proud of this radio show.  I like to actually interview people and have conversations.  Even when I disagree with some of what is being said I learn more from asking questions and listening than I would from yelling slogans.

We don't have to kill Israel to get justice for Palestine.  We have to put intense pressure on BOTH sides to come to the negotiating table and get serious. 

Ed Kraus

Zionist propaganda on KBOO?

I am wondering how a show like this fits into the mission statement of KBOO?

I am concerned and dismayed that KBOO is now a platform for the canting apologia of Zionist exceptionalism.

Propaganda?

From KBOO's Core Values ...

QUESTIONING   I used the opportunity to question the wisdom of a government's policies.  We can also question the group mind at KBOO that wants to all think one way on difficult topics.  UNCENSORED  it was just that ... unless you want to be the new censor. CONTROVERSIAL  apparently for you, the standard anti-Israel fare on KBOO is controversial for other people.  RESOURCE/EDUCATIONAL/JOURNALISTIC  I think the piece does pretty well here.   JUSTICE/PEACE/DEMOCRACY all topics raised and discussed, no matter if you agree with the conclusions of the speaker.  RESPECTFUL/FAIR/ENGAGING  I think that the interview was all of the above ... and we could go on further.
 

Akiva Tor was very direct in offering to be available to me for future interviews, both in person while in Portland and on the telephone.  I have been thinking as Shalom Portland does not have a regular broadcast time, if there is breaking news regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, I could get perspective from Mr. Tor for use on the evening news broadcast.  In that capacity tough questions could be asked that might be interesting to KBOO listeners.  Of course, this is if KBOO is mature enough to be able to have actual conversation about the Middle East, rather than retreat behind slogans and "propaganda".

For what it's worth, I am more troubled by the positions articulated regarding Iran.  However, I am not an expert on Iran's politics and history so I did not have followup questions for Akiva Tor.  I have already contacted Goudarz from Voices of the Middle East to see if he would like to flesh out the complicated situation between Israel and Iran further with the Consul General.  Goudarz's  intital reation was positive, and we may collaborate on a future interview, if so I am sure it will be stimulating and informative.

I Hope you listened to the entire show before commenting.

Ed Kraus

More Discussion of Housing in East Jerusalem

For those listeners who reacted so strongly to the April 25th Shalom Portland, you might want to hear the followup content regarding East Jerusalem on the July 28th program.  You can find the audio at www.kboo.fm/shalomportland or www.kboo.fm/node/22834.

 

 

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