Free Gaza Movement Twitter controversy leads Jewish Voice for Peace to distance itself from group

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FGM A Free Gaza movement boat as it approaches a port in Gaza (Photo: Free Gaza Movement/Flickr)

Greta Berlin, a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), has sparked a raging controversy by publishing Twitter posts linked to anti-Semitic material. The episode has been damaging to the Free Gaza Movement, which came to prominence after it repeatedly sent ships to break the blockade of Gaza.

Yesterday, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) distanced itself strongly from Berlin and the Free Gaza Movement. In its statement, JVP, which had sponsored an October 11 book event featuring Berlin in Los Angeles, said Sunday that “we are disassociating ourselves from sponsorship of Berlin’s current book tour in the U.S. or future endorsements of Free Gaza Movement actions.”

Naomi Klein, who served on the Free Gaza advisory board, tweeted on October 5, “I have resigned from the Advisory Board of the Free Gaza Movement. Still support mission but leadership has changed since I signed up.”

The debacle started when the Free Gaza Twitter account sent a message to thousands of followers that read: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” Berlin controls the account. The same Twitter message linked to a video showing Eustace Mullins, a known anti-Semite. The video shows Mullins saying things like Hitler “allied with the Zionist Party and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism…So the concentration camps were run by the Zionist Jews in order to punish and get rid of the anti-Zionist Jews, which they did.”

Though FGM deleted the message after it generated attention, Avi Mayer, the head of social media for the Jewish Agency for Israel, saved a copy of the message and created a Storify piece on the controversy. The story blew up from there, with media outlets like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the Jerusalem Post covering the controversy. 

A series of apologies from Free Gaza followed, with Berlin claiming that she meant to send the video to a private Facebook group of people who “were discussing propaganda and racism.” The apology, from the Free Gaza Movement, continued: “This link was an example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites. For some reason, Facebook connected our Free Gaza account to [Berlin's] personal Facebook account, and the link was posted.”

While JVP’s statement said they “appreciate Greta Berlin’s statements in response to the furor,” the group also said that “we unfortunately don’t think her responses adequately address our concern about circulating anti-semitic materials…We have been endorsers of the Free Gaza Movement and are proud to have been associated with their non-violent efforts as part of the Palestinian solidarity movement. We do not believe that the Free Gaza Movement is anti-semitic and understand that Greta Berlin’s tweets were her own and not representative of Free Gaza.”

+972 blogger Larry Derfner defended Berlin in a post, and also published an article detailing an interview he conducted with Berlin. In an email to Mondoweiss, Berlin claimed that the anti-Semitic video in question “was never posted in the group. because I didn’t change the settings to send it to that group and ended up posting it on my wall instead.” She pointed to a statement of 37 people published on 972 which “verif[ied] that we have a small group and those are the things we talk about.”

The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah has cast doubt on Berlin’s apologies. The context that Berlin refers to “does not exist,” Abunimah writes. He based his claim on his access to a Facebook group that Berlin was the administrator of and where the video was posted.

Another 972 contributor, Tom Pessah, has also strongly criticized Berlin, pointing to a “pattern” of disturbing behavior from Berlin, including endorsing Gilad Atzmon, who has been denounced in numerous quarters, including the Palestine solidarity movement, for anti-Semitism. In her endorsement, Berlin said that Atzmon’s Jewish journey “makes me awfully glad I was raised a Methodist.” 

The Free Gaza Twitter account, which Berlin controls, also sent out a separate post linking to an anti-Semitic film. Adam Holland, a pro-Israel blogger, discovered a September 21 tweet from the Free Gaza account that read: “1943- Im Wald von Katyn,” with a downloadable link. Im Wald von Katyn is a film that was made by the Nazis. It was a propaganda tract that sought to blame Jews for carrying out a 1940 massacre of Polish nationals.

In an interview with Derfner, Berlin says that she doesn’t “recall seeing the movie or sending the tweet.” But a screenshot posted by Holland shows that Berlin shared it on Facebook.

The Free Gaza Twitter account has also tweeted out links to websites that claimed that “Mossad was behind ‘Sam Bacile'”, the name associated with the anti-Islam movie that lately caused such outrage in the Middle East.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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176 Responses

  1. yrn
    October 8, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Is it really possible that not a single Palestinian or Palestinian solidarity activist would stand for Greta Berlin, one of the founders of the Free Gaza Movement and its spokesperson for the last several years? Is it possible that not a single peace activist would rush to defend the person who was directly and physically involved in every naval attempt to break the siege on Gaza?

    • ColinWright
      October 8, 2012, 2:44 pm

      yrn says: “Is it really possible that not a single Palestinian or Palestinian solidarity activist would stand for Greta Berlin…”

      I note who it is that would like to see such behavior. Were you involved with this in some way? You sound slightly disappointed at the outcome.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 2:57 pm

        i’m not sure what the point of the comment is. obviously defner’s comment section displayed a variety of views/interpretations.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 6:52 pm

        I said: “I note who it is that would like to see such behavior. Were you involved with this in some way? You sound slightly disappointed at the outcome.”

        Well, obviously I’ll have to recant to some extent. ‘yrn’ et al must be very pleased at the outcome. Good job, guys.

    • Today in Palestine
      October 8, 2012, 9:49 pm

      You need to get over yourselves as individual activists. I thought the focus of this solidarity work was Palestinians and in this particular case those under a brutal blockade in Gaza. Nothing that Greta has said thus far has turned out to be accurate, whether this is a careless mistake or not the Palestinian cause and the people of Gaza cannot afford such careless mistakes and sloppy cover-ups from activists claiming to speak for us. This is not about Greta Berlin, this is about the damage that Greta does to our cause and the absolute stupidity for FGM to stand behind this woman while everyone else sees their ship sinking, literally. And there are some of us who don’t have a lot of money yet have donated to FGM, repeatedly. I want to know that I am sending my money to people that show a bit more intelligence and diligence with the work they are doing.

      • ritzl
        October 11, 2012, 10:00 pm

        @TiP/Seham I understand your aversion to Berlin’s carelessness from the Palestinian perspective. Let me ask some questions to you as a Palestinian…

        • Do you think she is an antisemite, or made a mistake?

        • When you say “claiming to speak for us” do you mean that the flotilla effort (where nine people were killed) was a stunt or otherwise counterproductive? She spearheaded the organization of that effort. Are you saying, in retrospect, that the flotilla was NOT a good thing to do?

        • You, Palestinians, will always be accused of antisemitism. Your legitimate claims demand it in certain circles. Are you going to subscribe to those claims, wrt Berlin or in the future?

        • If Palestinians are going to lead on this/your issue, is it not too much to ask for you to subordinate those claims and handle Berlin’s carelessness on your terms? Terms of your choosing, not others?

        As I said downthread, I am now less inclined to advocate for the Palestinian cause because I believe now that it may well be incapable of standing up for itself. It is defined by others. Others that don’t share your objectives and my sense of an ability to accomplish the task at hand. This is probably the main question I put to you. Are you capable to stand up to the omni claims of antisemitism and push back?

        I will never tell you what you, as a Palestinian, “should” do, but I will describe how this “cave” affects me in my private conversations. Specifically, that I will be reluctant (though I will still, pending circumstances) to bring up Palestinian rights.

        I am harmed in my private efforts (for your cause) by this unequivocal pile-on. Maybe that means something, maybe it doesn’t.

        If you want to lead, then lead, as difficult as that may be. The costs of letting others define you are far greater that the costs of creating your own space to respond to “the” or any narrative. Make a stand (OK, that’s a “should”) and focus on the subjugation of your people. It’s your choice what you view as most important.

  2. Eva Smagacz
    October 8, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I am getting increasingly frustrated ( and I guess that’s big part of the point) about egg shell walking that one needs to perform lest one’s associations, speech, reading, research, will land one with accusation of Anti-Semitism.

    I always test the accusations of Anti-Semitism against garden variety racism. If someone’s stance is racist – then I accept the accusation as valid. If someone cannot be considered racist, then accusation of Anti-Semitism is a weapon against somebody’s opponents, a sign of considering Jews to be an exceptional race, for whom alone the rules of racist discourse must be re-written, or an example of trying to be holier than thou – as some extreme cases of political correctness show.

    Another point I would like to make is that from the point of view of intellectual enquiry ( gosh, I do sound like Dr. Ahmadinejad!) you shouldn’t judge people by the individual pieces of material that they read or even put up for discussion but by conclusions they come to after they conducted their research.

    • Les
      October 8, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Some of us are old enough to remember when anti-Semitism was considered a form of racism. We remember the caricatures of Eastern European Jews that were just as racist in the original as their revival in the US media where the faces are unchanged but the men now dressed as Middle Eastern mullahs for the edification of modern audiences.

  3. NorthOfFortyNine
    October 8, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Greta Berlin just got Helen Thomas’d.

    • Blake
      October 8, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Exactly. Smearing human rights advocates.

      • Alex Kane
        October 8, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Who’s smearing who? Describing what happened to Berlin as a “smear” is over the top and untrue.

      • tree
        October 8, 2012, 4:53 pm

        Derfner called it a slander. How is a “smear” more “over the top and untrue” than a “slander”?

        And Abunimah talks about a lack of context, but he was monitoring a different Facebook group so how can he insist there was no context in the smaller Facebook group?

      • Dan Crowther
        October 8, 2012, 5:17 pm

        AK says:

        Who’s smearing who? Describing what happened to Berlin as a “smear” is over the top and untrue.

        says you.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 8, 2012, 5:49 pm

        Alex, see my comment re annie below. But yes, this is a smear job in the same tradition as Thomas.

      • AlGhorear
        October 8, 2012, 5:50 pm

        With all due respect, Alex, Greta’s been smeared.

        Why is it so hard to believe that Greta meant to post to a private Facebook group as part of an ongoing discussion about racism? Do you not believe her? Then how about the other group members who have risen to defend her (e.g. @engelo, @samcdkey and @obethlehem)? Are they all lying too?

        Do you not believe her because she’s refused to provide the context as Ali Abunimah has demanded? There may be people in the group whose jobs would be threatened or they would be denied entry into Israel just by being associated with the private Facebook group, so refusing to provide their private information would not only be justified but also commendable. How many of us here use our real names or would like the private information (true names) we’ve shared with Phil and Adam exposed?

        As much as I respect Ali Abunimah, he concluded Greta was lying based on what he believed was access to Greta’s private FB Group where he said there was no ongoing discussion about racism. But another member of the group at issue, Ofer Engel, tweeted that Ali was in a different FB group.

        And even though your post here on Mondoweiss appears more neutral, you tweeted that you thought Larry Derfner’s @972mag piece defending Greta was totally wrong.

        It’s sad to see a lot of people I respect attacking Greta Berlin, an activist I’ve admired and respected since first meeting her (virtually) on an Al Awda list serve years ago. Who needs the hasbarists when our fellow activists are willing to turn on one of their own?

    • Annie Robbins
      October 8, 2012, 5:00 pm

      Greta Berlin just got Helen Thomas’d.

      what are you talking about? helen thomas didn’t come close to implying zionists operated the concentration camps. that’s pretty over the top and hard to miss. the freegaza movement is a huge part of the movement, so this is a glaring misfortune.

      and i support people diving into historical data, but operating the concentration camps? i’ve never even heard that accusation before. if i were going to link to an article like that as any kind of example i would do it with a disclaimer.

      i do think there should be a level of respect afforded wrt addressing an event which perpetrated so much horrific grievous loss. you can’t just make up stuff out of whole cloth the way zionism created a fantasy narrative about the nakba.

      greta knows this which is why she apologized.

      • Eva Smagacz
        October 8, 2012, 5:16 pm

        Annie,
        The twitter world is full of twits that pass on the info from variety of sources. Many of the sources are rubbish on the second, careful glance.
        How does twitting a piece of garbage and then acknowledging it is a piece of garbage make someone racist?????

        But apology was absolutely in order.

      • Ellen
        October 8, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Don’t know the details and maybe she was hacked? But whatever in her position and if sending out rubbish tweets herself, that’s a failing. A very careful glance is needed.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 6:19 pm

        How does twitting a piece of garbage and then acknowledging it is a piece of garbage make someone racist?????

        i am not arguing greta is a racist and i don’t think jvp is arguing that either. reviewing their statement:

        While we appreciate Greta Berlin’s statements in response to the furor, we unfortunately don’t think her responses adequately address our concern about circulating anti-semitic materials.

        We have been endorsers of the Free Gaza Movement and are proud to have been associated with their non-violent efforts as part of the Palestinian solidarity movement. We do not believe that the Free Gaza Movement is anti-semitic and understand that Greta Berlin’s tweets were her own and not representative of Free Gaza. However, unless this matter can be further clarified, we are disassociating ourselves from sponsorship of Berlin’s current book tour in the U.S. or future endorsements of Free Gaza Movement actions.

        for me this is about accountability. when you represent a larger group there becomes an implied responsibility to become more accountable, not less. i am not a person who specializes in the holocaust therefore i generally don’t enter into conversations that delve into historical context although i respect the need for that because i do not believe genocide (in general and wrt the holocaust) is a closed phenomena. meaning i think it is open on both ends, it isn’t born in a vacuum and doesn’t just stop and we can see the trajectory of the holocaust still having impact in palestine and especially when people are alive today who endure so much grief as a result of this crime. but as far as genocidal discourse being part of a human rights movement i would tread very carefully. so to have leaders in our movement, and free gaza are leaders as is greta..well spokespeople can’t afford to have the same kinds of freedoms an individual has in terms of their communications because you are representing a group. what if sydney levi or cecilie surasky tweeted that? jvp would likely ask for their resignation otherwise it would tarnish the reputation of jvp.

        there are constantly new people coming into the movement especially young people and aipac and adl is used to having gatekeeping control over what is and is not acceptable discourse. just like the israel firster argument. so when you move the goalposts to the degree that discourse about zionists running the concentration camps (albeit there were collaborators) becomes part of a genre of acceptable debate wrt spokespeople of major (and free gaza is major) it weakens the integrity of movement. needless to say we wouldn’t be having this conversation if greta was just anyone just like it would be different for MW if someone posted something offensive in the comment section vs phil or adam doing it. i just think it’s extremely unfortunate. i’ve shared a lot of communication with greta and nothing she’s ever written to me could possibly be construed as racist. however her carelessness wrt this link is rather glaring. it’s not good for freegaza, it just isn’t. it puts people in an uncomfortable position to choose between condemning an action or implying it’s relatively inconsequential. it’s extremely sad.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 6:30 pm

        and i cannot in good conscience claim it is inconsequential because it’s hurtful. there’s plenty of really hurtful stuff we need to expose because it’s true and cannot be avoided. actions matter. assuming this was a matter of carelessness a spokespersons job is representing a group and glaring mistakes like that have an impact. for me, that is a reality and out here in the real world actions have consequence. i cannot blame jvp for distancing themselves, i just can’t. and it’s very much news and alex did the right thing reporting it.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 8, 2012, 5:44 pm

        >>what are you talking about? helen thomas didn’t come close to implying zionists operated the concentration camps.

        Annie, my god, where did Berlin imply zionists operated the concentration camps?

        See, Alex. *that* is the smear, the implication that Berlin is a neo-nazi and the onus is now on her prove otherwise. Out of Annie’s mouth no less.

        It has been shamefull how Berlin’s friends have chucked her overboard as quickly as tbey have. . The Josh Blocks of the world will have taken notice.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 6:14 pm

        Out of Annie’s mouth no less.

        north, obviously what you wrote didn’t come out of my mouth nor would it ever.

        helen thomas said ‘they should all go back to where they came from’ (paraphrasing) which implies she believes israelis of european or american decent should leave israel and head back to their respective countries(at least that is what it implied to me), that’s different than printing “Zionists operated the concentration camps” which, whether you like it or not, implies Zionists operated the concentration camps. and a link that says “”Zionists Ran the Holocaust” implies that sans any other context available. i believe berlin regrets it and understands why it is offensive.

      • AlGhorear
        October 8, 2012, 6:48 pm

        And those “friends” continue to pile on. Now there’s a new post up on Electronic Intifada from former board members of the Free Gaza movement, essentially throwing Greta under the bus.

        Statement from former board members of Free Gaza movement
        Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Mon, 10/08/2012 – 21:33
        I received the following statement from the undersigned former board members of the Free Gaza movement:

        “As former board members of the Free Gaza movement (our terms ended in August, as outlined in a 22 September statement released by Free Gaza, though this was not immediately reflected in parts of the Free Gaza website), we are disappointed and frustrated by the message and video posted on the Free Gaza Twitter account entitled: “Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps” and by the subsequent messaging posted by Greta Berlin on behalf of the new board of Free Gaza II. Although the tweet was deleted and Free Gaza II clarified that the posting was a mistake and pertinent context overlooked, we believe that the responses posted by Greta on behalf of Free Gaza II have been inadequate. Consultations and efforts made by some of the former members of the board with the current board members were either rejected or set aside, which has added to our disappointment. We had hoped that Greta would provide evidence of the context in which she says she posted the video, but her failure to do so has led us to now publicly voice our deep concern.

        We unequivocally reject and distance ourselves from the tweeted video. Such anti-Semitism was never tolerated by Free Gaza or any of the people or groups with which we have worked. We condemn all forms of racism and prejudice, including anti-Semitism.

        We continue to support initiatives to end Israel’s illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip and its occupation and colonial apartheid practices in Palestine as a whole. It is imperative to be vigilant against racism in all its forms. It is also vital to work for the freedom of all people, and in our efforts to support Palestinians, it is the universal struggle for freedom that has motivated, sustained and guided the efforts of Free Gaza.

        Huwaida Arraf
        Eliza Enshire
        Alex Harrison
        Fathi Jaouadi
        Ewa Jasiewicz
        Niamh Moloughney
        Adam Shapiro”

        Her apologies were not “adequate”? And “deep concern” that she won’t provide the context, i.e. disclose private information.

        No one wants to even be associated with anyone accused of being anti-Semitic, no matter how weak the proof. Just think how powerful that label is. You can’t throw it off hard enough.

        It’s a shame that good people like Ali Abunimah, Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf feel compelled smear the reputation of another good person like Greta Berlin just to prove how NOT anti-Semitic they are.

      • AlGhorear
        October 8, 2012, 7:15 pm

        I swear some of the language I type disappears and then reappears as soon as I post it, so I say the same thing 3 times in a row in the beginning 3 paragraphs. My apologies.

        And can someone please tell me how I indent text that I’m quoting?

      • eljay
        October 8, 2012, 7:42 pm

        >> And can someone please tell me how I indent text that I’m quoting?

        Type (blockquote)around the text you’re quoting(/blockquote), replacing the rounded backets with “less than” (<) and “greater than” (>) brackets.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 8, 2012, 9:00 pm

        >> that’s different than printing “Zionists operated the concentration camps”

        Did Berlin say this? Or did she merely reference someone who did? My understanding is the latter. I could be wrong. But I think the onus is on you to demonstrate as much. ??

      • LeaNder
        October 9, 2012, 9:34 am

        I swear some of the language I type disappears and then reappears as soon as I post it

        Yes, just because you’re paranoid does not mean they are not after you. ;)

        Doesn’t sound like any bug I ever encountered. But maybe you´should check your security software for program vulnerabilities. My experience is that it is the most frequent and recurring source of my troubles with the web or web access. It’s often Java, and Acrobat reader. My experience is that once you update or better still deinstall and reinstall these specific programs containing bugs the symptoms disappear. Although what you report sounds odd. But you have to be aware that there are all kind of criminals and bored kids out there that may well consider it funny to enter your system …

        Back on topic: I respect your argument concerning the necessary anonymity because of troubles to enter Israel, but in this context nothing but absolute transparency will make the story go away. If I were her, I would recede voluntarily to not harm the mission and combine it with absolute transparency. If the forum on propanda has nothing to hide, but only studied the topic, it cannot harm anybody. Can it?

      • AlGhorear
        October 9, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Thanks Eljay. I did try that on my last post, but the material I wanted to indent disappeared altogether and the last paragraph that I didn’t want to indent, was indented. Guess I just need practice…

      • AlGhorear
        October 9, 2012, 4:39 pm

        “Type (blockquote)around the text you’re quoting(/blockquote), replacing the rounded backets with “less than” () brackets”

        Woohoo! Thanks Eljay!

      • Hostage
        October 9, 2012, 8:56 am

        helen thomas didn’t come close to implying zionists operated the concentration camps. that’s pretty over the top and hard to miss.

        Clarification: The State of Israel implicitly recognized the problem when it adopted The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950. Zionist leaders were certainly implicated, but the existence of collaborators was hardly confined to the ranks of the Zionist movement or to the Jews for that matter. The Nazis and other occupying powers have always employed collaborators.

        Professors Hannah Arendt and Israel Shahak were both interned in concentration camps and both insisted on telling the truth about the role played by Jewish leaders and Jewish collaborators in facilitating the extermination of Jews:

        In her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Arendt brought attention to the complicity of Jewish leaders who, during WWII, supplied Nazi leaders with lists of Jews and organized their fellow Jews for transport to concentration and death camps. A few resigned. Fewer committed suicide or resisted. But the majority collaborated.

        These Jewish leaders often defended their actions as a lesser evil, keeping order where otherwise disorder might have reigned. But Arendt noted that they also kept themselves and their families off the transport lists. These were facts. While many Jews thought these facts should be hidden, Arendt insisted on telling the whole truth. Arendt argued that it is always right to tell the truth, no matter the consequences.

        Arendt’s argument of the formal similarity between the complicity of the Jewish leader and German bureaucrats was, Ignatieff argues, a mistake. It is worth hearing his argument at length. He writes:

        Arendt had assumed that the choices that Jewish leaders made under Nazi occupation ought to be judged by the same standards of accountability to be applied to the perpetrators. She quoted her friend Mary McCarthy as saying, “If somebody points a gun at you and says, “Kill your friend or I will kill you”, he is tempting you, that is all.”

        Arendt maintained that while it might not be possible to resist direct coercion, it was possible to resist temptation. This standard applied equally to perpetrators and accomplices. Without holding on to such a distinction, Arendt claimed, personal responsibility would be lost altogether.

        Yet while it is a temptation for the perpetrator to say: “Kill your friend or I will kill you”, the victim so compelled is under a very direct form of coercion. Arendt has elided two very different experiences: the German perpetrator who could disobey orders that entailed telling others to kill and a Jewish collaborator who knew that the choices were between everyone dying and some dying, between dying then or dying later.

        “I was told, “Arendt later said angrily, “that judging itself was wrong: no one can judge who had not been there.” But it was one thing to insist on the right to judge Eichmann and his kind, another thing to claim the equivalent right to judge—and condemn—the conduct of Jewish collaborators. The second case required a different kind of judgment, one that does not confuse understanding and forgiveness, but which does insist on empathy as a prelude to judgment. Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Empathy here means the capacity to enter into the moral world of those faced with intolerable choices and understand how these choices could be made. Empathy implies a capacity to discriminate between the condemnation appropriate to a perpetrator and that of his Jewish accomplice. The accusation here is fundamental: that in making ethical judgment the central function of intellectual life, and its chief claim of authority, Arendt had lacked the one essential feature of judgment: compassion.

        There are a few things to say about Ignatieff’s critique. First, he assumes that for the Jewish collaborators the choice was between “everyone dying and some dying, between dying then or dying later.” Arendt disputes that fact. She denies that Jewish collaboration saved more lives than non-collaboration would have. Indeed, she argues that if the Jews had refused to collaborate, many fewer Jews would have been killed. The ensuing chaos would have afforded many Jews the chance to escape and would have inspired others to resist. Further, the complicity of Jewish leaders eased the Nazi’s job and provided labor and legitimacy that expedited the efficiency of the final solution. It is simply wrong, Arendt insists, to see the choice as one of dying now or dying later. One cannot know the results of action, which always begins anew and is unpredictable in its consequences. Jewish resistance in place of collaboration, she argues, might have saved lives. It would have required courage, however, that the leaders risk their own lives.

        Second, Ignatieff argues that Arendt was wrong to judge the collaborators and that in doing so she denied them the empathy and compassion that are essential features of judgment. Here Ignatieff and Arendt have a real difference of opinion, and it is one worth thinking about.

        Ignatieff insists that judgment requires compassion. We should get to know the person being judged, empathize with his plight, and make allowance for his wrongs based on the circumstances. Against this view, Arendt insists that compassion—which is an essential and praiseworthy trait in the personal realm—must be kept out of the political realm and divorced from questions of judgment.

        link to hannaharendtcenter.org

        Shahak was a founder and President of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. He noted that during the period of massive extermination in the Warsaw Ghetto, that one seldom saw any Germans, but rather the Jewish collaborators who handled day-to-day chores of administration:

        Falsification of the Holocaust

        I disagree with the opinion of Haim Baram that the Israeli education system has managed to instil a ‘Holocaust awareness’ in its pupils (Kol Ha’Ir 12.5.89). It’s not an awareness of the Holocaust but rather the myth of the Holocaust or even a falsification of the Holocaust (in the sense that ‘a half-truth is worse than a lie’) which has been instilled here.

        As one who himself lived through the Holocaust, first in Warsaw then in Bergen-Belsen, I will give an immediate example of the total ignorance of daily life during the Holocaust. In the Warsaw ghetto, even during the period of the first massive extermination (June to October 1943), one saw almost no German soldiers. Nearly all the work of administration, and later the work of transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths, was carried out by Jewish collaborators. Before the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the planning of which only started after the extermination of the majority of Jews in Warsaw), the Jewish underground killed, with perfect justification, every Jewish collaborator they could find. If they had not done so the Uprising could never have started. The majority of the population of the Ghetto hated the collaborators far more than the German Nazis. Every Jewish child was taught, and this saved the lives of some them “if you enter a square from which there are three exits, one guarded by a German SS man, one by an Ukrainian and one by a Jewish policeman, then you should first try to pass the German, and then maybe the Ukrainian, but never the Jew”.

        One of my own strongest memories is that, when the Jewish underground killed a despicable collaborator close to my home at the end of February 1943, I danced and sang around the still bleeding corpse together with the other children. I still do not regret this, quite the contrary.

        It is clear that such events were not exclusive to the Jews, the entire Nazi success in easy and continued rule over millions of people stemmed from the subtle and diabolical use of collaborators, who did most of the dirty work for them. But does anybody now know about this ? This, and not what is ‘instilled’ was the reality. Of the Yad Vashem theatre, I do not wish to speak, at all. It, and its vile exploiting, such as honouring South African collaborators with the Nazis are truly beneath contempt.[that was John Vorster with Menachem Begin]

        Therefore, if we knew a little of the truth about the Holocaust, we would at least understand (with or without agreeing) why the Palestinians are now eliminating their collaborators. That is the only means they have if they wish to continue to struggle against our limb-breaking regime.

        Kind regards,

        Israel Shahak.

        link to jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com

      • Walid
        October 10, 2012, 2:19 am

        Hostage: “Clarification: The State of Israel implicitly recognized the problem when it adopted The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950… The Nazis and other occupying powers have always employed collaborators.”

        Further to your apology of some Zionist collaborators and that Nazis and other occupiers used collaborators, I’d be interested in your comments about the Israeli government’s early 50s suppression of the law you cited in prosecuting Malchiel Greenwald for criminal libel. The Israeli Attorney General went after Greenwald for his published accusation against known collaborator Rudolf Kastner that had been a determining mover of Hungary’s Jews to the death camps in exchange for cash and passage to Palestine for a few select Jews. Survivors Arendt and Shahak philosophized about the merits or the justification of collaborators letting thousands die to let a few live, whereas the case against Greenwald involved the government cover-up of an actually known collaborator (Kastner) that was still employed by the State of Israel at the time because it would have exposed other Israeli political leaders that may have been involved in the same sordid acts, as you suggested in your post.

      • Bing Bong
        October 10, 2012, 8:18 am

        “Clarification: The State of Israel implicitly recognized the problem when it adopted The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710-1950. ”

        “I am not a Holocaust denier. And I am not a supporter of the video that I posted, nor would I ever have been. It was, in fact, an example of propaganda that is EXACTLY what I and others are horrified over. The video (although I didn’t watch it then) seemed like the kind propaganda that our group was discussing. And I passed it on because of the title.”

        Which is it, a recognised problem or horrifying propaganda? Or just a little bit thrown in (admittedly with some relevance to the general topic) but in the first order, there to take some of the edge off the Greta Berlin anti-semitism saga?

      • Hostage
        October 10, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Which is it, a recognised problem or horrifying propaganda?

        Both. It’s true that some Zionists were collaborators, but it’s propaganda to suggest that they were acting alone or without coercion.

        In any event, I was commenting in line with the accusation of “anti-Semitism”, not “anti-Zionism”. It’s a well known fact that Israel indicted or prosecuted a number of Jewish “Kapos” for their roles in aiding and abetting the Nazis as functionaries in the extermination camps. Entire volumes have been devoted to the subject. They illustrate that the Nazi SS routinely employed Jewish “trustees” in the day-to-day administration and operation of the camps. For example, Revital Ludewig-Kedmi published her PhD thesis regarding the moral dilemma encountered by the Jewish functionaries during the Holocaust in the book “Opfer und Täter zugleich?” [Victim and perpetrator at the same time?], Gießen: Psychosozial-Verlag, 2001. There’s an excerpt of a review from Shofar, Volume 22, Number 2, Winter 2004, pp. 144-146 | 10.1353/sho.2004.0032 available here: link to muse.jhu.edu

        The Nazis frequently employed Jews who were already incarcerated for serious crimes. In many cases the survivors testified that those particular individuals treated fellow Jews with more cruelty than the SS.

      • Hostage
        October 10, 2012, 12:59 pm

        I’d be interested in your comments about the Israeli government’s early 50s suppression of the law you cited in prosecuting Malchiel Greenwald for criminal libel.

        Surely. It wasn’t merely the members of the government coalition that supported the adoption of the law to punish collaborators. It was adopted in response to popular demand. I tend to agree with the views expressed by Hannah Arendt, Ben Hecht, Boas Evron and other critics on the subject of the Zionist collaborators. I agree with those same critics regarding the deceitfulness, malevolence, and hypocrisy of the top leadership of the Jewish Agency/State of Israel during the Evian Conference, the Kastner/Greenwald episode, and during the Eichmann trial.

      • seanmcbride
        October 10, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Hostage,

        The Nazis frequently employed Jews who were already incarcerated for serious crimes. In many cases the survivors testified that those particular individuals treated fellow Jews with more cruelty than the SS.

        Here is an important question, I think: what were the official positions of Jewish organizations around the world towards the mass murder of 20 million or more people which occurred under the Soviet Union well BEFORE the Holocaust? To what degree did the Jewish establishment of that era oppose or resist Soviet crimes? To what degree (if any) did it support them?

        One assumes that there must be massive documentation out there to answer these questions.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 6:55 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “what are you talking about? helen thomas didn’t come close to implying zionists operated the concentration camps. that’s pretty over the top and hard to miss. the freegaza movement is a huge part of the movement, so this is a glaring misfortune…”

        What Greta Berlin said may well have been over the top and hard to miss — but it was in no way, shape, or form anti-semitic, and to agree that it was is to accept an identity between Zionism and Judaism, and if you’re going to accept that, then you might as well fold up your tent and go home.

  4. ColinWright
    October 8, 2012, 2:22 pm

    “…The video shows Mullins saying things like Hitler “allied with the Zionist Party and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism…So the concentration camps were run by the Zionist Jews in order to punish and get rid of the anti-Zionist Jews, which they did.”…”

    Just to nit-pick, what’s anti-semitic about that? It sure makes those Zionists sound like awful people — doesn’t suggest anything negative about Jews.

    If I say Republican Americans are trying to get other Americans into a war with Iran, then I’m saying something negative about Republicans. There’s nothing in my remark that suggests I am bigoted towards Americans.

    • Empiricon
      October 8, 2012, 4:33 pm

      I agreee totally, at least based on what is posted here. Having a hard time seeing “racism” in a critical claim — no matter its veracity — about a political movement. How is this not buying into the (totally racist) Zionist mantra that any criticism of Zionism is anti-Semetic?

  5. Woody Tanaka
    October 8, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Well, I’m opposed to all form of racism, including antisemitism. The main evil in this is the oppression of the Palestinians. If we could free the Palestinians from their oppressors without decreasing the current low level of antisemitism in the world, that would be a greater benefit than eliminating the antisemitism but keeping the Palestinians as an oppressed, stateless people. Priorities. Free the Palestinians then eliminate the antisemitism.

    • yourstruly
      October 9, 2012, 11:58 am

      freeing Palestinians will go a long way towards eliminating* antisemitism, because the zionist entity’s occupation of palestine is what’s stoking antisemitism.

      *or at least reducing it to a level that can be flushed down a toilet

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2012, 1:09 pm

        I agree. I didn’t add that point, because I didn’t want to get side tracked.

  6. ckg
    October 8, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Naomi Klein, in announcing her board resignation, made no reference to co-founder Berlins’s controversial twitter post, only that the leadership had changed. In fact, the new board membership was announced over a month ago: link to freegaza.org
    Klein’s resignation is being inserted into this debate by critics of Berlin, but it does not appear germane.

  7. Nevada Ned
    October 8, 2012, 4:39 pm

    The lesson that I draw is that the Free Gaza movement absolutely has to exercise quality control over its public statements. If Greta Berlin really tweeted links to anti-Semitic sites, she should be removed as a public spokesman for Free Gaza.

    Ali Abunimah has made the Electronic Intifada a success by (among other things) repudiating anti-Semitism. Abunimah has publicly urged members of the Palestinian solidarity movement to stay away from (for example) the journalist Israel Shamir. I have heard (from sources that I regard as reliable) that in the Arab world, Holocaust denial is quite common. For example, Abbas, the so-called Palestinian President, wrote a doctoral dissertation that claimed the Holocaust didn’t happen.

    I recognize, of course, that bogus accusations of anti-Semitism are par for the course from the ADL and similar organizations. But this looks real, not bogus.

    Ali Abunimah understands clearly that nothing could be more damaging to the Palestinian cause than embracing or tolerating anti-Semitism.

    And I agree with him.

    • tree
      October 9, 2012, 10:37 am

      Ali Abunimah understands clearly that nothing could be more damaging to the Palestinian cause than embracing or tolerating anti-Semitism.

      Of course, the irony is that embracing racism has been a boon for Zionism. It couldn’t have succeeded without embracing it wholeheartedly, in word and more importantly in deed.

      And in the meantime, even a whiff of “anti-semitism” is still liable to get one thrown under the bus, regardless of the truth or falsity of the charge. And the gatekeeping continues… I knew Greta personally several years ago. She was stupid and irresponsible in this case. But she is not anti-semitic.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    October 8, 2012, 4:59 pm

    From where I am standing, a dedicated human rights activist, having seen a Zionist created concentration camp of Gaza, was made aware of peace of “research” saying that the same Zionist people did something very similar in the past.

    She twitted it.

    It turned out to be tendentious / untrue / clever anti- Zionist propaganda.

    She apologised.

    This smells to me like a character assassination with a glee. Is this woman racist? Where?

    • Vacy
      October 8, 2012, 8:43 pm

      Eva, I support fully the clarity of your statement. The hysteria and lack of trust in Greta, given her years of hard work and commitment to Palestine to must be devastating for her.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    October 8, 2012, 5:00 pm

    RE: “The debacle started when the Free Gaza Twitter account sent a message to thousands of followers that read: ‘Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.’ Berlin controls the account. The same Twitter message linked to a video showing Eustace Mullins, a known anti-Semite. The video shows Mullins saying things like Hitler ‘allied with the Zionist Party and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism. . .'” ~ Alex Kane

    MY COMMENT: These bizarre notions (e.g., that “Zionists operated the concentration camps”, and that Hitler was “allied with the Zionist Party”) sound like something that might issue from the very warped mind of “Pastor” John Hagee! ! !

    FOR INSTANCE, SEE: Pastor Hagee: The Antichrist Is Gay, “Partially Jewish, As Was Adolph Hitler”, by Max Blumenthal, Huffington Post, 6/02/08

    On March 16, 2003, on the eve of the United States’ invasion of Iraq, Pastor John Hagee took to the pulpit to warn of the coming Antichrist. In his sermon, “The Final Dictator,” Hagee described the Antichrist as a seductive figure with “fierce features.” He will be “a blasphemer and a homosexual,” the pastor announced. Then, Hagee boomed, “There’s a phrase in Scripture used solely to identify the Jewish people. It suggests that this man [the Antichrist] is at least going to be partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler, as was Karl Marx.”
    This “fierce” gay Jew, according to Hagee, would “slaughter one-third of the Earth’s population” and “make Adolph Hitler look like a choirboy.”
    Exposed here for the first time, Hagee’s comments identifying the Antichrist as a partly Jewish homosexual arrive in the wake of a furor the pastor provoked by describing the Holocaust as an act of God. Hagee’s chilling sermon about the Holocaust prompted Sen. John McCain to reject the preacher’s support, an unexpected turnabout after McCain spent over a year soliciting his endorsement.
    Days after McCain’s rejection, I reported that a key McCain ally, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, planned to deliver the keynote speech at Hagee’s upcoming Christians United For Israel (CUFI) summit. As the story exploded into the mainstream press, pressure mounted on Lieberman to withdraw.
    But Lieberman stayed the course. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to huffingtonpost.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 8, 2012, 5:09 pm

      P.S. OF COURSE, “REVEREND” HAGEE HAS HIS ADMIRERS:
      “Why McCain Should Have Stood by Hagee”, By Ed Koch, Politico, 6/03/08

      [EXCERPTS] Senator John McCain was wrong to reject the endorsement of Texas evangelist Rev. John Hagee.
      Several years ago Rev. Hagee delivered a sermon that was caught on tape in which he preached, “Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun, and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen.
      Why did it happen? Because God said, ‘My top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.” Anyone hearing the tape would conclude that Hagee is hostile to the Jews, but nothing could be further from the truth. He and his congregants are among Israel’s strongest supporters. For religious reasons, they want Israel to rule supreme over all of the lands that made up the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Israel and Judea. Evangelicals believe that the Messiah – Jesus Christ – cannot return to the earth until the Jews return to the land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), they having been expelled by the Romans in 70 AD after the Second Temple — the one built by Herod — was destroyed.
      Christian fundamentalists believe that every word of the Old and New Testaments represents the will of God. . .
      . . . Rev. Hagee, being a fundamentalist, believes that each word is the word of God, and that everything that occurs on Earth happens as a result of God’s direction. Events caused by people like Hitler, for some fundamentalists, are explained as a punishment visited by God on Jews who had fallen away from the faith and did not follow all of God’s mandates. . .
      . . . Rev. Hagee apparently believes that Hitler was used by God to bring the Jews back to the promised land. . .
      . . . Hagee was not praising Hitler the monster, he was simply offering the fundamentalist opinion that Hitler was used by God to cause the creation of a Jewish state to which the Jews of the world would return.
      Hagee’s followers have supported the State of Israel in many tangible ways. Evangelicals continue to visit Israel as tourists even during the most dangerous times, which is more than can be said for some Diaspora Jews.
      It has become fashionable among liberals, including Jews, to ridicule and denounce Hagee and other fundamentalists. I do not. I appreciate their support of the State of Israel and thank them for their enormous contributions to the Jewish state. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to realclearpolitics.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 8, 2012, 5:49 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will (AUDIO)”, By Sam Stein, Huffington Post, 5/29/08

      [EXCERPTS] John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God’s behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a “hunter,” sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God’s will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.
      Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: “‘And they the hunters should hunt them,’ that will be the Jews. ‘From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.’ If that doesn’t describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can’t see that.”
      He [Hagee] goes on: “Theodore Herzl is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said ‘I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.’ So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.
      “Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.” (Listen to the audio below. ["no longer available due to a copyright claim by a third party" ~ J.L.D.]) . . .
      . . . A spokesman for Hagee confirmed the authenticity of the remark, which can be found at around the 1:08 mark of his sermon “Battle For Jerusalem.” . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to huffingtonpost.com

  10. Danaa
    October 8, 2012, 5:04 pm

    There is something about this whole thing that doesn’t feel right. There is nothing Israel and its zionist supporters would like more than to be able to portray the free gaza movement as somehow full of embedded anti-semites. To me that whole sensitivity to “anti-semitism” is over the top as compared to all the other egregious incidences of racism in the world, that don’t get one thousandth of the attention. Especially the racism of the very ones doing, promoting and excusing the atrocity Israel – and its jewish supporters the world over are visiting upon the hapless people of Gaza.

    Of course, people who are in the forefront of pro-palestinian movements do indeed have to walk on egg shells – as Eva said above -so as not to “stir things up”. Must be tiresome. What’s worse, IMO, is that by successfully cowing the pro-Palestinian groups into declaring Atzmon as beyond the pale, these groups have shown their Achilles heel. Expect it to be used against them every chance the bad guys get.

    What makes me leery is the way Gilad Atzmon’s name has been brought in. I for example agree with much of what Gilad says and don’t consider him remotely racist. Certsainly not by contrast with the likes of say, Bill Krystol or Debra Wasserman-Schultz, or Ileana Ros-Letinen, or cantor, who by their lobby-embracing actions support – unblinkingly – the majority of Israelis who are utterly bigoted to their very core. The shrill anti-muslim, pro Iran or Iraq killing fields advocates, are the true jewish anti-semites (the three named above are just a quick sample from among thousands). A day will come that history will show these people to have been criminally negligent in the humanity department, not Atzmon, who has been trying to show up the tribe for its collusion in mass persecution of human beings. As such it is the ziobots will be found guilty of giving jews everywhere, and Judaism itself – a very bad name – for which they must be held accountable now – even before the court of history finds them guilty as charged. It is them that will bring the wrath upon the jewish head if such were to happen.

    These tiffies notwithstanding (and that’s all they are – tiffies), we should all remember what’s really at stake here – Israel has turned Gaza into an internment camp that’s being squeezed as much as possible to threaten the lives of every human being there. They have done so deliberately and methodically right in the open, pushing their fist into the collective eye of those who care the world over. With forethought and malice they herded human beings into a bull pen there to slowly starve their spirit and deprive them of sustenance. But it’s really worse – nothing Israelis (yes, most of them) want more than to have the Gazans decimated into oblivion. If they could get away with poisoning them all today, they would. That’s the bottom line – it’s not that Gaza is like a concentration camp now – it’s that Israel – as in MOST OF ITS CITIZENS – wouldn’t mind making it so as long as they could find a way to do it more “humanely”. Which to them means the “process” may need to take a bit longer, while making sure they don’t look so emaciated as to give fodder to curious reporters and the odd activist who venture there..

    A world that stands by while over a million people are deprived of life’s barest necessities is not a world that has anything positive to contribute to the conversation about racism. That world that does nothing is guilty of crimes against humanity and that’s what we should never forget. That’s the very “world” that did little about what the nazis were doing at the time – and this is where the commonality that matters is. it is the indifference of the world that has not changed all that much and I think that’s what we need to bear in mind, rather than the odd misplaced comparison about the deeds of the early zionists.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 8, 2012, 7:11 pm

      To me that whole sensitivity to “anti-semitism” is over the top as compared to all the other egregious incidences of racism in the world, that don’t get one thousandth of the attention. Especially the racism of the very ones doing, promoting and excusing the atrocity Israel – and its jewish supporters the world over are visiting upon the hapless people of Gaza.

      i agree with this, especially as compared to all the other egregious incidences of racism in the world.

      • Philip Weiss
        October 8, 2012, 7:41 pm

        Annie, we don’t say this when people talk crap about Islam. We call it Islamophobia. We are sensitive to racism against Arabs and Muslims here; and I feel a strong need to show the same sensitivity toward Jews. Phil

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 7:55 pm

        point taken phil, sorry. ‘sensitivity’ was not the right phrasing because racism is racism and we should not ever compromise. i think americans are programmed to being more fearful of accusations of anti semitism than being accused of racism, even tho it is the same thing, bigotry.

        also, i do think the prevalence of false accusations does make the situation more difficult and threatens to dull peoples comprehension.

      • Dan Crowther
        October 8, 2012, 7:57 pm

        “We are sensitive to racism against Arabs and Muslims here”

        Then what are the Hophmi’s and Oleg’s of the world doing here? Why was Witty allowed his casual racism here for so long?

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 8, 2012, 9:04 pm

        Can somebody please link to the egregious tweet? Referencing anti -semitic material is not the same as endorsing it.??

      • Danaa
        October 8, 2012, 9:11 pm

        Phil, my comment was not directed at you or the site, or any particular commenters. Rather it was directed to the very people you are often so critical of yourself, who cry “anti-semitism” at a drop of a hat, yet let all other forms of racism slide right by. I think that’s the part annie agreed with (sorry annie, didn’t mean for any trouble to occur – may be better to ignore my rants?)

        I do happen to think however, that while real anti-semitism is deplorable enough, the accusation per-se has been flung so often, so egregiously and disproportionately at anyone who evinced the slightest criticism of Israel, that it has lost its bite and means basically, nothing. Personally, I would rather call racism directed at Jews as a group – Judeophobia or something like that – to put it on par with other forms of racism – and distinguish from the often superfluous and malvolently used ‘anti-semitism” .

        One of my own complaints is that most discussions about Israel’s culpability and jewish accountability for the crimes of turning Gaza into a suffocating ghetto are quickly derailed at the first smear of “oohhh look – anti-semitism!”. So we all know about that already. But the second shoe to fall is square on the shoulders of pro-palestinian and palestinian activists who are made to turn themselves inside out to prove they are lily-white – without a shred of blemish or traces of distaste against “Jews as a group”. That even though quite a few groupings of Jews are their very tormentors and absusers. Israel is one of those groupings. New York Times, most jewish establishment types and most jewish lawmakers/elected officials are another. Most practicing rabbis – ditto (yes, I know not all – for sure I know that. Some excellent rabbis out there, just too few in number). So, what I am asking for is proportionality. If Greta Berlin is “tainted” so is every single Jewish congressman – by exactly the same token – and in at least the same amount. If Greta is guilty of sending a misbegotten tweet about zionists being responsible for nazi crimes (to be sure – a preposterous claim if that’s the one she re-tweeted) then so are all the lawmakers, pundits, academics and lawyers – Jewish mostly – who claim Palestinians brought their own demise and ill-fate upon themselves. The ones who point that the palestinian vale of tears is of their own making and justify israel’s murderous actions against all things Arab are just as guilty as greta. If she is to be shunned, then so should the majority of the zionists – and most “pro-israelites” for exactly the same “crime” of racism.

        Proportionality as in – if it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. To say palestinians are responsible for their own Nakba and persecution is exactly the same as saying Jews are responsible for their own holocaust. Blaming the victims by pointing to one or two not so good guys among them is never right and should never be justified. But this yard stick should then be applied equitably across all. Not just a greta berlin or a Helen Thomas, or a Gilad Atzmon.

        I am certainly not implying Greta berlin should not apologize or that she does not deserve some castigation for inexplicable insensitivity (and stupidity, frankly). But I will only join in the chorus of castigators if I can see the same bile directed at say Deborah Wasseman-Schultz and David Brooks and Elliot Spitzer – just to name a few I watched this past few weeks spew bile against muslims and/or Iranians and/or Arabs. Those who excuse the atrocities perpetrated upon palestinians by jewish people – effectively as “no big deal” are just as guilty as those might dismiss the atrocities and pogroms perpetrated on Jews in the past as “sh*t happened”.

        Fact is – Jews of the zionist persuation did not guard no damn concentration camp – that is a ludicrous statement to make – even in jest. But Jews DID kill and ARE persecuting and murdering palestinians as we speak, even as other jews – including some who fancy themselves upstanding moral creatures – are excusing the criminals.

        Of course, you and perhaps not a few other Jewish individuals are saintly (exagration intended). But truth be told – there are too few of you, and my ire is directed at the not so silent not so saintly majority – as well as to a situation that requires there be saints in the first place.

        Bottom line: greta should resign from free gaza because of damage she caused the movement. But Dershowitz should be fired from harvard for being a racist bigot who damages jewish people the world over. fair enough?

      • Danaa
        October 8, 2012, 9:17 pm

        Comment came out too long. Oh well, what else is new? mia culpa seems to be my game..

        Can I make up for it by sending around the video of Henri the cat with Ennui?

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 8, 2012, 10:11 pm

        I saw the tweet. There is nothing in it to suggest Berlin endorsed the views in the referenced video.

        This is ass-covering by the anti zionist left in fear of the very folks you chastise by day. And your opponents smell this fear.

        A sorry day for the movement.

      • AlGhorear
        October 8, 2012, 11:53 pm

        Danaa, I understand and appreciate your passion, insight and wisdom, so please keep posting no matter the length, in fact more is better when it comes to you.

      • MRW
        October 9, 2012, 12:27 am

        Can I make up for it by sending around the video of Henri the cat with Ennui?

        Especially the second one?

        Jeezuss, we think alike. ;-)

      • Walid
        October 9, 2012, 2:03 am

        “Personally, I would rather call racism directed at Jews as a group – Judeophobia or something like that – to put it on par with other forms of racism – and distinguish from the often superfluous and malvolently used ‘anti-semitism.” (Danaa)

        You’re right, Danaa. The reason I never use the gimmicky term “antisemitic” because it only serves to muddy the water. Something racist against the Jews should be simply termed “anti-Jewish”; it’s clear, to the point and really highlights racism. “Antisemitic” has lost its flavour, as you said, it has become simply a fancy word for anti-Israel. Of course Israel would have you believe that to criticize Israel is to attack all the Jews of the world, which is absurd.

      • gamal
        October 9, 2012, 2:04 am

        “We are sensitive to racism against Arabs and Muslims here;”
        i think one of great problems with the current situation in American discourse is that you may well believe this wonderfully affirming notion, I am not so sure.
        While being sensitive to racism against Arabs, it is still possible for committed anti-racists to support the destruction of Arab states and the slaughter of their people and leaders in a way that would be unthinkable of either Israel or any European nation.
        We have people wondering whether to support the Syrian rebels, you yourself staunchly supporting the destruction of the Libyan state, on the grounds that those who remain will be better off, I presume, in some mystical way, while not even bothering to look at the life enjoyed by Libyans under the former regime, and weighing this against the probability that the social goods enjoyed by Libyans are likely to decline for sometime to come before any advances and are hardly likely ever to return to pre-liberation levels, i have no illusions about the nature of that former state having worked in association with one of their ministries for nearly thirty years. Is it racism to believe that nations can summed up as Saddam Hussien or Muammar Khadaffi or Ahmadinejad?

        For instance would it be a case of anti-Arab racism if I were to point out that some of the most dedicated servants of empire and propagators of racist tropes aimed at Arabs are Arabs, that the domination of the middle east would be near impossible without a cohort of compradors, that Arabs have been in the fore front of the intellectual, bureaucratic and cultural war waged on the middle eastern masses, often under the rubric of anti-fundamentalism, developmentalism/modernization or some other such nostrums.

        Is it anti-Russian racism to believe that America and her allies defeated Nazism, with only a passing mention of Marshal Zukhov and the Red Army?

        If one reads and discusses Zundel and Leucher does that make one a racist?

        If one believes that Arabs and Muslims protest about abuse of religious symbols rather than protesting slaughter and the drone program of assassination, the derogation of their rights or that the recipients of this oppression might in their own minds link the two, is one a racist?

        What is most surprising is that an America which valorizes free speech also has a number of taboo’s which if one even approaches one finds oneself anathematized, did Berlin advance the ideas of the no doubt racist promoter of the site she cites, could someone produce a creed we could recite prior to any utterance so as to protect ourselves from unwitting racism, if such is actually possible.

        Isnt one of the problems here the near religious awe in which the whole ww2 story is held in the west, does anyone notice what France, the Netherlands and the UK did in their own imperial possessions after the defeat of Nazism, would it be racist to point out that they adopted policies very similar to the ones that were followed by their erstwhile enemies in Europe?

      • Cliff
        October 9, 2012, 5:15 am

        Danaa – my thoughts exactly.

        Berlin’s tweet was stupid. Jews didn’t have anything to do with the camps.

        That being said, that standard itself is absurd.

        Jews are killing and abusing Palestinians and Jewish intellectuals are justifying and whitewashing it.

        Not just the Jewish intelligentsia but clearly, as evident here on MW, everyday Jews who are politically active (or bored basement dwellers).

        So why all the noise? Because the Free Gaza Movement needs good PR. That being said, it truly is sad to see so many Palestinian solidarity activists and personalities throw Greta under the bus while ZIONIST JEWS would NEVER DO THE SAME WITH THEIR OWN.

        Even among the MW Zionist trolls there is no in-fighting. They all troll in unison and no comment among them is too low-brow. Remember eee? And look at the various settlers we have had comment here?

        Whether it is a self-proclaimed LIBERAL like the imbecile hoppy or the soft-spoken WonderingJew – NONE OF THEM have ever disassociated themselves from each other over the crazy shit they have said here.

        And that is the point.

        This is how identity politics work. I don’t understand all the sensitivity when all these horrible underhanded things have happened throughout history. See: the New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741 as an example.

        People involved in this issue get trapped by Jewish nationalists (yes, it is ok to say Jewish)/Zionists into thinking that everything in and around Israel-Palestine happened in a vacuum.

        Look at other conflicts and other histories and see the bigger pictures and themes and relationships if any exist and stop being so SURPRISED. And let that lack of surprise inform your activism. It’s your bullshit radar.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Philip says: “Annie, we don’t say this when people talk crap about Islam. We call it Islamophobia. We are sensitive to racism against Arabs and Muslims here; and I feel a strong need to show the same sensitivity toward Jews. Phil.”

        This fails on the minor point that I have yet to see anything quoted that ‘talks crap about Jews.’ Arguably, some ‘crap is talked about Zionists’ — but that’s a different matter entirely.

        If I say this or that about al Qaeda, have I ‘talked crap about Muslims’? I don’t think so — nor would I expect to be vilified for it.

        You people are playing the Zionist game. You yourselves are equating ‘Zionism’ with ‘Jewry.’

        Zionists are utter slime. Is that, or is it not, an ‘anti-semitic’ remark? Make up your minds.

      • Bing Bong
        October 10, 2012, 7:48 am

        “To me that whole sensitivity to “anti-semitism” is over the top as compared to all the other egregious incidences of racism in the world…”

        “i think americans are programmed to being more fearful of accusations of anti semitism than being accused of racism, even tho it is the same thing, bigotry.”

        Why, because of the Israel lobby?

        Obviously you’ve been programmed along other lines, until told differently by the site owner when suddenly you remember that “because racism is racism…we should not ever compromise”

        Haven’t you noticed that this thread is all about distancing yourselves from racism?

        But isn’t it true that anti-Semitism is sometimes fuelled by Israel’s actions as you and Woody(?) and someone else commented above? Although “racism is racism” isn’t some racism caused by things like this and therefore not just a product of unfounded hate for an ethnic or religious group but hate of the actions of a group naturally spilling into hate for the group seen to be doing those actions? Could it be that a good gauge of Israel’s crimes…

        “Especially the racism of the very ones doing, promoting and excusing the atrocity Israel”

        ….is the amount of anti Jew hatred held by anti-Israel activists, and the amount of fear of being accused of anti-Semitism in America created by the Israel lobby?

        “i think americans are programmed to being more fearful of accusations of anti semitism”

        So that means I can say that I think in Britain people are far more conditioned to be fearful of accusations of islamophobia, especially after the London bombings of 2005?

    • MRW
      October 9, 2012, 12:25 am

      Danaa @ October 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm, AND, October 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Correct. Insightful. And accurate. Don’t you back down from this. There is nothing to apologize for. It’s about time a lot of American Jews and Gentiles listened to you, because you make a lot of sense.

      • ritzl
        October 10, 2012, 6:24 am

        Ditto.

  11. Dan Crowther
    October 8, 2012, 5:14 pm

    HEE-LARIOUS. Just read Baltzer’s speech about gatekeeping and so on, and now I read this.

    Even if you find Berlin and Co. to be anti-semites, JVP and all these other cats are still full of shit. And here’s why: They all protest the Lobby – lots of supposedly anti-zionists like Phil emphasize the Lobby to the point where he IS talking about a greater Jewish Conspiracy. So why can we talk about the modern “jewish conspiracy” but not wonder about the some of the others; like zionist/nazi cooperation and so on?

    Free Gaza…… unless Naomi Klein and JVP get offended, then F Gaza. Awesome. And so the final ethnic cleanse will happen; because there was too much anti-semitism in the pro-palestinian movement. Klein and JVP should make that announcement when it happens

    • tree
      October 8, 2012, 6:45 pm

      HEE-LARIOUS. Just read Baltzer’s speech about gatekeeping and so on, and now I read this.

      Yeah. I had the same thought.

  12. Annie Robbins
    October 8, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Im Wald von Katyn is a film that was made by the Nazis. It was a propaganda tract that sought to blame Jews for carrying out a 1940 massacre of Polish nationals.

    alex, i have never heard of this film before defner’s comment section at 972 but Piotr Berman posted in larry’s thread link to 972mag.com

    this propaganda film is not anti-Semitic but anti-Soviet, namely, it documents the claim that Soviets murdered Polish officers who were POWs. Moreover, this propaganda happened to be true! It was convenient for Nazi regime to drive a wedge between Polish government in exile and Soviet government, but they happened to uncovered a true massacre perpetrated by NKVD.

    For many years Soviet government was resolutely denying the story claiming that the massacre was made by Germans. Actually, Nazis were very legalistic about conventions concerning POWs. If you were a German POW from a country that signed the respective Geneva convention, your survival chances were quite good. My uncle survived WWII as a French POW even though Germans sorted away Jewish prisoners for harsher treatment. Prisoners from countries without the convention were in hell (Soviet or Italian).

    can anyone confirm this?

    • Alex Kane
      October 8, 2012, 7:14 pm

      A cursory reading of Google Books shows that it’s anti-Soviet and anti-Jewish. This makes sense, given that Nazi propaganda often conflated the Bolsheviks with Jews as a whole–the Bolshevik-Jewish conspiracy and so on.

      link to books.google.com

      • Annie Robbins
        October 9, 2012, 12:15 am

        thanks alex

      • Ellen
        October 9, 2012, 6:06 am

        Alex, go to the source and not to interpretations of interpretations you find on google.

        Here is the original film.

        link to archive.org

        This film uses only once the expression, “Bolshevic terror.” Conflating it as used here as anti Jewish is a leap.

        The film goes to great length to humanize the victims of the massacre and to show how closely Germany was working with the international “neutral observers” (as it strongly projects) to document the massacre.

        The film is horrific and was made for the public to prepare for more war against — as it keeps repeating in the film — the Soviet Power.

        It gives two messages for the German public: that the Soviet Macht is total evil and how civilized the Germans are.

        The US repressed this information as the propaganda effect was so powerful it would work against the US and it’s Soviet ally.

        The film does not even venture into much of the primitive Judeophobe Nazi propaganda of the times.

        For a Journalist to make sweeping claims of “anti semitic” intent about the meaning and impact of this film based on cursory look at Google books is as thoughtless and irresponsible as Greta Berlin’s apparently irresponsible tweets.

    • Philip Munger
      October 8, 2012, 7:24 pm

      Im Wald von Katyn was just one of many propaganda efforts by the Nazis made between their discovery of the major burial site near Katyn, and their evacuation later in 1943, as the Soviets advanced rapidly in the post-Kursk offensives. Polish railroad workers, semi-enslaved by the Nazis first discovered the site in early 1943, and Nazi intelligence found out about it soon afterward.

      The Soviets had been lying to Poles since the Nazi invasion about why so many Polish officers were unaccounted for. When the Nazis tried to turn the discovery to their advantage, the Soviet government denied everything, making up a series of easily disprovable stories. These efforts and the realization that the Soviets had in fact murdered tens of thousands of Polish officers and intellectuals in 1940, led to the Soviet government breaking off diplomatic relationship with the London Poles (the Polish government in exile, recognized by the UK and USA).

      Among the executioners there may have been some Soviet Jews, but there may not have been, and any group claiming that Soviet Jews had a big role in the executions is lying.

      There was a considerable number of Polish Jewish officers and intellectuals among those murdered by the Soviets at Katyn, and at other 1940 and 1941 liquidation sites where Poles were killed, such as Kharkiv.

      Coverage in 1943 of the discovery, by the Western press in Moscow, is throughly accounted for in Alexander Werth’s Russia at War, in which he describes the lame ways the Soviets tried to spin their crimes, while at the same time seeking to control the narrative on just who and what the Polish government in exile really was. A fascinating read.

      I looked at the 8-minute clip from the movie available on Youtube last winter, when I was writing an essay on Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony, which is partly about another massacre on Soviet soil during World War II – Babi Yar, outside of Kiev. It is a crude, ugly film, but it has a lot of historical value in context.

    • Bumblebye
      October 8, 2012, 8:09 pm

      I knew I’d seen something recently on this:
      link to bbc.co.uk
      Roosevelt joined in the cover-up!

    • ToivoS
      October 8, 2012, 10:19 pm

      Actually, Nazis were very legalistic about conventions concerning POWs.

      This is utterly wrong. About 3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi camps during WWII. Most died of starvation and diseases resulting from poor health — this was a deliberate campaign.

      • ColinWright
        October 8, 2012, 11:53 pm

        ToivoS says: “Actually, Nazis were very legalistic about conventions concerning POWs.

        This is utterly wrong. About 3 million Soviet POWs died in Nazi camps during WWII. Most died of starvation and diseases resulting from poor health — this was a deliberate campaign.”

        Au contraire. The case of the Russian POW’s proves the point about Nazi legalism.

        The Soviet Union hadn’t signed the Geneva Convention, you see.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 12:36 am

        In defense of this interpretation, look into the German treatment of Polish POW’s. Germany’s intentions towards the Poles and Poland were at least as malevolent as her plans regarding the Soviet Union — but Poland had signed the Geneva convention, and while the Germans played some games, they never mounted the sort of frankly genocidal assault that they did on the mass of Russian POW’s that they took.

        It’s an obscure subject — perhaps for the very reason that German crimes against Polish POW’s paled compared to their other offenses — but I did find this thread, which more or less gives the picture.

        link to forum.axishistory.com

      • ToivoS
        October 9, 2012, 2:43 am

        Interesting link to axishistory. This is consistent with my reading for that period. The Nazis had a long term plan to exterminate the “Slav” people of Eastern Europe and Russia. This was part of Mein Kampf, if not explicitly then understood in Hitler’s whole idea to colonize Poland and the other southern Soviet Republics. The dilemma for the Nazis after they conquered the Baltic states, Belarus, the Ukraine and Poland, is they controlled over 50 million people. They faced a logistic problem with killing them all. Also they needed their labor in order to pursue the war into Russia.

        The problem with the 3 million Soviet POWs is that they couldn’t be trusted to be docile workers. Therefore they were killed. The extermination of the Jews followed a similar line of reasoning — these were people destined to be exterminated eventually but could also not be trusted in the short term. Thus was the genesis of the holocaust. In any case the strategic goal was the extermination of 40 million Slavs.

      • piotr
        October 9, 2012, 6:47 am

        I also made very clear that Nazi legalism was not some kind hearted humanism. I recall that Italian POW got a rotten treatment too, but I would need to investigate why: is it because Mussolini did not sign the conventions, or because they were viewed as rebels/deserters (Mussolini was deposed in 1943 and Italian generals and troops refused to continue fighting on the Eastern Front).

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 1:22 pm

        ToivoS says: “…The problem with the 3 million Soviet POWs is that they couldn’t be trusted to be docile workers. Therefore they were killed…”

        I don’t think so. In point of fact, the slaughter-through-starvation was called off at the end of 1941, when it dawned on the Nazis that they were going to need the labor of these POW’s.

        Not that life subsequently became all sweetness and light for the third or so that were still alive — but henceforth they were kept alive to work.

      • ToivoS
        October 9, 2012, 7:56 pm

        Oh goody goody Colin. The Germans only exterminated 3 million of the 4 million Soviet prisoners and you use that as a refutation of my point that the Germans exterminated those 3 million men because the Nazis felt they could not be controlled. At one point I had trouble understanding why you aggravated Mooser, I think I understand now.

      • ColinWright
        October 10, 2012, 2:26 pm

        ToivoS:

        You seem to be getting upset because I disagree with you, and refute your points.

        You say: “…The problem with the 3 million Soviet POWs is that they couldn’t be trusted to be docile workers. Therefore they were killed…”

        I say: “I don’t think so. In point of fact, the slaughter-through-starvation was called off at the end of 1941, when it dawned on the Nazis that they were going to need the labor of these POW’s.”

        The latter is the truth. It implies that the former isn’t. What do you want?

      • Mooser
        October 10, 2012, 6:38 pm

        “At one point I had trouble understanding why you aggravated Mooser, I think I understand now.”

        Yes, but I’ve made the necessary adjustment, and now I get through the comment threads so much faster than I used to, with a lot less irritation.
        I mean, c’mon, ToivoS, the man outright said he endorses torture, thinks it’s useful. That doesn’t mean I have to subject myself to it.

      • ToivoS
        October 10, 2012, 7:00 pm

        Colin you do not do logic do you? I said that 3 million Soviet POWs were executed because they couldn’t be trusted to be docile workers. You say 1 million were allowed to live. This you present as a refutation of my statement.

        Both statements can be true at the same time. It is odd that you seem unable to grasp that simple point.

      • ColinWright
        October 10, 2012, 10:34 pm

        ToivoS: “Colin you do not do logic do you? “

        We’re playing some kind of silly ego game here. You offered an explanation as to why the Germans killed three million POW’s. I pointed out what was wrong with the explanation.

        Why you are getting upset escapes me. Am I supposed to just accept statements I feel are erroneous lest I offend the speaker?

        The Germans, confronted with colossal numbers of Soviet POW’s, appear to have decided that the simplest thing to do was to let them all starve to death — they were going to win within weeks and reducing the Slavic population of the East was a goal anyway.

        After about six months of this, they realized that (a) the war was going to go on for a lot longer than they had planned, and (b) they had an acute manpower shortage. At this point, they realized there was something to be said for keeping the remaining Soviet prisoners alive.

        The point is that so far as I know, at no point was there a belief that the Soviet POW’s wouldn’t make docile workers. The whole Nazi schtick was that Slavs were naturally docile subhumans, and once purged of their sinister Jewish puppet masters, would no longer pose a threat.

        Indeed, Hitler tried to stop it, so the practice was fairly surreptitious, but by 1943, about 10% of the average German combat unit’s personnel consisted of impressed and volunteer Soviets of various flavors, including former POW’s. Soviet POW’s were perfectly docile workers, and often even useful as military personnel — and this fact was recognized quite early on in practice.

      • ColinWright
        October 11, 2012, 12:37 am

        Mooser says: “I mean, c’mon, ToivoS, the man outright said he endorses torture, thinks it’s useful.”

        I don’t suppose it would do much good to link you back to the original post? Should I bring up the one where you tried to defend sex with small children?

  13. yrn
    October 8, 2012, 5:36 pm

    So, who stand for Greta Berlin ???

    • Eva Smagacz
      October 8, 2012, 6:21 pm

      Me.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 8, 2012, 7:13 pm

        it’s worthless responding to him eva, obviously he’s not reading the thread.

      • Vacy
        October 8, 2012, 8:46 pm

        me too

      • demize
        October 14, 2012, 3:59 am

        I AM SPARTACUS! No seriously I do as well this whole thing is despicable. This women has risked her life on several occasions trying to break this iniquitous siege. And because she links to some obscure dead dude who talks about the Federal Reserve she is castigated and purged by pissant neophytes and scoundrels. And the very nature of these type of things has me refuting the argument that “she said antisemitic stuff”. The followers will just nod along, never bother to actually view the source material, do some research before joining the mob. When even the linked material in question doesn’t say anything antisemitic. He may have been clumsy but it is well documented that Zionism and Nazism were complicit. Kapos ran day to day operations in the camps, Jewish police patrolled the ghettos, were they Jews? Zionists? The Judenrat? So what, this is counterproductive and designed to be so. “Abunimah has made EI. very successful” so what? He gets invites to liberal wishy washy conferences and keeps it all very PC. And the Gazans starve, and the pogroms continue in the OT, on Al Aqsa. Jerusalem is ethnically cleansed, more airstrikes, settler lynchings, desecration of holy sites, torture, and we are doing a Sherlock Holmes to find hints of antisemitism. This is why I am personally disgusted with the left, it is a narcissistic and moribund lifestylism masquerading as a polity.

    • Walid
      October 9, 2012, 2:09 am

      I’m with Greta Berlin.

      • gamal
        October 10, 2012, 10:43 am

        yes, i am spartacus, along with anyone else with any self respect.

        you know there is something truly revolting about Jews most of whom have lived their lives in luxurious security equating themselves with the victims not only of quite virulent Euro/American racism and discrimination but Palestinians, you have got to be kidding right, and as to talking scat about Islam your Islamic victims are in the several million you ignorant dolts, ah but that is empire as Che observed its in its nature to “turn men into beasts”, you US Jews are not this side of the racial divide, you are on the right side of the tracks, so spare us the whining and take some responsibility, that you can equate this Greta shit with what any black teenager in the states has been through is laughable, you people are becoming a joke, I could recommend Herbert Musils “Man Without Qualities”, its a whole trilogy, but you’d probably think that song was about you too.

    • Bing Bong
      October 10, 2012, 8:07 am

      Me too, Greta’s views are obviously a position she has taken in view of Israel’s crimes. Refreshing to see someone with responsibility in the anti-Israel movement put them out in the open and not just people without any significant position voicing them here on MW.

      Here’s to the next tweet of truth!

      • Bing Bong
        October 10, 2012, 9:35 am

        Oh, it was a private conversation put out there by mistake? Ok, that’s not so good

  14. jon s
    October 8, 2012, 5:44 pm

    In the Nazi’s warped world-view Communism and the USSR were Jewish creations. Therefore anti-Soviet =anti-Jewish.

  15. tree
    October 8, 2012, 5:47 pm

    I’d go with Piotr Berman’s take on this. The Soviets did massacre Polish POWs in 1940 in the Katyn Forest (film title translated is “In the Katyn Forest”) and the Nazi’s discovered the graves in 1943. It makes sense that they would create a propaganda film about it in 1943 when they were fighting the Soviets. The Soviets denied it at the time but its been researched and there is no doubt that the Soviets, not the Nazis, were the perpetrators of that particular massacre.

    Annie, I’d highly recommend reading Snyder’s “Bloodlands”. The poor people in Poland, Lithuania , the Ukraine, etc. got it from both sides during the 30’s and 40’s. Horrifying.

    From Wikipedia on Katyn

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    • tree
      October 8, 2012, 6:24 pm

      It was a propaganda tract that sought to blame Jews for carrying out a 1940 massacre of Polish nationals.

      Alex, you stated this in your article as if it were fact, but it is merely the opinion of an Adam Holland, a commenter on Derfner’s piece. I think his opinion is wrong, and is in fact intended to defame rather than inform. The film doesn’t blame “Jews” for the massacre, it blames the Soviet Union. I think its most likely exactly what Piotr Berman says it is- a piece of Nazi anti-Soviet propaganda that publicized a real massacre committed by the Soviet Union.

      Its entirely possible that the film may have an anti-semitic tone to, since the Nazi tended to think of the Bolsheviks/communists as overwhelmingly Jewish, but it is primarily an anti-Soviet propaganda film, that CORRECTLY blames the Soviet Union for committing a massacre of Polish POW’s in the Katyn Forest in 1940. The film is available on Youtube, but I don’t understand German so I can not vouch for its exact contents. However, the fact that Greta may have posted such a film actually helps to confirm that her FB group was discussing propaganda films, as she had stated.

      • Alex Kane
        October 8, 2012, 7:15 pm

        See my comment to Annie. Sure, it’s anti-Soviet, but it’s also anti-Semitic—and it was made by Nazis.

      • Ellen
        October 9, 2012, 5:26 am

        Alex, what is the basis of your statement, and what exactly in the propaganda film is anti-Jewish?

        As an aside, Roosevelt repressed all reliable reports by the US state department that this terrible massacre was done by the Soviet army so as not to make the Soviets look bad.

  16. American
    October 8, 2012, 5:56 pm

    “”She pointed to a statement of 37 people published on 972 which “verif[ied] that we have a small group and those are the things we talk about.”

    Hmmm……we do the same thing here some times, link to something for illustrating or comparing anti Jewish propaganda to anti Muslims propaganda…so I dont’ know if I’d get too bent out of shape about that part …if that was the true intent.
    Also I don’t think you have to be a anti semite to like Aztom, I think plenty of non anti semites like him because he is all out there and up front with no mincing around and Aztom doesn’t appear to ‘hate’ Jews, from what I’ve read of his works, he hates extreme ”Jewishness”..which I take to mean the tribalism and zionism, religion or culture inspired, whichever.

    Has Berlin ever exhibited actual anti semitism, hating Jews, in her past? I think that’s what should be looked at first before anyone jumps to a conclusion or label

    There is something weird though about the linking to Mullins video ..he was a loony nutcase…can’t see anything instructive in posting that for discussion even in a small group…don’t see any redeeming purpose in that at all.

    • Eva Smagacz
      October 8, 2012, 6:31 pm

      If you allow that Arab hating promotors of ethnic cleansing ( for example Benny Morris) can provide historically accurate facts and figures, then you must allow that Jew hating historians/writers/journalists can provide objectively true facts and figures.

      To not examine information because the wrapping is not to our liking is to self select world view that is necessarily tendentious.

      • American
        October 8, 2012, 8:52 pm

        “then you must allow that Jew hating historians/writers/journalists can provide objectively true facts and figures.”….Eva

        Yes they can but they don’t have to be the ones you quote or show or cite….use some other source.
        For instance, the bit about zionist running the camps” comes from the fact that there were Jews in the camps who were “hall monitors” for other Jews, implying some some cooperation with the nazi camp guards/officers. So if a real anti semite got hold of that fact he could turn it into…”zionist ran the camps”..a gross exaggeration.
        When I first started out on this I/P-USA-Isr journey I read and researched ONLY official documents and papers and sources. I didn’t read or want to read anything that was a Jewish source or a anti Israel/Jewish source….I wanted to know ‘exactly what was what.”
        The nitty gritty truth, good , bad and ugly is out there for anyone who wants to do the work to find it……after I did, I became what is called ‘anti Israel” I suppose…but that’s the way the cookie crumbled based on the real facts.

        As far as I am concerned the history of the Jews, the holocuast, all of that stuff should NOT be mentioned—–Neither side should be allowed to ‘use it’ or refer to it….judging zionist or Israel based on 1948 to present day actions is all that’s needed and quite enough.

      • MRW
        October 9, 2012, 3:39 am

        Eva Smagacz, October 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        Smart.

  17. W.Jones
    October 8, 2012, 8:02 pm

    Derfner writes:
    What Mayer, the JTA, the Jerusalem Post and National Post left out was the other part of Berlin’s explanation that was posted on the Free Gaza Movement’s website: that her tweet was intended for a Facebook discussion among “a group of people who were discussing propaganda and racism, and this link was an example of the terrible propaganda that could be spewed on websites.”

    link to 972mag.com

    Plus, She pointed to a statement of 37 people published on 972 which “verif[ied] that we have a small group and those are the things we talk about.”

    The fact that she endorsed Atzmon does not mean she is bad, since alot of academics like Mearsheimer have too. Mearsheimer said that his endorsement naturally did not mean endorsing everything Atzmon said.

    I don’t know for sure what Berlin’s views are for sure, but I am seriously doubtful about her opponents’ potrayals of what she meant. They are not inside her brain.

  18. libra
    October 8, 2012, 8:06 pm

    AK: The Free Gaza Twitter account has also tweeted out links to websites that claimed that “Mossad was behind ‘Sam Bacile'”, the name associated with the anti-Islam movie that lately caused such outrage in the Middle East.

    Alex, did you actually follow this tweeted link?The hyperbolic headline tweet screams:

    “Why I believe that Mossad was behind “Sam Bacile” link to fb.me

    Follow the tweeted link and it redirects to this link.

    I have to say the linked article seemed rather familiar. In fact, I was fairly certain I had seen it as a result of reading Mondoweiss comments on the subject of this film. And indeed after a little checking I found not one link but two.

    But what I found intriguing was these comments were on a post by your very self on 13 September that links the film to Pam Geller.

    Are you now of the opinion that any speculation that Mossad was behind this anti-Islam movie is actually anti-semitic? If not, then add this last paragraph to the end of your post today?

  19. piotr
    October 8, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I jumped at Adam Holland because he made a ridiculous statement that the movie about Katyn is an antisemitic fabrication. (piotr is my true name and Piotr Berman a pen name :-()

    However, the movie that put Greta Berlin in hot water is in Holocaust denial territory, so it is different. The way I see it is that the fact that Jews behave badly while proclaiming that they represent all Jews etc. is attracting to the opposition who do not like Jews as Jews, beside disliking oppressors as oppressors. Also, it is hard to avoid generalizing. More precisely, generalizing is what we should be doing, but it can lead to primitive stereotype, like the stereotype of “savage jihadist” that makes rounds lately. Which stereotype is primitive and bad, and which is a useful generalization? Simple rules are bad rules.

    A simple rule is that a generalization that puts Jews in a bad light is vile. Like using a word “lobby” or “neocon” with disapproval. So called “new anti-Semitism” is the theory based on that simple (and bad) rule. Old anti-Semitism is another matter.

    • yourstruly
      October 9, 2012, 9:45 pm

      “A simple rule is that a generalization that puts Jews in a bad light is vile.”

      how about the generalization that Israel speaks for all Jews?

      besides being untrue, it implies that all Jews (without exception) are complicit in the Nakba and assorted other Israeli crimes against humanity, such that, when the day of reckoning arrives, all Jews (not only those guilty of said crimes) will be held accountable.

      held accountable even though one had nothing to do with the crime, or, in some cases, resisted the actual culprits? what’s this, if not antisemitic?

      fortunately for Jewish Americans, as more & more of us turn against Zionism & the Jewish settler entity, it’ll be obvious to almost everyone that the one about Israel speaking for all of us is nothing but a vile lie.

  20. piotr
    October 8, 2012, 8:34 pm

    A thought: is there anything about Gaza related activism that can either be particularly attractive to anti-Semites or drive hitherto unprejudiced individuals to primitive stereotypes?

    Gaza represents a moral bottom of the Zionist project. One aspect that we witnessed this week that any time something happens that may upset delicate constitution of IDF command they kill some Gazans to feel a bit better. A drone penetrated Israeli defenses? Kill some savages! And make some sonic booms over Lebanon, not AS satisfying but helps a bit too. How dare those savages violate our territorial integrity? Civilized people can do it all the time of course, but it is moral blindness to see any equivalence here blah blah blah.

    Beating up Arabs in West Banks feels well too, but unlimited murder is reserved for Gaza.

    • ColinWright
      October 10, 2012, 8:44 pm

      piotr says: “…Gaza represents a moral bottom of the Zionist project. “

      So one would hope. However, I think if we just slipped the leash, they’d prove their ability to plumb still greater depths.

      Right now, Israel is restrained by the fact that whatever she does has to be mild enough so that she can paper it over with lies to the satisfaction of her supporters abroad. Remove that constraint, and I see no reason to expect any limit at all.

  21. ColinWright
    October 9, 2012, 12:07 am

    One point is that I don’t like the use to which the accusation of anti-semitism is generally put these days.

    I occasionally hear or read examples of mild anti-semitism. It’s repugnant, and I often object, but as a rule, it’s much milder than other forms of bigotry here in the US. I could imagine us herding our Black population into camps or driving the entire Hispanic population into the Sonoran desert a lot more readily than I can picture any form of serious anti-semitic persecution here. Bigotry against Muslims, bigotry against Asians — these are far, far more real and widespread concerns than anti-semitism.

    Nevertheless, the charge is regularly leveled. Almost invariably, the goal is to delegitimize criticism of Israel. Jimmy Carter is an anti-semite. Walt and Mearscheimer are anti-semites. This Free Gaza figure is an anti-semite.

    ‘Anti-semitism’ has been utterly prostituted. It no longer refers to a form of bigotry that is an actual problem, but is almost invariably used as a tool to smear opposition to the filthy Nazi state of Israel.

    So screw ‘em. Call everyone anti-semites. That dog won’t hunt any more.

    I definitely think this number of cowering and cringing and apologizing every time some Israel-lover plays the ‘anti-semite’ card has to end. It’s a dirty trick the Israel-lovers are playing, and we need to quit falling for it. Let them try to defend Israel instead of changing the subject.

  22. chrisjj
    October 9, 2012, 12:34 am

    It seems to me that one woman’s mistaken public posting for which she has apologized, should not bring down an entire movement for justice and human rights, but unfortunately people like Ali Abuminah and, now sadly, Mondoweiss, with this article, are fanning the flames by providing additional unwarranted publicity, (which will no doubt cause the story to go viral) .

    All this fuss is just playing into the hands of the Israel-First crowd, and will likely adversely impact the success of both the excellent ‘Freedom Sailors’ book, and perhaps, even worse, taint the media coverage of the Estelle.

    People who know Greta personally as a friend can attest to the fact that she is absolutely not antisemitic. My question is, then: where is the solidarity in our movement , and why all the bickering? How can we achieve anything for the Palestinians when these sort of petty political spats are so evident?

    • Annie Robbins
      October 9, 2012, 1:07 am

      the story went viral days ago chris. if you google “greta berlin tweet” you can read about it.

    • Shmuel
      October 9, 2012, 1:44 am

      My question is, then: where is the solidarity in our movement , and why all the bickering? How can we achieve anything for the Palestinians when these sort of petty political spats are so evident?

      It’s called damage control. The primary goal of the Free Gaza Movement is to raise public awareness in the West of ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law in Gaza. An incident like this severely undermines that goal.

      Whether it was bigotry, stupidity, a misunderstanding – or a combination of all three – it is the movement and ultimately Gazans and Palestinians who are left to clean up the mess.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 2:59 am

        Shmuel says: “It’s called damage control. The primary goal of the Free Gaza Movement is to raise public awareness in the West of ongoing Israeli violations of human rights and international law in Gaza. An incident like this severely undermines that goal.

        Whether it was bigotry, stupidity, a misunderstanding – or a combination of all three – it is the movement and ultimately Gazans and Palestinians who are left to clean up the mess.”

        Yeah, I agree. But at the same time…

        This woman’s tweet is an example of rather silly hyperbole aimed at…Zionists. There’s nothing anti-semitic about it.

        To cringe in terror every time the Israel-lovers say the magic word just isn’t a viable reaction. At some point, people are going to have to come up with a better response when they play the anti-semite card.

      • Shmuel
        October 9, 2012, 10:44 am

        This woman’s tweet is an example of rather silly hyperbole aimed at…Zionists. There’s nothing anti-semitic about it.

        Call it what you will, but it cites a known anti-Jewish bigot, making assertions that are part of the classic anti-Jewish repertoire (minimising Nazi responsibility, and blaming Jews both for their own persecution and for lying about it).

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Shmuel says: “…Call it what you will, but it cites a known anti-Jewish bigot, making assertions that are part of the classic anti-Jewish repertoire (minimising Nazi responsibility, and blaming Jews both for their own persecution and for lying about it).

        I’ll insist on pointing out there was nothing anti-semitic about what Greta got from it.

        I’ve actually seen this sort of thing on a smaller stage. Someone finds something that happens to come from a dubious source. My reaction is to point out that the source is dubious, not to immediately agree to ride them out of town on a rail.

        Look at the net effect. People will now be frightened of pointing out the community of interest the Nazis and Zionists enjoyed. To do so has become anti-semitic.

        It’s not, and it is indisputable that the Zionists certainly made good use of the Holocaust from start to finish.

        I think your reasoning is playing the Zionist game. Yes, anti-semites will find Zionism — for very good reason — an excellent target. Therefore, they will target Zionism. This does not somehow make their criticisms of Zionism untrue. To allow this would be to effectively innoculate the Zionists from any charge that an anti-semite ever made. If an anti-semite points out that the Zionists agreed to accept the 1947 UN Partition, are we henceforth barred from pointing out that the Zionists agreed to accept the 1947 UN Partition?

      • Shmuel
        October 9, 2012, 3:07 pm

        I’ll insist on pointing out there was nothing anti-semitic about what Greta got from it. … I think your reasoning is playing the Zionist game.

        Colin,

        I’m not playing any game. I don’t know Greta Berlin from Adam and, with all due respect, I’m not that interested in what she really meant. What I do know is that the tweet as it appeared, without further context, is bigoted garbage. It has harmed the cause of FG (which, as a movement, is all about raising the right kind of awareness), some have tried to control that damage (and I think they did well to do so) and now it’s time to move on. Anyone know how the Estelle is faring?

      • Philip Weiss
        October 9, 2012, 3:22 pm

        I agree with you Shmuel.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2012, 3:40 pm

        “…I’m not that interested in what she really meant. What I do know is that the tweet as it appeared, without further context, is bigoted garbage.”

        If you don’t care what the context is, you’ve abdicated the right to judge the tweet.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 9, 2012, 3:49 pm

        Anyone know how the Estelle is faring?

        i got an email this morning “The people on the Estelle are having a heart attack over the greta mistake–“

        since you asked.

      • Shmuel
        October 9, 2012, 3:53 pm

        If you don’t care what the context is, you’ve abdicated the right to judge the tweet.

        The tweet itself had no context. That is precisely the problem.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 9, 2012, 4:11 pm

        yep

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Shmuel says: “Colin,

        I’m not playing any game. I don’t know Greta Berlin from Adam and, with all due respect, I’m not that interested in what she really meant. What I do know is that the tweet as it appeared, without further context, is bigoted garbage…”

        That takes us right back to where we started. How was the tweet ‘without further context’ bigoted in the first place?

        This is the actual tweet:

        ““Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.”

        That is a swingeing and obviously insupportable attack upon Zionists. It is not, however, an attack upon Jews. It is not, therefore, anti-semitic. As I said, if I say that Republican Americans are trying to embroil us in a war with Iran, have I demonstrated that I am bigoted towards Americans?

        You are indeed playing the Zionist game. You are allowing them to use the prohibition against anti-semitism to prevent attacks upon Zionism.

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 4:25 pm

        “the greta mistake” — such as it is — is to allow Zionists to use accusations of antisemitism as a club in this way.

        Let them respond to the tweet legitimately. Let them point out it is indeed an absurd exaggeration to say that the Zionists controlled the concentration camps. Let them point out that to say that ‘the Zionists helped to murder millions of Jews’ is indeed libelous. Let’s have a debate about the role — whatever it was — of the Zionists in the camps. I’m all for it.

        However, do not let them play the ‘anti-semitic’ card. There was nothing anti-semitic about the tweet.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 9, 2012, 4:42 pm

        “The tweet itself had no context. That is precisely the problem.”

        The tweet does have context, as her explanation demonstrates. The context is that she mean to send it to a private conversation on racism and propaganda, but mistakenly sent it as a tweet. You, however, as you stated, don’t care what she meant. That’s an abdication of thinking, in my book.

      • ColinWright
        October 10, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Philip says: “I agree with you Shmuel.”

        Would you still agree if it was you that was getting ridden out of town on a rail ‘for the good of the cause’?

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 9, 2012, 8:43 pm

        >> it’s called damage control

        Fair enough. But what if there was no damage in the first case? Berlin **referenced** a nasty tract. She did not *endorse* it.

        And what happens? The left scatters.

        Once they get you on the run it becomes very difficult to turn and fight.

    • Danaa
      October 9, 2012, 2:44 am

      iIagree chrisjj that this is totally playing into the Israel First crowd’s hands. They just love this “anti-semitic” stuff blowing back and forth pulling all the activists into a vortex of finger-pointing. By failing to close ranks and show unity the Free Gaza movement has been deeply wounded – no two ways about it. People like Abunimah showed yet again that they have an Achilles heel – and are willing to throw all kind of supporters under the bus at merely an accusation by their Jewish supporters. I remember this is what happened with the shunning of Gilad Atzmon – they made him into a larger enemy than all the enemies Palestinians face combined. I doubt the movement has recovered from that misguided incident and the rancor it brought to this day.

      If a movement prizes purity above all – even in the face of continuing atrocities committed by Israel – then they might be pure but they will also lose. Unfortunately, I think many Palestinian activists are a bit naive about the way this “anti-semitism” battle is played. the other side basically takes no prisoners.

      My comment above in the thread (and way too long it was, just like this one) was directed to the fact, for example, that making one tweet of Greta berlin more reprehensible than countless abominably racist comments by virtually all the congressional stake holders in the US is nonsensical. Nakba denial and israel’s criminality denials are virulent across the US establishment and elsewhere in Anglo countries. But they are not held up to any “purity” standards, are they? neither are some of the rabbis making pronouncements -in israel – that should chill everyone’s bones. Where are the world-wide recriminations for those kind of atrocious racist remarks – masquerading as religious pronouncements? what – +972 posters didn’t like them?

      There are people who are questioning zionist actions in the bad 30’s but personally I doubt this is particularly useful. There were bad things in zionism’s past. Whatever there was however, including the war crimes of 1948, pale by comparison with the spectacle of the ongoing criminality of that state and the exclusionary militaristic ideology it espouses. That’s where the emphasis should be and that’s the background against which any soul searching should be done internal to the FG movement. The denunciations of Greta Berlin to the outside – mostly uncaring – world seem basically kind of pointless. accept her explanation, go with the apology and maybe have her resign her position due to a serious tactical mistake. But why the wholesale condemnations?

      Yes, she hurt the movement, caused strife and as a leader, should take the consequences. But again, this should be done internally to the free gaza organization rather than splashed across the universe for no good reason.

      I think the pro-Palestinian activists could learn a thing or two from their adversaries on tactics. But then, unity has never been the left’s strong point, has it?

      • ColinWright
        October 9, 2012, 2:08 pm

        Danaa says: “…Unfortunately, I think many Palestinian activists are a bit naive about the way this “anti-semitism” battle is played. the other side basically takes no prisoners…”

        Yeah. The game is really pretty simple. Zionism is Jewish. Therefore, attacks on Zionism are ‘anti-semitic.’

        We just saw this. Greta drew on a dubious source for a rather overblown indictment of Zionism. Those who objected could have pointed out (a) that the source was hardly reliable, and that (b) the indictment was an overstatement of the facts.

        But no. Greta was just labelled ‘an anti-semite’ and tossed out. It’s ridiculous. If a Zionist refers to any of the rather egregious liars in their stable — Joan Peters, for example — do his fellows feel obliged to disown him, force him to leave AIPAC or the ADL or whatever? Does it occur to anyone in the anti-Zionist ranks to attempt to impose such a demand?

        No.

  23. ToivoS
    October 9, 2012, 12:49 am

    Greta Berlin showed extremely poor judgement and deserves to be purged. People in leadership positions are chosen (or should be) for their judgement. It is no excuse that those who support Israel tolerate much worse examples of racism. After all, we are fighting racism and prejudice. It does us no good to excuse our bigots because the other side is worse.

    BTW, I am not convinced Greta is an antisemitic bigot, but she has definitely allowed reasonably people to question it.

    • ColinWright
      October 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

      TiovoS says: “…It does us no good to excuse our bigots because the other side is worse.

      BTW, I am not convinced Greta is an antisemitic bigot, but she has definitely allowed reasonably people to question it.”

      There you are. You yourself seem to know perfectly well that it’s improbable Greta is a bigot at all — but you’re perfectly willing to let the Zionists frighten you into driving her out simply by making the accusation.

      You’re being played, and you’ll never win this way.

      • ToivoS
        October 9, 2012, 8:05 pm

        Yes I know exactly what I am doing. This is politics. I play that game. And if one of our allies makes a major stumble that allows the opposition to gain a foot hold with their claim that we are antisemitic, then it is time to retire them. We are fighting off the attack that criticism of Israel is antisemitism. No it is not. But there is a real antisemitism out there. We cannot let it in our door. And stupid Greta opened that door.

        We have had this debate for years here at MW. I made these same points against Gilad Atzmon and Israel Harel (or whatever). There are extreme positions out there that we cannot allow inside of our tent — when they show up we must gently ask to them to stop but if they show up in the leadership then immediate purge is the solution.

        Greta has to go.

      • ColinWright
        October 10, 2012, 1:39 am

        ToivoS says: ” …We cannot let it in our door. And stupid Greta opened that door.”

        How did she open it?

        As far as I can see, you’re allowing ‘the opposition’ to insert their favorite equation: that anti-zionism equals anti-semitism. If you’re going to concede that, you might as well just throw in the towel right now.

      • Danaa
        October 10, 2012, 3:18 am

        ToivoS, you have indeed made your points before and I disagreed then and disagree now.

        We are, in particular not fighting off “the attack that criticism of israel is anti-semitism”. We are fighting the horrible, atrocious things that Israel is doing to the palestinian- and the much worse it is planning to do to them – or that’s what we should be doing. You are trying to fight a ghost with one hand (and one foot) tied together. That guarantees you’ll lose because you agreed to fight on their terms, using their weapons of choice. Alas, the enemy knows what they are doing and have a clearer sense of purpose than your hobbled legions of crippled terra-cota ‘warriors”. So your battle is lost – on all fronts – such as it was.

        In any case, there is far far less so-called “anti-semitism” (what’s that exactly anyways? seen any lately?) than there is Islamophobia, and Arab hatred. The latter displayed on our US media day in day out and no one, absolutely no one in or outside the establishment takes the fear-mongers, bigots and would be torture chamber builders to task (OK except Greenwald, and Hedges and a few others – bless them all. Are there even 20 of them?). Yet, here you are – piling on Greta Berlin that has done far more for Palestinians than all of the lousy propagandists of NYT, WPost, JStreet, mediamatters and AJP combined.

        How can you compare her one tweet – and a reference to a video – which was not even condoned – to the hideous bashing of Iran on our airwaves. where we see so many Jewish people – quite visibly, quite prominently – day in day out call for murdering countless Iranians? their bigotry and hatred sout on display for all to see. Even as they are now are busy taking down Syria with nary a thought for its people? why aren’t you calling for the en-mass resignation of the evil doers, planners and promoters that are smearing and concocting blood libels against Arabic people, and Afganis and Muslims and , especially, palestinians? where are you when virtually the entire Jewish establishment is on the bandwagon calling for the destruction of Iran, even as they cheer – all too many of them – the war crimes and atrocities brought upon Iraq by a government run by and for neocons to the detriment of the American people?

        Occupation? what occupation they say? what settlers, they demure, yet here you are with this invented nonsense of “anti-semitism” – aton the same page as the worst hasbara pigeon like Goldberg (which I’m sure you’ll vigorously disclaim). As you did – that’s why Gilad Atzmon’s chad to be taken down (could it be because Gilad was a bit right? maybe more than a bit?). The more people go on and on about this the more I am thinking that perhaps Adelson, Netyahoo and the Reut Institute knows what they are doing. Rope-a-dope is what it’s called, I think.

        Frankly with friends like this (I don’t mean just you) the palestinians have very little hope at all. Maybe that’s the point. With supporters who get blown away with the slightest breeze, ready to condemn the not so powerful, fearful of tribal condemnation 9whether one is of or just outside the tribe), is it any wonder that the palestinians are staring into one very bleak future? . Yet, it’s so clear-cut to you – by your words you evince great moral clarity. But I ask, where is this clarity when it comes to that racist bigot tribal apparatchnick Debra Waseseman-Schultz? seems like she gets a to walk merrily on with nary a complaint. Her obscene racism worn on her sleeve, head held high, applause greeting her every move. Did you ever call for her resignation after some of the awful statemenets she made about Iran? the palestinians? after she (with cantor at her side and Schumer next to her elbow) fetted the thug Netanyahoo and served as the consiglieri to ensure the elected minions all hop to their feet in unison?

        And say – what have you done lately for the people of Gaza? that’s where the real bigotry is, IMO. The silence of so many about the imprisoned people of Gaza. maybe I am wrong and you are not so silent. maybe you do much I don’t know. But I do know Greta has tried to do much for the imprisoned people of Gaza, more than most.. She braved vitriol, arrest and maltreatment by the Israeli mafioso. Yet, none of what she actually did and actually said counts with you. I saw no words of concern, just condemnation and demands to bring her down – all for for a tweet.

        Now, I happen to think that she showed a lapse in judgement – a leadership role exacts a responsibility, and she was careless. A misplaced address for a tweet brought down Wiener too and for that she should indeed take responsibility. But that’s for the FGM people to decide and for her. it is not for you – or me – who did not do 100th as much t .just feed her to the lions, same as Gilad, as we sit on high in our purity and rightousness councils.

        As I said before, the left has no stamina and no grit. They just have lofty words. Actions with not enough follow through. No stomach for the hard fight. That is why they never ever win a thing. Personally, I happen to believe that, a large extent, the left’s weakness is partly due to its being too tangled up with Jewish tribal politics, which means that there are way too many egg shells to walk on. And all that tippy-toeing around makes it a bit hard to engage in a decent sword play.

        BTW, if you think I singled you out unfairely (perhaps so, I admit) prove me wrong by bringing up a little side-by-side comparison between that elusive “anti-semitism” of which you speak, or rather, as I prefer to call it, Judeophobia – and Islamophobia. Count the incidents in just one month, count the responses and count the calls for resignation, or retribution. I think you may find the exercise enlightening, and people here will appreciate it too.

        ___
        PS there- now you get one of my long posts. Serve you right….

      • ToivoS
        October 10, 2012, 7:02 pm

        BTW, if you think I singled you out unfairely

        Not at all I am flattered to be the target of one of your long posts. You argue well but I just don’t agree.

      • Mooser
        October 10, 2012, 6:58 pm

        “You’re being played, and you’ll never win this way.”

        Gosh, I haven’t found a win-win on this one. Go along with Israel, and go down with the shits, or oppose Israel, and let the world see we sold our patrimony for a mess of gangster pottage. There’s no winning for us, and avoiding that conclusion leaves plenty of time for out-Jewing each other. You really need to take that into account before you get all het up, you know.

    • ColinWright
      October 10, 2012, 5:11 pm

      TiovoS says: “Greta Berlin showed extremely poor judgement and deserves to be purged…”

      Unbelievable.

    • demize
      October 14, 2012, 4:11 am

      So you say we purge her than? OK is there any one else you would like to judge and sentence today? Maybe someone else who has actually put their body on the line. You realize 8 people were killed aboard the Mavi Marmara?

  24. lyn117
    October 9, 2012, 1:01 am

    One of Greta Berlin’s ex’s was Jewish, I don’t know if he’s still alive. Plus, I’m sure she’s quite cognizant of the anti-semitic charge so often laid against supporters of Palestine. I really think in her heart of hearts she isn’t anti-semitic, and even if she harbored some anti-semitic thought, she would not have openly posted it. I really believe her explanation, the link was meant as a topic for a small discussion group.

    That being said, knowledge of zionist deception and taking the side of the Palestinians does tend to make one far more receptive to charges against zionists, and Jews as well. In this case, charges that wildly exaggerate the zionist collaboration with the nazis, to the point that the charge is just a plain lie. Although, logically speaking, I’m not sure saying that one group of Jews participated in the mass murder of half the Eastern European Jews is anti-semitic. I guess it is. Blaming the victim in some way.

  25. biorabbi
    October 9, 2012, 2:31 am

    I have never read a blog/website as anti-Israel as the angry arab blog. It rejects Zionism and Israel. At the same time, it is outraged at anti-semitism in the arab world(exposing it constantly along with religious intolerance) and is , indeed, quite philo-semitic. It is an excellent blog. It is possible to be against Israel and her course, while avoiding(and condemning anti-semitism).

    • ColinWright
      October 9, 2012, 4:32 pm

      To biorabbi:

      ‘avoiding(and condemning anti-semitism)’ does not include pandering to every arbitrary claim that this or that is ‘anti-semitic.’ If I announce that dishwashers are ‘anti-semitic’ are you going to hasten to go home and rip yours out?

      Of course not. And this tweet was viciously anti-Zionist. It was not, however, anti-semitic. It just wasn’t. To reason otherwise is to accede to the oft-used but quite insupportable thesis that to oppose Zionism is ipso facto anti-semitic.

  26. pianoteacher
    October 9, 2012, 3:55 am

    I admire Greta Berlin and her tremendous energy and dedication to the Palestinian Cause. She has faced Israeli warships and risked her life to help Palestine. She has spent a great deal of money on our Cause, and sacrificed her career because of it.
    Meanwhile Ann Wright gave a brilliant lecture in Sunnyvale tonight, raising money for Gaza’s Ark. Two copies of Freedom Sailors were also sold, the book that Greta did such a superb job of putting together.
    It is good to know that while the rest of us debate the all important, all consumming topic of the Hapless Tweet there are a few activists left, like Donna and Darlene Wallach, who are out there doing some activism for Palestine, raising money for Gaza’s Ark.

  27. Stephen Shenfield
    October 9, 2012, 7:36 am

    To be fair to an individual we should distinguish between deep commitment to an anti-Semitic ideology and a mistake arising from disorientation and lack of historical knowledge. Someone who makes a mistake may still need to be criticized, but in a much gentler tone. At the same time, if you agree to represent a movement that implies a responsibility to confine your public utterances to the common ground on which the movement is based, because anything you say will be interpreted as the view of the movement. That is what representation means. It doesn’t even depend on whether what you say is true or not, or racist or not.

  28. ColinWright
    October 9, 2012, 2:20 pm

    The Zionists are extremely cynical, and will exploit absolutely anything if it will serve their ends.

    Witness the fine use to which they put the Holocaust. Witness their cooperation with Evangelical Christians. Witness their ruthless exploitation of the vulnerabilities of the American political system. Witness their shameless abuse of their ‘alliance’ with the United States.

    Witness their ready use of the ‘anti-semitic’ tag. If you’re going to let them beat you, they’ll win.

  29. ColinWright
    October 9, 2012, 4:51 pm

    I’m vaguely reminded of Stalin’s purge of his own officer corps.

    …which, according to some sources, was sparked by judicious Nazi plants.

    If the ‘Free Gaza’ folks are going to dutifully rend themselves like this every time the Zionists blow the ‘anti-semite’ whistle, then whoever frees the Palestinians, it won’t be these guys.

  30. ColinWright
    October 9, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Anyway, Greta Berlin…

    That is a Jewish name, nicht wahr? So even if we accept that to oppose Zionism is to be an anti-semite (as it suddenly appears so many do), then ol’ Greta would appear to be a ‘self-hating Jew’ rather than an anti-semite.

    I mean, if we’re going to obediently vilify ourselves, let’s at least get it right.

    • Mooser
      October 10, 2012, 5:13 pm

      “Berlin” is a Jewish name? Did anybody tell Hitler that? But then knowing how he was about stuff, they probably didn’t. Gotta admit, it is ironic. I mean, if you haven’t got any other ironies going on at the moment, it’ll do.

  31. Rusty Pipes
    October 9, 2012, 7:12 pm

    A statement from some of the 37 members of Berlin’s Facebook group (which is in one of the 972 links):

    UPDATE: Statement by members of Berlin’s FB discussion group:

    In the past few days there have been a flood of attacks on Greta Berlin, based on an incident that was blown out of proportion, a reaction to an innocuous post that was taken completely out of context. When Greta saw the originalpostpublished in one Facebook group, she intended to share it with our group in the context of an ongoing discussion. Unfortunately, she forgot to change the setting on the Facebook sharing feature, bringing the post to her wall instead of landing in our closed group. Since Greta’s wall was linked with the Free Gaza Movement Twitter account, the post found its way to Twitter. Isolated from our discussion, the post was understood completely out of context, leading readers to believe that Greta herself was endorsing the content of the post.

    Ours is a small and secret Facebook group, 37 members strong, consisting of a very diverse set of people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and opinions. Many of us know each other personally; our mutual trust allows discussions to involve subjects that are not appropriate for public consumption, sometimes simply because our opinions are not fully ripe; we experiment with them and bounce them off each other in an attempt to understand the issues at hand, developing a better and more coherent argument.

    One such topic involves the role of the Zionist movement during the Holocaust. Numerous historians before us made the claim, that leaders of the Zionist movement gave higher priority to the realization of their national project, sometimes missing opportunities to save European Jews. These priorities were made explicit in a famousquotebyDavidBen-Gurion, their consequences analyzed by historians such as Tom Segev and others. In this context Greta wished to highlight that anti-Semitic remarks have exaggerated and distorted this argument, claiming that Zionists have actively “run the concentration camps”.

    Naturally nobody in his or her right mind would adopt such a claim, least of all Greta Berlin. Greta is highly respected and trusted by a large community of human rights activists, a co-founder and one of the leaders of the Free Gaza Movement. She’s faced down the IDF on the high seas a number of times, and is obviously no coward. If she hated Jews and denied the Holocaust, she would not be afraid to say so in public. But that’s not what she thinks, and her personal courage is a matter of record. So there is no reason for anyone to doubt her word.

    Manyinthemedia accused Greta of actually endorsing this false claim. Being familiar with the relevant discussions, we attest that understanding the context makes it plain that she does not endorse it, nor are we aware of her ever suggesting that she does.OthersaccusedGreta of failing to provide the required context that supports her position. In the paragraphs above we tried to shed more light on this context, explaining the technical glitch that resulted in the publication of an isolated fragment of discussion, decontextualized from the rest. We hope that this will contribute to the clarification of this unfortunate affair.

    Members of the Facebook group:

    Adam Rawat, London, UK

    Fadwa Othman, Nablus, Palestine

    Ian Raven. Leicester, UK

    Kyle O’Laughlin, Chicago, Illinois, USA

    Mary Hughes Thompson, Manchester, UK

    Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestine

    Mike Burch, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

    Moe Tamim, Montreal, Canada

    Mona Affaneh, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    Nadia Mansour, Los Angeles, California, USA

    Ofer Engel, London, UK

    Rim Selmi, Tunis, Tunisia

    Robby Martin, Dublin, Ireland

    Sam Siddiqui, Mumbai, India

    Walid Jabari, Bethlehem, Palestine

    Yani Haigh, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    • ColinWright
      October 10, 2012, 2:01 am

      It doesn’t matter. Those who reflexively seek to appease anyone who squeaks ‘anti-semitism’ have decided to try to placate them with Greta Berlin.

      It’s like watching Chamberlain at Munich. All considerations of justice are lost in a desperate attempt to buy off the howls of the Zionists.

      …and it won’t work. You’ll just have to make a stand someplace else. This was actually a rather good spot.

  32. mig
    October 10, 2012, 10:36 am

    Israeli man who impersonated Palestinian woman is linked to Free Gaza debacle and photo hoax

    link to electronicintifada.net

    • Danaa
      October 10, 2012, 5:53 pm

      Wow, that’s quite some investigative effort there.

      Now, why do I get a deja vu about Amina, the false Syrian lesbian? that incident and the many strange leads of the impersonators is something that I’ve been thinking about lately seeing what the US/Israel/SA/Turkey are trying to precipitate in Syria.

      All that being said, i would be really surprised if the FGM and ISM were not penetrated by agents of the evil empires. Giving a bad name to any and all solidarity groups is something that israelis, in particular, have set as a high priority item in fighting the so-called “delegitimization” isproblem, as they call it (see Reut Institute). Even as we speak there are no doubt “sting” and “false flag” ops afoot in both cyber and real space.

      For sure we have agents in our midst on MW too _ I’d be amzaed if we didn’t (no, I don’t know who and I ain’t one – no false agent could do the rants I do – it’s an unbreakble code!).

      The false agents are definitely getting more sophisticated – as online media proliferate. Noticed they have gotten much better for examplen at seeding information and getting people to throw in the odd careless remark during fur fights, which they are good a precipitating.

      This is just one of the reasons that people like Blankfort are no longer here. Phil and Adam have their reasons, no doubt, and even though I am on record as favoring all out openness about everything, I can understand what the issues can be for those who actually have to operate a blog dealing with the sorts of sensitive subjects this one does. Frankly, it’s why I decided against having one of my own – at least on the I/P subject.

      • AlGhorear
        October 11, 2012, 5:56 pm

        “Wow, that’s quite some investigative effort there.” – Danaa

        Danaa, did you read all the way down to and through the comments section? It’s a tangled web (literally and figuratively).

        Below is a choice quote from one of the people Benjamin said he was not able to verify:

        “I exist
        PermalinkSubmitted by Kyle (not verified) on Wed, 10/10/2012 – 18:32
        I exist, and like Yani, I must thank you all for thinking so highly of those of us who support and vouch for our dear friend Greta. I have never had the opportunity to watch a bona fide witch hunt, so again, I must thank you for this opportunity.

        The fact of the matter is that your “research” can’t have been too intense if you cannot find any confirmation on the majority of us even existing. The fact that you’re wasting your time and energy “investigating” us is quite telling — don’t you have anything better to be doing than harassing a beloved woman and her friends?”

        I have always respected Ali and think he’s one of the most articulate speakers I’ve heard. I don’t know what he was thinking when he went after Greta the way he did And today he took a dig at the people on the Free Gaza board who spoke out to defend her, tweeting “The Greta Berlin Solidarity Movement wants you to know how disappointed it is in Palestinians and expects better” linking to the board’s statement.

      • demize
        October 14, 2012, 4:18 am

        What he was thinking was the same thing he was thinking when he went after Israel Shamir and Gilad Atzmon. You may draw your own conclusions.

  33. manfromatlan
    October 10, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Greta Berlin is highly respected as co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, and I believe her explanation a lot more than I do Mr. Ali Abunimah, an ivory tower intellectual who fights far too many battles to maintain ideological purity and cater to his coterie of American leftists for my comfort.

  34. ColinWright
    October 10, 2012, 2:32 pm

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how Greta must feel.

    If anyone who knows her wants to start circulating some fairly anodyne statement of support, I for one would be happy to sign it.

  35. ritzl
    October 10, 2012, 4:47 pm

    This Greta Berlin incident seems to echo the PA’s subordinate/obeisant relationship to Israel. Palestinians and Palestinian advocates go above and beyond to police their own at the behest of (to conform to the rules of) the forces they’re supposed to be opposing. What causes this obeisance? Can it not be recognized in advance and avoided?

    She made a mistake. She apologized. Despite her extensive and courageous efforts on behalf of the people of Gaza, she’s gone now. Finito.

    Meanwhile, “Today in Palestine.” And “Tomorrow…” and the “Next Day…”

    And who’s going to take up the Free Gaza banner now? With its board gone and big names like Naomi Klein and JVP gone (feel that wind), who’s going to come on board to continue their amazing work? How many Greta Berlins are there out there in the first place? And given that, who’s going to step into that role to rebuild an organization/network that has now been so completely tarred as antisemitic, by its “friends” no less? Maybe someone will, but two steps backward to take one step forward is not a way to build a movement.

    The damage done by this public furball about a personal hiccup so vastly outweighs the event itself that it’s difficult to comprehend the damage done. It almost seems intentional, it’s so destructive. Like a political vendetta or something.

    Free Gaza was a major, Major player in the effort to give Palestinians hope. It’s almost certainly gone now for the foreseeable future. This should have been handled privately and quietly. To Greta Berlin’s public castigators, was it worth it?

    And O how the people in Gaza must see this. The response to an unendorsed, second or third-hand reference to [admittedly, highly] offensive material as a discussion item mistakenly posted publicly by someone who has exhibited zero indications of innate antisemitism, crushes a major source of hope for them (as Jewish-Israeli snipers, et. al., kill their kids). Major scratch of the head. Major in the sense that it must be something between a glimmer and a full-up sunrise of recognition that no one is likely to help them, EVER. Again, is whatever this “crisis” contributes to that loss of hope, and the desperation it leads to, worth this public purification exercise? I don’t think so.

    Rant complete.

    Sidebar: Keep writing Danaa (like you won’t…). Masterful and pitch perfect on this. You, lengthy or not (and I think they needed to be lengthy to give the full arc), supplied the sorely needed perspective to this. You reframed the controversy as it needed (needs) to be reframed. Eminent sense. Very much appreciated, this end.

    • Danaa
      October 11, 2012, 2:37 am

      Thanks ritzl. Agree with your lamentation and then some. A good, courageous movement laid low – I’m pretty sure we haven’t heard the rest of it yet, as far as what has really transpired. I doubt it’s a coincidence that this is happening just as another boat is setting off to brave the blockade.

      It’s good to know that at least there are a few of us here that see things for what they are.

      Here is something Keith wrote in the other thread. I think he hit it just right:

      October 9, 2012 at 7:54 pm
      Yes, it is a strange world when victims are judged on their worthiness to oppose their victimizers. A strange etiquette by which the oppressed are held accountable for unseemly behavior, while the oppressor claims victim-hood.

      “There is, evidently, much satisfaction to be gained by careful inspection of those writhing under our boot, to see if they are behaving properly; when they are not, as is often the case, indignation is unconstrained.” (Noam Chomsky, “Year 501”)

      • LeaNder
        October 11, 2012, 6:43 am

        Danaa, Ritzl, if there had been no attempts to paint all the passengers as terrorism sympathisers and as a close second as antisemites, your arguments would make much more sense.

      • ritzl
        October 11, 2012, 7:23 pm

        @LeaNder With respect, the charges of antisemitism will never ever stop. The leaders of the movements to support Palestinian rights have to take that into account and handle Ms. Berlin’s mistake (mistake seems to be what it was, but as Danaa and others have pointed out, there is more to come on this) as they deem to be appropriate — not by reflexively subscribing to some unattainable, other-directed threshold of purity.

        This “internal” reaction reaffirms the hysteria value of the antisemitism tactic. FGM will now and forever be acknowledged as an antisemitic org, a repeatable “finding” now supported (or seemingly uncontested) even by its allies. This is Very bad, all around, but particularly in terms of the reaction to Berlin’s carelessness. I fully support the need to decry antisemitism masking itself as support for Palestinians, but this wasn’t that, and was a gross over-reaction, imo.

        I’ll just repeat my transactional question. Was it worth it? And add another, Who’s the audience for this pile-on? I already stated my answer to the former, and I’m at a loss on the latter.

        As someone who risks RL family and social relationships by advocating for Palestinians, in part using FGM as the action centerpiece of that conversation, I now look like a fool or worse to anyone I’ve ever talked to about this. Not that I mind looking like a fool (I do it here and elsewhere enough), but the core issues are now obscured in my network. It makes me inclined to risk/do less advocacy in anticipation of the next, inevitable feeding frenzy with post hoc implications. I don’t think I’m alone in that risk aversion, and I hope you understand the grave, “global” significance of that. (I’m going to elaborate a little on this upthread to Seham/TiP.)

        Years, repeat Years, of foundational and RL work were thrown out the window with this event. As PW said in the Kennedy piece, “complicated.” But I hope everyone learns something from that loss.

      • ritzl
        October 11, 2012, 8:14 pm

        Yes, Keith got it right. Strange indeed. Thanks.

    • manfromatlan
      October 11, 2012, 8:26 am

      Completely agree, ritzl, but there will still always be a Gaza, and a Free Gaza Movement, and ISM. It’s best to focus on the good people that remain, and not, the fair weather political fashionistas that hog up the public discourse then jump off when the heat becomes too much.

      Gaza does NOT need Naomi Klein.

      • ritzl
        October 11, 2012, 7:36 pm

        I’m going to double my meager contribution to FGM in that spirit. Hopefully if everyone does that, it might help them find a way out of this.

  36. mtorres
    October 10, 2012, 11:05 pm

    In answer to an earlier question, “who stands for Greta?” I stand for Greta.

    It’s been deeply troubling to see how quickly many erstwhile allies turn tail and run when Zionist bullies smell blood and attack.

    Greta referenced an objectionable work and is now hung for it?! We are doing the censors’ work when we so viciously attack a reference like this. What intellectual dishonesty. Greta didn’t give an explanation that satisfied everyone so now she is Public Enemy #1 and should leave the FG movement? Why are we doing the work of Zionists, of Israel, who want nothing more than to drive a wedge into our movement, to discredit some of the strongest and most effective amongst us?

    Greta is a personal friend, one I know to be as free of bigotry as any of us can be in this imperfect world. She has literally laid her life on the line for Palestinian freedom. How many among all those self-righteous critics have done half what she has done for Palestine?

    What a sorrowful day for the movement, for Palestine, when we so cavalierly destroy someone like Greta Berlin. It is this McCarthyite reaction that is damaging us, not Greta’s tweet. For shame! For shame!

  37. mtorres
    October 11, 2012, 12:14 am

    …and as angry as I am at organizations and/or their leaders for their attacks on Greta Berlin (e.g. Electronic Intifada), lukewarm defense or cautious condemnation (Mondoweiss, Jewish Voice for Peace and FreeGaza Movement), or their deafening silence on her behalf , and those who have stepped up to defend (Atzmon, Larudee), I will continue to contribute my money, my time and my support to every single one of them, for a schism is exactly what Zionists and Israel are hoping to achieve by this ugliness.

    The growth of the international movement for Palestine has taken a long time to become strong. It’s important that we not alienate groups who take a different view from ours. DON’T give Israel another 20 years to finish the job.

  38. LeaNder
    October 11, 2012, 6:39 am

    I doubt it’s a coincidence that this is happening just as another boat is setting off to brave the blockade.

    No doubt it’s no accident, quite the opposite. If a boat is heading for Gaza’s shores the lists connected to the group will be monitored much more closely. That’s evident, a given.

  39. AlGhorear
    October 11, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Thankfully, the new Gaza board has come to Greta’s defense:

    “We support justice in Palestine not demonizing each other
    WRITTEN BY FREE GAZA MOVEMENT | 11 OCTOBER 2012
    POSTED IN NEWS

    In the past few days, Free Gaza and Greta Berlin have been viciously attacked for a mistake that Greta made when she posted a video to her Facebook page instead of sending it to her small group for discussion. During that time, dozens of people have come to the defense of Greta and Free Gaza.

    We, the new board of Free Gaza II would like to add our comments and support for Greta’s work and for the ongoing work we need to do to keep the illegal blockade of Gaza front and center. For, after all, our work has always been about freedom and justice for the Palestinians

    It’s time we got back to work and stopped battering one of the leaders of the non-violent direct action Palestinian solidarity movement.

    Statements from the new board of Free Gaza II

    I have known Greta Berlin and have worked with Free Gaza for several years. In neither word or action have either Greta or members of the Free Gaza movement been anti-semitic. They challenge Israeli policies, but that is not anti-semitic.

    Col Ann Wright, Board Member

    Lately our friend and colleague, Greta Berlin, has been attacked for mistakingly posting an anti-Semitic video to the FG twitter feed. Greta apologized for this mistake, and said that she doesn’t agree with the material that was posted. In the meantime, many groups and individuals have continued their attack on her without considering her apology.

    I, and many of my Palestinian friends have known Greta Berlin for years, and appreciate her work and activism for the Palestinian cause and for human rights in general. Greta has never been a racist nor anti Semitic. We stand by her and to take into consideration all the many years she has given for the human rights cause. We are not going to make this one mistake blind any of us to what she has done to break the siege in Gaza.

    Lubna Masarwa, Board Member
    I was a member of the old FGM Board and am a member of the newly formed Board. I worked as a human rights lawyer in Jerusalem and the West Bank for six years before being deported by Israel in 2008, after participating in the second successful attempt to break the blockade of Gaza. Greta Berlin is a comrade, an inspiration and a good friend. As the child of a Holocaust survivor, I am particularly sensitive to anti-Semitism. I have some political differences with Greta (for example concerning Gilad Atzmon), but in all the time I have known her I have never seen nor heard any signs of anti-Semitism.

    I’m not on FaceBook or Twitter and therefore it took me a while to realize and react to the uproar over the posting of the vile video on FG’s Twitter account. But I totally accept her explanation and apology.

    I am shocked at the lack of solidarity by some members of the Palestine solidarity movement. Folks interested in justice are remarkably quick to be unjust to someone who has invested so much time, energy and love as a leader of the non-violent direct action campaign for Palestinian rights. I hope we can keep our eyes on the prize and all get back to the serious work of supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people for justice, dignity, and their national and human rights.

    Audrey Bomse, Board Member

    I am a retired Spanish lawyer. I have been a nonviolent activist for Palestine for some years now. In 2005 I was hurt by the Israeli army in Bil’in during a demonstration with Palestinian, Israelis and other internationals. As a consequence, I underwent surgery and have 11 pins in my shoulder. Really nothing compared with the attacks that Palestinians are undergoing on a daily basis. Afterwards I continued going to Palestine to support the nonviolent struggle of my Palestinians brothers and sisters, both in the West Bank and Gaza.

    I met Greta in 2008 in Cyprus where we spent some weeks preparing the voyage of “Free Gaza” and “Liberty” which broke the siege of Gaza for the first time in 41 years on August 23, 2008. It was a good opportunity to know Greta and my other comrades well, in such a situation of real danger. It was really great to know personally and through others the amazing task she has been doing on behalf of Palestinian people. I can assure that during the long time we spent altogether nor afterwards, I never suspected of anti-Semitism or racism at all neither in her nor in any other of the team.

    Ever since I’ve been linked to the Free Gaza Movement and have been added to the new board some weeks ago. I know all Greta’s efforts to break the siege of Gaza together with Palestinians once and many times through FG, participating in Flotillas… Anybody that reads the book “Freedom Sailors” can feel Greta’s amazing personality.

    Really I can’t believe that a single anti-Zionist person can believe anything bad of Greta Berlin. She is a human being who is working hard, very hard and she made a mistake. It’s as simple as that. Is it so difficult to believe? Has anybody not made a mistake in his or her life? I cannot really understand why her explanations have not been enough. I fully believe her.

    There was no need for many Zionists to attack Greta for her mistake. Why? Maybe because some good pro-Palestinian folk have done it. Please let us be serious and put an end to this story. It’s time to continue all united supporting Palestinian people instead of trying to find any flaw among us. As an end, I want to express my full support to Greta Berlin, a great person and activist.

    Maria del Mar Fernandez, Board Member”

    • ritzl
      October 11, 2012, 10:54 pm

      Thanks AG.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 11, 2012, 11:55 pm

      here’s the link link to freegaza.org

      • LeaNder
        October 12, 2012, 6:03 am

        Annie, I don’t assume to know what exactly happened. On the other hand I wouldn’t forward (?) or post a video I didn’t even look at myself.

        Strictly this reminds me of the circumstances surrounding the one year hiatus of the H-Antisemtism list I was subscribed to and am still monitoring. One of the editors had been lured (that was my impression) into forwarding a short private reply to a highly stupid mail by another editor to the list (a sycophant, if you ask me, I didn’t like her comments at all, and wasn’t even aware she was a co-editor). She never excused, although she had made “the private” and highly biased comment about the founder of the list, who retiring from the list and maybe from his job as prof offered to take private students. … the editor’s mistake was his no matter how curt answer that ended up not in her postbox but on the list.

        After the pause the list went alive again and was now edited by a lady from the Israeli ministry of education, who also publishes in the Jerusalem Post. From my perspective the list lost the vivacious discussion it had before. It now has basically the clear ideologicall bent: criticism of Israel is antisemitic.

        I am not using either Facebook or Twitter personally, but it may be easy to misdirect something, if you don’t pay close attention. It happens to all of us, but I would carefully look into how it happened. The big question is was it a trap? It may well have been, since she is both a founder and the voice of the Free Gaza movement, and it would be helpful to target her. Although: I would expect something like: Just received this, maybe it is helpful for our propaganda discussion? On the other hand my favorite editor’s in the story above was extremely short too. The only mistake he made was to not respond with something like: Why do you do insult the list’s founder? Or simply: idiot, which would have been the best response. ;) But it is also obvious that would have been a no no in academic and polite circles.

        I just noticed this. or this.

        If what Greta states is true, I would suggest they look more closely into the story and how exactly it happened.

      • LeaNder
        October 12, 2012, 7:36 am

        tag Greta Berlin on Electronic Intifada Notice it seems already two of the signatories regret of having signed. There is something pretty strange about the whole story.

        Ali Abunimah:

        This evening I had an opportunity to spend several hours with full access to a private Facebook group of which Berlin is an administrator, and where the video was first posted by another administrator on 28 September with the comment “This will be a real thought provoker for some.”

        Israeli man who impersonated Palestinian woman is linked to Free Gaza debacle and photo hoax
        Submitted by Benjamin Doherty on Wed, 10/10/2012 – 14:13

        Roles in Facebook groups

        I have reviewed weeks of content posted to a private Facebook group called “Our Land” that Greta Berlin takes an active role in administering. It is not the group Berlin claims to have tried to post the Eustace Mullins video to but is a group where it was posted by someone else on 28 September 2012, as noted by Ali Abunimah.

        All of the names on the statement by alleged members of the secret Facebook group are also members of the group I reviewed. That group has over 1000 members. Greta Berlin, Fadwa Othman, Mike Burch, Ian Raven, Rim Selmi, Sam Siddiqui, Nadia Mansour and Moe Tamim are among the group’s 13 administrators and its very few active members.

        Many names have been particularly troublesome to find any information about. Most of these personas appear to only have an existence on Facebook.

        Activity in the group is currently being scrubbed. One particularly active user, Sam Siddiqui, has deleted his or her account and re-joined Facebook, which effectively purges all evidence of his or her participation in groups, although much of this evidence has been archived with screenshots.

  40. mtorres
    October 11, 2012, 7:29 pm

    THANK YOU, FG Board!!!! Like Lubna, I too have been shocked at how quickly other activists jumped on Greta, as if they would be eaten up if they didn’t say something “right now”, whether or not they had all the information.

    I hope that those who were quick to accuse and condemn or were silent for too long will now issue statements like the FG Board’s, acknowledging a too-quick response where that’s appropriate and especially, encouraging a re-grouping. Certainly a number of people also owe Greta and the movement an apology, as was demanded and received from her. Reciprocation would go a long way toward healing. I doubt that will happen. But more important that that is what I said earlier – we must not let the opposition fracture the movement.

    We’ve come so far…. Let’s get back to work.

  41. clubroma
    October 12, 2012, 6:18 am

    I can only state what I have stated previously on this web-site.
    One of the biggest lies perpertrated by the State of Isreal is that jews are the only sematic people on this earth. There are people in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and even in Iraq who identify themselves as semites.
    The term, ‘anti-sematic’ is non-descriptive. Zionist and the western media have hijacked the term ‘anti-sematic’ to ridicule and supress any criticsm of the State of Isreal. The term ‘anti-Isreal’ or ‘anti-jewish’ is more appropriate.

  42. manfromatlan
    October 12, 2012, 11:17 am

    Um, why am I not receiving updates to this post or others I commented on? I DID subscribe, but found myself having to sign in again a few times since

  43. mcohen
    October 14, 2012, 8:43 am

    This whole gb has been a real eye opener for me.so much new info and all these lists of names and groups on facebook of all places. Too much stuff out in the open

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