IDF soldiers are a constant presence in the Old City, providing cover for the approximately 500 Israeli settlers who lord over and terrorize the tens of thousands of Palestinians who live in this part of Hebron.
Hashem was not someone who could be cowed or silenced by fear. Even after being sentenced by the IDF to house arrest for several years, a punishment that caused him to lose his medical job with the UN, Hashem did not stop advocating for the liberation of his people.
He managed a psychological support group for members of his community, encouraging them to speak about the trauma that was a part of their daily lives. Together with his wife, Nisreen, he created a social enterprise for Hebron’s young Palestinian women, helping them to learn skills and earn money to support themselves and their families.
An acclaimed philosopher and journalist who has recently visited Iran tells Fars News Agency that the reality of Iran is absolutely different from the way it’s being illustrated in the mainstream media.
Andre Vltchek says “Iran that you see when visiting the country has nothing in common with that imaginary, terrible and cruel Iran that the West’s mass media has created.”
Commenting on Iran’s nuclear program and the international responses to it, Andre Vltchek says the majority of the Middle East nations and the global public don’t have any objections to Iran developing nuclear technology, considering Iran’s peaceful nature and its long history of non-violence.
“I am actually horrified that such countries, such colonial powers like the United States, France and the UK have their nuclear arsenal and that the world is tolerating it. These countries are responsible for loss of hundreds of millions of human lives, all over the world. But Iran! Why should anyone fear Iran? Yes, Iran is transparent and accountable over its nuclear program,” he asserted.
Vltchek who has traveled to tens of countries in five continents talks of his experience in Iran with delight, noting that without visiting Iran, “one’s knowledge of the world could never be complete.”
Andre Vltchek was a keynote speaker at the International Congress on 17,000 Iranian Terror Victims held in Tehran last month.
FNA spoke to Mr. Vltchek about Iran’s relations with the West, the portrayal of Iran in the Western media and the international perceptions of the country’s nuclear program.
Q: You recently attended the International Congress on 17,000 Iranian Terror Victims, which commemorated the Iranian citizens and officials murdered by the terrorist groups following the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Isn’t it ironic that while Iran says it’s been a victim of global terrorism itself, it’s being accused by some of the major powers and their allies of sponsoring terrorism?
A: Yes it is ironic, but the entire arrangement of the world is more than ironic; it is grotesque. We have a group of several, mainly Western countries, ruling the world, brutalizing all continents, reigning over entire planet using dictatorial and often criminal means, but these countries are accusing others, mainly their victims, of being undemocratic [and] even of sponsoring terrorism.
Their propaganda is extremely advanced. It was being perfected throughout the centuries. I suggest one thing: keep telling the truth and continue presenting facts. But the countries like Iran should not engage in direct debate with the West over these issues. It is because the West and its propaganda are too advanced in their ways and in the methods to manipulate public opinion through distorting the facts. Their outright lies are now more convincing than the truth.