Life could be so simple if you are stupid!


“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.


Johansson: Anti-Semitism behind criticism of SodaStream endorsement

American Jewish actress came under fire for promotion of Israeli company with factory in West Bank settlement.


American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson believes anti-Semitism is to blame for much of the fire she drew earlier this year over her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

Johansson resigned from her position as ambassador for Oxfam in January, after the organization contested the actress’ promotion of SodaStream due to the company’s West Bank factory. She said at the time that she was stepping down from the role because of a “fundamental difference of opinion.”



Her decision to disconnect from Oxfam won her praise from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wrote in a Facebook post: “I would like to express my support for actress Scarlett Johansson, who took a brave stand against immoral hypocrites.” She also received support from the World Jewish Congress.

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at its plant in the Ma’aleh Adumim insdutrial zone. It says the factory offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but Israel’s settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.



…. Or why Palestinians do not have a peace partner


First, from the Diaspora itself …


Moving on to Hebron …


The extremists in our midst …


All summed up by our very own Psycho Gal …


Foxman simplifies matters by bringing up the Pollard case …


And Kerry sees a possible solution?

He is as wacko as all of the above!


Israel’s War on American Universities

By Chris Hedges


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the AIPAC meeting on March 4 in Washington, D.C. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)


The banning of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Northeastern University in Boston on March 7, along with a university threat of disciplinary measures against some of its members, replicates sanctions being imposed against numerous student Palestinian rights groups across the country. The attacks, and the disturbingly similar forms of punishment, appear to be part of a coordinated effort by the Israeli government and the Israel lobby to blacklist all student groups that challenge the official Israeli narrative.

Northeastern banned the SJP chapter after it posted on campus replicas of eviction notices that are routinely put up on Palestinian homes set for Israeli demolition. The university notice of suspension says that if the SJP petitions for reinstatement next year, “No current member of the Students for Justice in Palestine executive board may serve on the inaugural board of the new organization” and that representatives from the organization must attend university-sanctioned “trainings.”

In 2011 in California, 10 students who had disrupted a speech at UC Irvine by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren were found guilty, put on informal probation and sentenced to perform community service. Oren, an Israeli citizen who has since been hired by CNNas a contributor, has called on Congress to blacklist supporters of the campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and to prosecute those who protest at appearances by Israeli officials. Some activists at Florida Atlantic University were stripped of student leadership positions after they walked out of a talk by an Israeli army officer and were ordered by school administrators to attend re-education seminars designed by the Anti-Defamation League. Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (CSJP) was abruptly placed on suspension in the spring of 2011 and barred from reserving rooms and hosting events on campus. The university administration, before the ban, had a practice of notifying the campus Hillel in advance of any CSJP event. The suspension was eventually lifted after a protest led by attorneys for the CSJP.

Max Geller, a law student and a SJP member at Northeastern whom I reached by phone in Boston, accused the university of responding “to outside pressures,” including that of alumnus Robert Shillman, who is the CEO of Cognex Corp., and hedge fund billionaire Seth Klarman, both supporters of right-wing Israeli causes.

“To prohibit students from holding leadership roles and student groups simply because they engaged in a peaceful political protest is antithetical to the university’s mission to educate students,” he said. “It erases any pedagogical value disciplinary process might seek.”

“In the last year,” Geller went on, “I have received death threats, been publicly and unfairly maligned, and have been threatened with disciplinary measures. This has made engaging in speech about an issue about which I care deeply, both as a Jew and an American, a fear- and anxiety-causing prospect.”

Israel’s heavy-handed reaction to these campus organizations is symptomatic of its increasing isolation and concern about waning American support. The decades-long occupation and seizure of Palestinian land and the massive military assaults against a defenseless population in Gaza that has left hundreds dead, along with growing malnutrition among Palestinian children and enforced poverty, have alienated traditional supporters of Israel, including many young American Jews. Israel, at the same time, has turned into a pariah in the global community. If it were to become devoid of American support, which it largely buys with political campaign contributions funneled through groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel would be adrift. There are a growing number of banks and other companies, especially in the European Union, joining the boycott movement, which refuses to do business with Israeli concerns in the occupied territories. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking before AIPAC on March 4, surprisingly devoted much of his talk to attacking the nascent BDS movement, which he said stood for “Bigotry, Dishonesty and Shame.” He called for BDS supporters to “be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot.” He warned that “naive and ignorant” people are being recruited as “gullible fellow travelers” in an anti-Semitic campaign.

Israeli officials are also apparently attempting to infiltrate the BDS movement and are using subterfuge to link it to Islamic extremism, according to The Times of London. The Israeli government in addition is pushing censorious, anti-democratic bills in the state legislatures of New York, Maryland and Illinois that would impose financial sanctions on academic organizations that boycott Israeli institutions. Meanwhile, the United States and others enthusiastically impose sanctions on Russia for an occupation that is much less draconian than Israel’s long defiance of international law.

The ADL-designed indoctrination classes for university activists are, according to those who have been required to take them, shabby attempts to equate any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

“Myself and two other members of SJP were forced to attend the ADL-sponsored ‘diversity training’ course or we would have violated the terms of our probation and in turn we would be suspended and/or expelled,” said Nadine Aly, a Florida Atlantic student activist who with other activists walked out of a lecture given at the university by an Israeli army officer, Col. Bentzi Gruber, who had helped devise the rules of engagement for Operation Cast Lead, the horrific attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. I reached her by phone at the Florida campus. “The very idea that the administration is implying that it is racist to criticize Israeli policy is ludicrous. We were put on ‘indefinite probation,’ banning us from holding leadership positions in any recognized student organizations, including student government, at the university until our graduation. I was stripped of my position as president of SJP as well as a student senator, and the former vice president of the SJP lost her position as a Student House representative. It is a shame that this university, like most universities, bows to the pressure of the Zionist lobby and wealthy Zionist donors, when they should be protecting the rights of their students.”

The persecution of scholars such as Joseph Massad and Norman Finkelstein who challenge the official Israeli narrative has long been a feature of Israeli intervention in American academic life. And the eagerness of university presidents to denounce the American Studies Association call for an academic boycott of Israel is a window into the insatiable hunger for money that seems to govern university policy. The current effort to shut down student groups, however, raises traditional Israeli censorship and interference to a new level. Israel seeks now to openly silence free speech on American college campuses—all of these student groups have steadfastly engaged in nonviolent protests—and has enlisted our bankrupt liberal elites and college administrators as thought police.

The failure among academics to stand up for the right of these student groups to express dissenting views and engage in political activism is a sad commentary on how irrelevant most academics have become. Where, in this fight, are the constitutional law professors defending the right to free speech? Where are the professors of ethics, religion and philosophy reminding students about the right of all to a dignified life free of oppression? Where are the Middle Eastern studies professors explaining the historical consequences of Israel’s violent seizure of Palestinian land? Where are the journalism professors defending the right of dissidents and victims to a fair hearing in the press? Where are the professors of queer and gender studies, African-American studies, Native American studies or Chicano studies acting to protect the voices and dignity of the marginalized and oppressed?

This assault will not end with groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine. The refusal to hear the cries of the Palestinian people, especially those 1.5 million—60 percent of them children—who are trapped by the Israeli military in Gaza, is part of the wider campaign by right-wing operatives like Lynne Cheney and billionaires such as the Koch brothers to stamp out all programs and academic disciplines that give voice to the marginalized, especially those who are not privileged and white. Latinos, African-Americans, feminists, those in queer and gender studies also feel this pressure. Under a bill signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, books by leading Chicano authors have been banned from public schools in Tucson and elsewhere in Arizona on the ground that such ethnic studies promote “resentment toward a race or people.” It is language similar to what Ambassador Oren has used to justify his call for criminal prosecutions of BDS activists—that they are advancing “bigotry.” The neoconservatism that grips Israel has its toxic counterpart within American culture. And if other marginalized groups within the university remain silent while Palestine solidarity activists are persecuted on campuses, there will be fewer allies when these right-wing forces come for them. And come they will.

Those of us who denounce the suffering caused by Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinians and who support the BDS movement are accustomed to sleazy Israeli smear campaigns. I have been repeatedly branded as an anti-Semite by the Israeli lobby, including for my book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.” That some of these dissident voices, such as Max Blumenthal, who wrote “Goliath: Fear and Loathing in Greater Israel,” one of the best accounts of contemporary Israel, are Jewish does not seem to perturb right-wing Israeli propagandists who see any deviation from the Israeli government line as a form of religious heresy.

“I have been on tour discussing my book, ‘Goliath,’ since October 2013,” said Blumenthal, with whom I spoke by phone.  “And on numerous occasions, Israel lobby groups and pro-Israel activists have attempted to pressure organizations into canceling my events before they took place. I have been slandered by teenage pro-Israel students, prominent magazine columnists and even Alan Dershowitz as an anti-Semite, and my family has been attacked in right-wing media simply for hosting a book party for me. The absurd lengths pro-Israel activists have gone to stop my journalism and analysis from reaching a wide audience perfectly illustrate their intellectual exhaustion and moral poverty. All they have left is loads of money to buy off politicians and the unlimited will to defend the only nuclearized apartheid state in the Middle East. As young Arabs and Muslims assert their presence on campuses across the country and Jewish Americans reel in disgust at Netanyahu’s Israel, we are witnessing pro-Israel forces wage a fighting retreat. The question is not whether they will win or lose, but how much damage they can do to free-speech rights on their way towards a reckoning with justice.”

“It would be heartening if prominent liberal intellectuals would agree with all of my conclusions, or would accept the legitimacy of BDS,” Blumenthal went on. “But the only reasonable expectation we can hold for them is that they speak up in defense of those whose free-speech rights and rights to organize are being crushed by powerful forces. Unfortunately, when those forces are arrayed in defense of Israel, too many liberal intellectuals are silent or, as in the case of Michael Kazin, Eric Alterman, Cary Nelson and a who’s who of major university presidents, they actively collaborate with fellow elites determined to crush Palestine solidarity activism through anti-democratic means.”

Hillel chapters, sadly, often function as little more than Israeli government and AIPAC campus outposts. This is true at Northeastern as well as at schools such as Barnard College and Columbia. And university presidents such as Barnard’s Debora Spar see nothing wrong with accepting Israel-lobby tours of Israel while Palestinian studentsmust risk imprisonment and even death to study in the United States. The launching of campuswide defamation campaigns from supposedly religious houses is a sacrilege to the Jewish religion. In seminary I read enough of the great Hebrew prophets, whose singular concern was for the oppressed and the poor, to know that they would not be found today in Hillel centers but would instead be protesting with SJP activists.

The campus Hillel centers, with lavish budgets and gleaming buildings on campuses often situated in centers of urban blight, offer running events, lectures and programs to promote official Israeli policy. They arrange free trips to Israel for Jewish students as part of the “Taglit Birthright” program, functioning as an Israeli government travel agency. While Jewish students, often with no familial connection to Israel, are escorted in these well-choreographed propaganda tours of Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who remain trapped in squalid refugee camps cannot go home although their families may have lived for centuries on what is now Israeli land.

Israel has for decades been able to frame the discussion about the Palestinians. But its control of the narrative is coming to an end. As Israel loses ground it will viciously and irrationally attack all truth tellers, even if they are American students, and especially if they are Jews. There will come a day, and that day will come sooner than Israel and its paid lackeys expect, when the whole edifice will crumble, when even students at Hillel will no longer have the stomach to defend the continuous dispossession and random murder of Palestinians. Israel, by ruthlessly silencing others, now risks silencing itself.

Chris Hedges will deliver a lecture sponsored by the Northeastern University Political Economy Forum at 6 p.m. March 25 at West Village F, 20, 460 Parker St. in Boston.


Written FOR


The use of name-calling like “anti-Semites” and “delegtimizers” is problematic for a number of reasons, not only because its claims are untrue, but also because it takes the focus off the real issue at hand – whether and how Israel is, in fact, violating international law and basic human rights principles – and, instead, recklessly impugns the characters of those advocating for Israel to be held accountable.


Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and the American Jewish Community

 Donna Nevel*


Photo credit: Jewish Voice For Peace


Many American Jewish organizations claim to be staunch supporters of civil and human rights as well as academic freedom. But when it comes to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, they make an exception. In their relentless opposition to BDS, they leave even core principles behind.

The Palestinian-led call for BDS, which began in 2005 in response to ongoing Israeli government violations of basic principles of international law and human rights of the Palestinian people, is a call of conscience. It has strengthened markedly over the last few years among artists, students, unions, church groups, dockworkers, and others. Media coverage of endorsers of the boycott has gone mainstream and viral. Recent examples include Stephen Hawking’s refusal to go to Jerusalem for the Presidential Conference, the successful campaign surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s support for Soda Stream and its settlement operation, and the American Studies Association (ASA) resolution that endorsed boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Alongside BDS’s increasing strength have come increasingly virulent attacks on, and campaigns against it. These attacks tend to employ similar language and tactics – as if the groups are all cribbing from the same talking points – including tarring BDS supporters as “anti-Semitic” and “delegitimizers.”

These attacks simply don’t address or grapple with the core aspirations or realities of BDS. As described by Hanan Ashrawi, executive committee member of the PLO, in a recent letter in the New York Times, BDS “does not target Jews, individually or collectively, and rejects all forms of bigotry and discrimination, including anti-Semitism.” She goes on to explain that “B.D.S. is, in fact, a legal, moral and inclusive movement struggling against the discriminatory policies of a country that defines itself in religiously exclusive terms, and that seeks to deny Palestinians the most basic rights simply because we are not Jewish.”

The use of name-calling like “anti-Semites” and “delegtimizers” is problematic for a number of reasons, not only because its claims are untrue, but also because it takes the focus off the real issue at hand – whether and how Israel is, in fact, violating international law and basic human rights principles – and, instead, recklessly impugns the characters of those advocating for Israel to be held accountable.

Criticisms, even extremely harsh ones, of the Israeli state or calls to make a state democratic and adhere to equal rights for all its citizens are not anti-Semitic. Rather, anti-Semitism is about hatred of, and discrimination against the Jewish people, which is not anywhere to be found in the call for BDS, and these kinds of accusations also serve to trivialize the long and ugly history of anti-Semitism.

Most recently, the anti-BDS effort has moved to the legislative front. A bill, introduced in the New York State Assembly last month, would have trampled academic freedom and the right to support BDS in its quest to punish the ASA and deter any who might dare to emulate its endorsement of the academic boycott. Those supporting the bill were opposed by a broad coalition of education, civil rights, legal, academic, and Palestine solidarity organizations, as well as Jewish social justice groups. The bill was withdrawn, but a revised version has been introduced that is designed, like the original, to punish colleges that use public funds for activities related to groups that support boycotts of Israel, including mere attendance at their meetings.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) worked closely with the sponsors of the New York bill.

Like the JCRC, rather than engaging in substantive debate about the issues raised in relation to BDS, the Israeli government and many Jewish communal organizations choose, instead, to try to discredit and derail the efforts of those supporting BDS.

For example, as recently reported by Ha’aretz, the Israeli Knesset is debating how to continue to counter BDS efforts across the globe, that is, “whether to launch an aggressive public campaign or operate through quieter, diplomatic channels.” It is also considering what the role of AIPAC might be in introducing anti-boycott legislation and how to best bolster military surveillance–which has significant funding behind it–against supporters of BDS.

American Jewish communal organizations have also expended massive resources and energy in their campaigns to demonize endorsers of BDS. The Israel Action Network (IAN)–which describes itself as “a strategic initiative of TheJewish Federations of North America, in partnership with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), created to counter assaults made on Israel’s legitimacy”–has funded the anti-BDS effort to the tune of at least six million dollars over a three-year period.

The IAN website characterizes supporters of BDS as “delegitimizers”and says that, in order to gain support from “vulnerable targets,” which include “college campuses, churches, labor unions, and human rights organizations,” delegitimizers utilize Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics, “the same tools used to isolate and vilify apartheid South Africa, Iran, or Nazi Germany. BDS activists, IAN continues, “present distortions, fabrications and misrepresentations of international law in an attempt to paint Israel with the same brush.”

In another example of name-calling without any substance, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) July 2013 report attacked Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), featuring ad hominem accusations (JVP “intentionally exploits Jewish culture”), rather than discussing JVP’s actual positions. (A JVP report on the ADL points out that the ADL not only targets JVP but is well-known for its long history of spying on Arabs and supporters of the Palestinian movement.)

On the charge of anti-Semitism, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in its call to fight the BDS movement, urges it supporters to “learn the facts behind this hypocritical and anti-Semitic campaign,” and the ADL’s Abe Foxman echoed those same sentiments: “The BDS movement at its very core is anti-Semitic.” And most recently, in his speech to AIPAC, Prime Minister Netanyahu, after shamelessly drawing upon classic anti-Semitic imagery of Jews to speak of supporters of BDS, says: “So you see, attempts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, the most threatened democracy on earth, are simply the latest chapter in the long and dark history of anti- Semitism.”

The demonization of BDS is not only the domain of the Israeli government and the mainstream Jewish community. The self-declared liberal J-Street, in its seemingly relentless quest to stay under the Jewish “tent,” has also jumped on the anti-BDS bandwagon, sometimes in partnership with the IAN, which (precisely because J Street is positioned as a peace group) proudly documents its relationship with J Street in fighting BDS. Discussing how J Street is gaining acceptance in the mainstream Jewish community, JCPA’s CEO Rabbi Steve Gutow points to “its role in pushing back against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement…”

Further, the refusal of both liberal land mainstream Jewish groups to discuss substantive issues around Israel’s actions or BDS also reveals itself in language that admonishes BDS as being “beyond the pale.” Recently, for example, asreported by the director of JVP in an op-ed in the Forward, the director of the JCRC of Greater Boston, who has a history of involvement in liberal organizations, explained that “any organization that supports BDS…doesn’t belong at the communal table. In fact, he was referring specifically to Jewish Voice for Peace. He evenarguedthat opening the public conversation to BDS is roughly akin to welcoming the Ku Klux Klan.”

This attempted silencing of those simply discussing BDS plays out even in seemingly minor local skirmishes. For example, last year, the liberal rabbi of a large New York City synagogue cancelled the synagogue’s facilities-usage contract with a group of Jews who, he feared, might, on his premises, discuss BDS. That, he said, would be “beyond the pale.”

These attacks against BDS appear to be an almost desperate reaction to the increasing successes of BDS, not only in the world at large, but also within the broader Jewish community itself. Respected members of the liberal Jewish community as well as a few liberal Zionist groups that were vehemently anti-BDS are now calling for boycotts against products made in the settlements and are engaging with the issue publicly. Further, the mission and vision of groups like Jews Say No and Jewish Voice for Peace – “a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights” – are resonating with increasing numbers of Jews who support BDS as a natural outgrowth of their commitments. And that movement is growing in partnership with the broader Palestinian-led movement for justice.

How should the rest of the Jewish community respond? Ad hominem attacks on BDS just will not do. It is time for BDS opponents to take a deep breath. Consider this: BDS is a principled response to Israel’s actions and behavior as an occupier. It is a profound call by Palestinians – and supporters world-wide–for justice. It is not BDS that should be opposed, but, rather, the very policies and practices that have made BDS necessary.

*Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a long-time organizer for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. She was a co-coordinator of the 1989 landmark Road to Peace Conference that brought PLO officials and Knesset members together to the US for the first time. More recently, she was a founding member of Jews Say No!, is a member of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace, and is on the coordinating committee of the Nakba Education Project, U.S.

Written FOR



BDS was the ‘talk of the town’ on Israeli TV last night. The guest was the author of zion’s latest attempt to discredit the movement and link it to terrorist activities within Israel. The man was Edwin Black, the book he wrote is called Financing The Flames.

It was a direct hit against all NGOs involved in supporting the Movement with the outright accusation that Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terrorism in Israel, pulls the cover off the robust use of tax-exempt, tax-subsidized, and public monies to foment agitation, systematically destabilize the Israel Defense Forces, and finance terrorists in Israel. In a far-flung investigation in the United States, Israel and the West Bank.

He singles out a few of the NGOs in question;  such as the Ford Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the New Israel Fund.

The host of the program he appeared on was a bit confused by the statements issued by Black and literally made him look like a fool. It was definitely a case of the smoke from those flames blowing right back into his face.*

According to Black’s ‘logic’ it’s OK for the US government to send Israel 30 Billion (plus) Dollar$ a year to finance the illegal settlements and terrorist activities, but funds collected to combat this (PEACEABLY) is terrorism?*

Just look at the reviews for the book, they say it all…. It is truly comforting to watch the defenders of zion literally grasp at straws to support the insupportable. If this is the best they got, then victory will truly be ours very soon!




If you think you can stomach it, here’s a video of Black ‘fanning the flames’ …


Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.

Backlash against boycotting Israel’s universities reeks of hypocrisy

David Letwin

A Palestinian schoolgirl inspects the damage to a classroom hit days earlier during Israeli bombing in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on 26 November 2012.  (Eyad Al Baba / APA images)


The American Studies Association’s recent endorsement of the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions is a triumph for the entire boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement.

Israel’s ongoing crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people — 65 years of ethnic cleansing, colonization, denial of refugee rights and second-class citizenship, including extension of this brutal regime into the territories occupied since 1967 — has been perpetuated with the full complicity of Israeli academia.

The association’s vote powerfully affirms that such racism and injustice must not be legitimized through so-called “engagement” with abetting institutions.

Zionists have been quick to accuse the ASA resolution of violating academic freedom, but this accusation does not stand up to meaningful scrutiny. In fact, it is Israel that systematically denies this right to Palestinians.

And in reality, these attacks have little to do with academic freedom in the first place. Nor do they reflect an aversion to boycotts per se, which Israel and its supporters widely apply, for example, to the entire populations of Gaza and Iran — and now to the ASA itself.

Targeting Israel

Their real objection is that BDS targets Israel. Rather than admit this outright, however, BDS opponents typically complain of double standards.

“Did [the ASA resolution’s] authors,” wrote editors of The Washington Post, “pause to consider China’s incarceration of writers and scholars who dare to think and speak out for freedom, or the ethnic groups in China persecuted for refusing to heel to the Beijing masters?”

Writing in The Huffington Post, Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan College, stated: “The ASA listens to civil society only when it speaks against Israel. As its scholarly president declared, ‘One has to start somewhere.’ Not in North Korea, not in Russia or Zimbabwe or China — one has to start with Israel. Really?”

James F. Jones, president of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut made a similar point: “In this strange case, why the ASA would propose an academic boycott of Israel and not, for example, of Syria, the Sudan, North Korea, China, IranIraq, or Russia escapes rational thought.”

Congressman Eliot Engel stated: “If you must “start somewhere,” than I strongly suggest the ASA turn its attention to Syria, where Bashar al-Assad’s forces have indiscriminately shelled universities, killing students even as they sat for exams.”


These arguments, however, are merely desperate attempts to distract attention from the fundamentally unjust nature of the “Jewish state” and trivialize Palestinian suffering.

As writer Mike Marqusee recently pointed out, these arguments are also virtually identical to earlier cries of “hypocrisy” against those who boycotted apartheid South Africa rather than “black dictatorships” elsewhere in Africa.

The logical fallacies here are numerous. First, one injustice never excuses another, nor do opponents of one injustice have to answer for unrelated injustices.

Second, the BDS movement has never condoned crimes by other regimes to begin with. Third, opponents of the ASA resolution wouldn’t support BDS no matter who else it denounced.

And fourth, they would never be making such arguments in the first place were their own rights at stake.

True hypocrites

Who, then, are the true hypocrites?

Furthermore, the ASA didn’t “propose” the boycott of Israel, as Jones has claimed. Rather, it endorsed an already existing Palestinian call — as Jones et al would do were their purported empathy for the oppressed genuine.

Instead, just as hostile whites often condescendingly dismissed black resistance to Jim Crow as the work of “outside agitators,” defenders of apartheid Israel portray BDS as the pathological brainchild of left-wing Western academics and activists. In both cases, the goal is to attack a movement’s authenticity and validity.

It didn’t work then; it won’t work now.

Indeed, more than anything these attacks signify that Israel has lost the battle for moral legitimacy. With Israel increasingly exposed before the world as a racist regime, its supporters now resort to assassinating the character of those — including a growing number of Jews — who demand justice for Palestinians.

These threats notwithstanding, the association’s stand is reverberating around the world.

“The ASA boycott of Israel,” wrote Palestinian BDS advocate Omar Barghouti, “will be remembered for many years to come as a crucial catalyst in this emancipatory process of reclaiming rights for all who are denied them.”

In Palestine, that process must ultimately lead to the end of Zionist apartheid, and, consistent with renewed Palestinian calls, a single democratic state throughout historic Palestine with equal rights for all.

Meanwhile, it is incumbent on all people of conscience to defend — and emulate — the ASA’s courageous stand.

David Letwin is a teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. He is affiliated with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

Written FOR


Image by Bendib
Our need to cleanse ourselves of any guilt under the argument of anti-Semitism is dishonest and wrong both in terms of values and image. It is first of all ruining our case. Sometimes it’s just better to be silent.
Our excessive howls of anti-Semitism

Op-ed: Uproar over coverage of NY Hasid’s murder shows trauma of anti-Semitism has taken over our minds in an irreversible manner

Esti Shoshan

There is something about the word “anti-Semitism” which shuts the mouths of accusers in a pretty efficient way. Many times, the collective Jewish trauma justifies the feeling of permanent persecution accompanying our lives, out of a paranoia of survival we have developed as a defense mechanism. 

True, we have suffered, and anti-Semitism is not dead. Thousands of years of hatred of Jews, the source of which is unclear, have left their mark on us, without finding the reason, or the diagnosis – or the ways to treat it. But still, one cannot shake off the feeling that we are too trigger-happy when it comes to anti-Semitism. We use this weapon in a disproportional manner, which at the end of the day harms us more than anyone else.

The unfortunate murder of the Jewish Orthodox businessman from New York last week, and the uproar which followed, prove more than anything that the anti-Semitism trauma has taken over our minds in an irreversible manner. Its symptoms are reflected in the cries of despair echoing through the public discourse even when there is no room for them, and the result is a world which looks at us awkwardly, and an erosion of the concept which has, as I said, significant justification.

Are you sure this is an expression of anti-Semitism? (Photo: New York Post cover)
Are you sure this is an expression of anti-Semitism? (Photo: New York Post cover)*

The details of the brutal murder of Menachem “Max” Stark are still unknown. Rumors are flying, leaking to the media in the United States, and continuing to produce headlines. And so it happened that the New York Post published an unflattering headline following an inquiry it conducted about the victim, which raised a dubious account of his businesses.

Among other things, the newspaper provided details on his alleged involvement in scams, on huge loans he failed to pay back, and on dubious ways of collecting money – and said that there were quite a few people who were not fond of the deceased, to say the least, and might have wanted him dead. This is not a claim that could not have been linked to any other criminal investigation, regardless of nationality, religion or race.

Time to be silent

The US Jewry – followed by the Land of Israel Jewry – was shaken, expressing rage, dismay and shock. The anti-Semitic demon was let out of the bottle to destroy us. For a moment it seemed as if the newspaper headline had taken us back to Kristallnacht, to the horrors of the Inquisition and to the 1648 riots against the Jews.

It seems like we don’t really need a modern Dreyfus to strengthen our beneficent sense of victimization, which helps us shake off responsibility and connects us to pogroms, to Polish landowners and to the good old stories.

It’s very simplistic, and ridiculous, to wrap every criticism against us with “anti-Semitism,” and to define every spit by a hooligan on the street or any journalistic insensitivity as “anti-Jewish.” The Western media does not distinguish between a celebrity who has sinned and a disgraced politician, regardless of whether or not he has a shtreimel on his head, a tattoo or just a stocking hat.

And on the other hand, the Western world has learned a thing or two about racism, and the attempt to clear the phenomenon is underway at any given moment. But our excessive use of anti-Semitism weakens the real battle, and encouraged Holocaust deniers and those ignoring the phenomenon. There are enough incidents of hate crimes and of pure anti-Semitism which justify cries of despair.

Our need to cleanse ourselves of any guilt under the argument of anti-Semitism is dishonest and wrong both in terms of values and image. It is first of all ruining our case. Sometimes it’s just better to be silent. 


Anti-zionism is not anti-semitism why is this so hard to understand
Waters, one of Israel’s harshest critics and a leading BDS activist, “serially slanders Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish state,” SWC explained.
How quickly they forget …..
And this …
Khamenei, Waters top 2013 anti-Semites list
Simon Wiesenthal Center gives two first slots on its top-10 list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs to Iranian supreme leader Khamenei, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters ranks fourth for ‘using his status as a musician to denigrate Judaism’*

The leaders of Iran and Turkey and musician Roger Waters top the 2013 “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel slurs” list released Monday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a Jewish human rights organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

The first place was given to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to SWC, even as the world’s top diplomats celebrated the Iranian nuclear deal, few leaders condemned Khamenei for his “unabated public slurs and genocidal threats against the Jewish state.”

Referring to Israel as the “rabid dog in the region,” he added that “its leaders look like beasts and cannot be called human.” On the eve of Iranian elections, Khamenei declared, “Zionists” were the real power in the United States.

Second on the list of anti-Semites this year is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In response to anti-government demonstrations earlier in the year in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, Erdogan, blamed the public’s expressions of dissent on the so-called “interest rate lobby” – a term defined by his deputy as “the Jewish Diaspora.”

Later, Erdogan also intimated that the Egyptian military’s ouster of Mohammed Morsi was instigated by Israel.

The third place goes to UN special rapporteur Richard Falk, who accused Israel of “genocidal intentions.”

Khamenei. 'Israel the rabid dog in the region' (Photo: AFP/
Khamenei. ‘Israel the rabid dog in the region’ (Photo: AFP/
Turkey's Erdogan. 'Interest rate lobby' (Photo: EPA)
Turkey’s Erdogan. ‘Interest rate lobby’ (Photo: EPA)

The fourth place is shared by the American Studies Association(ASA), which voted in favor of an academic boycott of Israel and former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters.

According to SWC, “The whole Arab world is going up in flames and the ASA has voted to malign the only true, free society left on the map of the Middle East. This is an act of infamy; not only attacking Israeli academic institutions – but Jews everywhere.”

Waters, one of Israel’s harshest critics and a leading BDS activist, “serially slanders Israel as an apartheid state, compares it to Nazi Germany and denies that the Iranian regime poses any threat to the Jewish state,” SWC explained.

“At a time of resurgent anti-Semitic hate crimes in Europe, Waters used his status as a musician to denigrate Judaism when he affixed a Jewish star on a floating pig during his summer concert tour across the continent.”

The list also includes the United Church of Canada for endorsing the boycott of Israel; Hungarian extreme right-wing party Jobbik, which “continues to promote its hatred of Jews” after its deputy leader called for a registry of all Jews in Hungary as a security measure last year; and Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, the Arab “face” of L’Oreal who serves as a judge on “Arabs Got Talent,” the wildly popular version of “American Idol,” who chose Adolf Hitler as one of the famous persons who could create the “ideal man” due to his “persuasive” speaking ability.

Also on the list is the Pine Bush School District in upstate New York for failing to protect its Jewish students against anti-Semitic slurs and physical abuse.


Now that he’s gone the rumours fly …. BUT …. if you read the second report below you will see that’s all they are …. RUMOURS!
Nelson Mandela apparently underwent weapons training by Mossad agents in Ethiopia in 1962 without the Israeli secret service knowing his true identity, according to an intriguing secret letter lodged in the Israeli state archives.

Nelson Mandela ‘received weapons training from Mossad agents in 1962′

Secret letter lodged in Israeli state archives reveals South African icon underwent training under an assumed identity
By Harriet Sherwood in The Guardian
Nelson Mandela, photographed in the early 1960s
Nelson Mandela, photographed in the early 1960s. The letter said Mandela was trained to use weapons and sabotage techniques, and ‘the staff tried to make him into a Zionist’. Photograph: Staff photographer/Reuters/Corbis

Nelson Mandela apparently underwent weapons training by Mossad agents in Ethiopia in 1962 without the Israeli secret service knowing his true identity, according to an intriguing secret letter lodged in the Israeli state archives.

The missive, revealed by the Israeli paper Haaretz two weeks after the death of the iconic South African leader, said Mandela was instructed in the use of weapons and sabotage techniques, and was encouraged to develop Zionist sympathies.

Mandela visited other African countries in 1962 in order to drum up support for the African National Congress’s fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa. While in Ethiopia, he sought help from the Israeli embassy, using a pseudonym, according to the letter – classified top secret – which was sent to officials in Israel in October 1962. Its subject line was the “Black Pimpernel”, a term used by the South African press to refer to Mandela.

Haaretz quoted the letter as saying: “As you may recall, three months ago we discussed the case of a trainee who arrived at the [Israeli] embassy in Ethiopia by the name of David Mobsari who came from Rhodesia. The aforementioned received training from the Ethiopians [a codename for Mossad agents, according to Haaretz] in judo, sabotage and weaponry.”

It added that the man had shown interest in the methods of the Haganah, a Jewish paramilitary organisation that fought against the British rulers and the Arab population of Palestine in the 1930s and 40s, and other Israeli underground movements.

It went on: “He greeted our men with ‘Shalom’, was familiar with the problems of Jewry and of Israel, and gave the impression of being an intellectual. The staff tried to make him into a Zionist. In conversations with him, he expressed socialist world views and at times created the impression that he leaned toward communism.

“It now emerges from photographs that have been published in the press about the arrest in South Africa of the ‘Black Pimpernel’ that the trainee from Rhodesia used an alias, and the two men are one and the same.”

According to Haaretz, a later handwritten annotation to the letter confirmed the Black Pimpernel was Mandela. The newspaper said the letter was kept in the state archives, and was discovered a few years ago by a student researching a thesis on relations between Israel and South Africa.

The Israel foreign ministry website refers to a document which confirms a meeting between Mandela and an Israeli official in Ethiopia in 1962, but makes no explicit reference to the Mossad, or any kind of training.

An entry dated 9 December 2013 says: “The Israel State Archives holds a document (not released for publication) showing that Mandela (under an assumed identity) met with an unofficial Israel representative in Ethiopia as early as 1962 … The Israeli representative was not aware of Mandela’s true identity. Instead the two discussed Israel’s problems in the Middle East, with Mandela displaying wide-ranging interest in the subject. Only after his arrest in 1962, on his return to South Africa, did Israel learn the truth.”


And the response from The Forward


The Nelson Mandela Foundation has denied an explosive report that the South African freedom icon received training from Israeli agents in the early 1960s.

“(The foundation) has not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela’s private archive…that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year,” the group said in a statement to the South African Press Association.


Nelson Mandela Foundation Denies Israel Training Claim

Insists No Evidence Freedom Icon Interacted With Mossad

getty images

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has denied an explosive report that the South African freedom icon received training from Israeli agents in the early 1960s.

“(The foundation) has not located any evidence in Nelson Mandela’s private archive…that he interacted with an Israeli operative during his tour of African countries in that year,” the group said in a statement to the South African Press Association.

Haaretz first reported last week that top secret Israeli files suggest that Mandela was trained by Mossad agents during a stop in Ethiopia in 1962, as he began efforts to launch the armed struggle against the white-led apartheid regime in South Africa.

It said Mandela, who died on Dec. 5, apparently underwent weapons training by Mossad agents in Ethiopia in 1962 without the Israeli secret service knowing his true identity. They attributed their report to “an intriguing secret letter lodged in the Israeli state archives”.

The letter supposedly said Mandela was instructed in the use of weapons and sabotage techniques and was encouraged to develop Zionist sympathies.

Any contact between Mandela and Israeli agents would have been controversial in South Africa, where Mandela’s African National Congress forged a close alliance with the Palestinians and regularly slammed Israel for propping up the white government.

The foundation emphatically denies any such contact between Mandela and Israeli agents occured.

“In 1962 Mandela received military training from Algerian freedom fighters in Morocco and from the Ethiopian Riot Battalion at Kolfe outside Addis Ababa, before returning to South Africa in July 1962.

“In 2009 the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s senior researcher travelled to Ethiopia and interviewed the surviving men who assisted in Mandela’s training and no evidence emerged of an Israeli connection,” read the statement.




How quickly they forget …..


That it was the Left who were in the forefront to defeat nazism and fascism in Europe ….

That it was the Left who were in the forefront to defeat apartheid in South Africa ….

That it was the Left (the Soviet Union in particular) that helped create the State of Israel ….


SO …..


Surely it will be the Left that will be in the forefront to change the evil face of zionism ….


BUT …..


Our resident Psycho Gal seems to have overlooked all of the above as she penned her poison pen column of the week….


This is her (logic) ….
And in this decade, the main foreign policy issue that galvanizes the passions and energies of the committed American Left is the movement to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. (Perhaps it’s the Movement’s  aim to delegitamize apartheid and the occupation)
Holding a negative view of the Jewish state is a condition for membership in the ideological camp. It is an article of faith, not fact. (Shocking revelation)
For years, Dershowitz has been a non-entity in leftist circles. His place at the table was usurped by anti-Israel Jews like Peter Beinart. And now Beinart is finding himself increasingly challenged by anti-Semitic Jews like Max Blumenthal. (Are we expected to honour and praise this rightist pervert, defender of pedophiles in US Courts, aside from his record of supporting every attrocity commited by Israel?) It won’t happen!
Read the rest for yourselves, I guarantee a few chucles if you do.

The Left against Zion

The Left’s doctrinaire insistence that Israel is the root of all evil is not limited to campuses.

In the 1960s, the American Left embraced the anti-Vietnam War movement as its cri de coeur.

In the 1970s, the Left’s foreign policy focus shifted to calling for unilateral nuclear disarmament by the US and its Western allies.

In the 1980s, supporting the Sandinista Communists’ takeover of Nicaragua became the catechism of the Left.

In the 1990s, the war on global capitalism – that is, the anti-globalization movement – captivated the passions of US Leftists from coast to coast.

In the 2000s, it was again, the anti-war movement.

This time the Left rioted and demonstrated against the war in Iraq.

And in this decade, the main foreign policy issue that galvanizes the passions and energies of the committed American Left is the movement to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

This week has been a big one for the anti-Israel movement. In the space of a few days, two quasi academic organizations – the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association – have launched boycotts against Israeli universities. Their boycotts follow a similar one announced in April by the Asian Studies Association.

These groups’ actions have not taken place in isolation. They are of a piece with ever-escalating acts of anti-Israel agitation in college campuses throughout the United States.

Between the growth of Israel Apartheid Day (or Week, or Month) from a fringe exercise on isolated campuses to a staple of the academic calendar in universities throughout the US and Canada, and the rise of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement to wage economic war against the Jewish state, anti-Israel activism has become the focal point of Leftist foreign policy activism in the US and throughout the Western world.

Every week brings a wealth of stories about new cases of aggressive anti-Israel activism. At the University of Michigan last week, thousands of students were sent fake eviction notices from the university’s housing office. A pro-Palestinian group distributed them in dorms across campus to disseminate the blood libel that Israel is carrying out mass expulsions of Palestinians.

At Swarthmore College, leftist anti-Israel Jewish students who control Hillel are insisting on using Hillel’s good offices to disseminate and legitimate anti-Israel slanders.

And the Left’s doctrinaire insistence that Israel is the root of all evil is not limited to campuses.

At New York’s 92nd Street Y, Commentary editor John Podhoretz was booed and hissed by the audience for trying to explain why the ASA’s just-announced boycott of Israel was an obscene act of bigotry.

Many commentators have rightly pointed out that the ASA and the NAISA are fringe groups.

They represent doctorate holders who chose to devote their careers to disciplines predicated not on scholarship, but on political activism cloaked in academic regalia whose goal is to discredit American power. The ASA has only 5,000 members, and only 1,200 of them voted on the Israel- boycott resolution. The NAISA has even fewer members.

It would be wrong, however, to use the paltry number of these fringe groups’ members as means to dismiss the phenomenon that they represent. They are very much in line with the general drift of the Left.

Rejecting Israel’s right to exist has become part of the Left’s dogma. It is a part of the catechism.

Holding a negative view of the Jewish state is a condition for membership in the ideological camp. It is an article of faith, not fact.

Consider the background of the president of the ASA. Curtis Marez is an associate professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, San Diego. His area of expertise is Chicano Film and Media Studies.

He doesn’t know anything about Israel. He just knows that he’s a Leftist. And today, Leftists demonize Israel. Their actions have nothing to do with anything Israel does or has ever done. They have nothing to do with human rights. Hating Israel, slandering Israel and supporting the destruction of Israel are just things that good Leftists do.

And Marez was not out of step with his fellow Leftists who rule the roost at UCSD. This past March the student council passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

Why? Because hating Israel is what Leftists do.

The Left’s crusade against the Jewish state began in earnest in late 2000. The Palestinians’ decision to reject statehood and renew their terror war against Israel ushered in the move by anti-Israel forces on the Left to take over the movement. And as they have risen, they have managed to silence and discredit previously fully accredited members of the ideological Left for the heresy of supporting Israel.

This week, Harvard Law Prof. Alan Dershowitz retired after 50 years on the law faculty. His exit, the same week as the ASA and the NAISA announced their boycotts of Israeli universities, symbolized the marginalization of the pro-Israel Left that Dershowitz represented.

For years, Dershowitz has been a non-entity in leftist circles. His place at the table was usurped by anti-Israel Jews like Peter Beinart. And now Beinart is finding himself increasingly challenged by anti-Semitic Jews like Max Blumenthal.

The progression is unmistakable.

The question is, is it irreversible? Must supporters of Israel choose between their support for Israel and their affinity for the Left? Certainly it is true that the more the issue of support for Israel splits along ideological and partisan lines, the more reasonable it is for supporters of Israel to move to the ideological camp and the party that supports Israel, and away from the ones that do not support Israel.

The average voter is not in a position to change the positions of his party or the dogma of his ideological camp. He can take it or leave it. With rejection of Israel now firmly entrenched in the Left’s dogma, and with the Left firmly in control of the Democratic Party under President Barack Obama’s leadership, for those who care about Israel, the Republican Party is a more natural fit.

So, too, the ideological Right is far more congenial to the Jewish state than the Left.

While the most sensible place for supporters of Israel to be today is on the political Right, it is also true that it is neither smart nor responsible to abandon the Left completely. Jews should be able to feel comfortable as Jews, and as supporters of Israel everywhere. Ideological camps that castigate Jews for their pride in the accomplishments of the Jewish state, and for their support and concern for its survival and prosperity, are camps in desperate need of fixing.

But we should not fool ourselves. Challenging the likes of Marez, or the Swarthmore students, or Max Blumenthal or Peter Beinart to a reasoned debate is an exercise in futility. They do not care about human rights. They do not care that Israel is the only human rights-respecting democracy in the Middle East. They do not care about the pathological nature of Palestinian society. They do not care about the Jewish people’s indigenous rights and international legal rights to sovereignty not only over Tel Aviv and Haifa, but over Hebron and Ramallah.

Being hypocrites doesn’t bother them either.

You can talk until you’re blue in the face about the civilian victims of the Syrian civil war, or the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia and the absence of religious freedom throughout the Muslim world. But they don’t care. They aren’t trying to make the world a better place.

Facts cannot compete with their faith. Reason has no place in their closed intellectual universe.

To accept reason and facts would be an act of heresy.

Marez may be a hypocrite, and even a servant of evil. But he is no heretic.

The only real way to mitigate the hard Left’s devotion to Israel’s destruction is by changing the power balance on the Left. For the past decade, donors like George Soros have been open in their commitment to elect Democrats who oppose the US’s alliance with Israel. A decade ago, Soros and fellow Jewish American billionaire Peter Lewis funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into became a clearinghouse for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish messages that became the stock in trade of the ideological Left, and of Democratic candidates in need of campaign funding.

It was due to then-Democratic senator Joe Lieberman’s refusal to get on the Soros- and Lewis-funded anti-Israel bandwagon in the 2004 elections, that they turned against Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary for his seat in the Senate. His Democratic challenger, Ned Lamont, who won the primary, ran a campaign laced with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda.

There are Democratic funders, like Penny Pritzker, Lester Crown and Haim Saban, who support Israel. If they were so inclined, they could use their considerable funds to change the power equation in the Democratic Party. They could cultivate and support pro-Israel Democratic candidates. They could take the Democratic Party back.

This week ended with Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer finally breaking his silence on Obama’s Iran deal and joining forces with his fellow Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk to defy Obama on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Given Obama’s floundering popularity, it is possible that Schumer’s move will open the door for a change in the Democratic Party.

In truth, there is no reason for the Democratic Party to remain in place. It isn’t ordained that the Democrats must cleave to the hard Left.

The rejection of Israel is not a natural component of leftist dogma. It’s just that for the past decade, the smart money and the rising power on the Left has been with those who oppose Israel’s existence as a strong, independent Jewish state.

While the ASA and its comrades are on the fringes of academia, they are not fringe voices on the Left. The Left has embraced the cause of Israel’s destruction. And its financial power has made it difficult for pro-Israel Democrats to act on their convictions, and those of their voters.

The combination of an exodus of supporters of Israel – Jews and non-Jews alike – from the Left and from the Democratic Party on the one hand, and generous funding for pro-Israel Democratic candidates on the other, can change the equation.

America lost the Vietnam War. The Sandinistas are back in change in Nicaragua. But if people are willing to stand up now and be counted, America need not harm Israel.



Settler colonialism — and liberal Zionist denial

Austin Branion 

Geronimo, right, and other Apache warriors in 1886

Geronimo, right, and other Apache warriors in 1886


With apologies to Emerson, appealing for “balance” in apportioning blame to “both sides” in Israel-Palestine is the hobgoblin of little minds. Yet this is the constant calling card of mainstream commentary on the conflict and its mode is, likewise, often evoked through another constituent of the pundit’s lexicon: “context.”

In recent days, this has manifested itself quite annoyingly in criticism surrounding Max Blumenthal’s excellent book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. The most prominent critics to date, Eric Alterman of The Nation and JJ Goldberg of the Jewish Daily Forward, express exasperation with the book’s supposed lack of “context.” Alterman complains:

Blumenthal evinces no interest in the larger context of Israel’s actions. Potential threats that emanate from Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Syria, Iran, etc., receive virtually no mention in these pages.

Goldberg mirrors this sentiment:

Blumenthal doesn’t know the history and ignores the inconvenient bits of the present, which is one reason his book has flopped. Worse, he thinks he knows all he needs to know, and just what readers need to know. He describes Israel’s assault on Gaza without telling of the thousands of rockets bombarding Negev towns for years beforehand. He touchingly recounts the 2004 assassination of Hamas founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi but doesn’t mention the hundreds of Israelis killed by Rantissi’s suicide bombers. The Palestinians are guilty of nothing. Israel’s actions are entirely unprovoked, motivated by pure racism.

So, where is the context? What is the context? It is astonishing that the answer, so readily apparent, has yet to be given explicitly to Alterman and Goldberg’s charge: colonialism is the context.

Settler-colonialism–the immigration of people seeking to erect a system of privilege on new shores, requiring, variously, the dispossession of the extant indigenous people, usurpation of their land and natural resources, and imposition of political authority against their will–is the ultimate progenitor of the cycle of violence that will inevitably come to fruition wherever settler-colonists land, from the Americas to Africa to Palestine.

Blumenthal deftly weaves this contextual thread throughout the tapestry he presents to readers. One example, funny enough, is found in the very passage alluded to by Goldberg about Hamas co-founder Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi. Describing “screening operations” in Gaza ordered by Moshe Dayan in the wake of the tripartite Israeli-British-French invasion of Egypt in 1956, Blumenthal writes:

In the refugee camps of Khan Younis and Rafah, Israeli soldiers rounded up all men aged fifteen to fifty-five, herded them into open lots, beating many along the way with wooden clubs, then lined them up against concrete walls and executed them by the dozens. Israeli forces killed as many as 275 unarmed civilians in Khan Younis…

The streets of the refugee camps were left lined with long rows of dead bodies bearing bullet wounds in the back of their heads. During the massacre, a Khan Younis resident named Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi witnessed the execution of his uncle. Rantissi was just nine years old at the time. “It left a wound in my heart that can never heal,” he said. “I’m telling you a story, and I am almost crying… They planted hatred in our hearts.” When Rantissi came of age, he helped found Hamas, the Islamist military and political faction that currently rules the Gaza Strip.

On April 17, 2004, Rantissi was blown to pieces by an Israeli missile strike during a punishing campaign of demolitions, raids and assassinations Israel waged to suppress the Second Intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The life and death of Al-Rantissi illustrate the wages of colonialism in microcosm: a boy, born in a village a year before he was expelled along with its other inhabitants by Zionist colonial forces in 1948 and traumatized at the age of nine when he witnesses Zionist forces executing his uncle in their refugee camp, became a man who helped form an organization that would target colonists through means fair and foul. The most salient factor shaping the contours of Al-Rantissi’s life was the aggression of colonists: from being expelled from his birthplace as a baby to the punitive expeditions witnessed in his childhood.

Over and over throughout the book, Blumenthal conjures the ghosts of Zionist colonization’s seminal event, the Nakba of 1948, implicating it in subtle and not-so-subtle terms as the wellspring from which all conflict in Israel-Palestine flows; yet the likes of Alterman and Goldberg clamor for “context.”

When Europeans came to this continent, they tore asunder the indigenous societies that existed here. In response to the onslaught they faced, some natives engaged in resistance–sometimes in the form of attacks against the colonists’ regular armed forces, sometimes in the form of terrorizing unarmed colonist women and children, ostensibly innocent people. But who among us today would say that “both sides” were at fault for the complete destruction of indigenous American society at the hands of colonists, or for the wars of ethnic cleansing (a.k.a. “the Indian Wars”) and untold human suffering that followed? Simply put, there would have been no violence, no 200 years worth of Indian Wars had colonial-settlers not attempted to impose their presence and authority in the Americas through violence and ethnic cleansing in the first place. It is an eminently one-sided problem when you get to the root of it–to act as though there is some moral parity between the colonists who arrived employing systematic, terrorist violence on a civilization-shattering scale in order to forge their own sovereign entity against the desire of (and eventually upon the ruins of) indigenous communities, and the natives who fought back and may have employed terrorism themselves is absurd and curiously vulgar.

While condemning attacks on unarmed non-combatants is an easy moral call to make, who among us would mention Native American raids on European settlements without acknowledging the genocidal violence leveled against them? Who would speak of Nat Turner’s orgy of violence against white Virginians without mentioning the dehumanizing and obscene institution of slavery?

Something tells me that “contextualizing” Hamas’s rockets as falling in the vicinity of the ethnically cleansed and colonist-occupied birthplace of the group’s refugee co-founder would not find favor with Alterman or Goldberg. Same for contextualizing the threat that Hezbollah poses to the colonial-settler state, a state whose rapacious military adventurism in Lebanon–which, lest we forget, was originally prosecuted to quash the resistance of Palestine’s natives-cum-refugees–precipitated the group’s formation in the first place. And yet, without endorsing the methods or platforms of the aforementioned groups, this is the context that matters most.

Written FOR


Also see my related post



Some of you out there might remember when we had to check under our beds every night to make sure there wasn’t a Commie hiding under it ….
Or ‘taking cover’ under our schooldesks for protection against a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union ….
‘Those were the days my friend …. some hoped they’d never end’
But, thankfully they did!
For the time being, that is. Now the zios are Commie searching at US universities …. can we call this a part of The New McCarthyism?
The Jerusalem Post (once known as The Palestine Post) published the following dribble in today’s opinion section. Proof that certain opinions are best kept to themselves ;)
The region: How the far Left controls campuses
By Barry Rubin 

There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the US than Georgetown U.

There is no university more supportive of the Arab nationalist (historically), Islamist and anti-Israel line in the United States than Georgetown University, specifically it’s programs on Middle East studies.

Every conference it holds on the Middle East is ridiculously one-sided. The university has received tens of millions of dollars from Arab states, and it houses the most important center in the United States that has advocated support for a pro-Islamist policy.

One day in 1975, not long before he died, the great professor Carroll Quigley walked up to me when I was sitting in the GU library.

Everyone was in awe of this brilliant lecturer (remind me to write him a tribute explaining why). I thought he might have remembered me from my extended explanation of why I was late for class one day – I had rescued a sparrow and taken it to a veterinarian (true, by the way). I couldn’t think of another reason he would want to talk to such a lowly person.

“May I sit down?” he asked.

“Of course!” I said, stopping myself from adding that it was an honor.

Without any small talk, he launched into a subject that clearly weighed on his conscience: “There are many who don’t like your people.”

What was he talking about? Jews? He explained that he had just come from a meeting where it had been made clear that the university had a problem: It was getting Arab money, but on the secret condition that while it was for teaching about the Middle East, none of it could be used to teach about Israel. The purpose of the meeting had been how to solve this problem. The solution? Simple: They would call the institution to be created the “Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.” It was explicitly expressed that this was how the problem would be dealt with.

Quigley expressed his disgust to me.

Ever since then, I have referred to that institution as the “Center for Contemporary Arab Money.”

Georgetown University also accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi – who was, of course, very active in promoting anti-American terrorism – to establish an endowed chair in Middle East studies. When the university president backed down due to bad publicity, the professor who had been named to the post responded by calling the Jesuit university president a “Jesuit Zionist.”

This same professor – and I am not joking when I say that by today’s standards he was a fine scholar and comparatively decent man – was a personal friend of Palestinian terrorist leader Nayif Hawatmeh, and an outspoken Marxist.

To his credit, he told me in 1974 on a visit of mine to Lebanon, “One day we will be ashamed of all the terrorism [against Israel].”

But I don’t think he ever spoke out publicly.

At my PhD oral exams, he said something like: “I don’t care whether you believe it or not, but give the Marxist analysis of development in the Middle East.” He did not ask me to critique it.

As a Marxist, even though he was the son of a Muslim imam he did participate in the traditional glass of scotch after they passed me. And they did pass me, something I doubt would happen today. These professors really did believe in scholarship and balance in the classroom.

ANOTHER PROFESSOR, however (I was sure he was not on my board – I had had open arguments with him), was an example of the new generation of indoctrinators. He had served in the Peace Corps and adopted two Kurdish children in the shah era. This teacher’s radicalism and knee-jerk hatred of Israel was so terrible that we used to joke about it. A right-wing Zionist in the class conducted an experiment: He wrote an exaggerated Marxist anti-Israel rant. It read like satire. He got an “A” from this professor. In retrospect, however, we should have seen that this wasn’t an exception, but a sign of far worse to come.

In one graduate seminar, yet another professor – an older anti-Israel guy but still a conservative and a gentleman of the old school – couldn’t stop the class from laughing as it discussed the ridiculous new book Orientalism, by Edward Said. We easily pointed out the holes in the book and Said’s claims of perpetual Western bias against Arabs. We viewed Orientalism itself as outdated but respectable, too anthropological and generalizing for our tastes. We saw ourselves as historians and social scientists.

But the idea that Orientalists were agents of imperialism was untrue. They were great scholars, though some did do political work in which their views weren’t shaped but often mistakenly implemented, just like such things happen today. Who would have believed that this ignorant and malicious book could ever take over the entire field and destroy scholarship? I guess we should have known, based on the fate of the professor I had openly argued with. He was the new-style leftist referred to above, the kind typical today. While I disliked him, he was clearly not a racist but the very model of the new Politically Correct falsifier.

Ironically, he was fired after being accused by an African student of alleged racial bias because he gave the student a low grade. No kidding.

I didn’t feel this was a victory, however, but rather that he had been mistreated. I faced similar situations. I will never forget how my job interview at another university, the only time I ever applied for a teaching position, was interrupted by one professor screaming at me, “How could you ever possibly represent the narrative of the Palestinian people?” To which I responded that obviously, I didn’t think I was supposed to represent it, merely teach about it.

Note that the professor at that interview who would have been willing to hire me was an Arab liberal. But he tried to hint to my naive younger self why I didn’t have a chance. You should understand that at that time, in the early 1980s, I had never written about the Arab-Israeli conflict. And although this professor had me in his Arabic class, I don’t think he remembered me, and I’m certain he knew nothing about me. No, I think the problem was my last name.

ALL OF this reminiscing is prompted by a news story I just read. An Arab professor at Georgetown, a place flush with Arab money, full of apologists for anti-American Islamism, a place where no Israeli or pro- Israel student dares to tread, has just launched a campaign claiming that he was discriminated against and fired for anti- Israel bias! So this is the long-term strategy: Take over a university or at least the relevant departments; spend 30 years or more in biased hiring practices and dishonest, propagandist “scholarship”; and no matter how many insiders know the truth, keep claiming the university is biased against the Left and defamers of America and Israel.

Those who don’t know better may believe it. The problem for this Egyptian professor is that there was no organized campaign against him, and no one outside the university even knew who he was. The fact is that his scholarly work, while highly politicized, wasn’t very good. Obscure media appearances are (as of yet) not sufficient to demonstrate academic excellence.

You could call this the “Juan Cole principle” after a radical professor whose pronouncements on contemporary Middle East issues were frequent – even though he was a specialist on religious disputes in the Middle Ages – and who missed out on a good job because of his lack of scholarly work, then claimed bias.

This tactic was sufficient in one notorious case at Columbia University for a crackpot extremist to get a promotion, although it didn’t work at Duke University.

At any rate, we now see that crying bias is the first refuge of scoundrels. The real victims never get far enough along in the process for them to build a case and can never muster support from a biased media, either.


There is a Yiddish expression ‘Shlepping Nachas’, which is commonly used by proud parents referring to the accomplishments of their children. It is exactly how I felt when I read the following in the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post.
Carlos Latuff has on many occassions made me proud to be associated with him, but in this case he really outdid himself.

Anti-Semitism in the guise of Holocaust education?


Belgian authorities under fire for school lesson plan comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Caricature drawn by Carlos Latuff for Belgian educational website.
Caricature drawn by Carlos Latuff for Belgian educational website.Photo: Courtesy

Jewish groups criticized Belgian educational authorities this week after a government-funded website was discovered hosting lesson plans comparing Israelis to Nazis.

A lesson plan on the database included a cartoon comparing contemporary Gazans with Jews incarcerated in concentration camps as well as a roleplaying exercise in which students were asked to imagine the world through the eyes of a Hamas sympathizer, Joods Actueel, a monthly Jewish newspaper, reported.

Teachers looking for lesson plans on the Holocaust and other atrocities are referred to the site by a link on the homepage of the Special Committee for Remembrance Education (BCH), which is funded in part by the Education Ministry.

The BCH represents both “the school advisory boards of the various educational networks” as well as the Flemish Education Ministry, according to its website.

The Gatestone Institute, a conservative think tank based in New York, translated the lesson.

“You have sympathy for the radical group Hamas. You live in Gaza and go to work every day in Israel. It takes you four hours to go to work as you need to pass the border control between Gaza and Israel. You are already on your way at 4 a.m. You have two children in primary school. As a consequence, the death of a Palestinian girl shot by Israeli soldiers in the school playground has shocked you deeply. Israel denies having shot the child, but according to representatives of the United Nations in Gaza everything indicates that she was killed by the Israelis. Hamas has fired six rockets toward Israel. Israel has to stop with its attacks.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the lessons, calling them “a classic example of Holocaust inversion, in which the descendants of the victims of the Shoah are portrayed as the new Nazis.”

“This is a total perversion of the of the lessons of the Shoah and a phenomenon which is cause for grave concern.

It also underscores the potential dangers of the misuse and exploitation of the recent expansion of Holocaust education in many countries in the world, and especially in Europe,” the center’s Efraim Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

While “the extreme anti- Israel and anti-Semitic material was not part of the official curriculum on Holocaust education,” it was “in the database available to teachers,” Michael Salberg, the Anti-Defamation League director of international affairs, said.

While the lessons have been taken offline subsequent to theJoods Actueel story, Salberg said it was still “shocking that material so offensive and dangerous found its way into any classroom anywhere.”

The system for providing teaching materials, “while based on good intentions, has produced consequences that call for reviewing and improving the process.”

A spokesman for the Brussels- based European Jewish Association told the Post the group planned on “filing a suit for slander against the group that is circulating the inflammatory materials.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the EJA, called for “an immediate cessation of funding” to and said the Jewish community was “battling an anti-Israel sentiment that has degenerated into a new form of anti-Semitism in all arenas – legal, political and the media.”

Anti-racism volunteers registered 80 anti-Semitic incidents throughout Belgium in 2012, according to a report released by the Antisemitsm.Be watchdog group. This represents a 23 percent increase over 2011.

In response to an inquiry on the lesson issue from the Post, a representative of the education minister said that an “answer is coming soon.”

In a statement on its website on Thursday, the BCH denied any connection to the materials.

“To reach a wide range of teachers we started last year a collaboration with KlasCement, an organization that holds a database with educational materials. This organization is also part of the Flemish government. The database of Remembrance Education is in therefore only a part of the bigger website.

BCH emphasizes that the two cases, discussed in the article, were not published in the database of Remembrance Education.”

“We will not support any Israel-hatred or Jews-hatred lesson practices,” BCH asserted.

“We are not accepting the accusations made in this article and we already have asked a right to reply,” the BCH’s Klaartje De Boeck said.

Guido Joris, the reporter who initially wrote about the lesson plans, disagrees.

“BHC is a government institute and KlasCement is also a government institute,” Joris told the Post. “Both are under the authority of the Flemish minister of education.”

“An official from the Education Ministry has to give approval for everything on KlasCement,” he said.

While he believes that BCH was unaware of the alleged anti-Semitic content, he believes it had a responsibility to know what was on the website to which it was referring teachers.

“You cant say ‘I’m not responsible,’” Joris said.

JTA contributed to this report.





Also see …







And This


If the zionists are upset with the following, then it’s a must read for everyone else ….. also see THIS report.
Speak to American Jews long enough about Israel and you begin to notice something. The conversation may begin with Israel, but it rarely ends there. It usually ends with “them.”

The American Jewish Cocoon

Peter Beinart

Moshe Milner/Israeli Government Press Office

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Steny Hoyer and other Democrats from the US House of Representatives, Jerusalem, August 6, 2013


Speak to American Jews long enough about Israel and you begin to notice something. The conversation may begin with Israel, but it rarely ends there. It usually ends with “them.”

Express concern about Israeli subsidies for West Bank settlements and you’ll be told that the settlements don’t matter because “they” won’t accept Israel within any borders. Cite the recent warning by former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin that “over the past 10–15 years Israel has become more and more racist” and you’ll be told that whatever Israel’s imperfections, it is “they” who teach their children to hate and kill. Mention that former prime minister Ehud Olmert has called Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace and you’ll be told that what “they” say in Arabic is different from what they say in English.

This spring I watched the documentary The Gatekeepers—in which six former heads of Shin Bet sharply criticize Israeli policy in the West Bank—with a mostly Jewish audience in New York. Afterward a man acknowledged that it was an interesting film. Then he asked why “they” don’t criticize their side like Israelis do.

I used to try, clumsily, to answer the assertions about Palestinians that so often consume the American Jewish conversation about Israel. But increasingly I give a terser reply: “Ask them.” That usually ends the conversation because in mainstream American Jewish circles, asking Palestinians to respond to the endless assertions that American Jews make about them is extremely rare. For the most part, Palestinians do not speak in American synagogues or write in the Jewish press. The organization Birthright, which since 1999 has taken almost 350,000 young Diaspora Jews—mostly Americans—to visit Israel, does not venture to Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank. Of the more than two hundred advertised speakers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference, two were Palestinians. By American Jewish standards, that’s high. The American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum earlier this year, which advertised sixty-four speakers, did not include a single Palestinian.

 Ask American Jewish organizations why they so rarely invite Palestinian speakers and you’ll likely be told that they have nothing against Palestinians per se. They just can’t give a platform to Israel’s enemies. In 2010, Hillel, the organization that oversees Jewish life on America’s college campuses, issued guidelines urging local chapters not to host speakers who “deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders,” “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel,” or “support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel.”

Those standards make it almost impossible for Jewish campus organizations to invite a Palestinian speaker. First, “delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard” is so vague that it could bar virtually any Palestinian (or, for that matter, non-Palestinian) critic of Israeli policy. Even supporting a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines would violate the “secure” borders standard, according to Benjamin Netanyahu.

Second, even moderate Palestinians like former prime minister Salam Fayyad, a favorite of America and Israel, support boycotting goods produced in the settlements. Third, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament, Ahmad Tibi, an Arab Israeli citizen, has publicly proposed turning Israel from a Jewish state into one with no religious identity. He presides over sessions of the Knesset but, according to Hillel’s guidelines, couldn’t address an American Jewish group on a college campus.

Guidelines like Hillel’s—which codify the de facto restrictions that exist in many establishment American Jewish groups—make the organized American Jewish community a closed intellectual space, isolated from the experiences and perspectives of roughly half the people under Israeli control. And the result is that American Jewish leaders, even those who harbor no animosity toward Palestinians, know little about the reality of their lives.

In 2010, for instance, an interviewer asked Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, about nonviolent Palestinian protesters convicted by military courts in the West Bank. It was an important question. While Jewish settlers are Israeli citizens and therefore enjoy the due process afforded by Israel’s civilian courts, West Bank Palestinians are noncitizens and thus fall under the jurisdiction of military courts in which, according to a 2011 investigation by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, more than 99 percent of cases end in conviction. Foxman, who leads an organization that according to its website “defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all,” replied, “I’m not an expert on the judicial system and I don’t intend to be.”

That same year, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel bought ads in major American newspapers in which he declared that in Jerusalem, “for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines.” Sadly, that statement is false. Compared to many of the regimes that ruled Jerusalem in the past, Israel is, indeed, tolerant. But a few months after Wiesel’s ad appeared, the State Department’s Religious Freedom Report noted that

the government of Israel continued to apply travel restrictions…that significantly impeded freedom of access to places of worship in the West Bank and Jerusalem for Muslims and Christians.

It also noted that “Israel’s permitting regime generally restricted most West Bank Muslims from accessing the Haram al-Sharif,” Jerusalem’s foremost Islamic holy site.

It’s a good bet that Foxman and Wiesel have each traveled to Israel dozens of times. They’ve likely known every Israeli prime minister in recent memory. They’ve probably even repeatedly met Palestinian leaders.

Moreover, during their careers, each has issued eloquent calls for human rights. Yet judging by their statements, they don’t know the degree to which Palestinians are denied those rights in the West Bank. They are unfamiliar with the realities of ordinary Palestinian life because they live inside the cocoon the organized American Jewish community has built for itself. Their statements reflect a truth that one particularly honest American Jewish leader acknowledged after meeting with West Bank Palestinians on a trip organized by the indispensable nonprofit group Encounter. “After one day of your trip, I felt like I had never been to Israel before,” admitted the Jewish leader, “and I am considered a professional Israel expert who travels to Israel several times a year.”

Unfortunately, such revelations are rare. There’s not much data on American Jewish knowledge of—as opposed to attitudes about—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But what there is suggests that Foxman and Wiesel are typical. In 1989, the sociologist Steven M. Cohen asked American Jews if “Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis generally go to the same schools.” Only one third of respondents knew the answer was no. In a 2012 poll by the Arab American Institute, two thirds of American Jews said they wanted Jerusalem to remain Israel’s undivided capital. But when asked about Ras al-Amud and Silwan, two of the Palestinian neighborhoods that would be divided from the rest of Jerusalem to create a Palestinian capital, between two thirds and three quarters of American Jews either said they were unimportant or admitted to not knowing where they were.

If one consequence of this isolation from Palestinians is a lack of information, the other is a lack of empathy. Because most American Jewish leaders have never seen someone denied the right to visit a family member because they lack the right permit, or visited a military court, or seen a Palestinian village scheduled for demolition because it lacks building permits that are almost impossible for Palestinians to get, it is easy for them to minimize the human toll of living, for forty-six years, without the basic rights that your Jewish neighbors take for granted. In much of the West Bank, for example, it is illegal for ten or more Palestinians to assemble for any “political” purpose without a military permit.

A booklet prepared by the Los Angeles–based pro-Israel group Stand With Us declares that “every city in the West Bank has a pool or recreation complex and Ramallah has more than ten”—alongside a photo of Palestinian children splashing in a water park. Readers would never know that, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, West Bank Palestinians consume only seventy-three liters of water per day, less than the hundred-liter minimum recommended by the World Health Organization, and less than one third as much as their Israeli counterparts.

At least Stand With Us only minimizes Palestinian suffering. At times, American Jews actively mock it. In 2002, during the brutal second intifada, then deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz told a large pro-Israel rally on the National Mall in Washington that “innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers as well” as Israelis. By the time Wolfowitz spoke, according to Defense of Children International, the intifada had already claimed the lives of more than two hundred Palestinian children. Yet when Wolfowitz mentioned Palestinian suffering, some in the crowd began to boo.

This lack of familiarity with Palestinian life also inclines many in the organized American Jewish world to assume that Palestinian anger toward Israel must be a product solely of Palestinian pathology. Rare is the American Jewish discussion of Israel that does not include some reference to the textbooks and television programs that “teach Palestinians to hate.” These charges have some merit. Palestinian schools and media do traffic in anti-Semitism and promote violence. Still, what’s often glaringly absent from the American Jewish discussion of Palestinian hatred is any recognition that some of it might stem not from what Palestinians read or hear about the Jewish state, but from the way they interact with it in their daily lives.

Palestinian anger does not justify Palestinian violence. It certainly does not justify the grotesque attacks on Israeli civilians committed by Hamas and other terrorist groups. But as Israel’s own top security officials have noted, stopping Palestinian terrorism requires understanding it. And attributing it entirely to textbooks and television programs, as American Jewish groups often do, doesn’t accomplish that.

A database of Palestinian suicide bombers, compiled by former Radford University economist Basel Saleh, found that “personal grievances [against Israel] have a considerable weight in motivating attacks.” In 2003, in these pages, Avishai Margalit, a leading Israeli philosopher, made a similar point, noting that “the main motivating force for the suicide bombers seems to be the desire for spectacular revenge.”1 Eyad El Sarraj, founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, in 2002 pointed out that “the people who are committing the suicide bombings are the children of the first intifada—people who witnessed so much trauma as children.”

By walling themselves off from Palestinians, American Jews fail to understand the very behavior they seek to prevent. This intellectual isolation also keeps the American Jewish mainstream from comprehending another phenomenon it deeply fears: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The American Jewish establishment generally attributes the support for BDSamong various academic, professional, and Christian organizations to resurgent anti-Semitism. “Sixty years after the Holocaust,” declared Foxman in 2009, “we are watching one layer after another of the constraints against anti-Semitism, which arose as a result of the murder of six million, being peeled away.” In this anti-Semitic resurgence, the BDS movement, which Foxman has declared “at its very core is anti-Semitic,” is exhibit A.



Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos

The separation wall at Aida refugee camp on the West Bank; photograph by Josef Koudelka fromWall: Israeli and Palestinian Landscape, 2008–2012, which collects his panoramic images from East Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and other sites along the separation wall. The book will be published by Aperture in October.


There are anti-Semites in the BDS movement, something my blog, Open Zion, has aggressively exposed. More generally, the movement is based on a dangerous and inaccurate analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa, an analogy that leads many BDS activists to oppose the two-state solution in favor of a single “secular, binational” state that would, in reality, probably mean civil war between Jews and Palestinians. But what American Jewish leaders like Foxman don’t understand about BDS is that what fuels it is often interactions with Palestinians living under Israeli control. American Jewish leaders don’t understand the power of such interactions because they rarely have them themselves.

When mainline Protestant delegations visit Israel, for instance, they are far more likely than their Jewish counterparts to visit Palestinians in the West Bank. Indeed, many Christian organizations maintain offices across the Green Line, something most American Jewish groups do not. That gives them an appreciation of Palestinian suffering that American Jews generally lack. Asked about the United Methodist Church’s proposal to end investments in companies that help Israel control the West Bank (a proposal the Methodists ultimately voted down), Mark Harrison, director of the church’s Peace with Justice Program, explains, “What we saw on the ground is what pushed us in this direction.”

Similarly, it was appeals from Palestinian academics—some of whom he had met on a trip to Birzeit University near Ramallah—that led Stephen Hawking, the British theoretical physicist, to decline to attend a conference hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres in May. The BDS movement is growing not only because Israel is often judged by an unfair double standard but because of interactions between Palestinians and people around the world who are sympathetic to their cause. The American Jewish community is hamstrung in its ability to respond by its own lack of experience with Palestinian life under Israeli control.

If this isolation from Palestinians were confined to American Jewry, it would be bad enough. But to a striking degree, the same insularity characterizes debate about Israel in Washington. In part that’s because of the weakness of Palestinian and Arab-American groups. And in part it’s because of the effectiveness of the American Jewish establishment. Since 2000, according to the website LegiStorm, members of Congress and their staffs have visited Israel more than one thousand times. That’s almost twice the number of visits to any other foreign country. Roughly three quarters of those trips were sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), AIPAC’s nonprofit arm. And many of the rest were sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, local Jewish Community Relations Councils, local Jewish Federations, and other mainstream Jewish groups. During the summer of 2011 alone, AIEF took 20 percent of House members—and almost half the Republican freshman class—to the Jewish state. Since 2000, the foundation has taken House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer or his staffers to Israel nine times and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor or his staffers eight times.

These trips, whose cost can exceed $10,000 and often include congressional spouses, are extremely popular. They’re also influential, leaving what Hoyer has called an “indelible impression” on legislators. Unfortunately, they largely replicate the cocoon that the American Jewish establishment provides its own members. Members of Congress may see more Christian holy sites than your average synagogue or Birthright trip, but they don’t see many more Palestinians. An AIEFtrip this spring for eight House members and staffers who serve on foreign policy–related committees was typical. Virtually the entire itinerary consisted of meetings with Israeli politicians, security officials, businessmen, and journalists, as well as trips to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum, and the Western Wall. The delegation spent one morning of its almost week-long trip in Ramallah, where it met Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad. But the Americans didn’t stay in the West Bank long enough to learn anything about Palestinian life.

Last summer, when I asked a member of Congress about his AIEF-sponsored trip in 2007, he told me, “When we went into Ramallah to meet Fayyad, they put the city under curfew. We drove in an armed convoy. We didn’t drive through Qalandiya checkpoint [through which Palestinians, with some difficulty, often pass in order to travel between Ramallah and Jerusalem], didn’t see garbage, shanties. We saw almost no actual people.” He added, “Most members [of Congress] don’t know that Palestinians live under a different legal system.”

That’s not to say members of Congress don’t learn anything on their Israel trips. They learn why Jews feel so connected to Israel and why they worry so much about its security. And for the most part, they learn to see Palestinians the way the American Jewish establishment does: as a faceless, frightening, undifferentiated mass. As one “pro-Israel” activist told The New York Times last year, “We call it the Jewish Disneyland trip.”

The American Jewish community does not bear all the blame for its lack of interaction with Palestinians. In recent years, sadly, Palestinian activists have led a growing “anti-normalization” campaign that rejects any relations with Jewish Israelis, or Israel’s supporters abroad, who do not—in the words of one statement by Palestinian youth groups—“explicitly aim to resist Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid.” Guided by this principle, some Palestinian organizations have shunned Seeds of Peace, which brings together Israeli and Palestinian teens in a camp in Maine, and One Voice, which tries to mobilize Palestinians and Israelis to support the two-state solution. Last year, the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of California, San Diego, even declared “dialogue and collaboration with J Street U counterproductive” because the student wing of the liberal American Jewish group did not support divestment from Israel.

One can understand Palestinians’ reluctance to participate in events that make them appear to consent to an unjust occupation. But that is very different from boycotting events that offer them the opportunity to describe that injustice to American Jews who may be genuinely unfamiliar with it. The former endorses the status quo; the latter challenges it. As the Palestinian blogger Aziz Abu Sarah has noted, characterizing conversations in which Palestinians discuss life under Israeli control as “normalization” is perverse since for both Israeli and American Jews, hearing “about life in Palestinian cities is not normal.” And it makes no sense to demand that American Jews endorse all aspects of the Palestinian agenda before—or even after—the dialogue begins. Jews have the right to their own opinions. But those opinions will be better informed, and more humane, if they encounter Palestinian opinions too.

To say that American Jews need to hear from Palestinians is not to say that doing so will turn them into doves. To the contrary, in some ways a truly open conversation with Palestinians may be more discomforting to American Jews like myself who are committed to the two-state solution than to those skeptical of it. American Jewish liberals generally believe in the legitimacy of both Jewish and Palestinian nationalism. Many hope, therefore, that if they endorse the basic justness of the Palestinian bid for self-determination, Palestinians will endorse the justness of Zionism.

That’s highly unlikely. Virtually every Palestinian I’ve ever met considers Zionism to be colonialist, imperialist, and racist. When liberal American Jews think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they think about Isaac and Ishmael: brothers reared in the same land, each needing territory their progeny can call home. Palestinians are more likely to think about South Africa: a phalanx of European invaders, fired by religious and nationalistic zeal, dominating the indigenous population.

Because they see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a struggle between rival but equally legitimate nationalisms, American Jewish liberals often suggest that the real problem began in 1967, when Israel became greedy and began to seize the land on which Palestinians could build a state. Palestinians, by contrast, often refocus attention on 1948, when roughly 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes in Israel’s war of independence, which Palestinians call the Nakba—“catastrophe.”

In my own interactions with Palestinians, I have been repeatedly struck by the central place they assign the Nakba in Palestinian identity, and by their deep insistence that those Palestinians whom the Nakba made refugees, and their descendants, have the right to return to their ancestral homes.2 In many ways, this focus on 1948 is more challenging to Jewish doves—who envision Palestinians abandoning a large-scale right of return in exchange for a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a capital in East Jerusalem—than for Jewish hawks who assume Palestinians will do no such thing.

This is not to say that encounters with Palestinians lead inevitably to the conclusion that Israel has no “partner” for a two-state solution. Palestinians don’t need to believe in Zionism’s legitimacy to make a pragmatic decision that because Israel isn’t going away, they’re better off accepting a state on 22 percent of British mandatory Palestine than waging a struggle for all of it that they can’t win. It may also be possible to distinguish the profound Palestinian belief in the “right” of refugee return from practical solutions about how to compensate and resettle people whose original villages and homes have long ceased to exist.

According to J.J. Goldberg in The Forward, Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 wanted Israel to accept 150,000 refugees, far more than Ehud Olmert desired but not enough to significantly erode the demographic character of Israel, with its six million Jews. Recent polling by James Zogby suggests that most Arab Israelis would accept a two-state deal in which most refugees do not return to Israel. According to the poll, most Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan would oppose such a deal. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are closely split. If there were ample compensation, more Palestinians would likely be open to a two-state solution that would not include mass refugee return. In any case, given that most Palestinians believe Israel will never leave the West Bank, it’s almost impossible to predict how they’d react to what they consider a wildly hypothetical outcome.

If talking to Palestinians will not necessarily push American Jews in a particular policy direction, why is it so important? Two reasons. The first is that ignorance is dangerous. I recently spoke to a group of Jewish high school students who are being trained to become advocates for Israel when they go to college. They were smart, earnest, passionate. When I asked if any had read a book by a Palestinian, barely any raised their hands. Even from the perspective of narrow Jewish and Zionist self-interest, that’s folly. How effectively can you defend Israel’s legitimacy if you don’t even understand the arguments against it?

But the students are simply reflecting their elders. Last year a prominent pro-Israel commentator asked me whether Ali Abunimah was the name of a real Palestinian or the pen name of a left-wing Jew. Abunimah (the real name of a real Palestinian) is probably the most prominent BDS activist in America. He has 37,000 followers on Twitter, more than the commentator who asked the question or most other pro-Israel Jewish writers. I’m not a fan of Abunimah’s politics, but he clearly knows far more about what establishment American Jews think than they know about what he thinks.

In part that’s because establishment Jewish discourse about Israel is, in large measure, American public discourse about Israel. Watch a discussion of Israel on American TV and what you’ll hear, much of the time, is a liberal American Jew (Thomas Friedman, David Remnick) talking to a centrist American Jew (Dennis Ross, Alan Dershowitz) talking to a hawkish American Jew (William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer), each articulating different Zionist positions. Especially since Edward Said’s death, Palestinian commentators have been hardly visible. Thus Palestinians can’t easily escape hearing the way the other side discusses Israel; American Jews can.

For centuries, when Jews lived in the Diaspora as a persecuted minority, we had to understand the societies around us. Because we lacked power, we had to be smart to survive. Now, I fear, because Jews enjoy power in Israel and America, especially vis-à-vis Palestinians, we’ve forgotten the importance of listening. “Who is wise?” asks the Jewish ethical text Pirkei Avot. “He who learns from all people.” As Jews, we owe Israel not merely our devotion but our wisdom. And we can’t truly provide it if our isolation from Palestinians keeps us dumb.

If encountering Palestinians combats American Jewish ignorance, it also combats American Jewish hatred. In May, Sheldon Adelson, among the most influential Jewish philanthropists in America, said he would not support John Kerry’s plan for Palestinian economic development because “why would I want to invest money with people who want to kill my people?” Adelson wasn’t calling one Palestinian leader a killer, or even one Palestinian faction. He was calling Palestinians killers per se. And his views aren’t uncommon. At a breakfast last year, I heard a prominent Jewish leader in New York call Palestinians “animals.”

In 2010, an Orthodox professor of Jewish philosophy named Charles Manekin noticed a photo in The Wall Street Journal. It was of American Jewish students, likely in Israel for a year between high school and college, screaming at a Palestinian woman in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem where settlers have evicted Palestinians from their homes. In response, Manekin wrote an open letter to American Jewish leaders entitled “Recognizing the Sin of Bigotry, and Eradicating It.” In it, he proposed that Jewish “schools should invite Palestinian refugees to speak to the students about their experiences.” The speeches, he explained, would not be “about politics” but “about humanity.”

The beauty of Manekin’s proposal is that Jews, of all people, can relate to stories of dispersion and dispossession. To have your family torn apart in war—to struggle to maintain your culture, your dignity, your faith in God, in the face of forces over which you have no control—is something Jews should instinctively understand. Indeed, in strange ways, encountering Palestinians—the very people we are trained to see as alien—can reconnect us to the deepest parts of ourselves. Tommy Lapid, the late father of Israel’s most recent political sensation, Yair Lapid, was a hawk. But one day in 2004, watching an elderly woman in Gaza’s Rafah refugee camp searching on hands and knees for her medicines in the ruins of a house destroyed by Israeli bulldozers, he blurted out something astonishing. He said she reminded him of his Hungarian grandmother.

One hundred members of Sara Roy’s extended family were murdered in the Holocaust. Growing up, Roy, now a Harvard researcher, knew little about her father’s experiences in the Chelmno death camp because “he could not speak about them without breaking down.” It was living among Palestinians, she says, that brought her closer to her parents, not because Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians echoes the Nazi treatment of Jews—it obviously does not—but because for the first time she encountered people utterly terrified of the state that enjoyed life-and-death power over their lives.

By seeing Palestinians—truly seeing them—we glimpse a faded, yellowing photograph of ourselves. We are reminded of the days when we were a stateless people, living at the mercy of others. And by recognizing the way statelessness threatens Palestinian dignity, we ensure that statehood doesn’t rob us of our own.



“ The Suicide Bombers,” The New York Review, January 16, 2003. 


  • In the months of April–May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.
Written FOR


There are scores of sites on the Web that ‘police’ pro Palestinian Blogs and periodicals searching desperately for any criticism or condemnations of zionism. Instead of looking into the matters at hand, they merely label all such sites as anti-Semitic. If they were truly interested in the survival of Israel they would do their utmost to correct the wrongs that are taking place there.
But no, it’s much easier to condemn
Three score and five years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. That was just the beginning of the myth of the century. This has definitely NOT been the case. It has NOT been dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, not even if they are Jews. It has survived all these years by perpetuating the myth that this is a land given by a higher Body to the ‘Chosen People’. For all those years it has collected a whole deck of victim cards that it pulls out one by one to garner world sympathy and yet more support.
That has been the answer to the criticisms and condemnations of the evils taking place.
Today we see a situation of the ‘reawakening’ of the so-called Peace Process, brought to light with the help of the US State Department. A ‘reawakening’ that could be the end of the Palestinian nightmare. But NO ….. that would create even more problems for Israel. Peace could mean the end of the 30 Billion Dollar a year handout from US Taxpayers’ pockets. Israel finds itself today with a threat more deadly than war itself, PEACE.
So what to do?
Sabotage the process before it even starts.
Build more settlements.
Expand the existing ones.
Arrest more innocent Palestinian children.
ANYTHING to maintain the status quo.
And, if what I say is construed as anti-Semitism by zion, SO BE IT!


“BDS Monitor” appears likely to be another bigotry-driven exercise in on-campus espionage and intimidation against students and faculty who oppose, or want to inquire about, Israel’s racism and violence against Palestinians.

Anti-Palestinian group to “monitor” boycott activists on campus

 Ali Abunimah 

SPME website urges anti-Palestinian activists to “Report BDS Activity at Your School”


A group that works against Palestinian rights plans to increase its surveillance on American campuses in an effort to remove the “element of surprise” that it says has contributed to the growing success of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a decade-old group supported by leading anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic funders and figures, announced in a 29 July email to supporters that it had launched a new initiative called “BDS Monitor.”

Alex Joffe, who “has been affiliated with the Middle East Forum,” the outfit of Daniel Pipes, will head the initiative, the email states.

Pipes, himself a former board member of SPME according to the group’s website, is one of the most notorious figures in the Islamophobia industry.

“Undermine the element of surprise”

“With the increase of BDS proposals around the country SPME believes a monitoring project will be a useful educational tool for faculty, students and other stakeholders who care about the well-being of academia,” the email says. “Further, we hope it will help defeat these bills while exposing the non-academic nature of the movement and its followers.”

The BDS movement calls for broad-based civil society boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns intended to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights, including academic boycott of Israeli institutions, and divestment from firms that assist or profit from Israeli occupation and human rights crimes.

Over the past year, numerous student legislative bodies have passed bills supporting divestment.

BDS Monitor “will create a monthly digest of global BDS activities, including a monthly newsletter that will include links to news items, organized by region, and to opinion and analytical pieces, with special attention toward insights from the pro-peace community.”

“The BDS Monitor will also begin to undermine the element of surprise that has been a key asset to BDS organizers,” the email claims.

Daniel Pipes launched a website called Campus Watch a decade ago, a McCarthyite project that kept a “blacklist” and encouraged students to spy on and report their supposedly anti-Israel and anti-American professors.

In that same spirit, the SPME’s website now has a form to “Report BDS Activity at Your School.”

“Pro-peace” facade

The SPME email alleges – without offering a shred of evidence – that “Pronouncements attempting to appeal to the conscience of academics supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement often depict Israel as a Nazi-like state.”

It also claims that a “careful look at the BDS movement and its methodology shows not legitimate criticism but a movement that is racist and anti-Semitic.”

SPME’s reasoning? Because the 2005 Palestinian call for BDS supports the right of Palestinian refugees to return home. This, the SPME email claims, would mean a “flood of Palestinian refugees, which would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.”

SPME seems unaware that referring to a human population as an undesirable or destructive “flood” just because they are not members of a specific ethnoracial group (in this case Jews) is the very essence of racism.

While smearing supporters of Palestinian rights as “racists” and “anti-Semites,” SPME itself claims to represent a “pro-peace” community. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anti-Palestinian funders

In 2010, SPME received $200,000 from the Klarman Family Fund, accounting for almost two-thirds of the group’s $322,000 income that year.

As Max Blumenthal reported for The Electronic Intifada in May:

The foundation is the charitable vehicle for Boston-based pro-Israel billionaire Seth Klarman. He is the principal funder of The Israel Project, an Israeli government-linked public relations and lobbying group run by former AIPAC spokesperson Josh Block, which has, among other things, taken dozens of journalists on helicopter tours in Israel and the territories it occupies.

With assests of more than $300 million, the Klarman foundation is one of the principal donors of the anti-Palestinian and anti-BDS industry, and has made major donations toMEMRICAMERAThe David Project and Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, according to its filings with the Internal Revenue Service.

Klarman is also a major donor to the Reut Institute and NGO Monitor, two groups that collaborate with the Israeli government in the effort to sabotage and attack the Palestine solidarity movement.

Other donors to SPME, though not as generous, have similar profiles. For example, the New York-based Bodman Foundation, which gave SPME $25,000 in 2008 according to the foundation’s IRS filings, also gave the same amount to Shurat HaDin. Shurat HaDin is an Israeli organization that has been at the forefront of efforts to use legal harassment to try to silence criticism of Israel in the US.

SPME’s board of would-be censors and Islamophobes

SPME’s “mission statement” professes that the group opposes “ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism” – a clear attempt to redefine criticism of Israel as a form of bigotry. It also claims to have a “commitment to academic freedom, intellectual integrity, and honest debate.”

Yet some its board members, in addition to Pipes, have been leading voices against Muslims on campus and have spearheaded efforts that amount to censorship and criminalization of speech.

According to its Internal Revenue Service filings and its website, SPME’s board of directors includes Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Leila Beckwith, Kenneth Marcus, Charles Jacobs and Richard Landes, among many other key figures in the US-based anti-Palestinian movement.

Rossman-Benjamin and Beckwith are co-founders of the AMCHA Initiative, a group that has been part of efforts to criminalize criticism of Israel on California campuses. Rossman-Benjamin was caught on video last year generally vilifying students who advocate for Palestinian rights, Muslim students and international students as anti-Semitic and having “ties to terrorist organizations.”

Kenneth Marcus has been the leading force behind efforts to use the 1965 Civil Rights Actand other forms of “lawfare” to silence and suppress free speech critical of Israel.

Charles Jacobs, a founder of CAMERA and The David Project, openly campaigns against Muslim students on campuses. Jacobs has advanced bizarre conspiracy theories about the “Saudi influence at our leading universities.” He has also proposed that Muslim students “should be required to attend sensitivity training about Judaism and about American values of tolerance.”

Richard Landes has been a leading figure in efforts to defame Palestinians, including pushing the conspiracy theory, rejected by French courts, that the child Muhammad al-Durawas not really killed by the Israeli army in Gaza in 2000.

Landes also coined the term “Pallywood,” used by anti-Palestinian activists who claim that many documented cases of Israeli occupation forces maiming and killing Palestinians are staged.

Given these facts, SPME’s “BDS Monitor” appears likely to be another bigotry-driven exercise in on-campus espionage and intimidation against students and faculty who oppose, or want to inquire about, Israel’s racism and violence against Palestinians.

Written FOR


The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel celebrates the increasing number of international artists who are cancelling performances in Israel. Accompanying this success are allegations that artists receive threats that lead them to cancel their performances. To counter these charges, USACBI wants to be clear about the work we do, and how we do it.

No evidence of “threats” that prompted The Animals’ Eric Burdon to cancel Israel gig

 Ali Abunimah

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eric Burdon, former lead vocalist of the 1960s British band The Animals, has canceled a scheduled performance in Israel amid claims of “threats” to his life.

But no evidence has emerged to substantiate the claims of threats, or accusations by a Jewish Agency propagandist that activists in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement made them.

Claim of “threats”

“We are under increasing pressure, including many threatening emails that we are receiving on a daily basis. I wouldn’t want to put Eric in any danger,” his manager, Marianna Burdon, wrote in a letter to Israeli members of Tislam, the band Burdon was scheduled to perform with, Haaretz reported on 23 July.

Burdon is currently on tour promoting his recent solo album Til Your River Runs Dry. The Animals’ best-known songs include hit singles “The House of the Rising Sun,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get out of This Place.”

Burdon’s song “Monterey” (see video above) is an ode to the legendary 1967 music festival in Monterey, California, which is remembered for some of the earliest major American appearances by iconic artists of the era, including Hugh Masekela, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and Ravi Shankar.

While other Israeli media, such as The Times of Israel website, have also reported that Burdon “caved to threats,” no details of the alleged threats have come to light.

The Independent reported, “The nature of the threats is unclear, but according to Israel Radio … Mr Burdon was not willing to risk his life to come to Israel.”

According to the blog Kadaitcha, Burdon’s cancelation came after an advocacy campaign by activists, including the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Don’t Play Apartheid Israel.

No information from Burdon’s camp

The Electronic Intifada reached Elizabeth Freund, Burdon’s New York based press agent, by telephone this morning to ask about the nature of the threats and whether they had been reported to any law enforcement agency.

Freund told The Electronic Intifada she had no information and referred further inquiries to Burdon’s “management.” Freund said that she would forward The Electronic Intifada’s emailed inquiry to Burdon’s manager.

Two additional emails sent to Marianna Burdon, at an address posted on Eric Burdon’s official website, have received no response.

Jewish Agency operative’s accusations against “BDS” activists

As Kadaitcha noted, Israeli propagandists have been quick to seize on the story.

In a series of tweets Avi Mayer, a propaganda operative for the Jewish Agency, directly accused BDS activists of making the threats.

The Jewish Agency is an Israeli-government sponsored organization that implements discriminatory policies to promote Zionist colonization of Palestinian land.

One of Mayer’s tweets stated: “#BDS thugs threaten 72-year-old. // @EricBurdon of The Animals cancels concert in Israel, citing threats” and links to the Haaretz story which does not support his claim.

Mayer repeated the accusations in other tweets: (See tweets in LINK)

But Mayer offered absolutely no evidence to back up his claims that anyone associated with the BDS movement or any known Palestine solidarity organization had anything to do with the alleged threats.

Israel has an interest in representing the BDS movement as working by threats, as more and more artists take principled stances and voluntarily heed Palestinians’ call to refuse to perform in Israel.

Just last week, for example, acclaimed Indian-American director Mira Nair joined a growing list of cultural figures that includes Roger Waters and Alice Walker, endorsing the cultural boycott of Israel.

Nair explained that she would not travel to the country until “apartheid” had ended.

Boycott activists respond

USACBI, the US campaign for the cultural and academic of Israel, has forcefully rejected any suggestion that it uses threats in its work:

The Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel celebrates the increasing number of international artists who are cancelling performances in Israel. Accompanying this success are allegations that artists receive threats that lead them to cancel their performances. To counter these charges, USACBI wants to be clear about the work we do, and how we do it.

The statement adds that, along with its allies, including PACBI, USACBI “contacts artists scheduled to perform in Israel. We actively appeal to these artists and inform them about the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. We make sure these artists know that boycotts and divestment initiatives are non-violent strategies of global solidarity.”

“Although we and our allies urge artists not to cross the international picket line by performing in Israel, and although we make sustained efforts to educate performers about the reason for boycott, we have not and never will issue any threats against anyone who does not heed the boycott call,” the statement adds.

USACBI called the reports of threats against Burdon “vague and unsubstantiated” and added: “We do not know if they are made up by media hostile to the BDS strategy, or by artists and/or their agents, or if they are inflated reports of remarks made by individuals who do not represent the movement.”

Written FOR


If the beast was a kosher one would the fuss be the same?
Interesting that the other symbols on the balloon are completely ignored … the symbols of well-known fascist regimes, logos of two corporations, and a Star of David.
The Weisenthal Centre was, of course, one of the first to jump on the badwagon of hate … Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has taken the hammer to British rock musician and anti-Israel activist Roger Waters after a giant pig shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David was released into the sky at a July 18th concert in Belgium.
“With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind ‘limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.’ Waters  is an open hater of Jews,”
Open hater of Jews???? For being against the occupation????
Why not open hater of Americans for being against the use of drones against innocent civilians …
or an open hater of South Africans for opposing the apartheid regeme of their past.
The ADL surprised us all with the following  … Another Jewish watchdog, the Anti Defamation League which criticized Waters in 2010 for “using imagery long associated with stereotypes about Jews and money as part of a segment of his 2010-2011 ‘The Wall Live’ Tour,” said that Waters’ pig was old news and in context was not anti-Semitic.“This is the same thing he’s been doing for years,” said Todd Gutnick, Director of Media Relations. “We believe there’s no anti-Semitic intent here in the use of the Star of David symbol.”


No anti-Semitic intent!

For once the ADL hit it right on the head!!


The Israeli media sees it differently as can be read in THIS report.


Also see my post from last night HERE.


Enjoy the following …. take note what it means to be a pig, than ask yourself if that is not the same meaning as being a zionist ;)


In an attempt to find new venues of anti-Semitism, zionism has created a new one …
Before the creation of the State of Israel, anti-Semitic attacks, including the use of bigoted tropes such as blood libels, theological accusations, and racist depictions, were directed at the Jewish people. “New anti-Semitism,” a more recent phenomenon, substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel.
Two faces of anti-Semitism

 ‘New anti-Semitism’ substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel

Ora Shapiro


Are we going back in time when Nazi propaganda dehumanized Jews by depicting them as animals? A recently published cartoon by the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung portraying Israel as a monster “Moloch” devouring weaponry is just another confirmation that anti-Semitism is still in vogue, but with a new more dangerous twist.

Before the creation of the State of Israel, anti-Semitic attacks, including the use of bigoted tropes such as blood libels, theological accusations, and racist depictions, were directed at the Jewish people. “New anti-Semitism,” a more recent phenomenon, substitutes hatred of the Jew with demonization of Israel.

This new expression of modern anti-Semitism is well illustrated by a cartoon that recently appeared in the largest German daily broadsheet reviving images of the dark Nazi times. It depicted Israel as a wild, hungry, monster, being served by a woman with a text under the cartoon stating, “Germany is serving. Israel has been given weapons for decades – and partly free of charge. Israel’s enemies think it is a ravenous Moloch…” Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Bavarian daily publishes “incitement articles against Israel.”


הקריקטורה. "גרמניה מגישה"

Israel as ‘Moloch’ in German daily


Also Palestinian NGOs, funded by German taxpayer money, claim to promote democracy and human rights, while simultaneously employing both “new antisemitism,” as well as classical antisemitism.

According to a report entitled “Blood Libels & BDS,” published recently by Jerusalem based research organization NGO Monitor, a network of NGOs that claim to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, often resort to anti-Semitic themes and imagery. These organizations employ classical and theological anti-Semitism, at times also using rhetoric that constitutes anti-Semitism “with regard to the State of Israel,” as appears in the EU definition of anti-Semitism.

For example Miftah, a Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO), recently published an article by Nawaf al-Zaru that revived the ancient anti-Semitic blood libel against Jews. He wrote, “Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’…?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals…?! Much of the historical stories and tales about Jewish blood rituals in Europe are based on real rituals and are not false as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover …”

Miftah is funded directly by Germany (via Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories) as well as by other European governments. Because these foundations do not have evaluation or monitoring mechanisms in place to control the implementation of projects and ensure that funding is not misappropriated, the governments are often uninformed of how taxpayer money is being used. In private correspondence with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, they explained that their “cooperation is limited to the implementation of joint workshops in the field of promoting good governance” and that they do not grant “institutional funding.” These rationales are insufficient and allow funders to distance themselves from the anti-Semitic activities of radical organizations like Miftah.

Anti-Semitic cartoons, brochures, claims, whether published in Germany or supported by German tax-payer money, endanger Jews and undermine the special German-Israeli relations. Promoting hate-filled ideologies, systematically demonizing Jews, and denying Israel’s right to exist, runs counter to stated missions of organizations like Miftah, which claim to encourage peace and promote conflict resolution.

Despite the extensive evidence of NGO anti-Semitism, governments nonetheless continue to fund these groups. Officials justify the funding under the pretense that it is intended for distinct “projects” unrelated to the grantee’s wider agenda and expressions of anti-Semitism. However, funders are enablers, and share full responsibility for the activities of their grantees – including promoting hate and intolerance.

The author is a 2012-2013 Israel Research Fellow at NGO-Monitor and a guide at Yad Vashem





If not … create some!
Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
israels point of view (1)

“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.*

Alice Walker book deemed ‘anti-Jewish’

Anti-Defamation League accuses Pulitzer Prize-winning American author of comparing Israelis to Nazis in her new book. ‘Walker is revealed as someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,’ Jewish group says

Daniel Koren*

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says Alice Walker, author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning “The Color Purple,” expresses several “fervently anti-Jewish ideas” in her latest novel, “The Cushion in the Road.”

The ADL, an American Jewish organization whose mission is to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike,” says the novel dedicates over 80 pages to essays on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which they say is “peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.”

According to the ADL, the pages, which comprise a dozen essays in a section called “On Palestine,” are brimming with attempts to justify terrorism against Israeli citizens. She also ostracizes the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, comparing it to movie festivals Hitler had established in the days leading up to World War II.

“It amazes me, in these churches, that there is no discussion of the fact that the other behavior we learned about in the Bible stories: The rapes, the murders, the pillaging, the enslavement of the conquered, the confiscation of land, the brutal domination and colonization of all ‘others’ is still front and center in Israel’s behavior today,” Walker writes in The Cushion in the Road.

“It is because I recognize the brutality with which my own multi-branched ancestors have been treated that I can identify the despicable, lawless, cruel, and sadistic behavior that has characterized Israel’s attempts to erase a people, the Palestinians, from their own land.”

‘Sunk to new lows’

Walker is no stranger to anti-Israeli rhetoric: Only last month she wrote an open letter to American R&B singer Alicia Keys, urging her to boycott Israeli “apartheid.”

“It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists,” she wrote in the letter. Keys, however, has yet to succumb to growing pressure to cancel her show, and is set to perform in Tel Aviv on July 4.

Walker also made headlines last year when she refused for her highly acclaimed “The Color Purple” to be translated into Hebrew, telling Israeli publishing house Yedidot Books that the State must change its polices before she would allow it to be published there.

According to the ADL, in her new novel Walker suggests that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state.

“Alice Walker has sunk to new lows with essays that remove the gloss of her anti-Israel activism to reveal someone who is unabashedly infected with anti-Semitism,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

“She has taken her extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level, revealing the depth of her hatred of Jews and Israel to a degree that we have not witnessed before. Her descriptions of the conflict are so grossly inaccurate and biased that it seems Walker wants the uninformed reader to come away sharing her hate-filled conclusions that Israel is committing the greatest atrocity in the history of the world.”


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