Organizers say pro-Israel filmmaker with controversial past deceives, disrupts Penn BDS conference (UPDATED)

on 74 Comments
Filmmaker Martin Himel (Photo:

Scroll down for an update to this post.

Organizers of the University of Pennsylvania’s BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) conference acted to prevent a rightwing pro-Israel filmmaker from interviewing participants at the conference because he misrepresented himself and disrupted the event Saturday, they said. 

The fracas started when organizers got word that Martin Himel, a Canadian filmmaker with a controversial ideological history, had registered for the event without identifying himself as a reporter and was interviewing conference-goers. After some discussion, a decision was made to tell Himel that he could not film any more, although he was allowed to attend the conference since he registered as a participant.

“This group talks about open press,” but they couldn’t handle tough questions, Himel said in a phone interview.

PennBDS explains the decision:

In order to ensure a safe and orderly event, the organizers of this weekend’s UPenn BDS conference, which has been the target of a campaign of vicious, slanderous attacks in recent weeks, instituted a press registration policy designed to facilitate media coverage without interfering with the work of conference attendees.

Unfortunately, at least one individual has abused this policy by deceiving conference organizers in regards to their true identity and agenda. This misrepresentation, and subsequent interview tactics employed by said individual, caused a substantial disruption to the organizers’ educational mission, prompting organizers to ask said individual to desist so that order could be restored.

All journalists properly registered, including colleagues of said individual [his film crew], maintain their access to participants and to conference proceedings that are open to media. Organizers regret any inconvenience caused to conference participants by the presence of said individual, and reiterate their commitment to allowing free access to journalists who conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

This is not the first time Palestine solidarity activists have had to contend with Himel, who has also worked for WorldFocus and PBS. A documentary he produced about Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Concordia University in Canada and the protests that ensued painted Palestine solidarity activists as anti-Semites and compared the breaking of windows during a protest against Netanyahu to Kristallnacht.

Writing for the Toronto Star in 2003, Antonia Zerbisias dubbed Himel’s documentary as “hyperbolic”:

A controversial Global TV documentary that portrays last September’s student demonstration in Montreal against a speech by former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the dawn of a new Holocaust is getting a repeat showing this week – despite three formal complaints against the film.

The outgoing Concordia Student Union (CSU) as well as Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and the Canadian Muslim Forum claim that Confrontation At Concordia presents an unfair picture of events at the downtown campus, which is portrayed as “the vipers’ nest of anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli hatred…”

The complainants have a point. I watched this film twice, and while there’s no doubt that some pro-Palestinian students got too hot under the kaffiya, comparing one broken university window, a trampled Israeli flag, a few frankly hateful placards plus some chanting, jumping and pumping fists to Kristallnacht, that infamous night in Nazi Germany when Jewish shops and synagogues were destroyed, is hyperbolic to say the least.

But that’s how filmmaker Martin Himel described it when I asked him if bringing up the Holocaust wasn’t going too far.

“I don’t know how much you know about history, but Kristallnacht, all that started with breaking windows,” he said. “They broke windows, they put up posters of Jews and lo and behold.”

Himel makes no apologies for his documentary, adding that he is “not aware of the complaints” against it. Fair enough. He’s based in Israel where he reports for Global. But there’s no excuse for his not mentioning – or even knowing – that Netanyahu’s tour was co-sponsored by the Winnipeg-based Asper Foundation, established by his ultimate employer, CanWest Global chair Izzy Asper. Even a simple search of the Montreal Gazette, also a CanWest news organ, would have revealed that.

Another of Himel’s films, titled “Jenin: Massacring Truth,” was praised by Aish Hatorah, a Zionist organization linked to illegal West Bank settlements. And at a B’nai Brith-sponsored Ze’ev Jabotinsky Memorial event, Himel criticized a separate film about the Concordia protest by saying that the film “interviewed a self-hating Jew who agreed with the Arabs.”

Himel left the conference threatening to create problems for PennBDS, but returned as a participant. He said in an interview that his crew was continuing to film.

UPDATE: As Benjamin Doherty (bangpound) of the Electronic Intifada notes in the comments, Ali Abunimah has written a personal account of his interaction with Himel:

Here’s what happened: on Saturday morning, I was approached by two women who presented themselves as producers from Canada who were there to cover the conference. One of them clearly told me they were from the CBC. I was a bit surprised that the CBC would send a team to cover the conference but I thought perhaps with all the publicity it didn’t seem unreasonable they might have sent a US-based team from New York or Washington.

I agreed to be interviewed but later on. After the morning breakout session, one of the women buttonholed me and asked if I minded doing the interview then. Since it was the lunch break I said that was fine. She took me to a room where they had a camera and lights set up. They miked me and sat me down, and then the interviewer appeared. I learned only later that it was Martin Himel.

But the moment the interview began, I smelled something fishy. It was more of an attempted set up rather than a professional interview. Himel presented me with what he claimed were anti-Semitic cartoons from Palestinian media and wanted to confront me with them. The only thing I could see is they were printed off from the anti-Palestinian website “Palestinian Media Watch.” Palestinian Media Watch, I told Himel, is notorious for anti-Palestinian propaganda and is funded principally by a man currently on the run for money laundering.

I answered that I had no idea where the cartoons came from and didn’t trust the source. He then started talking about alleged incidents of anti-Jewish statements from “Fatah TV.” I dismissed the questions saying I couldn’t comment on things I hadn’t seen and if he had wanted me to comment on them he ought to be able to show them to me.

Then strangely, he started asking me about what I thought about the Palestinian writer Mazin Qumsiyeh – I just laughed and said he should read Mazin’s brilliant books.

His other questions seemed to be about proving that the real reason for Palestinian hostility to Israel was Islamic religious fanaticism.

At this point Himel seemed nervous because I wasn’t taking the bait, and he said, “I’m just as tough on the Jews when I interview them.” I told him firmly I didn’t appreciate him making generalizations about “the Jews” because such language sounded anti-Semitic and I didn’t care to hear it.

I quickly cut the interview short and left the room. I never signed Himel’s release form. I immediately reported to conference organizers that Himel and his crew were misrepresenting themselves as CBC journalists in order to gain access to conference speakers with, I believe, the intent of setting them up and obtaining soundbites that could be distorted or used to defame them and the conference.

Another dirty trick foiled.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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74 Responses

  1. Justice Please
    February 5, 2012, 5:26 am

    He didn’t follow the procedural rules, what is he complaining about?

    • Winnica
      February 5, 2012, 7:58 am

      I don’t think he’s complaining. I think he’s making a point.

      • Cliff
        February 5, 2012, 8:14 am

        He is complaining.

        You ascertain whether he is or isn’t based on tone. The tone is whiny and yes, complaining.

      • Chaos4700
        February 5, 2012, 12:18 pm

        Yeah. And the point that he’s made is, “People who lie about who they are don’t get into conferences.”

      • Djinn
        February 6, 2012, 2:25 am

        Unless the point he’s making is “I’m too stupid/lazy/illiterate to read and understand instructions” he failed.

  2. es1982
    February 5, 2012, 7:14 am

    How hypocritical of PennBDS to ban him. When Max Blumenthal uses the same tactics as Martin Himel, Blumenthal is praised by anti-Israel activists.

    • Cliff
      February 5, 2012, 8:09 am


      Max points a camera at Zionist racists and let’s them expose their racism, on their own.

      The pro-settler documentary film-maker is by definition, different from people like Max simply due to the different political motivations.

      Drawing a parallel between the two implies a parallel between Israel/Zionism and the Palestinian struggle.

      There is none. The Palestinian struggle is anti-colonialist. The pro-settler, Israeli filmmaker is a colonist or at least, pro-colonist.

      There motivations differ. Their application of basic moral principles differ. Their intellectual honesty differs.

      Max is a truth teller. This Zionist is a liar.

      • Winnica
        February 5, 2012, 8:57 am

        Dear Moderator: I see you’ve deleted me yet again. You might wish to take into account that I’m documenting all my comments, and if I ever decide to publish a full-scale review of Mondoweiss and its pathologies, the deletions will be a part of the evidence: that MW is not interested in dialogue, even less in facts; it’s interested in creating a community where people who hate Israel will feel comfortable, with a carefully controlled sprinkling of contrarian voices to give the crowd something to feed on.

        Of course at some point you’ll totally ban me, but then, presenting the pathologies doesn’t really require commenting: that’s merely an additional tool.

        Have a good day.

      • Shmuel
        February 5, 2012, 9:24 am

        You might wish to take into account that I’m documenting all my comments, and if I ever decide to publish a full-scale review of Mondoweiss and its pathologies, the deletions will be a part of the evidence

        So are you a journalist/documentary-maker too?

      • Winnica
        February 5, 2012, 9:54 am

        Nah, I’m much more serious than that.

      • Shmuel
        February 5, 2012, 10:09 am

        Nah, I’m much more serious than that.

        Wow. I await your exposé on MW with bated breath. Are we talking Commentary? Azure? The Jewish Press? Be sure to send us a link.

      • Cliff
        February 5, 2012, 10:26 am


      • patm
        February 5, 2012, 10:30 am

        Nah, I’m much more serious than that.

        Hey, your comment profile says you’re “Just a guy who reads a lot.”

        Now you tell us you may “decide to publish a “full-scale review of Mondoweiss and its pathologies,…” Scary stuff, troll.

      • eGuard
        February 5, 2012, 10:34 am

        Winnica: I’m documenting all my comments

        No you do not. You just throw in personal observations, suggestions and sometimes a link. In your 65 now published links, there are only 7 links and most of these are of a nature that is not “documenting”. Most of your texts are evasive or unsourced statements and conjectures.

        If you mean to say that you document them “at home”, please go ahead. That home is a cubicle at Hasbara Central Office probably, and we already know the SOP of your office’s outlets. So far, that SOP does not include documented smears. Even worse, as Ali Abunimah yesterday pointed out, they might include anti-Semitism.

      • American
        February 5, 2012, 12:12 pm


        I give mondo permission to give you all my deleted comments too. LOL
        We all go down the rabbit hole occasionally when we get too hepped upped so I don’t think you’d have much of a case for censorship discrimination.

      • Mooser
        February 5, 2012, 12:28 pm

        “MW is not interested in dialogue, even less in facts; it’s interested in creating a community where people who hate Israel will feel comfortable, with a carefully controlled sprinkling of contrarian voices to give the crowd something to feed on.”

        Some people have no respect for self-determination, do they? Or even self-self-determination, if it comes to that.

      • seafoid
        February 5, 2012, 2:13 pm

        Mooser is under contract to the Rand Corporation, Winnica, so if you try anything underhand they’ll sue your ass.

      • MRW
        February 5, 2012, 3:53 pm

        Sez Winnica, who’s been here a total of, what, 60 days?

      • Cliff
        February 5, 2012, 7:10 pm

        Yep. I’ve been there.

        Phil is mostly doing us a favor I suspect. Sometimes we need to chill out lol.

      • Djinn
        February 6, 2012, 2:29 am

        I’m sure Philip et al are peeing in their pants in fear that someone who has consistently proven they are either a liar or woefully ill informed and incapable of basic research (see your assertions re UK and others immigration policies) might write some slag piece on MW. Ego much?

      • Blake
        February 7, 2012, 3:09 pm

        Winnica: Untrue. Many of my comments have not appeared and I do not make a song and dance about it. There obviously is a reason why they have not appeared. Document away. Please let us know when you have released the data and to where.

        Have a nice day.

      • es1982
        February 5, 2012, 9:09 am

        Max Blumenthal distorts the truth. Yes, the people who said racist things in his videos really did say them, but how many non-racists are left on the cutting room floor to make Israelis or pro-Israel activists look like a racist bunch? Sounds like Matin Himel uses the same tactic – interviewing a lot of people who don’t know who he is and cutting out anything that doesn’t help him prove his point (at least from the descriptions here, since I’ve never heard of him before).

        Himel shouldn’t use such tactics. Neither should Blumenthal.

      • Cliff
        February 5, 2012, 10:26 am

        What truth does Max Blumenthal distort in his videos.

        Prove it.

      • Chaos4700
        February 5, 2012, 12:41 pm

        but how many non-racists are left on the cutting room floor to make Israelis or pro-Israel activists look like a racist bunch?

        According to Shmuel and Avi and other former Israelis we have here from time to time? Not many by any stretch.

      • MRW
        February 5, 2012, 3:54 pm


        Max Blumenthal distorts what truth?

      • Kathleen
        February 5, 2012, 7:20 pm

        Max just ask the questions straight up and then captures the racism, the hatred voiced. All you have to do is listen. He really does not push at all…leaves it wide open for the racist to hang themselves

      • Djinn
        February 6, 2012, 2:32 am

        When did Blumenthal register as solely a participant for a conference with the intention of attending as a journalist?

      • Citizen
        February 5, 2012, 11:30 am

        “The Palestinian struggle is anti-colonialist. The pro-settler, Israeli filmmaker is a colonist or at least, pro-colonist.

        There motivations differ. Their application of basic moral principles differ. Their intellectual honesty differs.

        Max is a truth teller. This Zionist is a liar.”

        Yes, I copy that.

    • richb
      February 5, 2012, 9:55 am

      The better analogy would be to James O’Keefe who:

      A. Is more wed to a political agenda than journalistic integrity
      B. Edits deceptively
      C. Fraudulantly hides his true identity

      I’m an evangelical Christian and Max’s reporting on CUFI was excellent and accurate and unlike Martin’s full of intrigity. The only thing they have in common is they both got kicked out of a conference.

      • richb
        February 5, 2012, 10:12 am
      • richb
        February 5, 2012, 11:06 am

        Sounds like Matin Himel uses the same tactic – interviewing a lot of people who don’t know who he is and cutting out anything that doesn’t help him prove his point (at least from the descriptions here, since I’ve never heard of him before).

        Really? They don’t know who Max is? 2:47 in.

        “Are you Jewish?”

        Another woman looks at his press badge and says, “Blumenthal, yes”

        So we now have proof that Martin practices deception while Max does not.

    • Philip Munger
      February 5, 2012, 4:32 pm

      I’ve worked with Max and discussed with him how he approaches his subjects. He plays by the rules, and has a lot of integrity when it comes to representing who he is and his viewpoint to people he might interview.

  3. justicewillprevail
    February 5, 2012, 7:19 am

    He isn’t a documentary maker, or a journalist. He is a propagandist, so why should he have access to delegates, under false pretences? He is obviously a stranger to the idea of multiple points of view.

    • Winnica
      February 5, 2012, 7:59 am

      I wonder if the many organizations who have employed him or invested in his work these past 30 years or so would agree that he’s not a documentary maker nor a journalist.

      • Cliff
        February 5, 2012, 8:13 am

        I wonder if CNN cares that Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC.

        I wonder if the New York Timea cares that their Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Ethan Bronner, has a son in the IDF, is on a settler PR firm’s board of directors webpage, etc.

        Who said these corporations, organizations both big and small, care about Eatablishment political affiliations?

      • Kathleen
        February 5, 2012, 7:17 pm

        Go google the debates where Norman Finkelstein and Wolf Blitzer go at it years ago. Telling.

      • justicewillprevail
        February 5, 2012, 9:46 am

        They don’t care what he is, or what his dubious standards are. They are hiring a right wing propagandist, which is what they want. Or they don’t bother checking and get a biased, poorly researched load of guff. Which is not unusual. Oh, and by the way, what reputable organisations have employed this bluffer?

      • Chaos4700
        February 5, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Like who, Winnica? CAMERA? MEMRI? AIPAC? Who’s he worked for, precisely?

      • patm
        February 5, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Well, winnica, we now know that he lied about being on assignment for the CBC.

        This extremely biased B’nai Brith Canada 2004 article, Documentary Producer Martin Himel Keynote Speaker at Jabotinsky Memorial states that he spent 20 years in Israel. I’m sure he’s a great fave there with the right-wingers.

  4. teta mother me
    February 5, 2012, 9:43 am

    off topic/ tangent — You gotta see this video

    Iran War Propaganda

    get it viral, folks.

    The war propaganda from the other side was out in force this morning:

    NPR, Ari Shapiro in Nevada to cover primary vote. Focusing on the poor economy in Nevada, he interviewed a woman who said she had had to sell a house in Ohio at a $500,000 loss, and would have to sell her house in NV at a $1 m loss.
    Then Shapiro stated that the woman was Iranian American.
    He asked the woman why she would vote for Romney. She replied that Obama had failed to support the people in Iran who were struggling for democracy.

    Also this morning C Span Washington Journal hosted Ash Jain, an Indian American attorney who had worked for Fred Thompson and has a job in some disarmament bureau of US administration. He’s now a visiting fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an AIPAC spinoff. When Dennis Ross left (or sort of left) the White House, he returned to WINEP; Stuart Levey, who designed and ran the process of looting Iran’s financial system, came from WINEP; Aubrey Chernick, who sponsors numerous Islamophobic outlets across the US, also supports WINEP.

    Jain recited his hasbara lines to a T — we all know the lines, and if you don’t recall the lines, refer to the video linked above. Pretend the blonde office worker is Ash Jain. Except that Jain’s body language on C Span was fascinating; he was scared of something — Am I reciting my lines properly? Am I convincing enough? Am I doing well enough so that they’ll pay me to write another paper and book another C Span gig? He kept bobbing his head in a wooden way, as if he had to poke himself to keep reciting the lines he’d rehearsed.

    • jimmy
      February 5, 2012, 10:01 am

      c-span use to be an alright outlet to get a fair and balanced opinion…

      I think that all changed around 05,06…

      when the warmongers showed up and over ran the station…have not watched it since…

      actually every time I try to watch…it is the same back of bs…iran and muslims bad….israel…a lite onto the world..

      • Citizen
        February 5, 2012, 11:39 am

        I’ve been watching CSPAN’s Washington Journal for years. In the last couple of years, nobody who phones in gets to criticize Israel.

    • Kathleen
      February 5, 2012, 7:16 pm

      Glad you posted this Teta. Jain was repeating one myth after the next. Callers were nailing him. Do not have my notes with me. I could not believe how many lies he was repeating. What is with Washington Journal and the last two guest that they have had on talking about Iran. One has to wonder if they have a new producer. His body language was fascinating especially when callers were nailing his lies. His eyes would dart around…he did look scared like someone might be watching and that his answers were not convincing enough…they were not

  5. bangpound
    February 5, 2012, 10:04 am

    The man and his crew presented themselves as CBC journalists. This was clearly a lie. See Ali Abunimah’s report on his interactions with Mr. Himel.

    • Cliff
      February 5, 2012, 10:28 am


      Whereas Max Blumenthal does not pretend to be someone else.

      The Zionist lied about his credentials and that is why he is not trusted to continue his antics.

      • Citizen
        February 5, 2012, 11:43 am

        Even if the Zionist lied about his credentials by omitting who he represented , an omission is a lie too.

  6. Oscar
    February 5, 2012, 10:07 am

    I’ve got mixed emotions on this one. Himel may be a despicable hasbarist using nazi imagery in his films, and he clearly has an anti-BDS agenda, but the analogy to the great Max Blumenthal may not be too far afield. If he’s harassing attendees, throw the bum out. But if he’s filming BDS attendees who wish to go on camera, so be it.

    And yes, he didn’t play by the rules by not getting the press credential and that is enough to ban him as a member of the media. But still . . . Would PennBDS have banned him as a member of the press even if he did follow protocol?

    Btw, this conference appears to be the watershed event for BDS to go viral. Well done PennBDS.

    • David Samel
      February 5, 2012, 11:04 am

      Oscar, I agree. This is a complex question, and while most of us think there is an enormous gap between Max’s honesty and integrity and Himel’s, that does not dispose of the issues. But if he actively misrepresented himself (as opposed to simply not saying who he was), he should be tossed out as well. I’m not sure the conference would have barred him had he honestly applied for credentials.

      Of course, another problem with cretins such as this is fabrication. There surely are at least a handful of pro-Israel supporters who decided to attend the conference. What is to stop Himel from interviewing one of them and obtaining footage of outrageous antisemitic statements to discredit the whole conference?

      • Oscar
        February 5, 2012, 11:35 am

        David, thanks for your comment. I agree that it should be a big, inclusive tent for all points of view. Even the attempts to discredit BDS raise its profile and amplifies the need to have civil discourse.

        Himel shouldn’t have misrepresented himself and his “producers” should be reported to CBC as imposters, but hopefully, the BDS movement will — as a general rule — not seek to stifle any legitimate media in advance of a conference or other newsworthy event. (Not that they did so here.)

      • David Samel
        February 5, 2012, 12:41 pm

        Oscar, I just read Ali’s account and as I said before, active misrepresentation is inexcusable. I didn’t realize that Himel & co. were trying to interview event organizers, as opposed to attendees who agreed to voice their opinions. Also, with the lack of integrity this bunch exhibits, I would certainly worry about an interview with a confederate who tries to shame the conference by spouting outrageous views.

        Whenever I see footage intended to disparage an event, I look carefully to see how many participants are voicing the repulsive opinion. There was video from a Ft. Lauderdale demonstration against Israel’s invasion and bombing of Gaza, taken by a guy named Tom Trento, which showed a single woman yelling at Jewish counter-demonstrators “Go back to the ovens.” This was widely circulated as chants from the pro-Palestinian crowd. The woman might have been a plant by Trento, who after all was there to capture negative footage and would have been disappointed to leave empty handed, but even if she was genuine, she was one person only. Still, it was enough to widely spread the lie that the pro-Palestinian crowd approved of Nazi slaughter.

        Max’s videos, and others like him, usually include interviews with numerous people, indicating a fairly widespread attitude. Of course, he picks and chooses what footage he releases, but if dozens of young Israelis mouth racist sentiments, that’s quite significant. He doesn’t show one drunk schmuck in a bar using the n-word to describe Obama.

    • Oscar
      February 5, 2012, 11:09 am

      After reading Ali Abunimah’s update on his encounter with Himmel and the misrepresentation that his “crew” was with CBC, I retract my concerns above. It was absolutely the right thing to do to bounce this clown.

    • Chaos4700
      February 5, 2012, 12:45 pm

      All he had to do to get into the conference what not lie about who he is. Max Blumenthal never does.

    • seafoid
      February 5, 2012, 2:18 pm

      TBH it sounds a bit like the problem in US media where there are 2 echo chambers – one for the liberals and one for the right. Himel represents the Ziobot echo chamber . They all listen to each other and read the same blogs. No point in arguing with them. Never the twain shall meet. Until someone on the other side pulls it off. By then the game is up for Israel.

    • MRW
      February 5, 2012, 4:00 pm


      “he didn’t play by the rules by not getting the press credential and that is enough to ban him as a member of the media.”

      No. He’s a Global TV contributing filmmaker who misrepresented himself as a CBC reporter.

      To put this in perspective, it’s as if a Fox News reporter presented himself as a NYT reporter.

  7. HRK
    February 5, 2012, 11:10 am

    I think they should have let him in. By now, with millions of perspectives floating around our sea of media, everyone knows that one can selectively interview and edit footage to make a conference look bad or good or whatever. He was doubtlessly at PennBDS to hatchet it up, but a movement should be able to take criticism. Let people talk all they want.

    • Cliff
      February 5, 2012, 12:24 pm

      I think Ali’s update on the situation is great though. From the looks of it, Ali, by simply being himself, foiled the attempt to hijack the narrative by the instigator.

    • MRW
      February 5, 2012, 4:02 pm


      You are missing the point. CBC reporters have press cards and credentials for a reason. You are living in an alternate universe if you can condone this ethically.

  8. c-alm
    February 5, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Does anyone know if the CBC is aware of this?

    • patm
      February 5, 2012, 1:19 pm

      I imagine someone in the CBC news room is aware of Himmel’s lie. Whether they will mention it is another question. Our right-wing Christian Zionist pm is threatening to dismantle the CBC. They tread very lightly these days re Israel.

      • MRW
        February 5, 2012, 4:04 pm


        “I imagine someone in the CBC news room is aware of Himmel’s lie.”

        Then someone at CBC should be outraged. This is a member of a competing news org (if in fact Himel reports for Global TV) misrepresenting himself.

      • patm
        February 5, 2012, 5:36 pm

        MRW, I sent off emails to two senior execs of CBC’s news dept.

        Martin Himel is an indie doc maker and “operates through Elsash Productions Ltd and its subsidiary Hylax Productions .- Canadian television production companies.”

  9. kma
    February 5, 2012, 1:49 pm

    the comparison between Himel and Blumenthal makes no sense. Himel is in there trying to MIS-represent Abunimah as something DIFFERENT than what he really is. Abunimah is WELL KNOWN, has posted his entire speech at Penn, has an entire website, writes all the time, but that is NOT what Himel is after! I don’t think Blumenthal is trying to MIS-represent people who actually support the shocking policies of Israel.
    whether Himel should or shouldn’t be given free reign is a different question, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to accommodate that.
    kudos (yet again) to Abunimah!

  10. MRW
    February 5, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Someone in Canada needs to alert CBC that Himel and two women are misrepresenting themselves in the US as CBC producers or reporters. The CBC is a crown corporation.

  11. seafoid
    February 5, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I watched the Himel video on youtube of some thing at Concordia uni and he sells the antisemitism things that Jews can’t get free speech schtick but anyone who buys that needs to go to Hebron and see what is done on the back of it.

  12. Kathleen
    February 5, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Not ok. Great that he was identified. Think I saw this guy following Allison Weir around at the Move over Aipac conference. I think.

    Phil, Alex, Annie, UP host Chris Hayes had Amy Goodman on today as one his round table participants. Quite a bit said about the Israel Iran situation. Amy of course was fact based. Ann Marie Slaughter not so much. Eli Lake really not so much

    • teta mother me
      February 5, 2012, 6:59 pm

      Israel took a pounding on C Span Washington Journal this morning. Myron Kaplan, the CAMERA who monitors Wash Journ, will have katfits.

      In the segment about Russia & China vetoing the Syria resolution at UN, numerous callers said “US vetoes resolutions about Israel all the time. Israel has been abusing the Palestinian people for years. Why isn’t Susanne Rice “disgusted” about that?”

      The word is getting out

      • Kathleen
        February 5, 2012, 7:11 pm

        More folks calling in about the I/P issue and Iran are full of far more facts these days. Although Washington Journal’s last two guest to speak about the situation with Iran have been so pro Israel no matter what they do they can barely see straight. and they certainly can not tell the truth. A Mr. Singh was on several weeks ago and then the fella on this morning a Mr. Ash Jain from the Washington Institute for near east policy repeated so many myths about Iran I am going to have to check my notes.

        Have to wonder what is going on with Washington Journals producers…why not Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on about Iran. What does Washington Journal and their produders have against facts about the situation with Iran?

      • American
        February 6, 2012, 12:49 am

        teta mother me says:
        February 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm
        Israel took a pounding on C Span Washington Journal this morning”

        I’ve been hearing criticism of Israel on c-span for years now… ..enough to tell me there’s a lot more awareness of the out of whack US-Isr and ME policy than we think there is. And the thing is, these people calling in and making the comments aren’t ranting idiots, they actually know a bit of what they are talking about…and they aren’t all on the same song sheet,— meaning they don’t appear to be part of any group like the hasbara crowd that organizes to call in to programs on Israel related issues and sound like they are all reading the same prepared speech.

  13. Kathleen
    February 5, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Forgot to mention that Chris Hayes actually came out and said that Iran has the right to enrich uranium. He nor his guest today did not mention that Iran has signed the NPt and Israel continues to refuse to sign. That there is no verifiable evidence to validate that Iran is enriching beyond what they are legally able.

    Eli Lake went way out of the truth zone by saying that no other nations are concerned about Israel having nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go uninspected. That is total bull. All one needs to do is go to the IAEA’s website and read letters from leaders of nations in that neighborhood to the IAEA’s heads that state that Israel’s uninspected/undeclared nuclear, biological and chemical weapons have been and continue to be a threat to peace in the middle east. That they have been a persistent threat. Eli Lake is full of it.

    Anne Marie Slaughter did her very best to make it appear that US and Israel’s national security are one and the same. Worth it to watch the UP segment on Iran and Israel

    Amy Goodman as is almost always the case was fact based and reasonable

  14. razldazl
    February 5, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Totally bizarre behaviour! How does one rationalise such deceit?

    More here:- “Deceptive Israeli Firster Propogandist Pretends He’s From Canada’s CBC”

  15. ToivoS
    February 5, 2012, 8:11 pm

    What I do not understand is why his mug at the top of this post is next to
    Sun Yat Sen’s portrait. Do these fools think they can capture that image as part of the Zionist movement? Are they trying to say that Sun Yat Sen was a Zionist supporter, sort of like they say MLK supported Zionism?

  16. eGuard
    February 6, 2012, 4:08 am

    As Ali Abunimah pointed out in his keynote: professor Ruben Gur in his piece was singling out jews for being jews, and that is anti-Semitic. And Ali now notes that as Himel used “I’m just as tough on the Jews when I interview them”, that is anti-Semitic.

    So, to save this Israel they are sending out anti-Semites. If it helps Zionism, it is permitted.

    And Ali Abunimah concluded: if this is the best they can come up with, we are winning the argument.

  17. eGuard
    February 6, 2012, 5:20 am

    Abunimah’s personal account of the set up, linked to, also mentions:
    Himel presented me with what he claimed were anti-Semitic cartoons from [the site of] “Palestinian Media Watch.” Palestinian Media Watch, I told Himel, is notorious for anti-Palestinian propaganda and is funded principally by a man currently on the run for money laundering.

    PMW is supported by the Michael Cherney Foundation

    Chairman and sponsor of the fund is Michael Cherney, which is spelled “Mikhael Cherny Semenovitch” on the Interpol Warrant site (Israeli now, born 1952 in Uman, Ukraine). He is searched for: “Organized crime/transnational crime, Money laundering, Money laundering, Organized crime/transnational crime ” [sic, both twice].

    • eGuard
      February 6, 2012, 9:01 am

      What to make of this. So the Michael Cherney Foundation (president: Michael Cherney) sponsors Palestine Media watch (PMW). Other than the connection mentioned in the Ali Abuminah post (Himel uses PMW printouts. Ali points to the president) I have not found, but let us take a look at this sideway.

      With the president, in the board of the Michael Cherney Foundation are:
      Prof. Wolf Moskovich, “Head” and “Director” in Russian and Slavic Studies of the Hebrew U in Jerusalem. — He is emeritus (retired) by now, and the institute does not mention him as “Head”. “Chairperson” is Alexander Kulik.
      Prof. Jacob Allerhand, Vienna U, Austria. — Died in 2006.
      Prof. Mikhail Dmitriev, Moscow State U.
      Prof. John D.Klier, U College, London. — Died in 2007.
      Prof. Vladimir Petrukhin, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow. — Interestingly, he has researched the Khazar-Jewish history. For example, he is mentioned as third author of “Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century” (Norman Golb & Omeljan Pritsak, ISBN 0801412218, 1982). Schlomo Sand uses this source (I cannot check to what extend). Anyhow, maybe Vladimir Petrukhin can explain to his paymaster Michael Cherney (from Ukraine) that maybe he is wrong by invention when saying “I am proud that I am a Jew – heir of the creators and generators of the human civilization during millennia”.

      So, the foundation that supports PMW is guided by a board including two dead persons (didn’t they notice, in four years?) and a fugitive president.

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