The Boston Globe recently ran an article by Alan Dershowitz that was full of imperatives for the membership of Black Lives Matter, telling them in what they “must” do to make things right with supporters of Israel and to avoid being cast into the “dustbin of history”.
Well I’ve got news for Mr. Dershowitz.
Those of us that support Black Lives Matter are not particularly interested in anything that he—a serial bully, sycophant to the rich and famous and arch-apologist for Israel’s long and constant history of ethnic cleansing—says to us.
Indeed, many us of find the pose he adopts, the all-too-familiar one of the Zionist—which is to say a person beholden to an ideology that grants civil rights on the basis of a person’s bloodlines—telling us what we can and cannot say about this or that subject to be not only offensive, but borderline comical.
The days of profligately abusing loaded terms like “anti-semitism” and “blood libel” to try and control the parameters of thinkable thought on Israel are, thankfully, coming to a close. Unlike previous generations, younger people fully understand the mechanics of this long-running and all-too-successful thought control gambit and will not put up with it any more.
Not that I think any of this will stop the famously self-involved Mr. Dershowitz from writing such breathtakingly arrogant pieces in the future, nor his enablers at the Globe and other major media outlets from publishing them.
History is full of figures and organizations that were unable to recognize that the ideas and methods that catapulted them to notoriety and power in one phase of their existence had become largely, if not yet loudly, discredited in their later years.
It seems that Mr. Dershowitz and the Globe are determined to add to this long and unfortunate list of tragically blinkered thinkers and social institutions.
Thomas S. Harrington is a professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and the author of the recently released Livin’ la Vida Barroca: American Culture in a Time of Imperial Orthodoxies.
With few people being aware of it, the state of Israel has established key outposts in Boston, Massachusetts. It is customary for other countries to maintain embassies and consulates in large cities in the US, but in Boston, Israel, in addition to its consulate, and on top of its Anti-Defamation League and its Combined Jewish Philanthropies, also has two unique, nationally known organizations working especially for its interests. They are CAMERA – the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – and the David Project Center for Jewish Leadership.
There is no listing on CAMERA’s web site of the individuals involved in it, and no address is given other than a Boston post office box. CAMERA describes itself as “a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East.”(1) “Accurate and balanced,” as the terms are used here, means pro-Israel and anti-Arab. For example, recent articles up on CAMERA’s web site attack authors who have seen fit to “malign” the mortally stricken Ariel Sharon for his involvement in the 1982 massacres at Sabra and Shatila. CAMERA is an organization of thought police for Israel which comes down with both feet on any publication that contradicts Zionist dogma. Public butchers like Ariel Sharon are in need of vigilant propagandists because their crimes are so obvious. This is also the case for Israel as a whole, with its murdering of Palestinian children, its constant land confiscation, its uprooting of olive trees, its stealing of resources, its program of slow genocide.
Is there any other nation on earth that has such structures built into US society? Do the French, for example, have people watching everything that’s printed about France, and jump on anyone who’s “anti-French”? Burundi and Paraguay have about the same population size as Israel (about 6 million). Would we expect either of these countries to have as much sway over what is said about it in US journals as Israel does? Yet Israel somehow has the ability and the resources to do this.
The second outpost, the David Project, has a web site which also lists a Boston post office box, and names one Charles Jacobs as its president. The site says that “by promoting a fair and honest understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the David Project leads the ideological effort against the forces intent on defaming, weakening and destroying the Jewish State.”(2) Examples of “fair and honest” reporting of the Arab side of the “Arab-Israeli conflict” are non-existent on this web site. In its “Campus support” section, the David Project declares that it “serves as a resource for pro-Israel campus activism.” So, we see again that “fair and honest” simply means “pro-Israel.”
The David Project’s first major action was blocking an endowment for a chair in Islamic Studies at the Harvard Divinity School. The Project’s “Director of Campus Strategy,” Rachel Fish, based this 2003 smear campaign on the fact that the money for the endowment was to come from the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, whose Zayed Center, according to the Project, “promoted anti-American, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic writings and lectures.” Did the David Project Director of Campus Strategy, in the interest of fairness and balance, raise any questions about the endowment of the chair of Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard, occupied by torture advocate Alan Dershowitz? No. The Project couldn’t even come up with an obvious human rights issue like Pentagon funding for weapons research at MIT. It attacked funding for a chair in Islamic studies because it did not want students of Islam to have either a voice or respectability at Harvard or in the Boston area.
After successfully blocking the Harvard endowment, the David Project went on in late 2004 to produce the movie “Columbia Unbecoming” which targets Professor Joseph Massad of Columbia University’s Department of Middle East studies for allegedly intimidating pro-Israel students. M. Junaid Alam, current editor of Lefthook, describes one of the Columbia students who made charges against Massad: a “student who was a lead organizer for the film, Ariel Beery, boasts an impressive resume: he served as a spokesman for the Israeli military, is the head of the on-campus Zionist group, and is also an agent and informer for Daniel Pipes’ notorious CampusWatch.org website, where students are encouraged to ‘report’ their professors’ political views if they are deemed insufficiently servile to the conservative party line.”(3) A total of eleven articles by Ariel Beery appear on Daniel Pipes’ witch-hunting “Campus Watch,” an organization which says it is devoted to “monitoring Middle East studies on campus.”(4) Like Campus Watch, the David Project claims that it “serves as a resource for pro-Israel campus activism.” But, as Alam points out, such advocacy is in conflict with its claim elsewhere to fairness and honesty. Among other obvious biases in “Columbia Unbecoming,” Massad is given no chance for a rebuttal. The movie has been called a right wing attack on academic freedom and the 1st Amendment right to free speech. But it’s more than that. It’s an attack on the fact that Zionist oppression of Palestine is real. The right wing attack on Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado is much the same – an apparent assault on academic freedom is really an assault on an articulation of the fact of US crimes of genocide. It’s an assault on the truth waged for ideological ends.
A film crew from the David Project didn’t just happen to be strolling through the Columbia Campus and witness alleged abuse of Israeli students. The production of “Columbia Unbecoming” has every appearance of having been planned in advance, from Zionist activist “victims” to dissemination of a finished product which the David Project disingenuously claims it never meant for public viewing. Israel is clearly aware that it is losing the propaganda battle on US campuses. Since it is unable to match its opponents argument for argument, it instead attacks their integrity.
In other cases, Zionists attempt to protect Israel by posing as the strongest advocates for “peace.” One example is the Israel Project, based in Washington and Jerusalem. The Israel Project commissioned a study which found that:
“Never in the modern history of the Jewish state has there been more outspoken public opposition on the ELITE college campuses to the basic principles and tenets of Israel. To be brutally frank, if current trends are not averted, America’s core commitment to and alliance with Israel may not survive.”
The researcher recommended the following response:
“The only way for Israel to create sympathy is to be the side working hardest for peace. The best case for Israel is to demonstrate that she is willing to go twice as far as her neighbors to establish peace.”(5)
The strategy that devolves from this is to co-opt peace and justice organizations on college campuses with the message of Israel’s benevolence, while the David Project’s strategy is to simply attack individuals and organizations who might be in a position to counter such propaganda.
The David Project’s newest cause is to block the continued construction of a mosque being built by the Islamic Society of Boston in Roxbury. The mosque is 85% completed. The David Project opposes the mosque because of “Saudi Arabia funding hatred of infidels, Christians, [and] Jews, in American mosques”, and says that “various individuals who have been affiliated and directly involved with the Islamic Society of Boston (‘ISB’) have defended acts of terrorism, and have publicly engaged in the worst sort of anti-Semitic and other hate speech.”(6,7)
Of course, the accusations are part of wider Israeli and US government attacks on Arabs and Muslims being carried out directly, and with open brutality, in Palestine and Iraq. The David Project’s defamation of the Islamic Society of Boston was created by people opposed to Muslims as Muslims, for purely political ends.
Given the history of US genocide in Iraq over the past 15 years, and the fact that the dominant religion in the US is Christianity, one could make a good case that Christians are heavily involved in terrorism. Yet it would be unthinkable to oppose the construction of an Episcopal Church in Boston. Would a Catholic church be opposed because certain priests had been found to be pedophiles? Would a synagogue be opposed because of support among rabbis for a foreign state founded on genocide against the Palestinian people? But somehow people find it legitimate to say that a mosque might be connected to “terrorists” and therefore should not be built. What country in the Arab world has caused as much mayhem, murder, and suffering in recent world history as the US? Yet the dominant culture in the US feels it is in a position to question Arabs.
In the past year, the David Project joined forces in the anti-mosque effort with, among others, former CNN reporter Steve Emerson, who made the ridiculous 1994 “documentary” Terrorists Among Us: Jihad In America. The Islamic Society of Boston has filed a libel suit against Emerson, the David Project, the right wing Boston Herald, Fox News, Dennis Hale, and others for mounting an intentional smear campaign for the purpose of preventing the mosque from being completed. Dennis Hale, a Boston College professor, is president of the Judeo-Christian Alliance, an initiative of the David Project. From the umbrella of the David Project, he heads a front group called “Citizens for Peace and Tolerance.”(8)
Boston has a recent history of persecution of supporters of Palestine. The well-known Boston activist Amer Jubran is one example. In 2000 Jubran was arrested at a legal protest of an “Israel Independence Day” celebration in Brookline, a city adjacent to Boston. The Brookline police were paid $10,600 by the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Israeli Consulate to cover the event. The Brookline police who arrested Jubran were in contact with the Israeli Consulate prior to the arrest. The charges were either invented or pre-arranged. It is important to remember here that the Israeli Consulate represents a foreign government. It is not appropriate for a police force in a US city to be employed by, advised by, or report to, a foreign government. Blindness to this issue is part of US politics from Boston to the national level in Washington, where Israel and AIPAC get away with what would be called gross political interference, infiltration, bribery, and espionage if it were any other country. Others have commented on Israel’s status as a 51st state, but Connecticut or New Hampshire would not be able to bend politics in Massachusetts in this way, and all of these states together would not be able to match Israel’s power in Washington. It might be more accurate to say that Israel is a meta-state, a state above others, which takes from and manipulates the US polity as it sees fit.
In November 2002 Amer Jubran was arrested again, this time without any charges at all, two days after leading a march organized by the New England Committee to Defend Palestine. He was ultimately harassed out of the country by court proceedings under the Department of Homeland Security. At that time, mass arrests of Arab and Muslim immigrants were being motivated nationwide by Justice Department Zionists John Ashcroft and Michael Chertoff. Without question, Boston Zionists were behind the order to have Jubran “removed,” just as he was earlier in Brookline. The judge in the case, Leonard Shapiro, had the gall to declare that the two-year, million dollar investigation of Jubran was about alleged immigration issues and was not a political trial.
A second example is Jaoudat Abouazza, another Palestinian who, for his attempts to organize a protest of a June 2002 “Israel Independence Day” celebration in Boston Common, was arrested on phony charges by Cambridge police, subjected to torture in the Bristol County Jail (involuntary extraction of four teeth without anaesthesia), and ultimately deported to Canada. Abouazza’s treatment was meant to send a message to the Arab American community in Boston to stay off the streets. This was during the time of Sharon’s “Operation Defensive Shield” in Palestine, which had brought many Arab Americans to the streets in protest. Abouazza was betrayed in his court case by the head of the Boston ACLU, who personally visited him in jail, saw the evidence of his torture, and did nothing about it. With few exceptions the liberal legal establishment turned its back on the Homeland Security attacks on Arabs and Muslims, both in Boston and the country as a whole.
A final example is Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner. In October 2005, speaking at a rally for the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, Turner pointed out the irony of people supporting voting rights in the US while the US provides generous funding to Israel, which openly deprives Palestinians of voting rights. Turner was immediately called on the carpet for this by a local newspaper, The Jewish Advocate, and by the New England Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In a letter responding to the ADL, Turner said, “a great injustice is being perpetrated against the Palestinians. I believe that all human beings of conscience have a responsibility to speak out and demand an end of our federal government’s support of its perpetuation.” He included a postscript to his letter, stating flatly: “you have no right to label someone as prejudiced or Anti Semitic because you disagree with their views on Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” This sentiment expresses the feelings of many, many people concerned about the oppression of Palestine who are fed up with being intimidated by this one cheap argument over and over again when they express this concern.
Chuck Turner is a very popular and well-liked African American leader in Boston. The ADL has a special record of conflict with African American leaders who cross the line by criticizing Israel as he did. The ADL mounted a notorious attack on Amiri Baraka for his October 2001 poem, “Somebody Blew Up America”, which asked a hundred questions about who may have been involved in 9/11, and which did not exclude Israel. In the poem Baraka asks, “Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosion /And cracking they sides at the notion.”(9)
In October 2002, Baraka responded to the ADL smear campaign against him by reminding readers that in the 1960′s Stokeley Carmichael (later Kwame Ture) of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was denounced by the ADL for calling Zionism “the enemy of humanity.” Baraka reminded readers of ADL accusations of “Black anti-Semitism” leveled at the Black liberation movement when it criticized Israel’s support for Apartheid South Africa. He recalled ADL’s position against affirmative action. He also recalled the AIPAC/ADL campaign against the Congresswoman from Georgia, Cynthia McKinney.(10)
Others have documented the ADL’s spying on and collecting dossiers not only on black liberation and anti-Apartheid groups but the American Indian Movement, Central America solidarity groups, Pacifica, ACT UP, Arab Americans, and supporters of Palestine. In an article in The Village Voice in 1993 Robert I. Friedman points out that right wing hate groups were not the ADL’s first concern: he quotes an ADL official who stated that “the real danger to Jews is posed not by the right — but by a coalition of leftists, blacks, and Arabs, who in his view threaten the fabric of democracy in America, as well as the state of Israel.”(11)
Zionists in the US have a long history of working in the civil rights movement or with groups on the Left as long as they kept Israel out of the discussion. Israel was not discussed during the days of rage against the Vietnam war. Nor during the wars in Central America. Nor during the beginning of the devastation of Iraq in 1991. Israel is explicitly not discussed today from the stage of rallies hosted by the national peace organization, United for Peace with Justice. Until they were exposed in 1993, and perhaps afterward, spies for the ADL actively infiltrated Left and Arab American organizations in order to collect intelligence and to report people to both local authorities and to foreign governments, like South Africa and Israel. In one or two cases, activists who the ADL informed on were killed. Today the ADL’s main business is to ally with causes for social justice to make sure that the people who work in these causes either avoid or stay “on message” when it comes to the question of human rights violations in Israel – a monstrosity not to be discussed.
The ADL today has a law enforcement training program for police in cities all over the US. In April, 2004 the ADL held a training session for Boston area campus police on “responding to hate crimes and also instances when activism and expression become intimidation, harassment, and threats.”(12) Note the special attention to “activism.” Boston police have also had tête-à-têtes with Israeli police. In one meeting, said Boston Police Chief James Hussey, the Israeli police “were able to share with our intelligence people and some of the people out in the streets the issues that they deal with,” (13) Another program was set up in 2002 by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs to send US police to Israel.(14) Because of its alleged security failures on 9/11, an Israeli was called in to handle security at Boston’s Logan Airport, his main qualification being Israel’s supposed special knowledge of the ways of terrorists.
The ADL claims to work in support of civil rights for everyone. It has sponsored “No Place for Hate Programs” in cities and towns throughout the United States. But under cover of a slogan which no one would think to oppose (who is for hate?), it is ironically doing just what it says it’s against: promoting hatred of a defined minority group – Arabs and Muslims in the US – and ultimately defending racist Israel as it attempts to get rid of the same people in Palestine. The ADL program should be titled, “No Place For Hate, Unless You’re Arab.” The final irony is that the protesters against defamation are themselves the defamers. The David Project, for example, is not for fairness and honesty; it’s out to make Arab Americans look bad, and to stop them from having a voice. What a convenient setup: define criticism of Israel as hate speech, outlaw hate speech, and thereby outlaw criticism of Israel. In fact, defense of Israel becomes a righteous cause. ADL agitation in this area is a direct service to another country. Town boards voting to become “No Place For Hate” communities are unaware that the ADL is a political action organization serving some very ugly Zionist interests.
The David Project’s president, Charles Jacobs, is also on the Board of Directors of another organization, with headquarters on Tremont Street in downtown Boston – the American Anti-Slavery Group. On the internet the organization is known as “iAbolish.com.” The American Anti-Slavery Group says that it works “to abolish modern-day slavery around the world, focusing primarily on systems of chattel slavery in Sudan and Mauritania.”(15) The American Anti-Slavery Group’s connection to Israel seems to be that it provides a platform for Charles Jacobs to criticize Arabs in Sudan, and Arabs in general (an important part of the Zionist project) as roundabout support for Israel. For Zionism to work, and for Israel to be seen as a legitimate state, the Arab world must be seen as second class, connected to terrorism, and fatally opposed to decent western values. In the case of the Columbia campus, the Boston mosque, and Sudan, Jacobs uses the same subterfuge as the ADL: Zionism under the cover of civil rights. Students should be treated fairly, terrorism should not be involved in faith, and slavery is an abomination, so listen to the rest of our message – Israel is a struggling democracy, a David fighting Goliath in modern times, and anyone who says otherwise is really a hater of Jewish people.
In a 2003 article for MIT’s Thistle, Aimée Smith covers a talk on Sudan given by Charles Jacobs. She quotes the reaction of a female Muslim student attendee who described the talk at length:
“Dr. Jacobs’ talk expressed blatantly racist and anti-Islamic views. In fact, I have never seen Islamophobia exuded so blatantly at a public forum at MIT, nor such racist views aired at a panel discussion on human rights. Dr. Jacobs’ topic was child slavery in Sudan and he started off by speaking about the Arab Muslims in Sudan’s north conducting their interpretation of a jihad against the Black Christians in the south. He then offered a theory on why the situation wasn’t receiving sufficient international attention. It was because a white race wasn’t the perpetrator of this crime. The West tends to get more agitated about a human rights issue, he argued, when they feel that they are somehow responsible for it.”
“White people, he continued, tend to be more concerned in general about human rights abuses than others. Waving his arm around the room, he said, ‘see, most of you at this event are white people.’”
“After this Dr. Jacobs forgot about Sudan entirely and set into the Muslim world with gusto. He named a few Islamic countries and began elaborating on human rights abuses there. Now, ever since that ill-fated day two years ago, I (and many other Muslims) have been trying to come to terms with the bitter reality that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to publicly make negative, sweeping statements about Islam. According to Dr. Jacobs, however, it has become ‘taboo’ in the West to criticize Islam and the Muslims. Well, he sure smashed his imagined taboos to bits. The way he went on, it was clear he believed that human rights abuses occur only in Muslim countries – he didn’t cite the example of a single non-Muslim country. At about this point I got so disgusted that I had to walk out, along with another Muslim student… I suppose Dr. Jacobs thought that being non-white, we were just bored of all this human rights talk.”(16)
Coincidentally, Thistle columnist Aimée Smith was arrested twice at MIT for her “activism” on campus – once for leafleting and once for talking back to a cop. The first arrest was in June 2004, just two months after the ADL campus training session. Ms. Smith was well known on the MIT campus as an activist for Palestine. Both arrests were ultimately thrown out of court.
An added incentive to the American Anti-Slavery Group campaign against Arabs in Sudan is its ability, by making it look like Arabs are attacking Africans in Sudan, to divide African Americans from Arabs in the US. Not clearly understood by many people is the fact that both parties in the Sudan dispute are dark-skinned, that the slavery which does exist in Sudan is of a much different kind than that in the US in the 18th and 19th century, and that it is a problem exacerbated by US interference and agitation in that country in the first place. Furthermore, neither Zionists nor the US are anywhere near having the moral standing to criticize Sudan, considering their behavior in their own countries, and in the rest of the world. The US simply does not have humanitarian goals in the world, despite its rhetoric. However, African Americans are obviously sensitive to the issue of slavery, and have been recruited by the Anti-Slavery Group. In August 2004, for example, the actor Danny Glover was arrested in front of the Sudan embassy in Washington, D.C. as an Anti-Slavery Group supporter. Most likely without their knowing it, African Americans, and alleged Sudanese victims, have lent support to what is at bottom a far-removed Zionist cause.
The American Anti-Slavery Group, already inside the US power structure, garners additional approval from that structure by lending support to US government efforts to divide Sudan in order to gain access to oil supplies in Darfur. In the 1990′s, Jimmy Carter remarked that “the people in Sudan want to resolve the conflict. The biggest obstacle is US government policy. The US is committed to overthrowing the government in Khartoum. Any sort of peace effort is aborted, basically by policies of the United States… Instead of working for peace in Sudan, the US government has basically promoted a continuation of the war.” (17)
Israel benefits from Zionist spin on the story of slavery in Sudan by being able to point to this spin and say, “Why pick on us?” Writing for the Palestine Solidarity Review Fall 2005 issue, Shemon Salam says of the US-based campaign to divest from Sudan,
“a sincere divestment campaign would have to function on a principled basis of being against colonialism, empire (which would include the Israeli and U.S. regimes) and racism; something which Zionists cannot but fail to do considering the basic tenets of Zionism are in direct contradiction with anti-racism and anti-imperialism. Having a historical record of collaboration with Nazism, Fascism, and U.S. empire, Zionism has proven itself no friend to these democratic principles . . . ”(18)
In short, Zionists choose to exploit Sudan in order to set themselves up as the winners in a competition of greater and lesser racists.
Finally, the position of Dr. Steven Steinlight as executive director of the American Anti-Slavery Group should be noted.(19) A former Director of National Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, Dr. Steinlight shines a light on what is called in Israel “the demographic problem” but in this case as it relates to the United States. In an unbelievably racist October 2001 essay, “The Jewish Stake in America’s Changing Demography,” Steinlight says that it’s time for the Jewish community of America to “stop censoring ourselves” and openly deal with the threat posed to Jewish power if US immigration policy allows a bunch of Arabs, Mexicans and Third World peoples to cross the border. The threat? – an insufficient understanding, on their part, of Jewish history.
In Steinlight’s own words:
“Will a country in which enormous demographic and cultural change, fueled by unceasing large-scale non-European immigration, remain one in which Jewish life will continue to flourish as nowhere else in the history of the Diaspora? In an America in which people of color form the plurality, as has already happened in California, most with little or no historical experience with or knowledge of Jews, will Jewish sensitivities continue to enjoy extraordinarily high levels of deference and will Jewish interests continue to receive special protection? Does it matter that the majority non-European immigrants have no historical experience of the Holocaust or knowledge of the persecution of Jews over the ages and see Jews only as the most privileged and powerful of white Americans? Is it important that Latinos, who know us almost entirely as employers for the menial low-wage cash services they perform for us (such a blowing the leaves from our lawns in Beverly Hills or doing our laundry in Short Hills), will soon form one quarter of the nation’s population?”
As for Muslims:
“Far more potentially perilous, does it matter to Jews and for American support for Israel when the Jewish State arguably faces existential peril that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States? That undoubtedly at some point in the next 20 years Muslims will outnumber Jews, and that Muslims with an “Islamic agenda” are growing active politically through a widespread network of national organizations?”
Asians are also a problem:
“For perhaps another generation, an optimistic forecast, the Jewish community is thus in a position where it will be able to divide and conquer and enter into selective coalitions that support our agendas. But the day will surely come when an effective Asian-American alliance will actually bring Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Koreans, Vietnamese, and the rest closer together.”
Steinlight tops off his paranoid rant by suggesting that Latinos may be conspiring in a “reconquista” or re-conquering of the US Southwest – yet another threat to Jewish power. For a good education in Zionist racism, Steinlight’s essay can be found at the web site of the Center for Immigration Studies.(20) Probably because of his obviousness, Steinlight is not listed in the “Who We Are” section of the American Anti-Slavery’s “iAbolish” website.
Denunciations of and divestment from Sudan have become part of polite political discourse from University administrations to the halls of Congress thanks to organizations like the American Anti-Slavery Group. In April 2004 Harvard University made a decision to divest from a company called PetroChina because of its involvement with Sudan. But divestment from companies that do business with Israel is quite another matter. In 2004, when the Somerville, Massachusetts Board of Aldermen was asked to divest town funds connected to Israel, it was called an attack on Jewish people, a case of anti-Semitism. The Israeli Consul General – that is, a representative of a foreign government from the Israeli consulate in Boston – was called in. ADL also got involved, and the divestment resolution finally failed. Its failure was not due to right wing Zionism. It was due to progressive liberalism. The first Alderman to speak against the divestment resolution did so not on the basis that Israel had to be supported, but on the basis of an argument that to be fair the Board needed to hear “both sides of the story.” This argument could not be opposed by decent folk – progressives and liberals would be horrified at being called unfair. For the sake of fairness, the resolution was tabled, Zionists were invited in, and being “fair” to a racist state won the day. Liberalism became the means for an attack on the truth that the history of Zionism in Palestine is a history of genocide. The right couldn’t have dreamed of a better subterfuge than the one the left obligingly handed them.
In fact, there is a right and wrong. In the case of Zionist oppression of the Palestinians, ideas like “hearing both sides, appreciating complexity, understanding competing rights, showing tolerance, having fairness and balance” are all code words which provide a cover for the weak to sell out the oppressed. They do so because of their fear of the oppressor. The words are a cover for the ignoring of an ugly, ongoing crime. They’re also a cover for what even a small child could see is the truth of the matter – a child especially, because she hasn’t been inundated with a lifetime of sugar-coated, official-sounding lies.
Where is Zion? Originally it was an actual place – a mountain in Al Quds, or Jerusalem. Then it became a mythical promised land. To African slaves in the US it was a future with freedom from bondage, and a Christian heaven. To Rastafarians, it is a place in Africa to which they will return. But Zion as a promised land has also been co-opted by thieves like the European colonial settlers in North America, who thought the land they stole from indigenous nations was given to them through “manifest destiny.” To the European colonial settlers in Palestine, hijacking the Hebrew myth, Zion was the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, stolen from another indigenous people. The flag set up by these settlers to create a state on the land they stole has two blue lines. These lines symbolize yet another, more ambitious Zion, occupying all the land between the Nile in Egypt and the Euphrates in Iraq.
The only Zion colonial imperialists have really managed to create is a place in people’s minds where truth is defined by might, the motives of might are presented in fine Enlightenment language as velvet lies, and those they oppress and steal from suffer almost without recognition. Such is the case of Iraq and Afghanistan and a multitude of other countries at the hand of the US, and of Palestine at the hand of Israel. The US and Israel are the same thing; both got where they are through lying. When it comes down to it, their Zion turns out to be a totalitarian state founded on the corruption of terms like “equality, civil rights, peace, and tolerance.”
On January 15, 2013, University of Houston Law Center professor Jordan Paust penned an article entitled “Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program and Lawful Israeli Self-Defense,” which was published on Jurist, a website of analysis and opinion pieces written by law professors, lawyers, and legal scholars. It is clear throughout Paust’s piece that his arguments are neither sound nor based in fact, and unfortunately rely entirely on false premises and long debunked propaganda. Paust himself is a contributing editor to Jurist.
To begin with, the title of Paust’s analysis itself betrays both its agenda and its absurdity, considering Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program according to all Western and Israeli intelligence agencies and unprovoked, “preventative,” “anticipatory” or “preemptive” military assaults are not only totally illegal but also can not possibly be justified as “self-defense.”
And that’s just the beginning; the falsehoods continue to stack up. In fact, Paust reveals his utter ignorance from the get-go, writing – in his very first sentence, no less – that the Iranian leadership “continues to proclaim its desire to wipe Israel off the map” – something even Israel’s own Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admits it has never done. His understanding of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter (which affirms the right to retaliatory self-defense if attacked first) is bizarrely lacking, especially considering he’s a law professor. He joins the shameful company of Alan Dershowitz in this regard.
Paust goes on to (1) accuse of Hezbollah and Hamas of terrorism and serving as Iranian proxies, without ever mentioning Israel’s decades of international law violations and continuing war crimes and occupation or the fact that they are autonomous organizations that don’t take direction from Iran; (2) ignore all facts pertaining to the illegality of initiating of a “war of aggression” (the “supreme international crime,” according to the Nuremberg Tribunal); and (3) claim that Iran is violating UNSC resolutions regarding the cessation of uranium enrichment, a demand many have long acknowledged is ultra vires, itself abrogates the NPT and the resolutions are themselves illegal.
Apparently, though, these facts aren’t important to Professor Paust.
Furthermore, among the “facts” that Paust marshals to advance his argument that Israel could legally launch a preemptive attack on Iran is the contention that “Iran is publicly ‘gunning’ for Israel.” Yes, he wrote that. And he still has a law degree. And is presumably literate.
From there, Paust launches into a bizarre and wholly inapplicable “Wild West Showdown” analogy in which the (Israeli) “good guy” is justified in “shoot[ing] first” since he knows the (Iranian) “bad guy” is out to get him. It is “not necessary that the bad guy shoot first,” Paust writes, elaborating (for some inexplicable reason) that “the good guy could have drawn first once it was known that the bad guy was gunning for him and they were staring each other down in the street.” By way of trying to make this dumbfounding, Manichean analogy make sense, he explains, “Someone was about to draw first and, in context, the process of attack had begun and a right of self-defense had been triggered even though it was possible that the bad guy might back down and make this clearly known before the good guy fired.”
If this passes for astute legal analysis these days, it’s no wonder the United States has little to no respect for basic tenets of international law.
The analysis is so strained, based entirely on presumptions and assumptions with no basis in fact (only in Netanyahu-approved talking points), that Paust discredits himself by writing in the first place.
In the end, Paust pines for a peaceful way out. His solution? That Iranian leaders “shift their attention to peace,…comply with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” and not build a bomb. As countless IAEA reports have demonstrated, Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful and no nuclear material has ever been diverted to a military program. Iran has also never been found to have violated its obligations to the NPT. Its leaders, for decades now, have repeated denounced nuclear weapons as, not only amoral and religiously sinful, but also strategically useless and politically irrelevant.
But you wouldn’t know that from reading Jurist.
- Ask The Leveretts Anything: Are Israeli Fears Of A Nuclear Iran Overblown? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
NBC reported two days ago that Israel teams up with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists.
The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
Both Iranian, Israeli and Western commentators tend to believe that Israel and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, known as the MEK are behind the terror campaign.
In 1997, the State Department listed the MEK as a terrorist group, justifying it with an unclassified 40-page summary of the organization’s activities going back more than 25 years.
But in the last few weeks the Jewish Lobby in the USA is going out of its way to support the terrorist MEK.
Watch Zionist Alan Dershowitz advocating the immediate delisting of an active terror organisation.
In the video above Zionist Dershowitz urges the U.S. government to protect the 3,400 MEK members and their families at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, about 35 miles north of Baghdad. With the departure of U.S. troops, the MEK feared that Iraqi forces, with encouragement from Iran, would attack the camp, leading to a bloodbath. One may be naïve enough to believe that Dershowitz’call is nothing but noble, yet, embarrassingly enough, the same Dershowitz, has never been caught trying to stop his beloved Jewish State from murdering Palestinians in Gaza, in the West Bank or anywhere else.
This discrepancy is far from being a coincidence. Apparently killing civilians in the name of the Jewish State must be a ‘kosher endeavour’.
Yesterday I wrote to University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, asking her to condemn a vile and inflammatory attack by Professor Ruben Gur on the University’s own students.
The unchecked inflammatory rhetoric by opponents of the conference, especially Professor Gur, is making students and conference participants feel unsafe.
Most disturbingly, Gur singled out Jewish students and speakers, calling them “capos” at Nazi extermination camps. “Capo” or “kapo” is the term for a concentration or death camp inmate who collaborated with the Nazis.
It would seem that Gutmann has no problem with such anti-Semitic attacks as long as the Jews being singled out in this despicable manner are deemed to be supporters of equal rights for Palestinians.
And Gutmann has failed to speak out even as pro-Israel groups are bringing a violence and torture advocate to campus to counter the BDS conference.
Failing to stand up to violent rhetoric
While I’ve had no response to my letter – 24 hours after sending it and confirming it was received by telephone – Gutmann wrote a public letter in the campus newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian reiterating her opposition to BDS and adding this weak sauce:
Since its founding more than 270 years ago, Penn has stood for the free exchange of ideas. That concept is central to our mission, and is one that cannot be compromised if we are to uphold our standing as a great university.
Amid the passion that many feel around this weekend’s events, we urge you to focus on the one thing we cannot afford to lose: the great tradition and enduring gift of Penn’s founders – the chance to speak our minds freely.
These banalaties are an inadequate response to one of Penn’s faculty members denouncing Jewish students as “capos” and Nazis just because he disagrees with them.
Members of PennBDS, the campus group organizing the conference, responded to Gur’s hate speech in a letter of their own:
We read with some shock the opinion piece you published yesterday by Penn Professor Ruben Gur. With no evidence whatsoever, and in direct contradiction to everything we’ve ever said or written, Gur designates our student group “genocidal” and equates our upcoming conference with Nazi anti-Semitism. He labels our Jewish participants and organizers “Capos” and (in the same breath that he scolds us for describing Alan Dershowitz as an “Israel apologist”) compares Palestinian human-rights activist Omar Barghouti with Adolf Hitler.
Gutmann too should condemn Gur’s inciteful hate speech in clear terms. Instead, on that point, she has so far chosen silence.
Perhaps people should email or call President Gutmann (215-898-7221) to make sure she gets the message that she needs to stand up for her students against vile and discriminatory rhetoric from professors, and ensure the campus is safe for them to exercise their rights.
And yet President Gutmann and the University of Pennsylvania administration seem to take a surprisingly lax view.
A question that should perhaps be investigated is whether Gutmann’s failure to protect students – especially Jewish students – against the kind of intimidation and hate speech by Professor Gur amounts to a violation of their civil rights under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Singling out Jews
Professor Gur is not the only one attacking the BDS conference and singling out Jews for special opprobrium. In The Jewish Exponent, Bryan Schwartzman writes:
More than a third of the listed speakers are Jewish, including Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.
This ominous sentence – where Schwartzman ‘counts the Jews’ – echoes Gur’s singling out of Jews as “capos.”
Bringing a violence advocate to campus
Not only is the University of Pennsylvania failing to stand up for its students rights, but increasing the heated atmosphere by bringing a notorious advocate of violence and torture onto campus to speak against the BDS conference. His name is Alan Dershowitz.
To counter the Penn BDS event, local pro-Israel groups including Hillel and the Philadelphia Jewish Federation have summoned the famed trial lawyer and Harvard University professor of law Alan Dershowitz to campus to keynote a Feb. 2 event: “Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn: A conversation with Alan Dershowitz.” Penn’s Political Science department – which has pointedly refused to co-sponsor the BDS conference – will co-host Dershowitz’s lecture, where the professor has vowed to explain why he considers BDS to be one of the most “immoral, illegal and despicable concepts around academia today.”
The support Dershowitz received from the university and from pro-Israel groups that claim to abhor violence is ironic in light of Dershowitz’s record. Indeed, Dershowitz is an open advocate of torture who has urged Israel to destroy entire Palestinian villages, attack civilians and bulldoze their homes.
It’s really past time for the University of Pennyslvania to show some responsibility, stop pandering to the political agendas of outside groups, and stand up for the safety and rights of its own students.
David Horowitz Spreading his hate on campus:
- Gilad Atzmon : The Zionist Caricature (middleeastatemporal.wordpress.com)
By JAMES ABOUREZK | November 22, 2010
These remarks were delivered at a tribute for Helen Thomas, Thursday, November 18, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC D.C., sponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
I’m very proud to be asked to speak at a tribute to one of the great journalists in the history of this country – Helen Thomas. I say she is a great journalist because she was never cuddled up in the lap of the President – any president – when she was doing her job. She is someone my old friend, I.F. Stone, would be very proud of if he were still alive.
To say that she made a long succession of Presidents uncomfortable with her sharp questioning would be an understatement. Even Barack Obama, who has been advertised as a tolerant man, had to join in the denunciations of Helen. He, along with the others in the press corps, acted very much like children in a school yard. When one of the children falls down, the rest start kicking.
Helen was not necessarily done in by her statement about Israel. What she said is what I’ve been saying for years – the Zionists should get the hell out of Palestine.
Where they go when they leave there is not my concern, just as it is not the Zionists’ concern where the Palestinians went when they were driven out of Palestine. She was done in because she embarrassed the group of lap dogs who call themselves White House reporters. She has been doing what each and every one of them wishes they had the temerity to do – find out what the government is doing to us on a day by day basis.
She has consistently posed serious questions to each administration in turn – questions that affect the financial and emotional and security health of our country. She refused to go along with the game played by the national press – that is, to be very, very polite to the President during his press conferences so that they may stay in the good graces of the government they are supposed to be reporting on.
I’m especially proud because now ADC has been called anti-semitic by the Director of the Bnai Brith Defamation League, Abe Foxman. You remember Dr Johnson’s saying, that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel? Well, anti-semitism has become the last gasp of the worn-out old Zionists who, instead of trying to make America a better place in which to live, make their living snarling at anyone who might criticize what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and to the Lebanese, and to the Syrians.
I once called Alan Dershowitz a snake on Al Manar television. Al Manar is Hezbollah’s news channel in Lebanon. When he found out what I had said, he wrote a column in the Jerusalem post, calling me an anti-Semite. My response has been – to him and to anyone else – that an anti-Semite is synonymous with disliking Jews, and that I do not dislike Jews, I only dislike Alan Dershowitz, and Abe Foxman, and Bibi Netanyahu.
I also know now that I should have apologized to the snakes.
As for Abe Foxman, he is the head of the B’Nai Brith, whose stated mission is to promote tolerance and to fight against racism. He demonstrated that tolerance when he came out bleating that he was opposed to a mosque being built near the World Trade Center site. And he has made a living equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, which, so far as tolerance goes, promotes only hatred and racism.
The truth is, that Israel has very little to do with Judaism, but it has a lot to do with fascism.
For the Zionist supporters of Israel, it’s OK for Israel to kill on the average of at least one Palestinian a day during its illegal occupation;.
It’s OK for Israel to use the million and a half people in Gaza as living targets in a shooting gallery.
It’s OK to bomb Syria and Lebanon any time such an attack is needed to bolster the military credentials of Israel=s politicians.
It’s OK to invade Lebanon whenever they feel like it. In my memory, Israel’s military has killed at least 30,000 civilians in their Lebanon invasions. But lately, with Hezbollah standing up to them, it=s happening on fewer and fewer occasions, and fewer and fewer Lebanese are being slaughtered by Israel.
It’s OK to destroy the olive groves of Palestinian farmers. It’s OK to move them off their land to make room for Jewish settlements.
It’s OK for Israel to send agents to spy on the United States, and it’s OK for the Obama Administration to dismiss charges against those of Israel’s spies who have been caught red-handed.
It’s OK for Israel to commit an act of criminal piracy on the high seas by boarding a ship full of people and food and medicine on their way to help stem the starvation brought on by Israel’s policy in Gaza, and to outright murder 9 people, including an American citizen out on the high seas. Have you heard much lately about the American boy who was assassinated by the Israeli military on board one of those aid ships? Have you wondered why you haven’t heard anything about it from those great American journalists who so bravely ganged up on Helen Thomas?
It’s OK to do all of those things I’ve listed, but it’s not OK to send money and food to Palestinian refugees to help them survive.
And it’s not OK for Helen Thomas to tell Israel to get the hell out of Palestine.
And it’s not OK for anyone else to say that Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine is wrong and against the law, and that American taxpayers’ money is being used to help Israel commit these crimes against humanity. That kind of criticism brings down calls of “anti-Semitism” from the likes of Foxman and Dershowitz.
As an American citizen, I am deeply worried, among other things, about the direction our government has taken and is taking with respect to its financing of Israel’s crimes. There is no one left in the press corps to ask such questions now that they’ve drummed Helen out of journalism.
Helen’s fatal, and final, sin was, during a discussion of Iran’s nuclear program during a press conference, to ask President Obama if anyone else in the Middle East -beside Iran – has nuclear weapons. Of course, he didn’t answer the question, which probably explains why he joined the chorus of denouncers to drum Helen Thomas out of the White House press room. He simply didn’t want the question coming up again at a future press conference.
But you can easily see the service Helen performed by asking that question. As the Zionists and the Israelis are working very hard to get our country into a war with Iran, there remains almost no voice in the press or in the Congress to call a halt to this madness.
That is why we are all paying tribute to Helen tonight, and I hope, for a long time after this night. We pay tribute to all soldiers who act with bravery, and tonight, we add Helen Thomas to that company. She deserves our thanks, and she deserves the thanks of our nation.
James Abourezk is a former U.S. Senator, who practices law in Sioux Falls. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.