No room for racism in a movement working for equality and freedom

ActivismIsrael/Palestine

The important battle of explaining to people that opposing Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism was dealt a terrible blow this past week with the exposure of anti-Semitic tweets by a leader of the Free Gaza Movement, Greta Berlin. Wherever your line is for what’s acceptable speech about Jews, Berlin’s statements and attitude were over the line and have done great damage to the cause of ending the siege of Gaza and working towards justice in Israel/Palestine.

Berlin has done great work with vigor and creativity to try and free the besieged and imprisoned people of Gaza — and this work must continue. We tried to serve her efforts on several occasions, and that’s our only excuse for taking so long to speak out emphatically. We were hoping for clearer explanations of how and why the videos she distributed were being used, and they haven’t come. We apologize to readers for not having said sooner what we’re saying now, this speech is offensive and must be condemned.

Ali Abunimah and Jewish Voice for Peace have distinguished themselves by taking a clear stand here. They deserve great honor, as do our own Alex Kane and Annie Robbins and Allison Deger, all of whom jumped on this incident at the start and did not try to wish it away.

The sadness of this incident is that it has exposed substantial support for Berlin in the community that is criticizing Israel. These attitudes have to be taken on and rooted out — there is no room for racism in a movement working for equality, justice and freedom for all in Israel/Palestine. Neither liberation, nor oppression, is a zero-sum equation and this incident has revealed a disturbing tendency to vilify Israelis, and Jews more broadly, out of an apparent desire to challenge the occupation and Israeli policy. Ironically, this base racism accomplishes the very opposite, and only confirms the false assumptions of Israel’s defenders that the movement for Palestinian rights is simply a front for an anti-Semitic crusade against Jews. Hannah Arendt and others long ago predicted that the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East in the name of all Jews would result in anti-Semitism. That era seems to be upon us. While it was predictable, it is not excusable. These attitudes are repellent, and any movement for human rights must give them no quarter.

355 Responses

  1. Adam Horowitz
    October 12, 2012, 12:54 pm

    Just after posting this I saw this statement that was just published on Electronic Intifada – link to electronicintifada.net

    The struggle for Palestinian rights is incompatible with any form of racism or bigotry: a statement by Palestinians

    We the undersigned, as Palestinians living in historic Palestine and the diaspora, in the spirit of past statements, and in light of recent controversies, write to reaffirm a key principle of our movement for freedom, justice, and equality: The struggle for our inalienable rights is one opposed to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.

    We oppose the cynical and baseless use of the term anti-Semitism as a tool for stifling criticism of Israel or opposition to Zionism, as this assumes simply because someone is Jewish, they support Zionism or the colonial and apartheid policies of the state of Israel – a false generalization.

    Our struggle is anchored in universal human rights and international law in opposition to military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, something people of conscience of all ethnicities, races, and religions can support.

    Finally, we call on people around the world to join us in a morally consistent stance that opposes racism and bigotry in all forms. An ethical struggle for justice and equal rights in any context entails zero tolerance for racial discrimination and racism anywhere.

    You can see the 85 signatories at EI

    • seanmcbride
      October 12, 2012, 1:19 pm

      The struggle for our inalienable rights is one opposed to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere….

      Our struggle is anchored in universal human rights and international law in opposition to military occupation, settler-colonialism, and apartheid, something people of conscience of all ethnicities, races, and religions can support.

      Amen. These should be the bedrock values of enlightened human beings all around the world. These are values worth fighting for. And many enlightened Jews historically have often been in the forefront in struggling for these values.

      Zionism has pushed the Jewish tradition at its best off the rails.

    • jimmy
      October 13, 2012, 8:47 pm

      tell that to the US congress…or what ever it is ……………..

  2. anonymouscomments
    October 12, 2012, 1:11 pm

    wait a second, is it clear she is RACIST?

    i know most all jews and many non jews are extremely sensitive to bigotry, for quite good reasons. but do i think berlin has a hatred for jews for being jews, jews in general, or the religious practices of jews? i actually do not.

    i think she posted links to absurd theories about zionists, around WWII. often the sign of a racist, but i think *posting* such does not make her racist. i also happen to think that *even* believing such absurd theories (which i am unsure she does) generally propagated *by* racists, does not make her de facto racist, just intellectually challenged at a minimum.

    i do not disagree with her being removed from acceptable circles in the fight for palestinian rights…. i think this in entirely warranted. we do not want such people at all, assuming she was posting these links in a gesture of support/belief, and we have no context to refute such.

    but let’s be specific…. this does not make her by definition racist or anti-semitic.

    i have very firm and informed opinions about the USG, and what our government/power elites do and have done in recent decades…. this does not make me “anti-american” or racist. i also have very informed and fairly unassailable opinions about the lavon affair and the USS liberty, but this does not make me racist or “anti-semitic” or even “anti-israel”.

    do not misinterpret this as support for her actions, i agree that she should have no prominence after such posts, even if it was misconstrued. but we don’t need to run around saying she is racist, and that a large portion of people working for palestinian rights support her (and are, therefore, supporters of racists and/or de facto racists).

    and while we purge our ranks though, wouldn’t it be nice if zionists would condemn and purge their racists? including so many past and present members of the israeli gov? we have the quotes, and they do not involve possible support for ahistorical ideas, generally espoused by racists…. we have unmitigated racist language, and racist ACTS.

    i’m really proposing we are clear about our semantics. purge her away, and this i agree to. but make sure we note that we simply have no tolerance for what *may* be a sign of racism, but what is more undeniably a sign of untenable fringe ideas on history…

    • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
      October 14, 2012, 3:30 am

      let me see: i don’t think she is a racist, but i don’t disagree with purging her.
      Is this logical?
      let me see: “wouldn’t it be nice if zionists would condemn and purge their racists”? If all zionists are racists — by definition zionism is the political ideology that claims all of Palestine belongs to Jews since G*d gave/promised it to them unconditionally (show me exactly where in the Old Testament this is written and i’ll sell you a ship that’ll automatically enter Gaza unchecked) — then “if zionists would condemn and purge their racists” zionists would all vanish, cleansed to where if cleansed by themselves of themselves? is this logical.
      “i’m really proposing we are clear about our semantics….” and… “make sure we note that we simply have no tolerance for what *may* be a sign of racism” — This is indeed pure logic. Watch out, Phil. Your editorial job is now imperiled by a most excellent student of your impeccable logic and expert journalistic presentation of credible evidence for your objective reporting.

  3. ToivoS
    October 12, 2012, 1:16 pm

    No need to apologize for waiting to see if Greta had a good explanation. Her action does appear to be indefensible. Hopefully the Free Gaza Movement will remove her from any leadership role. Otherwise they will become irrelevant.

    • yrn
      October 12, 2012, 2:45 pm

      ToivoS

      Here it is from the freegaza site:

      “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.

      And then statement of support from all the new board, here is one of them

      “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”

    • ColinWright
      October 12, 2012, 9:14 pm

      ToivoS says: ‘No need to apologize for waiting to see if Greta had a good explanation. Her action does appear to be indefensible.’

      Words fail me. Why should she be removed? Because she quoted an egregiously anti-Zionist remark?

      Nobody ever answers this. I can assert that all Zionists practice bestiality and have IQ’s of 43 if I want. It’s obviously not not true, but it’s not anti-semitic.

      • ToivoS
        October 13, 2012, 12:36 am

        Sorry Colin if you can’t see it. To be nice, I think she is too stupid to realize what she has created. To be not nice, she, err, sorry to say it openly but she is tolerating good old fashioned antisemitism. Whatever is correct, she most certainly should not hold a leadership position. Who are our leaders? They are people we trust. One has to be a fool to trust Greta. Time for her to go or any organization that supports her.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 4:40 am

        ToivoS: “Sorry Colin if you can’t see it. To be nice, I think she is too stupid to realize what she has created…”

        Ah…no.

        Greta has not created this. Those who have rather mysteriously felt compelled to howl for her head have created this.

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 9:27 am

        TovioS,

        We can justly accuse Pamela Geller of Islamophobia because she has made many thousands of Islamophobic statements on her blog, Atlas Shrugs, and elsewhere. She proudly embraces her Islamophobia and wears it like a badge of honor.

        Do you have a collection of antisemitic quotes from Greta Berlin we can look at? A list of people who have reported that she has made antisemitic statements?

        Please post that information in your reply. If you can’t post it, I really wonder what you are up to.

        And while we are at it, shall we demand that all her accusers and judgers — including you — open up all their private discussion posts for vigorous public inspection and interrogation?

        As for people who rush like lemmings to sign lists supporting grandiose and self-righteous public proclamations condemnations of this or that ideological deviant, they are usually ridiculous. Usually not an interesting or original mind in the bunch. These exercises carry the whiff of Stalinist purges. Repulsive, really.

        Gilad Atzmon, for instance, has a much more interesting mind than any of his detractors I can think of — nearly all of whom are mediocrities and second-raters who derive a sense of self-importance and purpose by joining groups of like-minded mediocrities and second-raters.

      • American
        October 14, 2012, 12:51 am

        @ sean

        Hmmm….good points.

        I bowed out of this, but then still curious, decided to go check what has been written.
        I don’t like the pattern I see in outing Palestine affiliated activist…..whether this particular woman is or isn’t a anti semite, there’s a pattern here on the part of the outers.
        Are we to think that die hard anti semites join up with free Palestine groups to spread their anti semitism and draw anti semites to the cause? And that’s even laughable cause real anti semites don’t like Arabs any more than they like Jews.
        If they join with Palestine for anit semitic purposes they are pretty stupid anti semites cause the anti semite agitating and riling up to produce anything , would have to take place outside of Palestine , in Europe and the US where it would have an effect. So to think anti semites join these Palestine groups for that purpose is stupid on the face of it.
        Think about it, if you just hate Jews why bother to waste that time, energy and effort in Palestine activity, when you could recruit more anti semites or spread your message in the US or the UK or Germany or wherever you have a free population that could grab it and run with it. The Palestines sure as hell aren’t in a position to form any kind of political anti semite block and what would be the point cause they already have valid reason enough to resent the Jewish state, anti semitism to them would be just an afterthought, not a rallying cause.
        Doesn’t even make sense.

        I read this, this, this and this…plus a dozen others at similar sites.

        link to 972mag.com

        link to 972mag.com

        link to thedailybeast.com

        The ones that denounce Berlin all give the same list of reasons:..almost verbatim.

        ‘’Greta Berlin’s anti-Semitic tweet (“Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camp”). Everyone can make a mistake, but this is part of a pattern. After reading an erroneous report about the origin of a recent anti-Muslim film, she excitedly tweeted that “an Israeli film maker, 100 Jewish donors” were behind the project. Recently she glowingly endorsed a book by Gilad Atzmon, calling it “one of the best reads of 2012”. In an interview with +972′s Larry Derfner, Berlin claimed she found “nothing anti-Jewish in that book,” adding that she felt Atzmon had been “demonized.”

        Atzmon is a Holocaust denier; he has previously asked “if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war?” In this book that Berlin endorsed, Atzmon writes on page 179 “we, for instance, can envisage a horrific situation in which an Israeli so-called ‘pre-emptive’ nuclear attack on Iran that escalates into a disastrous nuclear war, in which tens of millions of people perish. I guess that amongst the survivors of such a nightmare scenario, some may be bold enough to argue that ‘Hitler might have been right after all.’ On page 27 he argues “Throughout the centuries, some Jewish bankers have gathered the reputation of backers and financers of wars and even one communist revolution.” Again, Berlin found “nothing anti-Jewish about that book” which she tells Derfner she read till the end. The current controversy may cause Berlin to finally dissociate herself from this ongoing pattern of endorsing anti-Jewish literature””

        That’s it, that all they’ve got.
        And how do the authors of these essays on Berlin know she tweeted about the 100 Jewish donors “excitedly”? Is there some way to tell if someone is tweeting ‘excitedly’ or not? Does the tweet flash or glow to indictate the tweeters excitement or what?
        How many of us posted the news blip we got from the main stream ‘news’ on the 100 Jewish donors , plently of us did offering it as more news on the film story.

        Another thing that disturbs me is is how often Ali Abunimah turns up leading the charge on these outings, handed off from some monitor from a Jewish org or agency or publication. What is his agenda if we are questioning agendas here….he doesn’t want Two states, he wants One State, so is he trying to destroy any groups working toward 2 States, an separate independent Palestine…Hmmm?? And who the hell is he, a Palestine living in the US to decide on one or two states and push his choice….have 1 million Palestine actually living in Palesitne signed up for his One state vision? I don’t think so. And what exactly does he do except his blog and talk, does he work, who pays him? I want a full investigation of the outers in case their agenda is also suspect.

        Let’s drag in everyone and go thru their daires and telphone records and have an inquisition of them also…let’s expose everyone and get to everyone’s real ‘core” agenda.

        No, I don’t like the pattern in these outings or the people involved in it, this all too familiar and suspect, too amazing how they turn up anti semites all the time in Palestine movements.

        And gee whiz who would’ve known about all these anti semites that have ‘hurt’ the Palestine cause if they hadn’t been so conveniently turned up by various zionist monitors and then splashed all over the web by the willing.

        IF the Palestine cause was as or more important to the moralistic outers as their anti semtism hunts or deference to the professional anti semite watchers they would have handled this privately with the accused and Free Gaza org and not contributed to the hurt of the organizations work. Isn’t that what the “Lobby does”, what the Israel advocates advocate…keeping their dirty laundry and slip ups out of the public eye for the good of their cause? It’s a good damage containment stragety.

        But they didn’t did they? What does that tell you? That the ‘cause’ is not as important as the spectacle of catching a anti semite and their personal satisfaction in publicly identifying and hanging the suspected anti semite.

        It certainly does not inspire any respect in me for those who take part in these …Extra! Extra!,Read All About It, Another Anti Semite Caught in Palestine Freedom Movement.
        So please outers, spare us the tears of concern for how this scandel has hurt the Palestine cause.

      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
        October 14, 2012, 4:03 am

        she was careless, and the tweet was stupid, given her important position; indeed, almost incredible, given her years of consistent and brave activism. but she herself is not stupid, just knocked pretty well off balance by the extremism with which so many otherwise progressive Jews on this site have suddenly turned tribal on her. Scratch a person who self-identifies “as a Jew” by ineptly bringing up a piece of anti-zionist propaganda (for no particularly clear reason) — the way Marc Ellis so tiresomely has of late on this issue (on his little piece on Sara Roy did he really use the words “Jew” and “Jewishness” about 35 times or so? — and suddenly you don’t have a person you can count on for helping you regain your balance in our common cause for human rights and universal dignity, but you get instantly smeared and shoved out of the lifeboat. Tribalism on this site seems more powerful a motive than love. One reason I really appreciate Mark Braverman, a Jewish psychotherapist and author of Fatal Embrace, who acknowledges “the deal is and should be over for good” between Jews and Christians that Christians can’t discuss Israel’s crimes and Jews get to tell Christians how to parse their Christian theology and ethics to the satisfaction of Jewish Zionists and Israeli leaders. No, the deal is ended, but you wouldn’t know if from reading the vehemence with which the philosemitist tag team on mondoweiss dot net has gone after a woman i find far braver and more steadfastly in the trenches with Palestinians than all of them put together. Phil, Adam, your site is still important, but get off your high horses, will you please. Your credibility as journalists dropped vastly in my view since you started your public stoning of a good activist just to prove yourselves equal to ali abunimah. Why didn’t you go after the real source of the problem, the shit-disturbing Israel-Firster who caught Greta’s faux pas and spun it viral ? As pabelmont noted below [ pabelmont says: October 13, 2012 at 9:57 am ], before locating Avi Maher’s cynical “expose”, why did both Phil and Adam fail to respect their readers sufficiently to have either a) described and provided the links needed for sufficient background to catch up factually to the speculative allegations they were tossing in the fan, or b) done basic investigative journalism such as interviewing the lede character in the story and giving her a chance to explain herself?
        in short, the appalling “GOTCHA!” game they have been playing smells distinctly of envy, ressentiment, schadenfreude, perverse spitefulness, almost pathetic sibling rivalry with a nauseating heap of Holocausticism — us Jews mustn’t get our ancestors’ feelings hurt or we’re liable to go ballistic, even on our more honorable friends. Where kindness is lacking, humor is absent, words are used as weapons. You don’t try to shame your friends in public.

      • kalithea
        October 14, 2012, 4:14 am

        We should ask: Who’s the most hypocritical an anti-Semite caught in the Palestinian cause or a Zionist caught in the Palestinian cause?

        Zionists who pretend to have compassion for Palestinians remind me of the preacher in the film “Night of the Hunter” who had “Love” tatooed on one hand and “Hate” on the other. In other words, they give to Palestinians with one hand and take it back with the one hidden behind their back.

        A whole lot of people became anti-Semites after Sabra & Shatila and Cast Lead not because the horrific scenes outraged them, which they did, but because suddenly they were introduced to Zionism; its founders and legions of protectors of Zionism world-wide.

      • demize
        October 14, 2012, 4:50 am

        well done!

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 12:35 pm

        American,

        Are we to think that die hard anti semites join up with free Palestine groups to spread their anti semitism and draw anti semites to the cause? And that’s even laughable cause real anti semites don’t like Arabs any more than they like Jews.

        That is the way a sane and rational person would view this controversy. :) — someone who wasn’t brimming over with paranoia and hysteria.

        I also think that if Greta Berlin were an antisemite in the tradition of Eustace Mullins, one could easily turn up a large collection of quotes by her in that vein. But all her Jewish associates and friends — the people who know her best — have detected not a whiff of such sentiments.

        Here is a list of a few well-known parties that have been accused of antisemitism by pro-Israel activists in recent years:

        1. Alice Walker
        2. Amy Goodman
        3. Andrew Sullivan
        4. Andrew Young
        5. Annie Lenox
        6. Barack Obama
        7. Bill Moyers
        8. Brent Scowcroft
        9. Catherine Ashton
        10. Chas Freeman
        11. Chris Hedges
        12. Coldplay
        13. Colin Powell
        14. Dennis Kucinich
        15. Desmond Tutu
        16. Elvis Costello
        17. Fareed Zakaria
        18. Flynt Leverett
        19. George H.W. Bush
        20. Gilad Atzmon
        21. Glenn Greenwald
        22. George Galloway
        23. Gore Vidal
        24. Greta Berlin
        25. Gunter Grass
        26. Hannah Arendt
        27. Harold Pinter
        28. Helen Thomas
        29. Helena Cobban
        30. Howard Dean
        31. James Baker
        32. Jeffrey Blankfort
        33. Jim Jones
        34. Jimmy Carter
        35. Joan Walsh
        36. John Mearsheimer
        37. Juan Cole
        38. Keith Ellison
        39. Lawrence Wilkerson
        40. M.J. Rosenberg
        41. Maureen Dowd
        42. Michael Lind
        43. Michael Scheuer
        44. Noam Chomsky
        45. Norman Finkelstein
        46. Octavia Nasr
        47. Oliver Stone
        48. Paul Craig Roberts
        49. Paul Findley
        50. Peter Beinart
        51. Phil Donahue
        52. Philip Weiss
        53. Pixies
        54. Rachel Corrie
        55. Ralph Nader
        56. Ray McGovern
        57. Richard Falk
        58. Roger Waters
        59. Ron Paul
        60. Samantha Power
        61. Seymour Hersh
        62. Stephen Walt
        63. Tony Judt
        64. Tony Kushner
        65. Trita Parsi
        66. Vanessa Redgrave
        67. Wesley Clark
        68. Zbigniew Brzezinski

        There are many, many more.

        Here is Debbie Schlussel on Roger Waters just the other day:

        Roger Waters of Pink Floyd thinks Jews have too much power in America. If you are still a Pink Floyd fan–even after his anti-Israel activism and pro-Palestinian, pro-Islamic terrorism diatribes, as detailed on this site–then his new bigotry, not just against Israel, but specifically against Jews, might not bother you since we know that most Israel-haters are really just Jew-haters with a more “high-brow” pretense. Likewise, it’s no surprise that this aging friend of the jihad is now an admitted Jew-hater.

        link to debbieschlussel.com

        Apparently pro-Israel activists are not interested in maintaining friendly relations with Pink Floyd’s huge global fanbase. So be it.

  4. Dan Crowther
    October 12, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Weird.

    • kalithea
      October 14, 2012, 12:27 am

      To say the least. But not surprising.

      • Dan Crowther
        October 14, 2012, 11:25 am

        Yeah. My thing is, we all agree that we have been lied to for decades by Israeli Jews, their American handlers and so on. For DECADES. So, after decades and decades of blatant lies, cover ups and horrible crimes, is anyone surprised that people begin to wonder: What else are these people lying to me about? Isn’t this little exchange from Berlin and Co. exactly what is to be expected?

        A “people” who supports Cast Lead at an 80% clip has forfeited ANY rights to the benefit of the doubt, and if people want to examine Zionist involvement in the administration of the Camps and Ghettos, which adds important context to the zionist movement, that is their right to do so.

  5. pabelmont
    October 12, 2012, 1:29 pm

    Phil and Adam:

    In such a long posting, surely there is room for the TEXT or VIDEO or whatever is being discussed. I know it’s been displayed elsewhere, but for ease of reference, could you insert the matter complained of?

    And, BTW, was it a description of her own thought or something else? If the latter, was it clearly labeled as such?

    • pabelmont
      October 13, 2012, 9:57 am
      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
        October 13, 2012, 6:07 pm

        Avi Maher’s the source of the Israeli propaganda smear campaign against Greta, yes, and evidently they are sharper than the tacks running Mondoweiss, since they suckered Phil into surrendering his savvy activist/journalist adult self for the good-boy goy-chastising Phil into playing along, with due macho viciousness and intolerance for any mistakes by anybody (not that he could make a mistake, gosh darn it by being such a transparent McCarthyite… um er, but his work is still valuable enough that he shouldn’t be purged, should he?

  6. Danaa
    October 12, 2012, 1:38 pm

    Apparently, all the comments made on these pages following the previous two articles on the subject have been ignored, as if they meant nothing at all. Like no one argument or comment had the slightest merit. No ones from among well over 12 commenters that I counted, including myself. I understand where the pressure to distance this blog from anything any activist might ever do or say that could even slightly ruffle a few feathers, especially when it has anything to do with the Holocaust era. Clearly, the anti-semitism charge – real or imagined (mostly the latter) is the true Achilles heel of the Pro-palestinian and pro-human rights movements. We have known that for a long time and come to expect it.

    No need for me I think to repeat any arguments made earlier as they’ll just be brushed aside, like so much molecules of air. But I will quote, on this occasion from a comment I made before – that one in connection with the support among some on the left for the faux Syria “liberation army” (mostly a collection on thugs, hired Arab legionaires and assorted Israel/US/SA cooked up mercenaries hell bent on destroying Syria):

    From August 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm, quoting a commenter on MoA:

    Without commitment, all is lost; the Left is incapable of commitment; therefore, the Left is lost.

    Paraphrasing the rest: .. This applies to Syria just as it applied to Libya and Iraq and J Street and OWS and Gilad Atzmon and now the previously respected FGM. There is a fundamental weakness in the left in general, which is reflected most clearly in the splitting of the ranks when it comes to bottom-line commitment to supporting human rights in general, and Palestinian rights in particular. There is – and perhaps always was – a wedge driven straight into the heart of the very word “justice”. This wedge oftentimes takes the form of evidently greater commitment to the historicity of injustice towards Jews in the 30’s of last century, than justice for those who are oppressed and persecuted in the here and now – oftentimes by descendants of the very jews who were last century’s victims. Commitment to a “truth” of the past and the “reality” of anti-semitism in the present simply takes precedence over true commitment to justice in the here and now. I see no other way of interpreting the tendency towards “shunning” the most active, capable and committed pro-palestinian activists. or the tendency among some on the left to find it in their heart to support the atrocities perpetrated against the Syrian people – the so-called “humanitarian interventionists”.

    What that shows is that deep at heart even the most human-rights-committed Jewish person is simply not committed enough. As I said before also – they fight with one hand tied behind their back, head turned always backwards. And these hobbled warriors, instead of providing the stamina and support palestinians out there on the killing fields need, are teaching them the art of wobbly knee dance on egg shells. No one can win with this tactic, not when the enemy has full commitment of its troops – down to the last fiber of their dark souls.

    • Dan Crowther
      October 12, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Alex Cockburn said it best: The left likes to take up arms, form in a circle, point their weapons inboard and fire.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 12:23 am

        Dan Crowther says: “Alex Cockburn said it best: The left likes to take up arms, form in a circle, point their weapons inboard and fire.”

        Lol. My opinion of Alex Cockburn just jumped by an order of magnitude.

        Never been better illustrated than here.

      • Dan Crowther
        October 13, 2012, 10:04 am

        The way I see it, Greta is getting off pretty light. She’s only being excommunicated; if she was really an anti-humanitarian, opposed to equality and freedom, they’d just call on NATO to bomb her.

    • American
      October 12, 2012, 2:43 pm

      “This wedge oftentimes takes the form of evidently greater commitment to the historicity of injustice towards Jews in the 30′s of last century, than justice for those who are oppressed and persecuted in the here and now “..Danaa

      Yes, that is important part of the dynamics. I think it is also what spurs their opponents to strike back at the zio/Israel position that Jews are the worlds most important/only/innocent victims and always will be and no others count.
      As long as they persist in this attitude and use it as a tool there will be opponents who throw some past Jewish perfidy back in their faces to show they aren’t the world innocents. It’s a tit for tat response.
      I can understand it, if not approve of it, particularly if it involves lies.
      As I see it, have seen if for a long time, in this fight and in anti semitism and the whole issue…the Jews as the most important and only victims of suffering and bigotry in the world must end….it’s a tyranny the zionist use to dominate others. .
      They simply can’t be the most important people in the world….maybe they can be to themselves, but not to others.
      I think that’s what this fight is escalating to….disabusing the zionist and Israel of the idea the world revolves them and others will always defer to them because of any past Jewish history.

      • pabelmont
        October 12, 2012, 8:15 pm

        American cities this: “This wedge oftentimes takes the form of evidently greater commitment to the historicity of injustice towards Jews in the 30′s of last century, than justice for those who are oppressed and persecuted in the here and now – oftentimes by descendants of the very jews who were last century’s victims.”

        This is precisely right and profoundly important. Nothing should ever persuade us (pro-Palestinians, pro-human-rights, pro-rule-of-law folks) to take our eye off the ball of injustice TODAY.

        If someone made a mistake (in a previous comment here I asked for a citation to the material complained of, but none was given, seemingly in McCarthyite fashion [as if to say, "I have in my pocket proofs of anti-Semitism of 100's in the State Department, who I'll name, but the proof will stay in my pocket and you cannot see it"] and the net of all this is that an enthusiasm for avoiding ALL taint (however slight) of anti-Semitism appears to have frightened some people into abandoning their most valuable, most committed (to action, no less) allies.

        Unsupported allegations of high crimes liketh me not.

    • gamal
      October 12, 2012, 9:01 pm

      i think it always important to make sure that ones every utterance is not offensive to racists, and so onward to apathy and irrelevance, no one is going liberate Palestinians or Arabs other than themselves. as Giuliano Salvatore famously said, “God protect me from my friends”.

    • AlGhorear
      October 12, 2012, 11:07 pm

      “And these hobbled warriors, instead of providing the stamina and support palestinians out there on the killing fields need, are teaching them the art of wobbly knee dance on egg shells.”

      Thank you Danaa, for continually reminding us of the real situation we’re working to change and for throwing the allegations of racism back in the face of those who tolerate it here on Mondoweiss when it’s aimed at Palestinians who are being oppressed, ethnically cleansed and killed, but are willing to throw a dedicated activist like Greta Berlin under the bus and destroy a movement based on alleged racism that I can’t even find with a microscope–such are the sensitivities at stake here. Greta mistakenly posted a video on the FreeGaza FB account, which she meant to post for discussion on a private FB account. It was automatically tweeted without context (with a 140 character limit, tweets are like that), she acknowledged the mistake, denounced the video and apologized for posting it. Is that racist? Is it antisemitic?

      I agree wholeheartedly that there’s “No room for racism in a movement working for equality and freedom”, but Phil and Adam, I think you owe the rest of us an explanation of exactly what you think Greta did that was antisemitic. Show us those tweets and statements and explain to us how her “attitude” was racist since apparently you have information that wasn’t privy to the rest of us.

      Otherwise, Mooser is right. It will be goodbye Hostage, goodbye Danaa, goodbye many others and even goodbye Mooser.

    • Rbapierce
      October 13, 2012, 12:50 am

      “What that shows is that deep at heart even the most human-rights-committed Jewish person is simply not committed enough. ”

      How exactly is that statement not racist? Why is this not being challenged?
      Any argument you may try to pose here is completely undermined by your obvious derision for even the Jews who consider themselves allies to the Palestinian cause. That this the exact type of Antisemitism this post is criticizing.

      You are also doing a huge disservice to those of us trying to fight off FALSE claims of antisemitism by poisoning discussions with your very real racism.

      • anonymouscomments
        October 13, 2012, 4:36 pm

        Rba- you got your spurious accusations of racism wrong, danaa is a jewish israeli. the correct false charge would be “self-hating jew”.

      • Danaa
        October 14, 2012, 3:48 am

        Thanks anonymous. precision is important, isn’t it?

        Rba. you didn’t get the gist of my comment. What I was addressing is the DEPTH of a commitment, not its existence. I do admit to being cryptic, so I’ll explain a little of what I meant (at the risk of belaboring the obvious for the many who have seen these issues and questions debated here ad nauseum).

        For one, it wouldn’t be all that surprising that many Jewish people are allied with the Palestinian quest for eg, a state of their own, not out of some great love or respect for the Palestinian peoplehood, but out of a desire to preserve the Jewish nature of Israel (see for example, J Street, Peter Beinart, etc.). This is nothing that hasn’t been said and freely admitted by the many 2-state advocates for oh so many years.

        What I am questioning goes beyond that however, and is directly tied to the obvious fact that the “2-state solution” is fast receding, and really exists now only as a theoretical construct and for many – a somewhat unrealistic wishful thinking. We have many times discussed here the fact that for many liberal Jewish Americans there is a growing realization that Israel – on the self-destructive and ethnocentric course it set for itself – is bound to ruin things for Jewish America, simply because it’s going to have to drag them down into its own garrison mentality and increasingly aliberal, reactionary course. So, as a hedge, many liberal Jewish people – harness their own, well-honed American sensibilities to fight against what they rightly see as Israel’s utterly inhumane policies against Palestinians and the abhorent realities of the apartheid state that is slowly taking shape in front of our eyes.

        At the same time many Liberal jewish people – quite understandably -worry that as more Americans find out just how grievously Israeli and American values and interests diverge, they will veer into active dislike not only of israel but of the jewish establishment that has been enabling the abominable acts of that country to continue unabated. That by effectively taking over the entire political apparatus and many of the think tanks and punditry affiliated with both parties. Since antipathy towards the Jewish establishment can indeed quickly spill over into general antipathy towards jews in general, this would indeed be most unfortunate development were it to come to pass.

        This is a true worry and all I am saying is that because this is what motivates so many (if not all) jewish activists – at least under the surface – that their actual commitment to the Palestinians is subservient to the overiding existential concern for their own. So far nothing that others didn’t say many times over and in far more articulation, none more incisively than Phil Weiss himself. Where I may part ways with him – and the MW opinion setters, – is that I also like to point out that, almost by definition, a primarily Jewish existential motivation for acting on behalf of the Palestinians means that the ACTUAL commitment to the Palestinian cause is not nearly as deep – and pervasive – as some may like to think. By ‘deep’ I mean -deep enough for people to risk their reputations, livelihoods and sometimes lives – on behalf of the cause of others, simply because those others are human. Another way of saying this is that not everyone can be a Rachel Corrie.

        The limited depth of the commitment is, IMO, in full display on the issue of Greta Berlin, which could have been handled in any number of ways short of turning it into a food fight among different activists. had the commitment been deeper a way would have been found to handle the issue – such as it is – without the craziness and self-immolation now unfolding for all of us to witness. But this is just my interpretation, one that I am sure Phil and Adam will disagree with.

        Unfortunately, I also happen to think that only the deepest of commitments by many people around the world would be needed to save the Palestinians from the fate that awaits them. In forming such a world wide circle of activism, people like Greta Berlin were and are essential – because they can organize, they can build movements and they can focus. Such people bring depth of commitment to the cause – an important aspect of the tool kit, even if the individuals may be short of saintliness. Even if they harbor real dislike for Israel. Even if they tend to scratch a little at historical events that perhaps are best left undisturbed.

        If all this sounds like a racist opinion to you so be it, as I won’t be able to dissuade you from such anyways.

  7. American
    October 12, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I am still confused on a lot of this….it seems centered on links to, or critics she referenced about Jews, that she sent out to some sub group of FreeGaza.
    I would agree that showing that Mullins video is idiotic and I can’t see any legitimate purpose in that except to bash the tribe in general.
    I tell you though this whole racism thing just goes round and round–the esculation was probably predictable—-some Jews like Geller and Co. attack Palestine or Muslims in general, then some Non Jew advocates attack Jews in general….the Jews want to prove the Muslims or Palestines aren’t innocents, the Non Jews want to prove the Jews aren’t innocents.
    So they all reach back into history to make their cases against Jews or Arabs or non Jews. The ones that want to show to Jewish guilt use zionist(Jewish) collaboration with the nazis, the ones that want to show Arab guilt use Arab collaboration with the nazis or each some similar things to condemn the other side.
    I said before, ancient history should be left out of the I/P fight.
    Current day guilty parties and actions are enough to base any I/P arguments on.

    • Danaa
      October 12, 2012, 3:14 pm

      I agree with your take, American, but unfortunately, it is difficult for people to follow the simple prescription of “concentrate on the present”.

      It is especially difficult for some activists – to ignore the Holocaust when that was the main reason Israel came to be and the Palestinians got kicked out in the first place. So naturally there will be those who will keep scratching at the Nazi era to uncover collusions with zionists (Jeffrey Blankfort liked doing that, I think sometimes just as a provocation). Some of this scratching is obviously part of a natural tendency to paint all things zionist as evil incarnate. At which point the tribal minders will unleash the anti-semitism sword that slayeth all in its path. Of course nothing, certainly not zionism, is all evil and it may well have started as no worse than any other ethnic liberation theology that minds its own and cares little for others in the way. It’s just the outcome that turned out so very very bad – such that for zionism (now in the body politic of israel) to thrive, another people have to be made to suffer – in perpetuity it seems.

      For myself, I prefer to concentrate on the suffering – and how it can be alleviated. So the FGM did a lot in directing attention towards the horrors of what Israel has done to the Gazans and perhaps contributing to a slight lessening of the Gazans’ pain. My fear is that now – with the entire FGM on the chopping block (and that’s where it is) the eyes that were upon it will be averted towards “greener pastures”.

      • BethlehemOlivesRedeem
        October 13, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Danaa,
        It’s disturbing how you can say a number of clarifying on-point things, then suddenly, almost unnoticeably, launch a stealthy, Likud-like IDF/Hasbarah torpedo such as this:
        “It is especially difficult for some activists – to ignore THE HOLOCAUST when that WAS THE MAIN REASON ISRAEL CAME TO BE and the Palestinians got kicked out in the first place.”

        Say wha-?!? “KICKED OUT?”This sort of PROPAGANDA (even if unintended, its function is as propaganda — to obfuscate, to conceal the truth, to the advantage of the land-grabbing monsters running the machine of racist supremacism called “ISRAEL” who thank you nudge/winking all the way to the bank and back again to their arms factories and Big Apple penthouses) began flooding unchecked into Americans’ eyes and ears particularly after two key moments in Jewish-and-Zionist modern evolution, Leon Uris’ mischievous apologia for Jewish colonial conquest of Palestine, the novel (1958) and feature film (1960) EXODUS, and the long-planned military offensive to complete the brutal, LBJ-backed gangland theft of Palestine (aka “Eretz Yisrael”), the June 1967 “SIX-DAY WAR”.
        But you, Danaa, a supposedly educated progressive, SEEMINGLY have failed to REMEMBER the year 1897. Theodore Herzl didn’t pen “The Jewish State” to counter Herr Hitler’s Mein Kampf or later his brownshirt sociopath cultists smashing storefronts, but rather when Hitler was a mere choirboy of 8 being beaten by his aged petty-bureaucrat father. Herzl not only articulated ideas for the Jewish conquest of Palestine already current among many Jewish leaders at the time; he also presciently predicted the state could be secured within 50 years, especially if done by the surreptitious transfer of all “Arabs of Palestine” to lands outside Palestine.
        In short, THE HOLOCAUST HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FOUNDING OF ISRAEL. RATHER, THE FOUNDING OF ISRAEL WAS QUICKENED BECAUSE OF THE HOLOCAUST, AND PARTICULARLY THANKS TO ZIONISTS’ PROUDLY AGGRESSIVE POWER POLITICKING (including calls for BDS) AGAINST — and behind the scenes negotiating with — THE NAZI REGIME.
        It wouldn’t surprise me if the quotes attributed to Ben Gurion saying that he’d rather half of Europe’s Jews die under the Third Reich if the other half could conquer Palestine than that all the Jews of Europe surive and escape a possible “H”olocaust by emigrating to other countries not in Zionists’ hands.
        So, in point of fact, Zionism is NOT the spawn of National Socialism (though its agents touted a nationalist-corrupted version of socialism). Zionism isn’t a benign “theology of liberation,” but rather a political movement whose key agents were — FROM THE BEGINNING — VERY VERY BAD in their intentions TOWARDS the Palestinian people (including indigeous Palestinian/Arab Jews who stood by their Muslim and Christian Arabic friends). As i said, by reading Benny Morris alone, you’ll find more than sufficient evidence of this PRE-NAZI-ERA fact about the movement you and so many other otherwise progressive (Jewish and “other”) folks on this listserv seem fearful of examining with sufficient historical accuracy or moral clarity. (See, for instance, Morris’ essay in the anthology, The War for Palestine,
        This is not an anti-Semitic charge, but rather reporting of historic facts about the history of ideas and bloodshed over ideas. Ben-Gurion was perhaps Zionist Jews’ most effective leader in securing a “Jewish state” precisely because he had no qualms about a) ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from “the Promised Land” and, b) hiding this fact from the majority of Jews and non-Jews. Reading Zionist Israeli historian Benny Morris’ heavily-footnoted history books and articles alone (even without reference to Ilan Pappe’s brilliant The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, based on much of the same Israeli Archival materials) is sufficient to give the lie to the Holocaust Industry’s claim that Israel was founded “because of the Holocaust.” The “never-again” mantra was used not only to puff up manly Jewish chests for all nonJewish men to see and fear, but it was effectively used by openly terrorist inventors of

        Your gross historical blunder above, Danaa, you sadly magnify with this layer-cake of mild misperceptions:

        “Of course nothing, CERTAINLY NOT ZIONISM, is all evil and it may well have STARTED AS NO WORSE THAN ANY OTHER ethnic liberation theology that MINDS ITS OWN AND CARES LITTLE FOR OTHERS in the way. It’s JUST THE OUTCOME THAT TURNED OUT VERY VERY BAD – such that for zionism (now in the body politic of israel) to thrive, another people have to be made to suffer – in perpetuity it seems. ”

        You are implying that Zionism
        1. wasn’t “bad” in its inception (aspiring to have only Jews live in and benefit from the lands, waters and natural wealth of Palestine),
        2. was never originally “in the body politic of israel,”
        3. was a sort of “ethnic liberation theology” that
        4. unintentionally turned out “very very bad. . . for another people.” Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.
        1. Zionism, far from being a “theology” of ANY sort whatsoever, is more properly analogous to ancient Spartan militarism. It is a brand of openly-avowed Jewish political-moral supremacism [[(God exempting all Jews from the petty human assertion of universal human rights and the modern internationalist and pacific (see Isaiah 2:4) historical principle of the rule of law, signed onto by virtually every existing nation-state, even Israel (purely opportunistically, however, as plenty of Ben-Gurion's statements show)]] that bastardized the ethical core of Judaism by hitching it to an ancient martial, sexist, tribalist ideology of elite chosenness bent on destroying anyone intent on protecting the rights of those already on the land known for centuries as Palestine. Why? Because “pro-Israel” Zionists — grade D- readers of the Old Testament, and grade F readers of the NT Gospels — claim God long ago unconditionally gave (promised) “the Jewish people” all Palestine (aka “eretz yisrael”).
        BTW, see the 5-hour, Channel 4 UK series “The Promise” for a graphic recounting of a slice of Zionist “theology”.

      • ritzl
        October 13, 2012, 6:28 pm

        @BOR Read/inform one’s self before responding…

        So much energy expended needlessly.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 6:42 pm

        Whoa! Betholives

        You have got Danaa wrong. You need to read more of her comments here to get the total of Danaa

      • Danaa
        October 14, 2012, 2:57 am

        BOR – I think it is off topic on this particular thread to delve into the ins and outs of whether Israel would have come into being without the Holocaust. Much has been said on this very issue, and I strongly recommend that you look at MW archives to get the many historically accurate and learned responses on the subject (check for example, Hostage, among several others). Suffice it to say that while zionism as a movement existed at the turn of the last century, jews just did not flock to Palestine in any substantial numbers until the end of WWII, when the refugees started arriving in big numbers (in which the change in immigration policies in the US played no small role). These are facts – anyone can look up the relevant numbers.

        As for Benny Morris, he not only did not deny the Nakba occured but complained that the problem was that it was not complete. Of course, there are two Benny Morrises – and most us tend to go with the earlier Morris, before he got spanked and changed his tune somewhat. Still, the history he cited is not in much dispute and there is no more point in denying the Nakba than in denying the Holocaust. both were shoahs and both occurred, and the victims of one perpetrated the other.

        As for your 5 point argument on zionism – what it is and is not – well, much opinion there., and this is not the place where this should be taken up. Perhaps another time.

        FYI, as someone who grew up in Israel i can attest to the fact that we always accepted – throughout the secular educational system – that the holocaust was the main “Horizon event” in making the Israel come into being as a state and get the support of the world. We also mostly knew – if somewhat vaguelyl, that there was no choice but to “kick the palestinians out”. it was just packaged differently for us as an unavoidable outcome of their non-acceptance of the invasion and colonization of their land by outsiders. Of course, such non-acceptance was deeply frowned upon in our history lessons. I mean, how could they resist colonization? so very unWestern of them…

        I have no clue what the Christian Zionist take is but i am sure it is pretty biblical. not my department I’m afraid.

        @American – Thanks.

      • W.Jones
        October 14, 2012, 8:25 pm

        “I have no clue what the Christian Zionist take is but i am sure it is pretty biblical. not my department I’m afraid.”
        Danaa,

        Nope. Traditional Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity both disagree with the CZ ideology. Traditional Judaism says the people would return after the Messiah gathers them and traditional Christianity said the blessings to Abraham go to all Christians, since they have been adopted into the Abrahamic faith and thus become his descendants.

    • German Lefty
      October 12, 2012, 5:42 pm

      I said before, ancient history should be left out of the I/P fight.
      I agree.

  8. Exiled At Home
    October 12, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Phil and Adam,

    Please consider; if the anti-Zionist movement spends a great deal of time and energy dissecting and articulating the difference between Judaism and Zionism, then how can we characterize commentary such as that ensconced in the Greta Berlin linked video (which is focused on the role of Zionism in the atrocities of WWII) as anti-Semitic?

    The linked video did not suggest that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves. The video did not deny the Holocaust occurred. The video suggests that Zionism contributed to the Holocaust. If we recognize Zionism as an ideology, then how can such suggestions be racially or religiously intolerant or hateful, as the accusation of anti-Semitism implies?

    What’s more, how can Greta Berlin be so vehemently and abusively denounced for merely posting this video, especially taking into consideration her statement that she does not support the suggestions made in the video?

    This is tortuous, destructive logic, and it’s being stirred up by people who want to destroy the movement for justice in Palestine by sowing the seeds of division within its ranks.

    You’ve participated in the slander of a woman’s name to protect yourselves from the intolerant, unethical and disingenuous slanders you expect to come your way if you do not denounce her. That’s not principled.

    Your initial hesitation to disabuse yourselves of association with Greta was based in your support of her work. Why not let that work speak for itself? Why now succumb to the mounting surge of emotional, reactive intolerance that seeks to cripple the reputation of well-intentioned individuals for simply linking to something that some find offensive? We must be more restrained in how we critique the sharing of information in the digital age…

    We cannot denounce everyone who ever posted a link to something controversial…

    It’s disheartening to see you join the chorus of this unsubstantiated witch-hunt…

    It’s an injustice against Greta Berlin who has never said anything that I am aware of that would suggest intolerant views of Judaism or Jews. It’s destructive toward the mission for peace, as Greta has led the way in the movement to undo the blockade of Gaza, and by dragging her name through the mud, the movement itself has suffered.

    It also signifies the ease with which minor things such as a video link can fracture the coalition and turn us against ourselves… Is it not obvious how simply this can be manipulated by those who wish to put an end to this movement for peace and justice? There is a vibrant debate raging over at Electronic Intifada over an article that accuses Ofer Engel of being a provacateur amid all of this controversy. I do not know of him, and will hold judgment on that. However, what I see in the thread is a great many people casting the Council for the National Interest as a neo-nazi, white supremacist outfit, which is ludicrous.

    There are some very radical people within the Palestine solidarity movement who are denouncing the very important strategy of addressing the American people in respect to America’s interests in the ME and how our alliance with Israel does not serve those interests. CNI takes this approach because it’s a message that resonates with American voters who don’t understand the history of I/P. It’s not white supremacism, it’s prudence. It’s effective. It can counter AIPAC. Oh, yes, those who speak of the power of the Lobby are also anti-Semites.

    Can’t you see how easy it is for people to denounce and delegitimize these very reasonable positions?

    I fear Greta Berlin has fallen victim to these dark elements within our own movement.

    • Exiled At Home
      October 12, 2012, 2:00 pm

      Alison Wier’s take on this:

      link to alisonweir.org

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 2:45 pm

        Alison has experience.

        And from this investigation on the Berlin issue:

        “Ofer Engel has lied to Palestine solidarity activists. He impersonates Palestinian men and women online. And he has played a very strange and ongoing role in the scandal surrounding Free Gaza movement and Greta Berlin.”

        A long read…but lots of background there.

        link to electronicintifada.net

      • Exiled At Home
        October 12, 2012, 2:59 pm

        It’s really quite troubling that there is so much distortion, subversion, mistrust and deflection within the alleged solidarity movement…

        We have socialist internationalists who have co-opted the Palestinian narrative as a vehicle to attack US imperialism. Fine, but insincere.

        We have feminist, LGBT activists who claim to be pro-Palestinian, yet who constantly deride Palestinian culture.

        We have those who reject any discussion of the Lobby, or US interests, as white supremacism or anti-Semitism…

        With a misfit coalition of allies like us, no wonder Palestine can’t make any progress…

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Exiled says: “…We have socialist internationalists who have co-opted the Palestinian narrative as a vehicle to attack US imperialism. Fine, but insincere. ..”

        Yeah. This in particular I find really tiresome.

        For one, I don’t necessarily want to go along with the prescribed view that India’s intervention in Assam or whatever is the long arm of the US global corporate conspiracy at work. I’m just here to oppose Israel, thank you. No, I don’t want the frigging rental car. Just gimme the plane ticket.

        For another, the attitude effectively immunizes Israel. Israel just becomes one more example of a gigantic and global system of pervasive evil, and the only thing to do about it is to have the great glorious global people’s revolution, and that’s never going to happen, and so we’re never going to do anything about Israel, are we?

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 3:43 pm

        Exiled, it is not unique and comes with the territory of all social movements. Think of the early labor movement, the civil rights movement.

        But think of it like this: it is a badge of success when the hanger-oners flock around. Any social movement that has legitimacy will stand on it’s own no matter how many flies swarm around.

        But it is really a human rights movement that is working on the Palistinian struggle as it has such far reaching relevance to the western world, which created the mess.

        Much more than simply pro this or that.

      • W.Jones
        October 14, 2012, 2:02 am

        I agree, Ellen: Christians, International Socialists, human rights activists, America-firsters, black South Africans, etc. can all find important reasons to be concerned about the IP conflict and bring their own perspectives to the table. It is not bad.

      • bangpound
        October 12, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Alison Weir misunderstands my work and appropriates it to make an unsupportable argument based on evidence I presented.

        I have not suggested any motive for Ofer Engel, and I certainly have not accused him of being a provocateur or an “agent.”

        link to electronicintifada.net

      • tree
        October 12, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Bangpound,

        The title of the article you link (your piece?) is “Israeli man who impersonated Palestinian woman is linked to Free Gaza debacle and photo hoax”. Alison’s “misunderstanding”, as you call it, seems perfectly rational given the title and content of the piece in EI.

        And she didn’t “appropriate” your work. She cited it, giving you credit, and drew conclusions from it and from her own experience.

      • LeaNder
        October 12, 2012, 4:58 pm

        It’s not simple to read, bangpound. Is that you Benjamin? But you seem to suggest Ofer is impersonating a seemingly non-existent Palestinan girl (actually two) that posted photos during Cast Lead that mysteriously wind up as proof for Palestinians deception in the Israeli press. Just as this “girl” tried to recommend a hasbara activist to the community, suggesting he could be turned into an “anti-Zionist”. No?

        Who was the person posting the video on 28 September 2012 on Greta Berlin’s “Our Land” Facebook page? And what was her/his comment?

        Ali Abunimah suggests the post was automatically forwarded to the interconnected Free Gaza Movement page. So all you had to do was post something there and you could be sure it would wind up on the other page?

        I didn’t understand this:

        Yani Haigh has published a diagram that shows a relationship among different groups on Facebook. Some of them appear to be operated as a project of Peace Architects.

        Who is Yani Haigh, and what diagram?

      • bangpound
        October 12, 2012, 5:07 pm

        I suspected that he used a persona named “Maissam Nablussi.” Nowhere did I say that he was impersonating two women. Khulood Badawi is a real person, and she actually shared the decontextualized photograph on her personal Twitter account. That was plainly stated in the first part of my post.

        I’m not interested in a dissection of the Facebook group, its members or the comments there. I saw what I saw and judged the content using my own reasoning capacity. If you’re a member of the group “Our Land,” you can do that yourself too. It has over 1000 members.

        I don’t know who Yani Haigh is except that he signed the statement in defense of Greta Berlin. The web site hosting the diagram went offline about 15 minutes after my story was published. The web site identified Yani Haigh as the author of the diagrams and the diagrams included references to several different Facebook groups. I don’t have a way to share these diagrams again because they are in a proprietary format and the site hosting them has gone offline. However, you can inspect the text strings from the data files at Github. link to gist.github.com

      • bangpound
        October 12, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Alison Weir cited my work to make an argument that the evidence she cited could not support. She also said “Now an excellent article published in Electronic Intifada suggests that an Israeli provocateur, apparently named Ofer Engel, was behind the incident.” She misrepresents my article and uses it to make unverifiable claims, so I’m going to call it appropriation.

        Weir’s reading of my article is actually not rational and is highly prejudiced and presumptive.

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 5:54 pm

        Weir is a serious writer. Perhaps she mis understood your article. It is, in all honesty a difficult read, but with lots of information. A maze of information and names. With the headline and concluding sentences on Engel, it reads as if you meant he was impersonating two women.

        What was your article about then?

      • LeaNder
        October 12, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Benjamin, I think you pissed off Yani Haig:

        How Doherty managed to get from that, without an interview with me, to a plagiarised article full of bogus claims beggars belief. He has taken a mind-map that was to be used to create a discussion and which was to be followed up with a survey and turned this into a conspiracy theory. Yesterday Doherty was claiming that his article had generated so much traffic as to crash the server where the mind-map is located. Talk about full of your own self importance, whatever the reason the site is off line is nothing to do with the volume of hits generated by his flawed bogus plagiarised article. He has now edited this section which now reads;
        The web site http://bcisiveonline.com where the embedded diagram was hosted went offline shortly after publication of this post, so the diagram above may not appear. I have preserved the data files which are in an unknown format on GitHub.
        Talk about storm in a tea cup, I generated this and even I have not bothered 'preserved the data files'. I wish this got attention and was discussed when it was created months ago, alas it got the usual 'oh yea' and was put in the too hard basket, in fact the software interface under development between Drupal (this CMS) and Lime Survey, development of the next version of Lime Survey and other technical factors are why it was never pushed further. However here are the listed objectives…

        Networking and management

        The case for review

        Many using similar values for moderation now, no KKK etc

        Provide guidelines on best practice

        Objectives

        Improve the ability of people to access information

        Qualify a page or group as meeting a standard

        Allow sensible reviews of website, pages or groups

        Common agreement

        Must actively apply principle of 'no one is free until everyone is free'.

        Commitment to all possible efforts to eliminate Othering.

        The assigned group of 'owners' are part of a joint forum.

        'No one is free until everyone is free' the grand conspiracy of having a single simple statement that everyone would support across multiple Facebook pages and groups. Not 10 commandments, not with some grandiose interpretation, just a very basic statement that could further be interpreted within the dynamics and values of a specific group. If you agreed to this seed idea you would be listed in someway that enabled new people to the topic to find the groups that reflected their values.
         
        As for the rest of the article, it is a witch hunt. These are people I talk to daily over the Internet, Greta's heroic in the stands that she makes, same for the others referred to in the article. I am as politically correct as 'fuck off' can be and I hope that is made clear for the Interfuckup. These groups are not formal or stiff conversations. In the past people have been accused of antisemitism in discussions with Zionists for suggestions such as…

        A unified single state of Israel-Palestine

        Closure of Dimona (something I'm passionate about)

        A failure to support 'a Jewish majority'

        Any book on Israel not written by Alan Dershowitz. He is the dude that specialises in defending murderer. "His most notable cases include his role in 1984 in overturning the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny, and as the appellate adviser for the defence in the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995."

        Claiming such outrageous things as Gaza being a crime against humanity brought to you by Israel and Operation Cast Lead.

        Showing contempt for concepts of Jewish supremacy such as 'this land only gives itself to Jews' and 'Jews are God's chosen people', clearly part of cult insanity as no God would chose the trash that represents Jews on Facebook.

        Antisemitism is a joke, it has been made a redundant concept by those who use the claim fallaciously at every opportunity. We draw a line on posts that link to racist groups like the KKK. It is a little more complex than just a ban, there may well be reasons for discussing something that is a projection of a racist site, it is the promotion of this material, not the discussion of its content or existence. We are not the Jewish Voice of Peace with the 'Ten Commandments of Bigotry'. Helen Thomas is welcome here, celebrated in fact! You get kicked out of these groups if there is consensus that you are a prat. This was what the discussion and mindmaps were pertained to. 'Was there a simple set of values from which a unified agreed management policy could be used by multiple groups to guide moderators?' 
         

      • LeaNder
        October 12, 2012, 6:15 pm

        Ok, it doesn’t work to copy the original html code of Yoni’s response. And I don’t really want to go into the the troubles to edit it manually.

      • bangpound
        October 12, 2012, 6:19 pm

        Yes. He said he was going to (ahem) “fuck [me] with the truth.”

      • Danaa
        October 12, 2012, 6:34 pm

        Leander: is the long post from you or Yani? If you, it’d be a bit uncharacteristically not perfectly temperate…..in which case I will express my wishes to your continuing excellent health.

        OK, I know I should click on the link to find out but I am out of my quota for links today (am allowed only 10/day max, on doctors orders)

      • LeaNder
        October 13, 2012, 8:41 am

        Danaa, Benjamin’s article about Ofer Engel made me curious, I initially edited the passage myself for better reading, then decided to simply copy the original source, but that did not work here. Seems the html tags we can use in the comment section are limited.

        But: You are correct, I shouldn’t have quoted the article to such an extend, strictly it is similarly confusing as Benjamin’s, at least for the voyeuristic outsiders trying to understand the strife.

        The problem is, his article on Electronic Intifada left several question marks in my head, one centered around the mentioned Yoni Haigh diagram.

        Yani Haigh has published a diagram that shows a relationship among different groups on Facebook. Some of them appear to be operated as a project of Peace Architects.

        Strictly I am fascinated by these network diagrams in the post 911 universe, doesn’t Horowitz have one too, “Discover the network”?

        Besides; Benjamin: I suspected that he used a persona named “Maissam Nablussi.” Nowhere did I say that he was impersonating two women.

        True one is only mentioned at the start of the article and gets somehow lost on the way down to this:

        Ofer Engel has lied to Palestine solidarity activists. He impersonates Palestinian men and women online. And he has played a very strange and ongoing role in the scandal surrounding Free Gaza movement and Greta Berlin.

        *****************************************************************
        Danaa:

        If you, it’d be a bit uncharacteristically not perfectly temperate…..in which case I will express my wishes to your continuing excellent health.
        OK, I know I should click on the link to find out but I am out of my quota for links today (am allowed only 10/day max, on doctors orders

        My doctor wants me to give up my habit of only eating once a day in the evening, suggesting it causes troubles with my stomach. I unfortunately I am not able to obey him the way you seem to. It completely exhausts me to reflect on what to eat once a day. ;)

        I don’t have a stake in the game; and strictly I can understand your position, or suspicion, these type of extreme propaganda topics usually are used on the other side of the issue.;) Look at this: Greta Berlin’s Ex Step-Daughter Confirms Antisemitism.

        Fact is, the position of Ali Abunimah and Mondoweiss is correct, since support for terrorism and antisemitism is the main talking point for this type of activism, people have to be really careful with materials that can be used against them. And yes, obviously they are monitored, studied and may well occasionally be lured into traps. Which leaves us with the question how and who can be lured into a trap? As you know, I consider Atzmon a fortune hunter riding the waves of the topic. I don’t have an opinion on him as a musician, his music may not even be bad, but I am very suspicious about him as some kind of guru to follow.

      • American
        October 14, 2012, 1:10 am

        Well bangpound I read your article the same way Allision did and I am very rational, not prejudiced and not presumptive.
        So maybe your writting needs to be clearer.

    • American
      October 12, 2012, 3:07 pm

      Hmm…?
      Yea, a rat in the woodpile? I agree with Allison, I think there are some Israeli agents inflitrating the Palestine groups.

      From Allison link above

      ‘’Most people are aware (but sometimes forget) that movements are almost always infiltrated by people who wish them to fail.

      Infiltrators are there to do two things: to monitor what is going on, and to interfere with its effectiveness. Such interference can take several routes. Among these are to promote ineffective, sometimes damaging actions — such people are generally called ‘agent provocateurs.”

      The other way they interfere is to promote division.

      Like many people, I’ve long suspected that this is increasingly happening in the movement for justice in Palestine.

      A case in point is the recent controversy over Greta Berlin.

      Now an excellent article published in Electronic Intifada suggests that an Israeli provocateur, apparently named Ofer Engel, was behind the incident.

      It is sad that a number of people enabled this provocteur’s considerable success, jumping on and sometimes leading the inquisition against Greta, despite the fact that she has a long, strong track record of extraordinarily courageous and committed activism.

      I hope that in the future people will not be so quick to attack committed activists within the movement whom they have been led to believe have strayed from the path they decree, and will instead focus on productive work to bring the change that is so urgently needed.

      link to electronicintifada.net

      ”Israeli man who impersonated Palestinian woman is linked to Free Gaza debacle ”

      What happened?
      The evidence leads me to the conclusion that Walid Jabari and Maissam Nablussi are sockpuppets operated by Ofer Engel. I believe he used the Walid Jabari persona to build trust among Free Gaza movement leaders and gain access to the group as Ofer Engel.

      There are unanswered questions about what role certain Facebook groups play in a larger scheme that may be intended to manipulate, produce or disrupt activist networks, and who operates this scheme.

      Ultimately, Greta Berlin is responsible for her words and deeds. But the security practices of certain Free Gaza movement leaders allowed a dishonest person with no verifiable reputation and unclear motives to gain access to what they believed to be a secure group.

      Ofer Engel has lied to Palestine solidarity activists. He impersonates Palestinian men and women online. And he has played a very strange and ongoing role in the scandal surrounding Free Gaza movement and Greta Berlin.

      With thanks to the numerous people who assisted me with this investigation.”

      • seanmcbride
        October 12, 2012, 3:30 pm

        Google ["ofer engel" "greta berlin"]

        link to google.com

        Developing…

      • seanmcbride
        October 12, 2012, 9:13 pm

        American,

        Hey, you know, I just tried to make sense of all the muddled and confusing charges and countercharges about Greta Berlin, Ofer Engel, Ali Abunimah, Benjamin Doherty, Yani Haigh, etc. and realized that I don’t have a clue about what this is all about. It is a total conceptual mess — I mean, seriously. Someone seems to be playing mischievous games here but I don’t know who.

        Does anyone here think they understand what is really going on? Can they provide a clear explanation?

        Regarding Greta Berlin: has anyone collected any direct and verified anti-Jewish quotes from her? Can we see them?

        A few notes on Engel:

        # Ofer Engel
        1. address=Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE
        2. article on=http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/benjamin-doherty/israeli-man-who-impersonated-palestinian-woman-linked-free-gaza-debacle-and
        3. article on=http://www.peacearchitects.org/ohright
        4. coauthor=Joelle Abi-Rached
        5. email=[email protected]
        6. note=http://lse.academia.edu/engelo
        7. note=http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/ofer-engel/
        8. note=http://www2.lse.ac.uk/management/research/phd-students/oengel.aspx
        9. note=Maissam Nablussi
        10. phone=6178580405
        11. school=London School of Economics
        12. supervisor=Dr Carsten Sørensen
        13. supervisor=Professor Peter Abell
        14. talk by=http://www.sociology.ox.ac.uk/index.php/details/48-tie-interdependencies-in-email-communication-networks.html
        15. Topsy=http://topsy.com/twitter/engelo
        16. Twitter=@engelo

      • seanmcbride
        October 12, 2012, 9:43 pm

        Wait — this is a direct quote from Greta Berlin on Ofer Engel:

        Our small group is NOT a Free Gaza group. It never was. It’s just a group of people who like each other and post links we think might be useful on a wide variety of things. None of our informal, wide-ranging discussion group – we discussed homophobia, racism, propaganda – believe that Ofer infiltrated our group.We checked him out. Two of us met him and spent the afternoon with him. We knew he was finishing his PhD. The poor man is being as demonized as I am.

      • bangpound
        October 12, 2012, 11:04 pm

        Last ~3200 @engelo (Ofer Engel) tweets: link to cld.bangpound.org
        All @nablussi (Maissam Nablussi) tweets: link to cld.bangpound.org
        All @nearestfollies (who?) tweets: link to cld.bangpound.org
        All @oBethlehem (Walid Jabari) tweets: link to cld.bangpound.org

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 12:23 am

        bangpound,

        I don’t have time to data mine all those tweets with an eye to extracting all the buried implications. Can you give us the brief executive summary? The few key conclusions? Thanks.

      • LeaNder
        October 13, 2012, 9:31 am

        3. article on=link to peacearchitects.org

        This article is not by Ofer Engel, Sean, but must be by Yani Haig:

        Benjamin Doherty ‏@bangpound Yani Haigh continues to say he isn’t trafficking in anti-Semitic shit. He is exposing how “goys” are victims of lying Jewish power elites.

        One thing I’ve not been doing is giving voice to Jewish prats and Islamophobes unlike your grossly biased moderation of comments and indeed the crappy journalism the Interflatter promotes

        Ali Abunimah ‏@AliAbunimah Israeli social networks expert used fake Palestinian personas to infiltrate @freegazaorg’s Greta Berlin’s circle link to electronicintifada.net… …

        Benjamin Doherty ‏@bangpound @akayanni it’s too late my dear. you ignored my efforts to contact you on twitter.

        Too late in this case is less than a day after Doherty invents a conspiracy out of air and plagiarises material from others without authority.

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 10:37 am

        Leander,

        All of this controversy about Ofer Engel (and about Greta Berlin, for that matter) strikes me as a confused jumble. Only a fool would rush in to express definite opinions on it before it sorts itself out (if it ever does). The whole mess does have the look and feel of an “op,” however — I will say that much. Per usual: cui bono.

      • American
        October 14, 2012, 1:26 am

        seanmcbride says:

        American,

        Hey, you know, I just tried to make sense of all the muddled and confusing charges and countercharges about Greta Berlin, Ofer Engel, Ali Abunimah, Benjamin Doherty, Yani Haigh, etc. and realized that I don’t have a clue about what this is all about. It is a total conceptual mess”’

        I’ll drink to that….total conceptual mess. I’m not even going to try to figure it out.
        I have decided whether or not the Berlin lady is or isn’t a anti semite … the pattern of the “outers’ of the anti semitic Palestine activist pisses me off. They enjoy their outing spectacles too much…reminds me of the shoot and cry routine for how this hurts the Palestines.

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 11:47 am

        Still waiting for bangpound to provide a brief paragraph summarizing his core thesis/claims about Ofer Engel and related matters. I can’t make heads or tails of what he has written to date on the matter. It *looks* like a muddled conspiracy theory, but I am not certain.

    • pabelmont
      October 12, 2012, 8:29 pm

      Exiled At Home says his say wonderfully well. It’s a matter of IF and THEN.

      IF the proofs of anti-Semitism turn out, after all (and this posting and its comments STILL fail to point to the original so I haven’t seen the “proofs” — has it disappeared from the web?) THEN all the hullabaloo is misplaced and anyone disparaging Greta Berlin for this quite possibly correct statement about some Zionists long ago (or about Zionism long ago) is in NO WAY a statement about Jews (not ALL Jews are Zionists now and certainly weren’t in 1930s; and many Zionists weren’t Jews then and aren’t now).

      Please, folks, if we are to have such nit-picky thought-police among us, don’t allow them to join ranks with those hasbaristas who claim, maliciously and deceitfully, that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

  9. iamuglow
    October 12, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Personally, I’m tired of having to take these oaths.

    My entire life I had no opinion about Israel or “acceptable speech about Jews”
    I’m someone who used to confuse Israel with Greece cause of the colors of their flags. I had only the vaguest associations of “Jews”…the Holocaust, lawyers, pastrami.

    I learned about Israel when I started seeing images of kids throwing stones at tanks on the news…it was only then that I was introduced to having to always question/defend whether I harbor some sort of hatred of the Jewish religion when talking about Israel. It didn’t matter that later my office was destroyed on 9/11 or that “my” country became more and more is deeply entwined in the mess, no, even now, even on this site its suggested that readers, posters still are on some “anti-Semitic crusade against Jews”
    You dont know who this woman is. You didn’t watch the video, but if you don’t condem her you’re an antiSemite and you’ve hurt the ’cause’

    Its seems like bs to me.

  10. Mooser
    October 12, 2012, 2:09 pm

    We can’t resist, can we? Everybody wants to win the chocolate gelt.
    Sometimes I wonder if, between self-hatred and anti-Semitism, there is anybody fit for this movement.
    I got an ugly name for this, but it won’t pass The Moderators, a position I commend them for.

    • Mooser
      October 12, 2012, 2:21 pm

      I’ll miss Hostage. By the logic here, he’ll be banned for posting the Hannah Arrendt quotes (and others) concerning the administration of the Holocaust and the camps after the first article on Greta Berlin’s downfall.
      Goodbye, Hostage, and thanks for everything.

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 2:41 pm

        Yup…thanks for everything Hostage.

      • Hostage
        October 13, 2012, 8:51 am

        By the logic here, he’ll be banned for posting the Hannah Arrendt quotes . . . Goodbye, Hostage, and thanks for everything.

        There have been MW articles recently about the discarded EU definition of antisemitism that equates it with anti-Zionism, but I’ve always preferred to cite and quote extracts on hate speech from the framework definition of racism and xenophobia that is still in full force and effect. It adequately describes the common characteristics of Holocaust or Nakba denial, Antisemitism, or Islamophobia, & etc.:

        *public condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) and crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, . . .

        You know, the thing Ambassador Michael Oren does for a living these days.

        In my opinion, denying or trivializing the historical role played by Jewish trustees or Zionists in selecting their brethren for extermination or in the day-to-day administration or operation of the Nazi concentration camps is an obvious form of racism. That is especially true in the case of individuals and organizations who aggravate the situation by complaining about the alleged complacence of the Allied armed forces, despite the fact that millions of them made the ultimate sacrifice while waging world war against the Axis powers.

        On the other hand, nothing that a few Jews, Zionists, or other collaborators did justifies the genocide that the Nazi regime perpetrated against the Jews and many other groups that were targeted for destruction in their concentration camps. The title of the video singled out the Zionists for blame in operating the extermination camps. That is nonsensical propaganda intended for incitement against the guilty and innocent alike. There were hundreds of thousands of organized Zionists who had no knowledge or connection to the crimes that were being committed in the camps – and those war crimes and crimes against humanity were not done at their behest.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 9:31 am

        Well put Hostage.

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 9:32 am

        Hostage,

        I am still interested in this issue, if you would care to comment:

        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.

      • Hostage
        October 13, 2012, 11:48 am

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

        Possibly, but the Zionist movement had come into existence because of the pogroms in the old Russian Empire. So, when Lenin outlawed the anti-Bolshevik elements of the Jewish Labor Bund movement, there was already an uproar and boat loads of literature to wade through from European groups engaged in anti-Russian, anti-Bolshevik, and anti-Komintern propaganda.

        Lenin publicly attacked the Bundists over their preference for the Yiddish language and their retention of any elements of Jewish national (i.e. ethnic) culture. He labelled them as reactionary and insisted that they be suppressed or eradicated. So Yiddish literature on that or any other subject was banned. After Stalin’s rise to power, the people living in the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence had long since lost the ability to publish any information or personal views about the situation. People, like Jules Margoline, noted that Jews preferred the German ghetto to Soviet “equality” and that:

        The main difference between the Soviet camps and detention camps in the rest of the world is not their huge, unimaginable size or the murderous conditions found there, but something else altogether. It’s the need to tell an endless series of lies to save your own life, to lie every day, to wear a mask for years and never say what you really think. In Soviet Russia, free citizens have to do the same thing. Dissembling and lies become the only means of defense. Public meetings, business meetings, encounters on the street, conversations, even posters on the wall all get wrapped up in an official language that doesn’t contain a single word of truth. People in the West can’t possibly understand what it is really like to lose the right to say what you think for years on end, and the way you have to repress the tiniest “illegal” thought you might have and stay silent as the tomb. That sort of pressure breaks something inside people.

        In many cases people living elsewhere were not aware of the situation. Those who were, failed to condemn the crimes of the communists with the same intellectual vigor as they had condemned the crimes committed by the fascists. That was one of the themes of Stéphane Courtois, Jean-Louis Panné, et al, “The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression”, Harvard University Press, 1999 which contained the quote from Margoline above and a great deal of information about the purges of the Bund and other groups during the same era.

      • Bing Bong
        October 14, 2012, 4:01 am

        As if that’s going to happen, what Hostage posted doesn’t have to be taken as insensitive or an attempt to muddy the waters to distract from Greta Berlin’s “views” so why should anyone here do so?

        What he posted wouldn’t come into question here if this Free Gaza racism thing wasn’t going on.

  11. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 2:10 pm

    Sure. This all works.

    Just so long as one equates Zionism and Judaism.

    Do that, and it’s true. Hostility to Zionism is indeed anti-semitism.

    So pull down this site. Quit being anti-semites.

    • Mooser
      October 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

      “So pull down this site. Quit being anti-semites.”

      Oh, quit being so gosh-darned didactic, (if “didactic” is the word I want) Colin!
      You’ve just got to accept that certain people are indeed qualified to know where the line between criticism of Israel (in the interest, of course, of “working for equality and freedom”. Always nice to have a simple, comprehensible goal, expressed in terms relevant to the problem, ain’t it?)) and anti-Semitism is. Some are chosen to render that judgement in a completely objective and disinterested way, and some are chosen to accept those judgements! So get with the program, already!

  12. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 2:12 pm

    “These attitudes are repellent, and any movement for human rights must give them no quarter.”

    As George Orwell would say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    The quoted line’s a real keeper.

    • iamuglow
      October 12, 2012, 3:13 pm

      I can remember when the Helen Thomas scandal hit. Mondo was quick to accept that she had said something ‘AntiSemitic’ and didn’t come out strongly in her defense.

      Here she was speaking out for Palestenians on a national stage but since she had that Scarlet letter of ‘AntiSemite’ placed on her…the ‘movement’ (whatever that means) just cowered on sidelines and waited for her to get off the stage.

      This Berlin woman is involved in the boat to Gaza, ISM and now with some accusations for linking something via twitter, she is thrown overboard?! I don’t get it.

  13. ckg
    October 12, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Yesterday the new board of Free Gaza issued a statement in support of Greta Berlin.

    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.

    Individual board member comments followed.

    This whole affair is tragic for the movement.

    • AlGhorear
      October 13, 2012, 2:28 pm

      I find this comment by one of the Free Gaza board members particularly telling:

      “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”

  14. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 2:18 pm

    What’s amazing about all this is the astonishing capacity the coalition opposed to Israel has for backbiting and self-immolation.

    Did the Zionists have to say anything at all — or did we all just spontaneously start doing this to ourselves?

    If it were a cartoon, it’d be pretty funny to watch.

    • libra
      October 12, 2012, 8:23 pm

      CW: What’s amazing about all this is the astonishing capacity the coalition opposed to Israel has for backbiting and self-immolation.

      Sadly only too true, Colin.

      Did the Zionists have to say anything at all — or did we all just spontaneously start doing this to ourselves?

      Let’s just say there are none of our usual hasbarists on this thread. They may be slow learners but I think they’ve finally worked out that their best strategy is to stay away from Mondoweiss and let us fight amongst ourselves. The Palestinians will soon be forgotten.

      • Danaa
        October 12, 2012, 11:01 pm

        Libra, right on. I too noticed the amazing absence of our ziobot friends on this thread – and the others on the same subject. Not one popped in for as much as a snark (OK, jon s made a belated appearance and our ever torn wandering jew. Neither qualify as proper bots though). The true bots must all be at the local bar next to Hasbara central, dripping Champaign.

      • Danaa
        October 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

        OK, looks like the Newclench showed up – with a new friend. And got praised by Phil for his ‘clarity”. What can I say – with the moral clarity of a Newclench – on record for excusing mafioso hits by the garrison state on non-Jewish civilians – maybe we are all better off staying a bit blind.

      • Newclench
        October 13, 2012, 1:55 pm

        I have never done such a thing. You are either lying about me or confused. Show it or it never happened.
        You must be taking seriously the false/lying assertions that I’m a Zionist. Best not to trust the shrill hysterical voices here in the swamp.

      • Danaa
        October 14, 2012, 1:23 am

        Newclench., I confused you apparently with another poster. Sorry – my previous apology from earlier in the day apparently did not pass muster. For the record, you are not the one who excused the mafioso or the mafia state, and in fact, looking briefly at your archives I see you have actually criticized the IDF on at least one or more occasions.

        I do try not to lump together one and all – liberal zionists and ziobots are different creatures, to be sure and even among liberal zionists there are gradations which are to be recognized.

        Conversations on this thread were heated and many many people who lent a hand to the liberation movement for palestinians are feeling, rightfully, dejected, as it is now apparent that a ‘whiff” of a so-called “anti-semitism” (whatever that is) is more important than years o field action and dedication to the cause of saving just a few people from life of total persecution and deprivation. I don’t think there’s any good lesson to learn from the rush to judgement displayed on these threads, and I doubt it got any of us closer to the yearned for justice. . In my case, it made me a bit more cynical about the likelihood of Palestinians achieving any rights in the foreseeable future. And I will continue to doubt the depth of commitment of many to the cause of human rights. If anything has become clearer, it is the deep commitment to Jewish self-interest – it’s only how people define that interest that differs.

        None of that excuses mislabeling anyone, including you, whether we agree or not.

      • Newclench
        October 14, 2012, 10:08 am

        Such is life in the trenches! Be well.

  15. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 2:22 pm

    I suspect this all just goes to show that Philip and Adam, at least, can always be unmanned by an accusation of ‘anti-semitism’ — no matter how obviously frivolous.

    In the end, they’ll never be able to do anything about Zionism. The Zionists can always just say the magic word and force them to crumple to their knees.

  16. CitizenC
    October 12, 2012, 2:28 pm

    I did not dig follow closely the Greta Berlin affair, which is only the most recent in the periodic eruptions of anti-anti-Semitism which pass for moral purity on this topic. I did read somewhere that a Zionist e-mole in London was involved.

    Meanwhile, we have just concluded the fourth and last round of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the subject of Zionism has been dealt with only in a very circumscribed way, as a colonial-settler displacement of an indigenous population. It is much more than that, namely, the opposition of Jew and gentile, not only in Zion, but in the US.

    Here are the proceeds of a 1985 conference convened by Rabbi Elmer Berger, the great classical Reform opponent of Zionism. It rejects the main conceit of Zionism, “The Jewish People”, in whose name Israel commits its atrocities, and US support is enjoined.
    link to eaford.org
    The failure of the Russell Tribunal to examine Zionism thoroughly shows the regress since Berger was active.

    It also shows the regress since Bertrand Russell was active. Here is his last statement, delivered to an international meeting of parliamentarians in Cairo, as Israel was bombing deep inside Egypt in the War of Attrition. This is much stronger criticism than the Jewish left was making, except for a handful like Shahak, Berger, Matzpen, Rodinson, et al.
    link to connexions.org

    This regress is due to the authority of the Jewish left, led by Chomsky, who have buried critique of the US Zionocracy, and of Zionism itself. Episodes of retail anti-semitism (if that’s what it was), in the remarks of one activist are persecuted like the Salem witch trials, while the “movement” is based on wholesale anti-gentilism.

    • Exiled At Home
      October 12, 2012, 2:48 pm

      Hear! Hear!

    • American
      October 12, 2012, 3:18 pm

      “while the “movement” is based on wholesale anti-gentilism”

      Amen. You can’t be around this subject long on the net without being bowled over by the ‘irrational” hatred and resentment they have for gentiles, Arabs…and every one really, even wayward Jews. Any day now they will substitute ‘ gentile Jew’ for the self hating Jew slur…lol

      • pabelmont
        October 12, 2012, 8:42 pm

        Maybe in a small way, the Protestant churches have begun to recognize that cow-tow-ing to Zion in order to preserve inter-faith dialog has merely resulted in a subduing of the Christian statements of faith. Be quiet about your own faith and I’ll talk to you, in the name of inter-faith dialog.

        I remember when my wife (Palestinian) and I (Jewish background) spoke at a local inter-faith meeting of clergy (near Boston, 1980s) on some subject relating to Palestine. Rather amazing we were invited at all (perhaps under a misapprehension that our own Jewish-Arab marriage would guarantee a non-controversial presentation). but there were a few fireworks and a bit of post-hoc suppression as I recall. we were not invited back.

    • MRW
      October 12, 2012, 4:04 pm

      I just read the Berger chapter that you link to, CitizenC. (Starts page 133.) If ever a chapter relates to this post, this is it. Thanks for the link. Rabbi Berger was a towering figure of moral clarity, and historical insight.

      Too bad he’s not still around, but then he would be in harem like Atzmon for saying the same things.

    • Keith
      October 12, 2012, 5:54 pm

      CITIZENC- “This regress is due to the authority of the Jewish left, led by Chomsky, who have buried critique of the US Zionocracy, and of Zionism itself.”

      How fortunate we are to have you to expose the evil machinations of Professor Moriarty-Chomsky, cleverly concealed by decades of writing about Israel’s injustice toward the Palestinians. Fear not, CitizenC, citizen Lyndon LaRouche shares your concern, and has been warning about Chomsky for quite some time.

      • Exiled At Home
        October 12, 2012, 6:15 pm

        Keith,

        Chomsky always links Israel’s crimes back to the US, and in doing so apportions the majority of culpability on the US government as if Israel is being used by American imperialists.

        He rejects the influence of AIPAC. He opposes BDS. He used Israel’s abuse of the Palestinians as another vehicle to attack American imperialism. He does us all an disservice by deflecting attention away from the root cause, Zionism and pursuit of Etetz Israel. Jeff Blankfort has written extensively on this, you should read his work with an open mind about Chomsky’s deflections.

      • Donald
        October 12, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Chomsky is wrong about some things, but it’s a pretty funny way to deflect attention from Israel by writing a book (The Fateful Triangle) which accuses them of massive war crimes in Lebanon and gives a pretty useful summary of Israeli atrocities as they were known in 1983.

      • Hostage
        October 14, 2012, 1:14 am

        Keith, Chomsky always links Israel’s crimes back to the US, and in doing so apportions the majority of culpability on the US government as if Israel is being used by American imperialists.

        I just pointed out that Rabbi Berger did exactly the same thing in his article for the Symposium that CitizenC cited. Of course, the most recent session of the Russell Tribunal also concentrated on great power derelictions and facilitation.

        Maybe you guys should drop the stick and step away from the dead horse long enough to read and comprehend what Berger actually said?

    • Hostage
      October 14, 2012, 12:56 am

      Meanwhile, we have just concluded the fourth and last round of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, and the subject of Zionism has been dealt with only in a very circumscribed way, as a colonial-settler displacement of an indigenous population. It is much more than that, namely, the opposition of Jew and gentile, not only in Zion, but in the US.

      The Cape Town session of the Tribunal heard expert evidence detailing the relationship between the State of Israel and the quasi-state Jewish national institutions (the Jewish Agency, World Zionist Organization, and Jewish National Fund) that embed and formalize many of the material privileges granted exclusively to Israeli Jews. FYI, the Final Session of the Tribunal is scheduled for 2013 and it will pronounce the final conclusions.

      This regress is due to the authority of the Jewish left, led by Chomsky, who have buried critique of the US Zionocracy, and of Zionism itself.

      LOL! So was Berger channeling Chomsky on the power of the Lobby when he said that the US and Great Britain had used the excuse of the Jewish vote and Jewish campaign contributions as camouflage for their own special-interest politics imperialism? Here’s a verbatim quote from his article at the link you provided:

      If there has been a conspiracy it has been by the several governments of the patron great powers, notably the British and, more recently, the United States. They have played a cynical, secretive and even cowardly game with skilful Zionist lobbies making extravagant claims about so-called Jewish votes and campaign contributions. Or they have supported Zionist nationalism to the detriment of self-determination for the Palestinian people in order to advance imperial or colonial objectives in the Middle East.

      In the process of pursuing either special-interest politics or camouflaging imperial ambitions with cynical, usually uninformed sentimentalities about ‘the Jews’, the political potentates have regarded Zionism as an omnibus word and Jews as a monolith with perhaps a few quixotic dissenters. The consequence has been that the rigid ideologies of organized Zionism have, with the help of the world’s powerful, suffocated the humanists and dominated both the organized political movement and its product, the Zionist state. Neither Jewish need nor Judaism’s moral imperatives required a Menachem Begin or an Ariel Sharon. But they are not Darwinian sports in Zionism. As much as anything they are ‘gifts’ to the world of great-power political chicanery, indulgence and derelictions.

      See pdf pages 145 & 146 link to eaford.org

      Please note that the Symposium identified the core of the conflict as the distinction between the statism on the one hand – which Berger labeled ” ‘Jewish people’-state Zionism” five times in fifteen pages – and what Benvenisti labeled “Jewish ethic”, “humanism”, or “Jewish morality” on the other hand. Berger labeled the latter “Judaism”, but it quite obviously included the non-theistic varieties:

      This Symposium has elected to identify the core of the conflict: these media personalities have reported by drawing attention to the distinction between Judaism — or what some prefer to call the ‘Jewish ethic’ — on the one hand, and what I define as ‘Jewish people’-state Zionism, on the other hand. And it is important that the conflict between the two — though not always identified with these labels — extends into the lives and thinking of Jews in virtually every free, democratic nation.

      For 1982-83 is not the first historic opportunity the so-called great powers have had to choose between what Benvenisti identifies as humanism, on the one hand, and what I have called ‘Jewish people’-state Zionism, on the other hand. There have always been those who called themselves Zionists but who were practitioners of what Ms Geyer and Newsweek and Anthony Lewis and Benvenisti refer to as ‘Jewish morality’.

      — Also on pdf page 145

      The good Rabbi made it clear that he felt the Zionist propagandists had misappropriated not only Judaism, but also the non-theistic tradition of the Jewish ethic:

      They have, in other words, insisted that Judaism, or even a non-theistic tradition of the Jewish ethic, is identical with a whole system of Zionist national rights and obligations pertaining to the Israeli state. This artificially forced fusing of religion and politics into an apparently seamless whole has produced an undemocratic climate. Those who reject, or raise serious reservations about, the ‘Jewish people’-state Zionism are labelled ‘traitors’, or to use the more venomous term, ‘anti-Semites’, whether they be Jews, Christians or Muslims. Add to this political tactic one of Theodor Herzl’s fundamental dogmas — that the entire world is incurably anti-Semitic — and the conclusion is that Jews are in a state of constant crisis. Therefore any rejection of the Zionist formula for a ‘Jewish people’ state acting as surrogate for what are called ‘Jewish’, rather than human, rights, is treason.

      Like JVP, he was a champion for equal human rights and an end to lavish US military aid for Israel.

  17. MRW
    October 12, 2012, 2:56 pm

    @Phil and Adam,

    I agree wholeheartedly with Danaa and Exiled at Home. I hope you’ll reread their comments carefully.

    I believe both of you have missed a Rabbi Berger moment to change the dialogue dramatically in the spirit of real American Jewish emancipation; instead, you’ve stumbled over the same old doorstep blocking the door. You’ve made this all about yourselves, burnishing your bonafides instead of your courage (which you showed by even instituting this blog, I might add). The timid wrist-to-foreheads JVP and Naomi Klein need to take note of Danaa’s words as well:

    This wedge oftentimes takes the form of evidently greater commitment to the historicity of injustice towards Jews in the 30′s of last century, than justice for those who are oppressed and persecuted in the here and now – oftentimes by descendants of the very jews who were last century’s victims. Commitment to a “truth” of the past and the “reality” of anti-semitism in the present simply takes precedence over true commitment to justice in the here and now.

    This is the 21st C. The baseline is justice.

  18. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 3:03 pm

    To be frank, the conclusion I am led to by statements such as those of Weiss and Horowitz is that it may be just too much to expect many Jews to participate in the project of eradicating Zionism. They can always be unmanned by an appeal to tribal loyalty. That isn’t to say anything bad about them — almost anyone could be, and those who think they couldn’t merely lack imagination.

    So it may violate the great shibboleth that we are all completely identical and that ethnic identity makes no difference — but I think that maybe gentiles need to lead on this. We can call a spade a spade — or should be able to. Israel is evil. It needs to be done away with.

    It gets back to the paradigm that in the end, for even the most moral of Jews, Israel is the ne’er do well younger brother. Sure, he beats the wife, and sure, he keeps defrauding innocent victims, and sure, there was that body that turned up in the canal — but he’s family. Jews just aren’t going to be able to pull the trigger. They’ll always look for some way Israel can be redeemed.

    Mybe at the end of the day, about all we can ask of Jews is that they stand aside and let others pull the plug. Witness Chomsky, and witness Finkelstein. Jews always seem to flinch when it comes to actually saying ‘end Israel.’

    They are, after all, only human.

    • Exiled At Home
      October 12, 2012, 3:15 pm

      ‘Tis true…

      Chomsky’s passionate support of Palestinian rights always, always culminates in him pointing the finger at the US, to the point that he rejects boycotts directed toward Israel because he believes that the US is the tail that wags the Israeli dog. His Jewish, Zionist upbringing blinds his ability to see reality, and as such he has become massively damaging to efforts to force fundamental reformation of Israeli society.

      Finkelstein, too, has these failing at times.

      Others, such as Avi Shlaim, while recognizing the dark path Israel has embarked upon, always find ways to romanticize early Zionist history, they long for the ‘good old days.’ It’s revisionism, even if well-intentioned.

      Ilan Pappe seems to be that rare beacon of intellectual honesty, willing to make the ultimate and difficult sacrifice in indicting his own country. He has not shied away from laying Israel’s dark history in full view of western society. He supports economic and academic boycotts directed at Israel, not the United States, and calls the 2SS a flawed Zionist idea. He’s honest, brave and correct. He’s not blinded by tribalism. Unfortunately, he’s an anomaly in the Jewish community and he’s paid dearly for his integrity. Denounced in the Knesset, essentially stripped of his academic credentials and facing death threats against him and his family, he was forced to leave Israel, his country, his homeland, for his efforts to inject equality, honesty, liberty and compassion into the society that he grew up in…

      I thought Phil had come around when he recently posted that he was giving up his efforts to redeem the Jewish community, recognizing the futility of trying to sway those who do not want to see what you have come to show, and is focusing more on speaking to average Americans…

      His deference to the cries of anti-Semitism indicates that this has not occurred.

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 5:36 pm

        Exiled says: “…Tis true…

        Chomsky’s passionate support of Palestinian rights always, always culminates in him pointing the finger at the US, to the point that he rejects boycotts directed toward Israel because he believes that the US is the tail that wags the Israeli dog. His Jewish, Zionist upbringing blinds his ability to see reality, and as such he has become massively damaging to efforts to force fundamental reformation of Israeli society.

        Finkelstein, too, has these failing at times…”

        I’d add that it seems reasonable to suspect that the ‘US at the root of it all/nationalism at the root of it all’ explanation offers an insiduous attraction.

        Israel is basically safe so long as the greater evil remains unaddressed. There’s no need to single her out. You can happily denounce her crimes — without ever having to bite the bullet and agree that yes, she should be dismantled.

        That’ll just have to wait for the millennium — and as we all know deep down inside, the millennium is never going to come, is it?

        So Israel’s safe. You can carp about her and never do anything to make her go away. You can have your cake and eat it too.

        God forbid anything actually happen. Witness Finkelstein’s sudden denunciation of BDS. He wants Israel to stay. He just wants to be able to criticize it.

      • pabelmont
        October 12, 2012, 8:52 pm

        These comments critical of Phil and Adam are all correct, but Phil and Adam are valuable allies and — if they have made a mis-step, as it appears to so many of us including me — they have also done much of value. They should no more be down-the-drained than Greta Berlin, and I believe they will all be seen to be valuable members of the movement in the long run.

        Let’s support them and help them in their 12-step program at the ZA.

    • Ellen
      October 12, 2012, 4:10 pm

      Colin your rhetoric is over the top. “Israel is evil. “. Greesh!

      Israel is no more evil than any other state or big institution. Great Britain was or is evil. The US is evil. What government is not when protecting their interest?

      Israel is a western colonial construct. And like other colonial enterprises before it, Israel will find a way to flourish and survive or it will not.

      It’s current path cannot be sustained, especially with dependence on others and need for heavy duty propaganda to keep the colonial gig going.

      But man o man, tone it down.

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 5:15 pm

        Ellen says: “Colin your rhetoric is over the top. “Israel is evil. “. Greesh!

        Israel is no more evil than any other state or big institution…”

        I disagree. Others are subject to human failings. Israel is a proposition that is evil to the core.

        That’s what’s wrong with it.

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 5:38 pm

        Colin, let’s respectfully disagree on that. Previous generations might say that about the British. Certainly the Irish did after a few hundred years of abuse and slaughter and then some more in that colonial attempt. Or the American imperial abuses in the Phillipines.

        I guess all colonialism where others are pushed out and repressed and demonized so it is easier to kill them off is evil to the core. But this is nothing new in the world and the Israel enterprise is no different, not unique.

      • chinese box
        October 12, 2012, 5:40 pm

        @Colin

        I have to agree with Ellen (if I’m understanding her point correctly). I don’t think Israel (or any state) is innately evil. What makes this situation exceptional is the level of enabling by the US that allows Israel to indulge it’s worst impulses. Absent that it would have been destroyed in a war or come to a just accomodation with the Palestinians long ago.

      • Ellen
        October 12, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Chinese box, the US enables it because our dimwited policy makers (the ones influencing everything) think the U S gets something out of it. As Alexander Haig said about Israel: it is “our own aircraft carrier” or something like that.

        As soon as the US realizes that our Israel toy in the Middle East is destroying more important interests (it is only about self interests) the flow of love and money will be over.

        And then the screams of “you don’t love me anymore …..you hate me! You anti Semites , you!” will be heard around the world.

        But by then the US will be so poor and drained, it will not and cannot care.

      • Exiled At Home
        October 12, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Israel is different in that its very existence is derived from a post-war ‘consensus’ that rejects territories conquests of land, and yet presides over the longest sustained colonial occupation in modern history. Israel’s 60 year occupation, judged by today’s norms, is far more sinister than any of history’s many forms of colonialism as judged by their era’s norms.

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Colin Wright says: “I disagree. Others are subject to human failings. Israel is a proposition that is evil to the core.

        That’s what’s wrong with it.”

        This is, by the way, not something I’m simply saying for effect. I’m quite prepared to justify it at length. It’s just that it’s all old ground to me.

      • chinese box
        October 12, 2012, 7:09 pm

        @Ellen,

        I’m sure the people in charge (except for a few delusional I-firsters, perhaps) are well aware that we haven’t gotten anything useful from Israel since at least the end of the cold war. Instead, they know the issue is radioactive and they have much more to lose professionally and financially than they stand to gain by tackling the issue head on. I think the fact that the only major figures who address Palestine have already left office (Carter, Brzinski, Wilkerson) bears this out.

      • pabelmont
        October 12, 2012, 8:59 pm

        Ellen; Will the USA abandon BIG-BANKS before or after it abandons hard-line Israel? The AIPAC money is as good as BIG-BANK’s money, and buys the congress the same way. I’m hoping for an Obama win in November followed a day at most later by a UNSC resolution calling for Israel to remove its settlers and demolish its wall and settlements, a resolution with enforcement teeth, but I don’t for a moment expect it to happen, because Obama — if he win — will wish to retain clout with Congress, and Congress is bought and paid for by AIPAC et al.

        It is not a matter of American interests at all, and never was, but a matter of the re-election interests of American congresspeople.

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 10:09 pm

        Ellen says: “Chinese box, the US enables it because our dimwited policy makers (the ones influencing everything) think the U S gets something out of it. As Alexander Haig said about Israel: it is “our own aircraft carrier” or something like that…”

        It’s worse than that. As was demonstrated in 1991, we can’t even launch planes from it.

        Israel is not ‘our own aircraft carrier.’ It’s just a frigging ball and chain — in every possible sense.

        …come to that, while we’ve never been able to launch planes from it, planes launched from it have attacked us. So how in the hell is it ‘our own aircraft carrier’?

      • German Lefty
        October 13, 2012, 6:21 am

        @ Exiled At Home
        I totally agree. Well said.

      • Ellen
        October 13, 2012, 7:39 pm

        Pabelmont….sadly you are right. It really is about the paymasters., not the best interest of the country.

        But only sold as what is in the interst of the country. Those who did not support the UN resolution for the Zionist state because it was surely not in the interest of the US were purged from government.

      • peeesss
        October 14, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Ellen, you really believe that the powers to be in the US do not know that our attachment to Israel has hurt US interests in the middle east? There have been attempts in the past by the Executive office to, somehow, limit the harmful effect US support for Israel has created. To no avail. Some overriding power has been able to dilute, if not, deny such attempts. What power has been able to cause this , obvious, harmful effect on the interests of the US.. That, I’m still trying to understand.

    • ParkSlopeSingleGuy
      October 13, 2012, 8:22 am

      I am pro-BDS, and I Hate the opression of the Palestinians by Israel, by people acting in the name of Judaism.
      But when you say “Israel is evil. It needs to be done away with.” and you support the statement “end Israel”, something makes me throw up in my mouth a little.
      I don’t use the word anti-semitism. I call it what it is: Jew-bashing. You want to wipe out a country, for all it’s many many many faults, where Jews feel safe, where they built it for themselves, and is recognized internationally.
      Please look within yourself and admit it. You hate Jews.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 3:34 pm

        ParkSlope says: “Please look within yourself and admit it. You hate Jews.”

        Sorry. I have. I jes’ don’t.

        I hate Israel because it is based on lies, has been built solely through violence, oppression, and more lies, and can promise only more of the same for so long as it exists.

        You look within yourself and you admit it. You support this. You may want Israel to be nice — but in the end, you support her.

      • Exiled At Home
        October 13, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Park Slope,

        That’s patently absurd. It’s not antisemitism, but it’s Jew-bashing? Stop dressing everything in a Jewish perspective. We oppose Israel because it’s a colonial entity occupying another’s land. It is a Palestinian narrative, not a Jewish narrative, that should take priority.

        The only Jewish question involved is this: can the Jewish foreigners in Palestine learn to live among the Palestinian natives, as equals in a pluralistic society? If not, they must be opposed, not for their Jewishness, but for their foreign , uncompromising chauvinism.

        It’s as simple as that.

      • American
        October 14, 2012, 1:45 am

        “Please look within yourself and admit it. You hate Jews….ParkSlope

        What if we just hate ‘some’ Jews?…like Netanyahu and Doug Feith, Lieberman, Jews like that?
        How about if we also equally hate some Gentiles involved in this mess?
        Do we get more points against us for hating a Jew than hating a Gentile?

      • chinese box
        October 14, 2012, 10:27 am

        I don’t use the word anti-semitism. I call it what it is: Jew-bashing. You want to wipe out a country, for all it’s many many many faults, where Jews feel safe, where they built it for themselves, and is recognized internationally.
        Please look within yourself and admit it. You hate Jews.

        @ParkSlopeGuy

        While I don’t agree with everything Colin says about Israel, I’ve never seen him make any anti-semitic statements here.

        You make a claim that Israeli Jews “feel safe” in Israel. If that’s the case, why are they rushing to get second passports in Germany, USA, etc.? Also, Israel is not “recognized internationally” by a number of nations in the Mideast.

        I think you’re the one who needs to look within. Recognize the trainwreck that Israel has become, and that it may not be salvageable as a Jewish State at this point. The answer is 1ss with equality for all.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 14, 2012, 10:28 am

        “Please look within yourself and admit it. You hate Jews.”

        This is the worst form of bigoted nonsense. ParkSlope, you are a fool. A bigoted fool.

    • Bruce
      October 13, 2012, 6:37 pm

      @ Colin

      Do you really believe that Adam and Phil have taken the position on Greta Berlin and FGM due to tribal loyalty?

      Exactly what are the reasons that you keep hanging out at the site of two Jews who aren’t man enough to participate in your Number 1 project of “eradicating Zionism”? What does that say about your manhood?

      If it will take gentiles to get the job done, what’s stopping you from taking the lead? Why no Mondowright site?

      Also, what is the “trigger” that you want moral Jews to pull on Israel(is)? Are you speaking metaphorically or literally?

  19. Truegreta
    October 12, 2012, 3:07 pm

    When did you try to contact me? I’m curious since I have no record of any emails except one that said you might contact me. Here again, is my explanation. Larry Derfner understood and wrote an article about what happened. Supporters from LA Jews for Peace to Alison Weir to Jeffrey Blankfort to Ramzy Baroud have written to me, blogged about the mistake and supported me, but neither one of you ever bothered to even email me and ask me for my phone number. So, again… as simply as I can make it… here is what happened.

    1. I grabbed the video out of a group of 1000 people, a group that is private
    2. I meant to park it into a group of 30 people that is secret (to watch it later), but I never checked the settings before I hit SHARE, because I was in a hurry.
    3. I did not watch the video. Why would I have watched the video? I was in a hell of a hurry and was traveling like crazy those four days. I would have watched it in the small group. Would we have had a discussion on it? Probably. We discuss all kinds of things as you can see from the attached conversation
    4. I did not know my personal Facebook page was connected to the Free Gaza TWITTER page. There are 3300 TWEETS on the Free Gaza page, and you all attacked me for this mistake without even giving me a chance to clarify
    5. Free Gaza apologized on the front page of the website, using exactly the language that Ali gave us.
    6. I apologized after I figured out what had happened. That should have been the end of it.

    But everyone has made a federal case out of a stupid mistake. Did either of you watch the video? It’s dumb and the man is a nutcake. But that doesn’t mean we couldnt or wouldnt have discussed it. I’m constantly appalled at the people who comment here, have never talked to me, didn’t bother to reach out to me, yet have decided that I am a racist or anti-Semite. The only thing you can say is that I made a stupid mistake, and that I would agree with

    • Exiled At Home
      October 12, 2012, 5:16 pm

      Greta,
      You’ve risked your reputation and your life in defense of Palestinian liberation.

      Those who denounce you over a controversial link have no such courage.

      They protect their own reputations by slandering yours. This is the reality of “solidarity.”

      Shameful.

    • ColinWright
      October 12, 2012, 5:19 pm

      You need to shoot yourself, shoot your cat, leave everything to Israel in your will, and ask that you be buried in an Israeli flag.

      Then people will think about forgiving you.

    • Avi_G.
      October 12, 2012, 5:43 pm

      While we’re on this subject, I think the very use of the term “anti-Semite” is indicative of the monopoly Jewish Americans have had on the national discourse concerning Jews, Judaism, Israel, Palestine and Zionism.

      It is the same brand of monopoly one finds when Palestinian voices are ignored and instead one sees a (so called liberal) Jewish voice representing or speaking on behalf of Palestinians at various lectures, meetings or discussions.

      Why is this an issue?

      Because both Arabs and Jews in the Middle East are Semites. So the hijacking of the term in the West to include only Jews is in and of itself racist.

      Incidentally, perhaps Phil and Greta need to actually communicate with one another. As of now, it seems that Phil didn’t bother contacting Greta.

      This incident is also instructive as it shows how hot the issue of anti-Jewish language has become. It’s like a radioactive isotope or a hot potato. No one likes holding it for too long. Once it comes up, individuals and groups alike are quick to distance themselves and ex-communicate members who are perceived as troublesome, regardless of the facts.

      Imagine if that hyper-sensitivity with which many in the U.S. have been indoctrinated, concerning Jews, imagine if it were applied equally across the board to include all other minority or marginal groups.

      • Danaa
        October 12, 2012, 6:26 pm

        Avi_G – you’re back! and with good points to match. Absence from MW can do some good, it seems – your logic is crispier than ever….

    • iamuglow
      October 12, 2012, 5:46 pm

      Wow. Yeah, Mondo and the others look terrible in this. Commending people for rushing to condemm someone for what…? Posting a link to something in error. No one suffered, no one died, but somehow that negates a decades working to support the ’cause’. Somehow how posting a link, which you havent tried to defend, but say was an error trumps everything you’ve done and marks you as a racist!

      And all the while your accusers are hiding behind this front of ‘ the movement’, ‘justice’, ‘caring about Palestenian rights’…this all looks a bit skin deep to me.

    • Adam Horowitz
      October 12, 2012, 6:02 pm

      Greta,

      Both Phil and I emailed you last Saturday and you continued a conversation with Phil at least until Tuesday. We both asked for documentation of the Facebook group you referred to to corroborate your version of events. This would clarify, and I think end, the story. We never received it, and while that is certainly your prerogative, questions will persist until it’s shared.

      Adam

      • Ali Anvari
        October 12, 2012, 6:45 pm

        Mr Horowitz:

        Here is a link to Ms Berlin’s statement
        link to freegaza.org

        Here is an excerpt:
        “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.”

        When someone links to an “anti-semite” video and then puts up a statement that she *DOES* support it, then you can start asking if she’s an anti-semite.

        If however she links to an “anti-semite” video and then puts up a statement that she *DOESN’T* support it, then you can’t.

        No anti-semitism. End of story. Logic 101. Which you and Mr Weiss have just failed.

        To compound your error by demanding “corroboration” is just so stupid as to be an insult to your readers’ intelligence.

        Please stop insulting us.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 13, 2012, 5:12 am

        >>Both Phil and I emailed you last Saturday and you continued a conversation with Phil at least until Tuesday. We both asked for documentation of the Facebook group you referred to to corroborate your version of events. This would clarify, and I think end, the story. We never received it, and while that is certainly your prerogative, questions will persist until it’s shared.

        Adam,

        You say you needed “corroboration” from Berlin as to her explanation. What do you mean by this? What would have satisfied this need? The Facebook page whence the link came? Ali Abunimah already has this — you could have simply asked him for it. Or did you need the Facebook page to which Berlin intended to copy the link? Is that it?

        It is entirely fair of us — the Mondoweiss community — to ask you what you needed to see so as not to damn this woman as an anti semite and in this way effectively end her career.

        While you are at it, with Berlin ‘s permission, would you please publish the full correspondence between yourself, Phil and Berlin. I for one would like to see the sort of due diligence you undertook before cutting this woman off at the knees.

        Thank-you. -N49.

    • Ali Abunimah
      October 12, 2012, 6:43 pm

      Dear Greta,

      I noted that in your comment above you are trying to implicate me in your deceptions and cover ups, so I would like to set the record straight. It is true that on October 3, I wrote to you urging you to clarify the situation and issue and apology based on the explanation you had given me that the tweet was an accident, that your Facebook account was accidentally connected to the Free Gaza Twitter account, that it was all part of a legitimate discussion etc.

      I gave this advice because at the time I still took your explanation in good faith and made the mistake of believing your story.

      However, I then started to carefully review the information I had and started to notice various inconsistencies. Let me give just one of several examples:

      On October 2, you wrote to me by email:

      Hi Ali: Sorry that TWEET got posted. Facebook has now decided they are going to attach our TWITTER account to my Facebook page. Someone sent me that link, and I just forwarded it on without watching it (as I was on a train to Toronto). I guess that will teach me to watch things first.

      On October 3, in an email to another person which you copied to me, you wrote:

      I was in a hurry to get on a plane to Canada and didn’t watch the video, or I never would have posted it, so I apologize profusely. I’m also very concerned that my personal Facebook page has been either hacked or altered to include the Free Gaza TWITTER page. It should not be on any page but the Free Gaza Facebook page, and I am following up with Facebook (as hard as that is to do).

      So in one version of the story you were on a train to Toronto, and in another version, the next day, you were getting on a plane to Canada.

      The tweet was posted on Sunday, September 30, but your last speaking event in Ontario, according to the Gaza Ark calendar, was September 29.

      Like many other people, I wanted to — and did — take your explanations in good faith.

      We had multiple email exchanges in the days before I published my first post on this matter, and at every step I urged you to talk to your board and to decide collectively what to do, and to treat the matter with urgency, transparency and seriousness.

      As I became more and more doubtful, and after I saw the contents of the “Our Land” Facebook group that you actively administer — which contains a large amount of unchallenged racist and anti-Jewish material — I came to realize that your explanations did not hold water. Some of the most offensive material has been scrubbed from that group in recent days, but I know that copies of it exist.

      If my mistake was at first to accept your explanations in good faith, then I admit that I am guilty of that, but you alone are responsible for your actions and statements.

      Ali

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 7:25 pm

        So she was in a hurry to go see her canine lover, and it was via submarine. Or she actually did it quite leisurely after two bottles of Chardonnay, and she doesn’t want to admit the Chardonnay was the problem.

        So what? You are playing the Zionists’ game for them. Not Greta: you.

        And I’ll point out something else. Somebody, somewhere rearranged the links — but people seem to be frightened of dwelling on that.

        The game here is hardball. Don’t worry about how someone didn’t show up with matching socks. Greta was somehow associated with what is obviously an over-the-top libel against Zionists — not Jews, Zionists.

        So what? Let the Zionists work on making something of it. Why should you do their work for them?

      • andrew r
        October 13, 2012, 3:57 am

        “Greta was somehow associated with what is obviously an over-the-top libel against Zionists — not Jews, Zionists.”

        It’s not acceptable to libel Zionists because throwing historical accuracy to the wind only makes it harder to establish their culpability for the nakba. Don’t accuse them of something they didn’t do; prove they did what they actually did.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 3:19 pm

        andrew r says: “It’s not acceptable to libel Zionists because throwing historical accuracy to the wind only makes it harder to establish their culpability for the nakba. Don’t accuse them of something they didn’t do; prove they did what they actually did.”

        I disagree. People utter historical inaccuracies here all the time — the columns are rife with them.

        So why should we be concerned to police inaccuracies about Zionists — of all people — that weren’t even uttered here?

        Here’s the conversation that should have happened:

        Greta: ‘The Zionists were running the camps.’

        Somebody who’s talking to her in the first place: ‘Uh Greta…that’s not actually true/is a distortion.’

        Greta: ‘I was referring to a link.’

        Somebody who’s talking to her in the first place: ‘Oh.’

      • W.Jones
        October 13, 2012, 3:39 pm

        I know Colin. Wouldn’t it be better if they devoted their time, intense emotion, and effort devoted to attacking a repentant Free Gaza to instead participating in the kinds of projects Free Gaza does publicly?

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 3:49 pm

        W. Jones: ‘I know Colin. Wouldn’t it be better if they devoted their time, intense emotion, and effort devoted to attacking a repentant Free Gaza to instead participating in the kinds of projects Free Gaza does publicly?’

        If we did that, Israel would be about where apartheid South Africa is now.

      • Alex Kane
        October 13, 2012, 10:46 am

        For those attacking Mondoweiss for being principled and honest here, you should read Ali Abunimah’s comment above. It thoroughly debunks Greta Berlin’s excuses and casts serious doubt on her credibility. Her story has changed multiple times. She has not released the Facebook page she claims would have exonerated her.

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 11:06 am

        Alex,

        1. Do you have a collection of verified anti-Jewish quotes by Greta Berlin that you can post here?

        2. Do you have a list of people who will verify that she has made anti-Jewish statements?

        3. Are you willing to make public all your posts to private discussion groups?

        4. Can you explain in a way that I can understand what Ali Abunimah is trying to say about Ofer Engel? I don’t have a clue.

        Thanks.

        I am not trying to defend Greta Berlin. I am merely trying to understand what this controversy is all about.

        I often cite and discuss sources from all across the political spectrum, from the extreme right to the extreme left, because they are interesting in one way or another. I certainly don’t agree with or support all the sources I cite or mention. This is true for most thoughtful people with a wide-ranging curiosity about the world — they examine and analyze everything they can get their hands on.

        I greatly respect your courageous research and work, by the way. Perhaps your instincts are correct: Greta Berlin is an evil and virulent antisemite. But I would like to see the convincing proof that this is the case.

      • Mndwss
        October 13, 2012, 11:54 am

        “as I was on a train to Toronto” / “I was in a hurry to get on a plane to Canada.”

        Same destination. Could she not be in a hurry, while on a train to catch a plane?

        I have often been stressed and in a hurry when i am on the train to the airport to go to Stockholm in Sweden.

        What is the inconsistencies?

        The trip was by train and plane?

        And the destination was changed from Toronto to Canada??

      • ritzl
        October 13, 2012, 3:11 pm

        @AK No one is attacking you all for taking a principled stand. That’s to be lauded.

        Per pabelmont’s post above, the video was vile and not to be tolerated. I can’t believe she even came within 10′ of that.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        But the question (tactical, I suppose, as opposed to moral/philosophical) lies more in pabelmont’s second link to Avi Mayer/Storify, in which the FGM, and I would say any and all boats/flotillas to Gaza, are now deemed antisemitic in origin, and therefore fair(er) “game” for the Israelis.

        Avi Mayer:

        The Free Gaza Movement is the key actor behind the successive flotillas that have sought to violate the maritime closure around Gaza in support of Hamas. It is chaired by Huwaida Arraf, who also heads the International Solidarity Movement (and has endorsed the use of violence against Israel), and its Board of Advisors includes such luminaries as Naomi Klein, Peter Hansen, and Jenny Tonge. It has been endorsed by a range of organizations and individuals, including Desmond Tutu, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, the Palestine Red Crescent Society, the Rachel Corrie Foundation, George Galloway, and Neturei Karta International.

        Broad brush. Incessant. Acknowledged from within. Game over.

        Could this have been handled in such a way that, to take the current example, the participants in the Estelle are not put at more risk of harm?

        link to marinetraffic.com

        AA’s train/plane definition of credibility is just strange to me as a straight up contention/evidence of GB’s larger indictment (of seemingly nascent antisemitism). It’s incredibly weak and suggests something else is going on here, beyond GB’s casually and egregiously careless act.

        Perhaps it’s as ToivoS said elsewhere in this thread, that there were wisps of the sentiment you all are highlighting and condemning, sensed in advance of this event. I don’t know, but again, and especially if there were suspicions, could this all have been handled better, such that it didn’t completely kill any prospect of future boats to Gaza?

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 3:27 pm

        Alex Kane says: “She has not released the Facebook page she claims would have exonerated her.”

        Why should she justify herself to you? Sniff, sniff…prove to us you aren’t guilty.

        If it was me, I wouldn’t release it either. Why should she kow-tow to a lot of KGB wannabes? None of it should have been public and she said nothing she is required to defend to all and sundry — the solution is to make all of it public and defend it to all and sundry?

        The Zionists are getting a whole lot of work done for them for free here, that’s for sure. It would seem that all they need to do is make a few cross-links and provide a few judicious shoves and we’ll willingly rend each other to pieces on their behalf.

        It’s absurd, it’s degrading, and it all serves the cause of evil. It’s also cruel to Greta. Get off it.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 13, 2012, 5:22 pm

        >> For those attacking Mondoweiss for being principled and honest here, you should read Ali Abunimah’s comment above.

        Alex,

        I read what Ali Abuminah said. Apparently, Berlin is an anti-semite because, (in part): “in one version of the story you were on a train to Toronto, and in another version, the next day, you were getting on a plane to Canada.”

        Did Mr. Abuminah stop to consider that Berlin might have been taking the *train* to get to the airport where she was going to board a *plane* to Toronto?

        I don’t know either. But then again, I am not the one branding Berlin an anti-semite.

      • Exiled At Home
        October 13, 2012, 5:32 pm

        Ale

        Slandering someone as a “racist” for posting a controversial anti-Zionist
        link is neither principled, nor honest.

        Mondoweiss seems unconvinced that Berlin posted the link without knowing the contents of the video. Fine, press her on that point.

        Mondoweiss wen belligerently too far posting a statement denouncing Berlin as an antisemite and lashing out against her supporters.
        There’s nothing defensible about ruining someone’s career because you’re unconvinced as to her claim not to have known the contents of a stupid video.

        She posted the link, claimed not to know its full contents, issued a statement saying she did not support the contents, and apologized.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 5:58 pm

        Alex Kane says: “For those attacking Mondoweiss for being principled and honest here…”

        Oh no fear. I’m not attacking you for being principled and honest here.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Alex….

        o.k……let’s say it’s proved Berlin is a anti semite.I’m not really convinced whether she a anti semite or just stupid, I’d have to know everything about her to figure that out and I haven’t got the time to devote to that.

        But if she’s been proven by MW and Abunimah to be a anti semite….so what next?
        She’s drummed out of Free Gaza, branded publicly as a anti semite?…what exactly happens to her?

        You know it’s one thing to present what she did for discussion and have a your own opinion, but it ‘s a entirely different matter when you pronounce a judgement and say that’s it folks. You may be right, you may be wrong, but I wouldn’t put myself there if I were you

      • demize
        October 14, 2012, 5:42 am

        Really despicable how a group of very comfortable people that haven’t known a day of deprivation in their lives are giving the third degree to an obviously altrustic woman who has put her body behind her beliefs. What a bunch of disgusting scoundrels.

      • notatall
        October 13, 2012, 11:21 am

        From Ali Abunimah:

        “So in one version of the story you were on a train to Toronto, and in another version, the next day, you were getting on a plane to Canada.”

        Are we expected to take that seriously as a count in Greta’s indictment?

      • W.Jones
        October 13, 2012, 3:55 pm

        notatall,

        At the end of the day, you have a facebook link to a bad anti-Zionist clip, an apology, and a still-angry group of people.

        If someone makes a unknowing mistake or makes an intentional one and has a change of heart, why still go after them?

      • ritzl
        October 13, 2012, 6:36 pm

        @AA There’s also the odd chance that GB didn’t feel the need to lawyer up/legalize her initial response to her perceived friends.

        #Yathink

      • Paul Larudee
        October 13, 2012, 8:18 pm

        I understand, Ali, Phil and Adam. Greta failed to produce convincing evidence that she is innocent. Therefore, she must be considered guilty. Sorry, I forgot the most basic elements of our justice system.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 14, 2012, 10:31 am

        “Greta failed to produce convincing evidence that she is innocent. Therefore, she must be considered guilty. Sorry, I forgot the most basic elements of our justice system.”

        You simply fail to think this through. The link, on its face, is a statement of antisemitism. Thus, it is not being ‘considered guilty’ — there is the fact that the evidence demonstrates guilt. Now, if she has evidence that might demonstrate that what looks like antisemitism on its face is actually not anitsemitism, then yes, she has the burden of producing it.

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 10:52 am

        Paul Larudee,

        I understand, Ali, Phil and Adam. Greta failed to produce convincing evidence that she is innocent. Therefore, she must be considered guilty. Sorry, I forgot the most basic elements of our justice system.

        What we are witnessing here is classic lynch mob behavior, led by the agenda of commenters like this one on israellycool.com:

        1. Hang the bitch with a steel wire.

        2. Another Nazi bitch who should be on the end of a steel cable noose.

        link to israellycool.com

        TovioS is one of the lynch mob ringleaders. He or she didn’t even acknowledge my request to produce two basic items of evidence to make the case against Berlin:

        1. A collection of verified antisemitic statements made by Greta Berlin.

        2. A list of Greta Berlin’s acquaintances who will verify that she harbors antisemitic sentiments or has made antisemitic statements.

        TovioS has NOTHING. Instead we have seen Jewish associates of Greta Berlin step forward passionately and eloquently in her defense.

        Annie Roberts doesn’t seem to understand that many sophisticated Internet users park all kinds of controversial links with which they don’t agree at Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper, Pocket, private discussion groups, etc. WITHOUT READING OR VIEWING THEM FIRST. Everyone I know without exception does this. Harvesting a link in no way constitutes endorsement of a link. There are a wide variety of motives and purposes behind collecting and disseminating links.

        All the good people in leadership roles at Mondoweiss are much more vulnerable to being smeared by the methods employed by TovioS than Greta Berlin — think of all the comments they have approved on Mondoweiss with full knowledge of the content that could easily be characterized as antisemitic.

        Mondoweiss really needs to reevaluate its position on the Greta Berlin controversy — not defend or clear her, but pursue an orderly process for establishing all the facts in the case before passing judgment.

        The biggest losers in this mess? Palestinian activists like Ali Abuminah and his fellow Palestinians who were so quick to add their names to that ridiculous letter. After witnessing their behavior in this case, one would have to be crazy to make major sacrifices for a cause that will stab one in the back under the slightest pressure — that displays no gratitude and no loyalty for tremendous help rendered. Absolutely appalling behavior.

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 11:42 am

        ToivoS — sorry for misspelling your handle in several comments — you will find them by searching for “TovioS.”

        I am looking for two simple items: 1. verified antisemitic quotes by Berlin and 2. statements from any of her associates who know her best accusing her of antisemitism.

        Please respond.

      • Dutch
        October 14, 2012, 7:40 pm

        @ Sean
        ‘Many sophisticated Internet users park all kinds of controversial links with which they don’t agree at Delicious, Diigo, Instapaper, Pocket, private discussion groups, etc. WITHOUT READING OR VIEWING THEM FIRST.’

        Good that you bring this up as this is precisely what seems to have happened. And yes, that’s exactly how we work ourselves.

      • American
        October 14, 2012, 2:37 am

        @ Abunimah

        You are also responsible for your actions. I suggest you drop this unless you want people to start digging into your motives for pursuing this so publicly. You’re compounding whatever damage you say Berlin did to the “cause”.

    • Binyamin in Orangeburg
      October 12, 2012, 6:45 pm

      I find this explanation unconvincing. All six of your points address the circumstances of the posting, not the content. That you intended the tweet for a private group only raises the suspicion: why do you wish to hide this group and its activities? If the tweet was, as you have said, an example for a discussion group on examples of racist propaganda, why not release the groups prior discussion materials?

      You state “the man is a nutcake.” Perhaps you might expand on why you believe this to be true, as certain commenters here seem confused on the issue.

      I haven’t read Atzmon, so I don’t know if he’s an anti-semite.

      I advocate the following view: the Shoah was one of the worst crimes of all human history, maybe the worst. That fact did not justify the dispossession of the Palestinian people, or their continuing subjugation.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 2:28 am

        Binyamin says: “I find this explanation unconvincing. All six of your points address the circumstances of the posting, not the content. That you intended the tweet for a private group only raises the suspicion: why do you wish to hide this group and its activities?…”

        Why would she wish to ‘hide’ it?

        Umm…maybe she would feel it advisable to hide it because so many ‘progressives’ are so incredibly intolerant of anything smacking of dissent and eager to ferret out heresy?

        …as is demonstrated right here. Let me quote some gems:

        “…No need to apologize for waiting to see if Greta had a good explanation. Her action does appear to be indefensible. Hopefully the Free Gaza Movement will remove her from any leadership role…”

        “…My feeling is that the legitimate movement for Palestinian justice were probably starting to detect that something was wrong for some time. That tweet came at the right time to expose the whole mess and, if needed, to take out FGM…”

        “…So in one version of the story you were on a train to Toronto, and in another version, the next day, you were getting on a plane to Canada…”

        “…Greta Berlin should be shown the door. The I/P struggle for equity has no place for her or her nonsense…”

        All this over a post that slandered Zionism. I’ve gotta wonder: is it April 1st or something? What am I missing here?

    • wes
      October 13, 2012, 8:42 am

      truegreta… regreta… regatta

      how is that free gasa movie ship the “estelle” coming on.

      The Estelle, carrying 17 activists from countries including Canada, Norway, Sweden, Israel and the United States, left from the port at Naples, Italy on Saturday. The vessel, which measures 173 feet long, reportedly is carrying humanitarian goods.

  20. Woody Tanaka
    October 12, 2012, 3:33 pm

    I absolutely agree with this principle. Bigotry based on Jewish ancestry is vile and should not be excused or protected in any way, and more than bigotry based on race or gender.

    • ColinWright
      October 12, 2012, 7:38 pm

      Woody says: Bigotry based on Jewish ancestry is vile and should not be excused or protected in any way.

      And ‘bigotry based on Jewish ancestry’ hardly is excused or protected. I could post an anti-Muslim remark here — and incur some polite dissent. I certainly couldn’t post an anti-semitic remark; it’s kinda risky to even suggest I could think of doing such a thing. And let me hasten to reiterate that, before…

      But anti-Muslim? Hey; I can definitely go tippy-toeing around there if I want to. It’s cool. There’ll be a few growls, but I’ll be okay.

      Take Greta’s remark which only very problematically is Greta’s remark in the first place — but just take it.

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

      That, supposedly, is ‘anti-semitic.’

      Really? Well, lets try recasting it with some other groups.

      “al Qaeda carried out massive terrorist attacks and helped defame millions of innocent Muslims.” Islamophobic?

      “The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and helped incite an outbreak of persecution of Japanese in the United States.” Anti-Japanese?

      “The Nazis started an aggressive and genocidal war which led to disastrous results for the Germans themselves.” Anti-German?

      The accusation of ‘anti-semitism’ is absurd to start with. It only works if you buy into an equation between ‘Zionist’ and ‘Jewish’ in the first place.

      • andrew r
        October 13, 2012, 4:40 am

        It’s not really controversial to suggest that the actions of al-Qaeda, the Nazis and Imperial Japan were used as a rationale to persecute people associated with them through common ethnicity. That’s a truism. On the other hand, to lazily assert ‘Zionists operated the concentration camps’ is a total horseshit remark on the face of it and suggests Jews as such brought the Holocaust on themselves.

        Without any context it’s hard to tell exactly what the writer of that remark is trying to accomplish but I’m assuming this is some ass-backwards attempt to challenge the notion of the Holocaust justifying Zionism. Hey, it turns out the Zionists themselves are responsible for the mass murder of Jews during WWII, ergo, they don’t have a leg to stand on in Palestine.

        Now, I would definitely call this racist against Jews, anti-semitic even, because it assumes Zionism is a natural product of Judaism, that is, being Jewish is sufficient to be Zionist. Anyone who believes the offending remark logically believes Zionism = Judaism, or else they’d find a way to challenge Zionist orthodoxy through serious research. Anyone who believes that remark is being disingenuous in saying Zionists and Jews are not equivalent or that not all Jews are Zionists. That amounts to nothing more than CYA. To claim Zionists were an essential part of the extermination process and then claim that’s not racist against Jews is hypocritical.

        This is different altogether from demonstrating Jewish collaborators were part of the extermination process or that the ZVfD and the Labour Zionists made dirty deals with Nazi ministers. There is historical evidence for that. Writing this sewage “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews” shows contempt for those who were exterminated by removing the responsibility from the perpetrators just to grind an axe.

        It shouldn’t be that hard to tell the difference between the Ha’avara agreement and silly fantasies.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 3:13 pm

        andrew r says: ” On the other hand, to lazily assert ‘Zionists operated the concentration camps’ is a total horseshit remark on the face of it and suggests Jews as such brought the Holocaust on themselves.”

        That’s a stretch — and where it’s a stretch is precisely where it matters. I don’t see any suggestion that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves in the remark at all. Obviously, the Jews have to be put in the camps first — and there’s no suggestion that the Zionists did that. It’s quite secondary who operated the camps — if it weren’t, the Germans could self-righteously demand that the Ukraine help pay the reparations and shoulder her share of the odium.

        The attack quite clearly is on Zionists rather than Jews.

        The sad bit of all this is I can guess where it all comes from. To survive the camps one had to be working for the Germans — they weren’t interested in supporting charitable cases. To work for the Germans, one almost necessarily wound up being open to an accusation of ‘helping to run the camps.’

        I’m sure the Zionists were vigorously organizing among those Jews who weren’t simply headed straight for the gas chambers. Ergo, there would be a Zionist organization, and ergo, it would be ‘helping to run the camps.’

        The accusation is obviously overblown and quite unfair. However, it is a libel on Zionists, not on Jews. Is the purpose of this site to defend Zionism?

        Let them fret about it.

      • andrew r
        October 14, 2012, 12:49 am

        I find the comment especially objectionable because I place a high value on concrete historical knowledge and it’s an example of playing fast and loose with the facts. And considering that’s how the case for Israel is usually made, it’s extremely aggravating to find someone doing the same with the Holocaust when they should know better. But the only real purpose this comment could serve is to remove responsibility from the Nazis or imply the Zionists had a near equal significance. We need more understanding, not less.

  21. American
    October 12, 2012, 3:53 pm

    “Hannah Arendt and others long ago predicted that the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East in the name of all Jews would result in anti-Semitism. “………

    Let’s face it. First the zios (as you know) do the promoting of ”All the Jews”….and US media let’s them promote that story.
    Second, all the general public sees and hears is the zios promoting The Jews= Israel.
    I do not know how you can bust thru that perception and get to the public unless you have some media megahorn.
    And since you don’t have that public media megahorn is why you need to break out of the mainly Jewish circle and take it to the gentile audiences and the gentile grapevine.
    The way I see it Jews or a or some Jews have to come out (strong) against zionist Jews to gentiles, have to trust that gentiles will latch onto Zionist as the problem even if they are Jews, and not onto blaming Jews in the collective. It would require dennouncing zionist actions and past history, not shying from it because you think it implicates the Jews or might lead to anti semitism. If the enemy, which is the zionist, isn’t ”isolated” from the Jews in the publics mind then they will ‘ generalize’ no matter what protests anyone makes about it or anti semitism.
    Just saying…that’s what you ought to do. Find more gentile audiences and speaking opportunities.
    A really slick campaign could convince the Jews, using zionist history, that they are the Jews enemy.

    • pabelmont
      October 12, 2012, 9:09 pm

      And Judah Magnes said that although a cultural home for Jews in[side] Palestine was worth working for, even if the work failed, a Jewish state, built on bombs and bayonets was not worth striving for even if it should succeed. (My paraphrase from memory). History would seem to have proved him right (except, of course, to the Jabotinskyites who’d love the way it turned out.)

  22. Newclench
    October 12, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Good for Phil, Adam and so many others for doing what’s right. This post, and the others on this issue, exemplify an interesting divergence between the content of the posts and the commenters. Commenters are to the crazy of actual authors more often than not. (Wrong to call them more left, more right, more pro this or pro that.)

    The vile, meanspirited, extreme voices that chime in whenever standards of decency are upheld do nothing to support the movement for Palestinian rights. If anything, they are an embarrassment.

  23. notatall
    October 12, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I am gratified to see so many people disagreeing with Phil and Adam on this issue. I haven’t seen the video in question—I can’t, because no one will put it up—but if it is indeed an example of “racism,” then what is the fantastic invention known as the “Jewish people?”

  24. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Let me facilitate matters.

    Here’s the blog at the Jerusalem Post.

    link to blogs.jpost.com

    Why doesn’t everyone head on over there and try to appease the Zionists? Be forewarned, though: you’ve got a lot to make up for.

    Greta’s was just the last in a long line of sins. I quote:

    ‘…Quite plainly, what Derfner and Hauser were doing, for whatever reasons, was defending Free Gaza’s antisemitism – and they could have easily realized that this was what they were doing had they bothered to just quickly scroll through the tweets of Free Gaza from the last few weeks.

    Just going back to September 1, we find the following: Israel is “committing slow motion genocide” in Gaza; Gaza is a “‘forgotten’ Extermination Camp” much worse than Auschwitz, the Warsaw Ghetto and Treblinka; the Mossad was behind the man who made a film denigrating Islam; alternatively, it was some conspiracy involving “An Israeli film-maker, 100 Jewish donors and their Salafi allies;” and on September 1, Free Gaza linked – not for the first time – to the writings of Gilad Atzmon, a well-known peddler of antisemitic rants…’

    So you’ve thrown Greta under the bus, and that’s a start — but you’re not in the clear yet.

    If you really don’t want the Zionists to call you anti-semitic, you’ve got a lot of work to do. Get down lower, and lick up more of that spittle.

    • Donald
      October 12, 2012, 7:19 pm

      “Get down lower, and lick up more of that spittle.”

      I think it’s more likely they are convinced she is an anti-semite. Ali Abunimah seems to think so, based on some ugly statements he saw that went unchallenged at a Facebook page she managed. Not knowing the context (did they ever challenge such statements and just didn’t challenge them all?) I don’t know if that is conclusive. There’s a hell of a lot of anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab statements that are printed at other sites with no challenge. The question is what that proves. It doesn’t prove that the people who run those sites and who come down hard on anti-Jewish remarks are anti-Arab racists. I’m thinking of a specific situation I saw recently at another blog, where that happened. One person made some anti-semitic remarks and was warned not to do that or he’d be banned. Another took the far right Israeli position on Palestinians, utterly racist, and there was no such warning. It showed a lack of consistency in my opinion, but I wouldn’t go beyond that.

      • ColinWright
        October 12, 2012, 9:07 pm

        Donald says: “I think it’s more likely they are convinced she is an anti-semite. “

        Quite likely. At the same time, people are past masters at believing what is convenient for them to believe.

        Take ol’ Greta (if she was praying for fame, this’ll teach her).

        Okay. For the Israel-love brigade, there are two choices.

        1. Her remarks were not anti-semitic. This raises all sorts of awkward questions about the moral complexion of Zionism, its congruences of interest with Naziism, etc. The post itself could be rather easily refuted — but some mud would stick.

        2. Her remarks were antisemitic. This (1) offers all kinds of opportunities for self-righteous posturing, (2) impugns ‘Free Gaza,’ (3) absolves Zionism of all culpability, and (4) requires absolutely no thought whatsoever.

        So which would you pick? Door number 1, or door number 2? Given that you’ve already been told what the prizes are and all.

      • Bruce
        October 13, 2012, 7:08 pm

        @ Colin

        So let us get this straight, Ali Abunimah is now part of the Israel-love brigade?

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 10:54 pm

        Bruce says: “…@ Colin

        So let us get this straight, Ali Abunimah is now part of the Israel-love brigade?”

        No…but that’s who I think everyone has their eye on.

        People are not desperately concerned about why Greta Berlin inadvertently tweeted ‘Zionists helped carry out the Holocaust’ or whatever it was for its own sake; they’re terrified of what Zionists might make of the remark…and of course Zionists are going to find it very convenient to claim the remark was antisemitic.

        Aside from everything else, I think people need to shake off the delusion that Zionists have any intellectual integrity or can somehow be placated or reasoned with.

        They can’t. It’s pointless to try to prevent them from defaming you. This sort of appeasement will just encourage them.

        Let them publicize the tweet on their own.

      • Danaa
        October 12, 2012, 10:44 pm

        It showed a lack of consistency in my opinion, but I wouldn’t go beyond that.

        I beg to differ. It goes beyond mere “inconsistency”. This is exactly the kind of privileging of the sense of victimhood of one group over any other, that Anna Balzer was talking about the other day. But what’s really hiding behind the privileging of victimhood is the privileging of a people, or more to the point, the singling out of a “tribe”, an upper caste. And what happens to the new aristocrats matters more than what happened or is happening to others, the mere “commoners”.

        Here are some examples for you, Donald. Would we be talking in such cavalier manner about “bombing Iran” had it been populated by Jews rather than Iranians? What if there had been only 100,00 jews, of whom 1% might die in the bombing. Would we be talking about it then thin the same unthinking way? And would drones be launched willy-nilly to obliterate entire families had the there been the slightest suspicion that there may be jews among them, even if said jews were suspected of being “terrorists”? and would we be sitting here taking it for granted that a huge proportion of the pundits on our TVs and the financially and politically powerful are Jewish if instead, they had been, say, Chinese? Indians? Hispanics? would we accept – not 27 – but a mere 10 standing ovations in congress for Saakasvilii? for Putin? for Mursi? even for a Cameron?

        Truth is there is a tendency to look – and find – anti-semitism lurking in non-jews present among any activist group for Palestinians. But how many are looking for -and finding – the rabid, disgusting anti-semitism among our most illustrious congressional members, in Paul Ryan? in Cantor? in Schumer? in a Bermann or Sherman? the ‘semitic” may be different but the hatred is deep, and the contempt more pervasive than in the worst “white supremacy” group – yet here they are – day in day out – speak hatred they do and power they wield – ruthlessly.

        I still think that at the end of the day what we are seeing is a circling o the tribal wagons. Which are ever so slightly expanded to include the ‘good” and “politically correct” palestinians. An interesting phenomenon on its own.

        But that’s just how it is: a tweet and an apology on one hand, followed by unyielding, unforgiving condemnation, all ecause of the mere POSSIBILITY – unproven and denied many times over – that Greta Berlin might, just MIGHT be a “closet anti-semite”. On the other hand, all we have are a few rivers of blood and heart-breaking suffering to which no tweet could offer respite. Were you a fisherman in Gaza and saw this hoopla over a tweet, what would you really think? would you be waiting for the hordes of these brave anti-semitism expungers to come to your rescue?

      • Donald
        October 12, 2012, 11:54 pm

        “Here are some examples for you, Donald. Would we be talking in such cavalier manner about “bombing Iran” had it been populated by Jews rather than Iranians? ”

        I agree with all that. In my case I feel like it’s an uphill battle getting people to see the inconsistency and I probably won’t help if I just accuse them of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim or anti-Iranian racism. I mean the bystanders, the ones who are sensitive to anti-semitism but don’t notice anti-Arab bigotry or don’t see it as such. They aren’t actively bigoted in the sense that they go around saying racist things themselves, but they don’t realize they have double standards regarding who can be denigrated and who can’t. It drives me nuts to see this, but if I start yelling at them it won’t help.

        But it doesn’t help at all to tolerate real anti-semitism. It just closes the minds of people who we’re trying to reach. On the other hand, I think people could fall inadvertently into anti-semitism without realizing it, just as good liberals in the US are commonly biased against Arabs and Palestinians without realizing it or having any conscious bad intentions. So I’m not sure how to handle all this, but denying that anti-semitism could be a problem on our side of the fence isn’t the way to go.

      • seanmcbride
        October 13, 2012, 12:36 am

        Danaa,

        … the hatred is deep, and the contempt more pervasive than in the worst “white supremacy” group – yet here they are – day in day out – speak hatred they do and power they wield – ruthlessly.

        In Googling around a bit on Greta Berlin, I came across these two comments on Israellycool.com, directed at Berlin and Laura Booth:

        1. Hang the bitch with a steel wire.

        link to israellycool.com

        2. Another Nazi bitch who should be on the end of a steel cable noose.

        link to israellycool.com

        Actually one can find torrents of hate speech on a regular basis from pro-Israel activists in the comment sections of numerous mainstream Israeli and Jewish publications.

        One should think twice about joining a lynch mob that is attracting people with the above sentiments.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 12:35 pm

        “I agree with all that. In my case I feel like it’s an uphill battle getting people to see the inconsistency and I probably won’t help if I just accuse them of anti-Arab or anti-Muslim or anti-Iranian racism. I mean the bystanders, the ones who are sensitive to anti-semitism but don’t notice anti-Arab bigotry or don’t see it as such. They aren’t actively bigoted in the sense that they go around saying racist things themselves, but they don’t realize they have double standards regarding who can be denigrated and who can’t. It drives me nuts to see this, but if I start yelling at them it won’t help.”…Donald

        I see a problem there Donald because you are willing to point out anti semitism so you should be equally willing to point out anti Arab bigotry..especially in people who as you say don’t recongize their own double standards. What do you accomplish by not pointing it out to them?
        I am sure you are smart enough to make that point to them without screaming.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 2:18 pm

        “I see a problem there Donald because you are willing to point out anti semitism so you should be equally willing to point out anti Arab bigotry..”

        I think the right approach is to go after the person who is explicitly making the anti-Palestinian remarks, but yes, there are also the people who don’t make those remarks but are more sensitive to signs of anti-semitism than they are to signs of anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab or anti-Muslim bigotry. Arguing with the explicit bigots hopefully pushes people in the second group in the right direction.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 5:00 pm

        Donald says: “…But it doesn’t help at all to tolerate real anti-semitism. “

        This argument you and others put forward always rests on tagging Berlin’s remark/reference as ‘anti-semitic.’

        Leaving aside the question of whether she was actually asserting it to be fact that ‘the Zionists ran the camps,’ you never explain one thing.

        How is the remark anti-semitic in the first place? If I say ‘the Nazis ran the camps’, is that evidence that I am a Germanophobe?

        The Nazis ran the camps. There: I’m a Germanophobe.

      • American
        October 12, 2012, 11:32 pm

        Who is Ali Abunimah and wasn’t he the one that also led the charge on Aztom?
        People keep saying Aztom has denied the holocaust but I haven’t seen that….true, I don’t read his blog or writtings regularly but I have read some of them and just don’t see why he is so hated. Except maybe he says some unflattering things about the whole Jewish tribal thing and some Jews think it is forbidden to say anything bad about any Jews.
        Anyone who has material he wrote denying the holocaust please post it or direct me to it so I can see for myself.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 12:55 pm

        For me the damning Atzmon post is here–

        link

        He slips in some really nasty things in there, but what Atzmon supporters tend to do is focus on the things he says they might agree with and overlook the classic Holocaust denial statements. For example, there is this —

        “If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein – free of Jews), or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?”

        That’s utterly insincere, disgusting, and frankly stupid. How could any sane person possibly deny that the Nazis wanted the Jews dead? And notice how he refers to the fact that everyone knows, that the Nazis wanted to exterminate the Jews, as a “Zionist narrative”.

        It’s exactly that kind of thing which gives anti-Zionism a bad name, and if good people stand by this guy (and some have), then they are inadvertently handing the BS artists on the Zionist side a huge propaganda weapon. I’ve been at mainstream liberal blogs where people think that if you use the term “Zionist” in a critical way, then you’re an anti-semite. Why hand them a reason for thinking this?

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 5:20 pm

        I’m inclined to say well there you are.

        I went to your link, Atzmon does cross the line into at least the kiddie pool version of Holocaust denial, and his assertions are indeed both insulting and easily discredited. I agree.

        However, that’s Atzmon. Not Berlin.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 6:26 pm

        I’ve said a few times that I don’t know what the truth is about Greta–others seem to have some later news about her that I haven’t read or processed yet. I’m talking more about the need in general to be sensitive about the Holocaust.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 8:35 pm

        Well I still don’t agree. I think he is more nuanced than that but it doesn’t come across well in some of his examples. And then his nuance combined with his bombastic way confuses people.
        I’ll see if this gets through this time just for sake of argument.
        John Mearsheimer says he isn’t a holocaust denier and I think Measheimer is probably a more objective judge of what a holocaust denier really is. He cites this from Aztom’s book:

        “As much as I was a sceptic youngster, I was also horrified by the Holocaust. In the 1970s Holocaust survivors were part of our social landscape. They were our neighbours, we met them in our family gatherings, in the classroom, in politics, in the corner shop. The dark numbers tattooed on their white arms never faded away. It always had a chilling effect. . . . It was actually the internalization of the meaning of the Holocaust that transformed me into a strong opponent of Israel and Jewish-ness. It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return” (pp. 185-186).

        I seem to remember there have been big fights about whether or not the Nazis “original” intention was to outright exterminate the Jews, the zionist insist that was their goal and plan from the’ very beginning’. But there is lots of information in the nazi’s own papers that indicates the first impluse or plan wasn’t to kill them all, but to expell them out….and that it ‘built up’ to killing them…… so that may be part of what Aztom is saying in the part Donald referenced.

    • lyn117
      October 13, 2012, 9:20 am

      The Jpost article contends that Gaza isn’t free because it’s ruled by Hamas. I think that’s more or less the equivalent of saying Zionists ran the concentration camps.

    • libra
      October 13, 2012, 5:39 pm

      Re: CW blogs.jpost quote: …the Mossad was behind the man who made a film denigrating Islam

      To regard as antisemitic the thought that Mossad gets involved in “information operations” is bizarre. After all this very point had effectively being raised as speculation in the comments on Mondoweiss when the “Innocence of Muslims” film was a hot topic.

      Nevertheless Alex Kane also made the the same accusation in the final paragraph of his original Greta Berlin post . An odd coincidence or were some “talking points” circulated?

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 6:18 pm

        libra says: “Nevertheless Alex Kane also made the the same accusation in the final paragraph of his original Greta Berlin post . An odd coincidence or were some “talking points” circulated?”

        Either your link is no good or that post is now gone.

      • libra
        October 14, 2012, 2:41 pm

        CW: Either your link is no good or that post is now gone.

        My failure to check the link. Here it is again.

      • AlGhorear
        October 13, 2012, 8:15 pm

        “Nevertheless Alex Kane also made the the same accusation in the final paragraph of his original Greta Berlin post. An odd coincidence or were some “talking points” circulated?” – Libra

        After the tweet was posted, it didn’t take long for Greta’s detractors to jump in and cite past “offenses” including her endorsement of Atzmon’s book and the tweet about Mossad being involved in the anti-Islam film. There were dozens of tweets, blog posts and articles that referenced these two items as being further evidence that she’s antisemitic, so that’s why you’re seeing it in the comments section at the JPost, in Alex’s article and elsewhere.

      • libra
        October 14, 2012, 2:44 pm

        AlGhorear: There were dozens of tweets, blog posts and articles that referenced these two items as being further evidence that she’s antisemitic, so that’s why you’re seeing it in the comments section at the JPost, in Alex’s article and elsewhere.

        Then if Alex just copied and forwarded it without checking it or thinking about how ridiculous it is then isn’t he rather guilty of Greta Berlin’s “offense”.

  25. Donald
    October 12, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Well, I’m confused and I think it’s because there are different issues that are being conflated. I agree that there should not be anti-semitism in the pro-Palestinian rights movement, but is the issue whether or not Greta endorsed the clip and the sentiments? Do we know she’s lying? She’s upthread giving her side. Is Larry Derfner an anti-semite for believing her? (Unless I’m behind the latest news, I think he’s been one of her defenders.)

    Are you talking about the video, which she claims she in no way endorses , or are you talking about Atzmon, who she reportedly endorsed? Isn’t that more to the point? I know he makes anti-Zionist arguments where most of us agree with him, but he also goes further, playing around with Holocaust denial while denying he denies it. It baffles me that people I otherwise respect endorse this jackass. I read his comments about the Holocaust on his own blog and to me that should have been the end of it–he’s poison. In some cases maybe people are so disgusted by false accusations of anti-semitism they are slow to recognize the real thing when it is mixed in with statements that most anti-Zionists would make.

    On the history of the Holocaust, I always read Hostage’s comments with interest, but for most of us who aren’t experts there’s a simple principle that maybe we should all follow–STFU. The mass murder of 5-6 million people is not something to be discussed lightly, and the last thing Palestinians need is for non-experts to link their cause to dubious and inflammatory claims.

    On Greta, I have no reason to disbelieve her, but what she was thinking? Even if this was some private discussion group regarding hate speech online, did it cross her mind how it would look if a leading figure in the pro-Palestinian movement was caught distributing an anti-semitic video, even if it was for innocent reasons? Good God.

    If that’s the reason you think she should resign, say so. It sounds like you think she is lying and is really an anti-semite. But then in the last paragraph the issue becomes broader and here I agree with you–there shouldn’t be any tolerance in the pro-Palestinian rights movement for anti-semitism. It confuses the issue to mix this up with exactly how one feels about Greta, especially given the fact that some very liberal Zionists (Larry Derfner anyway) think she’s innocent. But anyway, if you want to use a particular person as a symbol for what might be wrong in the pro-Palestinian movement, I’d suggest Atzmon would be a better choice. (And you, Phil, were initially suckered by him, if I recall correctly.)

    • Donald
      October 12, 2012, 6:02 pm

      That last sentence about you being suckered, Phil, was just to point out that endorsing someone doesn’t necessarily make you guilty of their sins.

    • Donald
      October 12, 2012, 6:24 pm

      ” But anyway, if you want to use a particular person as a symbol for what might be wrong in the pro-Palestinian movement, ”

      Better yet, just state what the basic principles should be as you see them, and point out examples where you think they are violated. In general it’s probably not a good idea to use a specific person as a scapegoat–the debate then becomes whether that specific person is guilty and then people are judged innocent or guilty based on what they say about that specific person. So here we are, using Greta and how people react to the Greta affair as a proxy for how they think about anti-semitism.

    • ColinWright
      October 12, 2012, 7:55 pm

      Donald says: “there’s a simple principle that maybe we should all follow–STFU. The mass murder of 5-6 million people is not something to be discussed lightly, and the last thing Palestinians need is for non-experts to link their cause to dubious and inflammatory claims.”

      Screw that. Why should it be a sacred cow? Particularly as there is a rather direct and necessary link between the Holocaust and the fate that subsequently overtook the Palestinians. They’re to be careful of the sensibilities of their oppressors? That’s absurd.

      Ten-twenty million Chinese were killed in World War Two. Are we forbidden to refer to that?

      Thirty-forty million Russians…a fine, handsome proportion of the population of Serbia. Moving on, there’s half the Armenians…ninety to ninety five percent of the American Indians…by some estimates, half the population of Iran under the Mongols.

      Etc. Apologies to anyone who feels left out. However, I’ve never noticed anyone feeling desperately obliged to go on tippy-toe about any of these. I’ll talk about them if I damned well feel like it, and if anyone wants to argue about it, I will expect them to be rational, polite, and not seek to hunt me down in the streets.

      ‘Anti-semitism’ has come to be used as a club, and it is used by all the worst people, and people let the club intimidate them.

      • Donald
        October 12, 2012, 11:40 pm

        ” They’re to be careful of the sensibilities of their oppressors? That’s absurd.”

        It’d probably be good if there were outbreaks of sensitivity all over the world in every direction, but I wasn’t really thinking of the Palestinians so much as Westerners.

        “Ten-twenty million Chinese were killed in World War Two. Are we forbidden to refer to that?”

        It’s not about referring to it. It’s about idiots asking whether the victims of some mass slaughter provoked it, or treating the Nazis or Japanese militarists or whoever as though they were motivated by quite rational resentments that drove them to behave the way they did. People usually are expected to be respectful towards the victims of mass murder or genocide and when they aren’t, they are quite properly regarded as jerks or racists or both.

        I don’t see what is so hard about this. There is nothing about defending the rights of Palestinians that requires us to say offensive things about the Holocaust. Aside from the wrongness of doing so, it does nothing to help the Palestinians except call into question the motives of the person doing it.

        “Anti-semitism’ has come to be used as a club, and it is used by all the worst people, and people let the club intimidate them.”

        Yeah, but there is such a thing as real anti-semitism If you want to fight back, just be morally consistent and point out the hypocrisy on the other side.

      • Philip Weiss
        October 13, 2012, 10:25 am

        Thanks Donald for your presence here and clarity

      • Klaus Bloemker
        October 13, 2012, 1:36 pm

        Donald’s clarity? – not quite.

        When you oppose something and you come up with a vicious, false and idiotic accusation you undermine your credibility – that’s all.

        But how come such an accusation levelled toward Zionists is called ‘anti-Semitism’? – Because Zionists are Jews. And they always stress that they are Jews first, Zionists/Israelis second.

        I remember Sharon says: “What is important to me is that I’m a Jew.” And I remember a Jewish friend of mine say about Iraq’s Saddam and his policies against Israel that that was “a crime against Jews.”

        Well, of course, if you opposed Nazism in the 1930s and came up with a somewhat idiotic accusation that wasn’t true – then you MUST have done so because you were anti-German! – So much about “motives”.

      • Bruce
        October 13, 2012, 2:08 pm

        @ Philip Weiss

        Yeah, too bad Donald is by far in the minority at Mondoweiss Comment Central.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 13, 2012, 2:26 pm

        klaus, donald couldn’t have been clearer. let’s try this again. you said They’re to be careful of the sensibilities of their oppressors? That’s absurd. in the earlier thread (alex’s) i said there should be a level of respect afforded wrt addressing an event which perpetrated so much horrific grievous loss. donald said The mass murder of 5-6 million people is not something to be discussed lightly.

        when you reference the memory of those who lost their lives in the holocaust, these are not ‘palestine’s oppressors’. the tragic death of those people touched millions of lives including lives of virtually every jewish person in our movement too. their deaths are not a weapon owned by a side in this fight.

        But how come such an accusation levelled toward Zionists is called ‘anti-Semitism’?

        because it is not zionists you are hurting, it is the memory of those who died and those victims and their survivors cannot be divided politically. this is why jvp had no choice but to distance themselves. it’s their families too. this is not a difficult concept, is it? there’s just no room for slinging genocide carelessly. there’s no room for ‘screw that’. this is all too painful watching this unfold but we cannot, we cannot use the holocaust as a weapon because others do. think of it as a loaded gun. it doesn’t mean you cannot or should not examine, it means you do it with upmost respect and care knowing if it goes off the results can be devastating.

        what we are witnessing is very predicable under these circumstances. it’s personally painful for me to witness this unraveling.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 2:43 pm

        I don’t think I’m in the minority–there are a lot of quotes up and down the thread that say we should be sensitive about the Holocaust or words to that effect. If anything, some folks are more critical of Greta herself than I am (because it’s not clear to me, not knowing enough, if she is guilty of anything more than maybe stupidity and an attempt at perhaps covering up the stupidity.) But on the sensitivity issue, yeah, a number of people here are saying we should be sensitive.

        And even some who are reacting on the other side–well, it’s complicated, because some believe Greta’s defense and see her as being railroaded. And others are so tired of false charges of anti-semitism the knees tend to jerk whenever the term is even mentioned. But that kneejerk tendency is something that should be resisted.

        I’m losing count of the number of different issues that are being conflated, and that’s part of the problem in itself.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 2:52 pm

        Very good comment, Annie. That’s what I meant to say and you said it better.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Donald says: “Yeah, but there is such a thing as real anti-semitism If you want to fight back, just be morally consistent and point out the hypocrisy on the other side.”

        A fine point, to be sure.

        How it relates to what Greta said, though, escapes me.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “when you reference the memory of those who lost their lives in the holocaust, these are not ‘palestine’s oppressors’. the tragic death of those people touched millions of lives including lives of virtually every jewish person in our movement too. their deaths are not a weapon owned by a side in this fight.”

        You should talk to the Zionists about that. They certainly use the Holocaust as a weapon in this fight. Given that they’re clubbing us over the head with it, I think it’s at least understandable if we try to turn the cudgel aside — which, incidentally, is I think the worst that Greta can legitimately be accused of.

        “…because it is not zionists you are hurting, it is the memory of those who died and those victims and their survivors cannot be divided politically. ..”

        If so, then you should be berating those who publicized the reference. Greta certainly wasn’t trying to bring this to everyone’s attention.

        Moreover, I question whether accusing Zionists — rightly or wrongly — is impugning Jews in general in the first place. To accept that is to accept the equation between Zionism and Judaism, and if we’re going to do that — as I keep saying — then we might as well throw in the towel entirely. After all, to attack Zionism is to attack Judaism. Any opposition to Israel is anti-semitic. So stop being an anti-semite if you feel this way.

        As I just said elsewhere, suppose I said the Nazis ran the camps. Does that make me a Germanophobe?

    • gamal
      October 13, 2012, 9:44 am

      “The mass murder of 5-6 million people is not something to be discussed lightly,”

      you see right there D, how many people died in the camps 6 million or an estimated 11m, why dont the others even merit a mention, were they not Jews, perhaps, or is that yet another example of “inconsistency”?
      and its not that long ago that that 5 would have cost you a lot, things change. Of course somethings are rarely if ever mentioned let alone discussed with inappropriate levity, inconsistency abounds apparently in a very consistent, and tedious, fashion,

      Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians
      In WW2 Bengal Famine

      By Dr Gideon Polya

      29 September, 2011
      Countercurrents.org

      India contributed an army of 2.4 million men to assist the British war effort in World War 2. However India was rewarded by a British-imposed Bengal Famine (Bengali Holocaust, Indian Holocaust) that killed 6-7 million Indians in Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Orissa in the period 1942-1945. Australia was a major supplier of wheat but deliberately by-passed starving India , this boosting British food stocks and what was evidently a starvation-based military strategy to prevent Japanese advance into Bengal .

      While there was no catastrophic decline in the amount of rice or other grain available in Bengal, the price of rice edged up slightly during 1942 and by December 1942 the wholesale price of rice in Calcutta had increased to be double that in December 1941. By mid-1943 it had doubled again to be over 4 times greater than the price in December 1941. As analyzed by Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen ( Cambridge and Harvard) the Bengal Famine derived from a cashed-up Calcutta , a major industrial city involved in a war production boom, sucking rice out of a starving, rice-producing countryside.

      A variety of factors contributed to the greatly increased market price of rice but the absolute amount of rice and other grain was not a critical determinant as has been argued from a superficial analysis of the situation. There was grain available to alleviate the problem but then in late 1941 British gave Indian provinces autonomy over their food stocks, this contributing to the huge price increase in Bengal. Other factors included small decreases in the Bengal rice harvest due to fungal infestation and storm; loss of rice imports from Burma (that had been conquered by the Japanese); British violence in West Bengal that impaired rice production, storage and availability; British seizure of local food stocks; British seizure and destruction of Bengali boats crucial for income generation and food distribution (a measure ostensibly directed against possible Japanese invasion from Burma);

      link to countercurrents.org

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 12:00 pm

        gamal says:

        “The mass murder of 5-6 million people is not something to be discussed lightly,” ..(Donald)

        you see right there D, how many people died in the camps 6 million or an estimated 11m, why dont the others even merit a mention, were they not Jews, perhaps, or is that yet another example of “inconsistency”?>>.

        That is the crux isn’t it? It takes a strange person to make light of any groups mass murder, but it also takes a strange person to make their people’s mass murder the one in the whole world that is suppose to count for ‘all the world’s people’ more than any others. Might be natural for it to be ‘the’ most important event to the Jews, but it’s not natural to demand that it be ‘the’ most important event for everyone else in the world.
        I have never seen anyone discuss the Jewish holocaust (or any other)lightly. But I have seen people (like me) say they are tired of the way it is used. It happened , it was horrible, but it was not the one and only horror in mankind. Was it the worse mass murder ever in the world in numbers or methods? I don’t know, it might have been the worse one in what we call modern history, but it definitely was not the only one.
        The problem I see is the attitude that their mass murder was more important than any others and therefore all the descendants of all Jews are forever owed by the entire world is what puts people off.
        You could say the Holocaust has reached ‘market saturation’ and is in the stage of ‘diminishing returns”. It has wrung the world out of a lot of it’s former deference to the Jewish holocaust because it never ends and nothing anyone does, even those not responsible for the holocaust, is ever enough.
        I would say, as usual,…..Move On past it…..but I don’t think there’s a chance the zionist or the professional Jewish orgs will do that.
        So it will probably go on and on and as a result people will get deafer and deafer to it from sheer overkill. And there is also the danger in getting deaf to this that the world will have less sensitivity, become equally as deaf to all mass murder events.
        Maybe it’s something like the saying…. ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’…it’s just been used too much in everything and in disrespectful ways by the very people who constantly bandy it around.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 2:27 pm

        Hell, Peter Novick in “The Holocaust in American Life”, a pretty mainstream historian, is critical of the tendency to elevate the Holocaust above all other mass slaughters. We’ve had that discussion at MW once or twice and I agree with Novick. The problem is that in some of these discussions some people drift off that point and start going in a Holocaust denial direction. Atzmon, for instance, in the blog post I linked in this thread.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 4:02 pm

        @ donald

        I just replied to your reply to me on Aztom and denial. Go read it.
        You might still not agree but it will give you something to consider..lol

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 6:09 pm

        @ donald

        well never mind looking for my reply on Aztom…..I said I didn’t think he was a denier and gave some examples but the monitors evidently don’t allow neutral takes on Aztom, they must all be bad, bad Aztom so it went down the rabbit hole…LOL
        I’ll just repeat one thing I said in regard which was…. questioning authority, particularly any authority that refuses to tolerate any questioning of itself and smashes people into the ground for daring to ask questions, is always a good thing imo.

      • gamal
        October 13, 2012, 7:53 pm

        I am puzzled by the statement “Israels actions will lead to increase in Antisemitism”. How so?

        Did anyone worry about Apartheid leading to an increase in anti-Boer racism? the Boers have a record of concentration camp mass murder at the hands of the British, were derided as Yaapi’s by the Anglo element of the white population, did anyone condemn, the PAC for their slogan “One Settler, One Bullet”, rather than understanding such slogans as integral to the struggle for Human Rights in the former Apartheid state.

        The idea that acts by Israel leads to Antisemitism is an argument I would like to see fleshed out, an antipathy towards and frustration with Israeli and the various Jewish communities around world, many of whom are purveyors of the most active and sanguinary racism currently operating within the Western political sphere, does not seem to me to be a big deal. Anyone following the current French discourse of the Ramadan Pain au Chocolate?

        I had a few black American students at the seminary post 9/11, and many of them made the same point to me that though they suffered to some extent from anti-Muslim prejudice this paled in comparison to the problems they faced from being black in the USA and yet anti-Black racism seems not to excite the same visceral condemnation as claims of Antisemitism, it seems that in the pluralism of America it is assumed that ones ethnic identity is a freestanding cassus belli with everyone else’s.

        Frankly anyone stupid enough to give any credence to racist notions is hardly worth engaging with, Abimuneh’s need to vociferously distance himself from any hint of anti-Jewish prejudice is itself an expression of the authoritarian atmosphere growing the USA, i think, though to be honest, I know little of the USA.
        It is a common place observation, borne out by my own experience, that it is possible to maintain quite warm personal relationships with extreme right wing religious Zionists, a Rabbi and a couple of others, which for me sadly has not been possible with more “left-wing” and liberal Israeli’s, because the latter are more reliant on Zionist fabulations to explain Palestinian resistance to dispossession, while the former are quite comfortable with straight power concepts and a “realist” interpretation of the conflict, with little need for racist essentialization of their victims, like Jabotinsky, and in the long run it seems to me that peace with the Right in Israel is more likely than with the “left”, as my Smadar Levy, the Mizrahi sociologist, seems to imply.

        In common with some commentators here the hopes I invested in the Left have been sorely disappointed, but the getting of wisdom is, as they say, a bloody business, fraught with painful disillusionment.

    • Klaus Bloemker
      October 13, 2012, 3:58 pm

      On Donald’s clarity – he says:

      “people are so disgusted by false accusations of anti-semitism they are slow to recognize the REAL THING.” – my emphasis
      ———————————–
      Well yes, but Donald fails to say what the “real thing” is.

      And Annie – I’m the last one to take talk about the Holocaust lightly. It’s so disturbing that people don’t know any longer whether two plus two equals four.

      In my logic, an accusation against Zionists (about collaboration with Hitler or anything else) can be false or it may be true but it can never be anti-Semitic UNLESS you claim that the Zionist behavior/policy stems from an (inherent) Jewishness. In that case, that’s the REAL THING.

      • Donald
        October 13, 2012, 6:53 pm

        “Well yes, but Donald fails to say what the “real thing” is.”

        Atzmon is the real thing, where he writes that the belief that the Nazis tried to kill the Jews is a “Zionist narrative”. No, it happens to be the truth. It’s disturbing that smart well-intentioned people have been taken in by him . I wish that when Phil and Adam decided to write this post condemning tolerance for anti-semitism in the Palestinian rights movement they’d focused more on a clear-cut case like Atzmon rather than Greta. As far as Greta is concerned, I’m confused, and have said that several times now. She might only be guilty of stupidity for all I know. Maybe others know more.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        October 13, 2012, 9:27 pm

        P.S.
        But who says that Zionist policy stems from Jewishness? – Israel does.

    • AlGhorear
      October 13, 2012, 9:11 pm

      Phil and Adam,

      As Donald and others have asked, could you please provide some clarification about what exactly you believe is evidence of Greta’s anti-Semitism?

      You cited “Berlin’s anti-Semitic tweets” and wrote “Whatever your line is for what’s acceptable speech about Jews, Berlin’s statements and attitude were over the line.”

      Which tweets were anti-Semitic and why “tweets” plural? There was ONE tweet where she linked to a video and copied its title verbatim: “Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps.” It would be different if the title of the video was “Concentration Camps in Germany” and she wrote “Zionists Ran the Holocaust and the Concentration Camps”, but that’s not what happened. It’s common practice for people to include the title of an article or video when they post a link to it. It doesn’t mean they agree with the content. She did the same thing when she linked to the article about Mossad being behind the anti-Islam video.

      It’s true that she posted the video without context or comment, but she says she intended to post it to a small (37 members) secret Facebook group where racism is one of the topics of discussion. Sixteen members of the secret Facebook group issued a statement confirming the group’s existence and supporting Greta’s version of what happened. The statement was appended to the second Derfner article.

      “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 original post published 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 famous quote by David Ben-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.

      Many in the media 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. Others accused Greta 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”

      This is the group Benjamin Doherty tried to discredit as being sock puppets, but among the signers was Mazin Qumsiyeh, a well-known and respected Palestinian activist and former professor at Yale. I’ve known Mazin since we were both on the national coordinating committee for Al Awda. If we have Mazin’s word and Greta’s word, why isn’t that enough? Why should she be required to release content from a secret Facebook group? Aren’t those members entitled to their privacy?

      You referred to Greta’s statements as crossing the anti-Semitism line. Other than her apologies, explanations and condemnation of the offensive video, what other statements did she make? Could you list her anti-Semitic statements?
      Are you referring to her emails that Ali Abunimah says were inconsistent because she wrote “I was on a train to Toronto” in one email and “in a hurry to get on a plane to Canada” in another. By that we know she must be lying because you can’t take a train and a plane on the same day and Toronto isn’t in Canada.
      If it’s something that was said in your email correspondence with her this week that leads you to say she’s anti-Semitic, then please post what you wrote and with Greta’s permission, her responses.

      Another complaint about Greta was that there was anti-Jewish material posted on a private Facebook page that has 1000 members and she’s one of the administrators. If that’s the test, then Phil and Adam, you would also be suspect since there is racist material and commentary on this site that goes unchallenged by you.

      Or was it her endorsement of Atzmon’s book?

      I feel like I’m really grasping at straws here trying to figure out why you came down with such a strong condemnation of Greta and those of us who support her. From the comments by others, I don’t think I’m alone. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this site and hope you will provide the answers to the questions many of us have.

  26. Danaa
    October 12, 2012, 6:18 pm

    I think I need to put up again keith’s excellent comment from the other day on one of the related posts:

    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”).

    Not sure it can be said any better, when it comes to the palestinians. But it’s only a short step to apply the same to their hapless sympathizers and the rag-tag collection of activists and advocates on their behalf.

    It’s not like if you give a finger, “they” wouldn’t want the whole arm, and then some (for the “they” see the Jpost blog comments cited by ColinWright just above). Alas, there is no way of appeasing deeply embedded paranoia. Funny thing is – the irrational fear of “anti-semitism” is so unyielding and all-encompassing that it can only beget its own premise in the end.

  27. ColinWright
    October 12, 2012, 6:33 pm

    I think the issue of what Greta intended, and what she was referring to, and everything else is quite secondary to the one primary consideration.

    She said, ‘ “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” ‘

    That is not an anti-semitic remark. It is an anti-Zionist remark. It only becomes an anti-semitic remark if you accept that the terms ‘Zionist’ and ‘Jew’ are identical in the first place.

    …and as I say, if you accept that, it’s time to throw in the towel. You have to love Israel or you’re an anti-semite.

    • notatall
      October 13, 2012, 5:49 am

      Is the charge true? It’s been a while since I read Lenni Brenner, but doesn’t his documentation of pre-War Zionist-Nazi collaboration, plus what Hannah Arendt showed, suggest that the collaboration extended into the camps? Moreover, accusing someone of killing “millions of innocent Jews” hardly sounds like anti-Semitism to me.

    • American
      October 13, 2012, 12:16 pm

      @ colin

      “She said, ‘ “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.”

      The problem with that is it’s not accurate…the zionist didn’t operate the camps….it’s a gross exaggeration. That camp guards used some Jews to monitor other Jews is true. I sincerely doubt those Jews carried out their task happily for the sake of zionism.
      I don’t object to going for the jugular when it comes to zionist but you do have to stick to the truth and facts.

      • ColinWright
        October 13, 2012, 2:53 pm

        American says: “…I don’t object to going for the jugular when it comes to zionist but you do have to stick to the truth and facts…”

        Perhaps…although bear in mind the Zionists themselves have been lying pretty freely for well over a century now. The tactic seems to work.

        More to the point though, the accusation against Greta was not that what she said falsely impugned Zionists, but that it was anti-Semitic.

        She is clearly only guilty of the latter offense if one equates Zionism with Judaism — which apparently many posters do.

      • AlGhorear
        October 13, 2012, 3:26 pm

        Greta didn’t SAY “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” That’s the title of the video she linked to in her post. She did the same thing when she posted the link to an article claiming Mossad was behind the Innocence of Muslims video. A lot of people do that when they post links. It doesn’t mean they agree with the content of the article or video.

    • demize
      October 14, 2012, 5:58 am

      Ok. see this is how rumors get started. She never said any such thing. She supposedly linked to a Eustace Mullins video in which HE said it among many other things. This is how pernicious this is.

  28. Klaus Bloemker
    October 12, 2012, 7:17 pm

    The whole Greta Berlin nonsense (“the Nazi concentration camps were operated by the Zionists”) stems from the overuse of the analogy of Zionism to Nazism.

    Take Zionism and Israel for their unique brand of religious-ethnic superiority – and its consequences – that it is. No need to permanently overkill them with Nazi analogies.

    • ColinWright
      October 13, 2012, 12:46 am

      Klaus Bloemker says: “The whole Greta Berlin nonsense (“the Nazi concentration camps were operated by the Zionists”) stems from the overuse of the analogy of Zionism to Nazism.

      Take Zionism and Israel for their unique brand of religious-ethnic superiority – and its consequences – that it is. No need to permanently overkill them with Nazi analogies.”

      I don’t see the connection. Ample use is certainly made of the analogy between Zionism and Naziism — but that’s not what happened here.

      ‘The Nazi concentration camps were operated by the Zionists’ is not an analogy. It is a direct accusation. Fairly obviously, a silly one — but an accusation, not an analogy.

      Speaking as someone who is very fond of the analogy myself, I’ve never been particularly interested in the more direct ties between the Zionists and Nazis. That pragmatic common interests were perceived at various times is congenial to my feelings about Zionism — but not especially damning. The ideological and moral congruence is far more significant — and lay elsewhere entirely. The Zionists could have scrupulously avoided all contact with Nazis and struggled to bring out crippled children — I’d still revile them.

      Really, the two subjects are entirely distinct. The Zionists did cooperate with the Nazis to some extent — but purely out of pragmatic self-interest. It’s not really central to my conclusions about Zionist ideology — and that’s where I see the analogy to Naziism. The Zionists are not Nazis because they worked with the Nazis — they are Nazis because they have similar motives, rely on similar ideas, and employ similar methods.

      • Klaus Bloemker
        October 13, 2012, 1:08 pm

        Colin – I agree

        The rest of my comment to you and to ‘notatall’s’ question was twice cancelled. I’m sorry.

  29. MRW
    October 12, 2012, 7:20 pm

    @Phil and Adam,

    You must feel as if you have an eight-inch spike going through your foreheads right about now. Wish I could buy you a drink.

  30. piotr
    October 12, 2012, 8:30 pm

    It is a bit hard topic.

    Certain Adam Hollands was popularizing a secondary accusation against Greta, namely linking to a Nazi propaganda film “Im Wald von Katyn”. I defended her on this count, because while Nazi, I think it is a truthful film and it has a status of a “primary historical material”. There is also a truthful and painful story (I do not know if related, I did not see the film, but I read about it in a very different context) of (a) some Jews being implicated in mass murder as Stalinist, (b) Israel giving them asylum and refusing extradition request for war crimes.

    This is an example of a very slippery territory. There exist claims equating Stalinism with “Jewish influence”, which is false and racist, and true claims of Zionist obliviousness of massive crimes committed by Jews (unless they verbally whack the non-Stalinist leftists). Thus the topic is both legitimate and morally treacherous.

    I think it is important to be vigilant against baseless accusations of anti-Semitism. For example, while Atzmon Gilad did “cross the line” at a certain point, a lot of his criticism of Jewish ideologies seems valid, and people were justified in quoting them approvingly. Now our Zionist “warriors of ideas” want to have a simple tool how to discredit a person: “he approvingly quoted Atzmon Gilad”. Then we can extend it to “he likes Atzmon Gilad jazz recordings” (I am a musical philistine, but they seem very good), “he was recording music together with Atzmon Gilad” and perhaps “he likes/plays jazz”.

    Posting at Mondoweiss is a “proof of anti-Semitism” as well in some circles. This inflation of accusation prompts people like Derfner to be very sceptical when a “new anti-Semite” is uncovered, and I say, good.

    I am still waiting for Zionists to start purging their toxic racists like Pamela Geller. I agree with Phillip and Adam, but I think that we need to add some asterisks.

    • Bruce
      October 13, 2012, 5:59 pm

      @ piotr

      There is a great deal of controversy over Gilad Atzmon. You write,”while Atzmon Gilad did “cross the line” at a certain point, a lot of his criticism of Jewish ideologies seems valid, and people were justified in quoting them approvingly.” In your view, at what point did Atzmon “cross the line” and which of his criticisms of “Jewish ideologies” are valid?

    • Ellen
      October 13, 2012, 7:16 pm

      “Im Wald von Katyn” was a Nazi propaganda film, big time. But it was not anti Jewish. It was a horrible and powerful anti Soviet film. I’ve watched it more than once in the original and understand the German, every word.

      In fact the German used was excellent, almost poetic German of the times. The narrator could be compared to a Ken Burns of that time and place.

      Anti Jewish propaganda was much more primitive, bold and without context and nuance and meant for the home audience.

      “Im Wald von Katyn” was meant for the world. That it is characterized as anti Jewish is really simply wrong and seems to be a coop of this horrible event and propaganda.

  31. ToivoS
    October 12, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Oy vey, what a f..ing mess. I read the EI article by Benjamin Doherty about Ofer Engel along with the comments. This case with Greta Berlin is much, much worse than the simple facts of the original offending tweet. She is guilty of outstanding stupidity or extreme dishonesty. People in that little cozy facebook group that she admins seem to be real (or at least some of them) but the fact that she runs with a crowd like that is a symptom of poor judgement. The best face we can put up for her is that this little group was infiltrated by an Israeli agent provocateur and she was led around by the nose. Her backers sound more like followers of some crazed cult leader.

    Whatever the truth of the situation, there are some facts out there right now. Something has seriously gone wrong at the FGM. My feeling is that the legitimate movement for Palestinian justice were probably starting to detect that something was wrong for some time. That tweet came at the right time to expose the whole mess and, if needed, to take out FGM.

    This is so reminiscent of the days of the antiwar movement in the late 60s and 70s. I witnessed SDS slowly taken over by the Progressive Labor Party. Then there were Lyndon LaRuche front groups that infiltrated and seriously disrupted left wing antiwar and anti-racist groups in the Boston area. With deranged souls like these running around the Israelis need not even bother planting agent provocateurs.

    In any case, Adam and Phil are doing the right thing here, even if it is pissing off many of his readers.

  32. lareineblanche
    October 12, 2012, 10:25 pm

    Good statement, if I were Palestinian I’d fully endorse this, as a general statement, regardless of the specific story which sparked it. Anti-racism is, after all, one of the main reasons one should criticize Zionism and Israeli policy in the first place.

    Don’t know Berlin at all, and it is always best to give the benefit of the doubt in these cases, but I trust people like Abunimah and Doherty. It is possible to watch antisemitic and bigoted videos or articles, to analyze the conspiracy mentality that goes along with it; I do this occasionally, as I’m truly interested in what makes these people tick. So it is plausible that she and this group were looking at for the reason she says they were. However, there seem to be too many inconsistencies in the story, and too many strange statements made by individuals affiliated with the FB group, if one has been following along.

    Just because antisemitism has been used and abused so long by Zionists and right-wingers as a way to silence debate, that isn’t a reason to ignore it on those rare occasions when it does appear.

    People involved in Palestinian solidarity have to learn to have their radars better attuned to this sort of thing because it undermines the credibility of the movement. This actually does no service whatever to Palestinians, quite the opposite – that is, after all, what this is about.

    • Newclench
      October 12, 2012, 10:55 pm

      Hear hear. Stay tuned to be accused of Zionism!

      • lareineblanche
        October 13, 2012, 12:11 am

        Well, if someone accused me of that, they’d have to be an utter fool, or not know anything about me, so I could dismiss their opinion, frankly. But if anyone wants to accuse me of being a “gatekeeper” or other such fatuous and shallow nonsense, go right ahead, it could provide some amusement.

        Maybe some people feel that it’s impossible to be simultaneously aware of antisemitism (or any other bigotry) and anti-Zionist. Such people can’t keep more than one thought in their heads at the same time.

    • Hostage
      October 14, 2012, 2:51 am

      Good statement, if I were Palestinian I’d fully endorse this, as a general statement, . . . Don’t know Berlin at all, and it is always best to give the benefit of the doubt in these cases, but I trust people like Abunimah and Doherty.

      Ironically enough, I was just wondering if the Palestinian people’s own movement for equal rights and justice is broad-minded enough for Phil, Adam, and Ali?

      Abbas, who garnered 60 percent of the vote for President, wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic of Zionist cooperation with the Nazis. It challenged many of the accepted notions about the nature and scope of the Holocaust. Like Berlin, he is accused of not offering an acceptable explanation.

      Haniyeh was the head of the Hamas ticket that won the last election. He was selected to serve as the Prime Minister. He recently stated that the Holocaust wasn’t real, and that it was an invented thing; that the Jewish Temple was a brothel located in Yemen; that Jews already enjoy the right of self-determination in New York City; and that it is dishonest to suggest that Zionist children have human rights too. link to hurryupharry.org

      If you’re familiar with the leadership in the Israeli Knesset and the Cabinet, then you already know that they are just as morally challenged when it comes to the Nakba and the on-going policies of Bantustanization and apartheid.

      There won’t ever be an end to the conflict if we wait around for leaders with perfectly spotless records or who never say stupid things, i.e.

      Fri May 11, 2012, JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) Comments from South Africa’s last white president, FW de Klerk, defending separate racial states during apartheid set off a storm of criticism on Friday from people still living with the legacy of decades of racial oppression.

      Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, De Klerk apologised for the racial policies of the white-minority government that oppressed the black majority, but defended separate states for blacks and whites.

      “I have made the most profound apology… about the injustices which were wrought by apartheid,” he told Amanpour. “What I haven’t apologised for is the original concept of nation states.”

      link to af.reuters.com

      To err is human, to forgive is divine;-)

      • gamal
        October 14, 2012, 11:56 am

        “Haniyeh was the head of the Hamas ticket that won the last election. He was selected to serve as the Prime Minister. He recently stated that the Holocaust wasn’t real, and that it was an invented thing; that the Jewish Temple was a brothel located in Yemen; that Jews already enjoy the right of self-determination in New York City; and that it is dishonest to suggest that Zionist children have human rights too. link to hurryupharry.org”

        i take it you are aware of the nature of the hurryupharry website that you linked to, and that article you link to is a hoax, you are an idiot, run by a virulently Islamophobic coterie, did you not read it, fool, and follow the link to the comment is free piece by Haniyeh, but no worries purveying racist garbage like this will have no consequences for the likes of you, will an apology follow. I can not sufficiently express my contempt. Do you really think Haniyeh would say any such things, you reveal yourself. How utterly stupid and what a repellant act. Couldn’t you tell it was hoax brother Hostage.

      • gamal
        October 14, 2012, 12:14 pm

        and as to Abbas how about something beyond innuendo, what other than blasphemy precisely are you accusing him of, perhaps you could find his thesis, read it and get back to us. but no really we all know what those people are like. Harry is no different to eddie mullins, actually the man who started the site eventually abandoned it as the racism got too much even for him, glad to see there are those with stronger stomachs.

      • Hostage
        October 14, 2012, 9:19 pm

        i take it you are aware of the nature of the hurryupharry website that you linked to, and that article you link to is a hoax, you are an idiot, run by a virulently Islamophobic coterie, did you not read it, fool, and follow the link to the comment is free piece by Haniyeh, but no worries purveying racist garbage like this will have no consequences for the likes of you, will an apology follow. I can not sufficiently express my contempt. Do you really think Haniyeh would say any such things, you reveal yourself.

        Of course I think Haniyeh would say things like that. His Politburo Chief, Interior, Education, and Cultural ministry spokesmen have said the Holocaust is a myth or based upon lies.

        I would like to know why we are always raising so much hell about people like Berlin or Helen Thomas, when it’s a matter of public record that Hamas and Fatah officials have said exactly the same things?

        *Khaled Meshaal also praised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, for his “courage” in having dismissed the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Israel to be moved out of the Middle East to Europe or North America. link to aljazeera.com
        *The spokesman for The Popular Committee of Palestinian refugees, Husam Ahmed demanded that the UNRWA remove references to the Holocaust from textbooks saying “We call on UNRWA to erase the subject … and stop any future attempt to insert strange concepts or cultures that contradict with the Palestinian values, traditions and principles”
        *The interior ministry of the Hamas de facto government in Gaza said in a statement that “it expresses astonishment because UNRWA curriculum is talking about the Jewish Holocaust.” . . . “We reject teaching our pupils such thoughts that contradicts with our Palestinian beliefs,” said the interior ministry statement, which called on the ministry of education “to check if such news is right.” link to news.xinhuanet.com
        *The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Culture in the Gaza Strip said “They want us to accept the tales and lies to win sympathy.” The ministry described the Holocaust as a lie, saying it had been exaggerated to garner sympathy for the “usurping entity” at the expense of the rights and interests of the Palestinians.
        *Zakariya al-Agha, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip and head of the PLO “refugee department,” said he was also opposed to teaching the Holocaust in Palestinian schools.
        *Salah al-Wadiyeh, a Fatah representative in the West Bank, said that the Holocaust was a “big lie.”
        link to jpost.com

        I can not sufficiently express my contempt.

        Apparently I can not sufficiently express my sarcasim about the irony of the situation. My bottom line was that, even if we accept the idea that our leaders are bigots, like FW de Klerk, that doesn’t mean that they can’t make significant contributions to the solution of our problems.

      • lareineblanche
        October 14, 2012, 12:27 pm

        Abbas, who garnered 60 percent of the vote for President, wrote his doctoral thesis on the topic of Zionist cooperation with the Nazis

        I’ve read about this, but don’t know much about it.

        As for the interview with Haniyeh on Harry’s Place, as smart as you are, I’m surprised you aren’t more skeptical of the origins of this discussion, as HP is a known hotbed of Islamophobic and vulgar, insipid mindless discussion. I have seen no other links to this interview, nor on the Guardian website, so though I don’t know for certain, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a fabrication originating over at Harry’s Cesspool.

        There won’t ever be an end to the conflict if we wait around for leaders with perfectly spotless records or who never say stupid things

        Obviously. Real change usually comes from below, and not from leaders, who are quickly co-opted and are often invested in the status quo. That’s why it isn’t the end of the world when certain individuals are discredited or removed – they do not embody any movement entirely in and of themselves.

        Like Berlin, he is accused of not offering an acceptable explanation

        I think Berlin’s explanation for this little event is, as I said, plausible. I don’t think one should be ostracized from a movement for simply sharing a video on Facebook. However, I’ve seen little convincing discussion from her about this, and few real arguments – she just didn’t really react in the way you’d think someone would who is trying to clear her name or reputation, it’s pretty thin gruel. I also saw no approval on her part of the recent statement on anti-racism at EI – she could have said a word on it. If she wants to continue with her activities, though, I say more power to her. The problem of conspiracy-mongering and other forms of bigotry are much more subtle and coded to be simply attributed to one act by one person – as someone said, it’s a pattern of activity.

        To err is human, to forgive is divine;-)

        Fully agree. Like I said, this isn’t really about Greta Berlin, it’s a broader refutation of racism, and a clarification of what the movement is about. That some commenters are trying to portray the whole episode as only about Berlin shows how much they’re totally and utterly missing the point.

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 1:32 pm

        lareineblanche,

        I think Berlin’s explanation for this little event is, as I said, plausible. I don’t think one should be ostracized from a movement for simply sharing a video on Facebook. However, I’ve seen little convincing discussion from her about this, and few real arguments – she just didn’t really react in the way you’d think someone would who is trying to clear her name or reputation, it’s pretty thin gruel.

        Has it occurred to you that she may be so stunned and shocked by the viciousness with which she has been attacked that she can barely put two words together at the moment? And attacked in some cases by people (Palestinian activists) for whom she has made so many sacrifices to help?

        How would you react under similar circumstances? Most of us would be too devastated to engage in a rational discussion about the matter — we would be speechless.

        I have been astonished by the naivete that some people have displayed here about how the Internet works. I just posted a link on Mondoweiss-on-Friendfeed to an American Thinker article by Stephen Schwartz accusing Northeastern University of being a hotbed of academic Islamism:

        link to friendfeed.com

        Should one conclude from this that I agree with Stephen Schwartz? Only if one is quite stupid.

        I posted it in the spirit of, this is interesting, take note, bookmark it, it deserves discussion, etc. I am in fact appalled by the article. (Pro-Israel activists apparently believe that they haven’t yet made enough enemies for their cause — let’s add Northeastern University to the ever-growing enemies list.)

      • lareineblanche
        October 14, 2012, 2:46 pm

        Has it occurred to you that she may be so stunned and shocked by the viciousness with which she has been attacked that she can barely put two words together at the moment?

        Oh, come on now, Sean. They saw something and wanted to get to the bottom of it. That’s not a “vicious attack”. There is clearly some obfuscation around these Facebook groups, including the expression of some ugly sentiments (which do no service to Palestinians), as well as this Ofer, who may or may not have been using sockpuppets, impersonating Palestinians. Clearly somebody is not on the level, and people owe it to others to be as transparent and honest as possible, fostering an atmosphere of trust and openness, without having their privacy infringed upon.
        The same things have happened to me before, and I took the time to refute the attacks, calmly explain my positions, ideas, and tried to make myself as clear as possible – it’s not demanding the heavens and the earth, for crying out loud.

        It has been explained already that it’s not just the posting of the video. That’s not what this is about.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 14, 2012, 1:02 pm

        hostage, you have been had on that link to harry’s place. Seumas Milne is a (left) columnist for the guardian and, aside from the fact it makes no sense his interview would be published exclusively at harry’s, i fail to understand how you could believe text like this.

        IH: I feel as a Khan Younis school mistress listening to a clever but rascally student argue that Zionist children have human rights too. First of all, we know that these brave uprisings were waged in the name of Islam, which is what we have been saying for decades would happen. Second, Khaled, as you know, was once poisoned by Netanyahu in his ear and this has unfortunately had an effect on how he speaks sometimes.

        hello! and did you read the guardian link. i wrote about it here:
        Haniyeh issued a call for unity “to address the world with one voice”
        link to mondoweiss.net

        note how the text “Guardian publishes praise of Hamas from Palestine “ has been scrubbed. harry’s place was also mocking the guardian for publishing Haniyeh’s editorial.

      • Hostage
        October 14, 2012, 7:01 pm

        hello! and did you read the guardian link. i wrote about it here:
        Haniyeh issued a call for unity “to address the world with one voice”
        link to mondoweiss.net

        Yes I commented at the time on the Haniyeh editorial and noted that it came across as insincere. The views in the other piece are culled from Haniyeh’s statements in the Arab press.

        His spokesman went ballistic a couple of months ago when an Abbas advisor visited Auschwitz and called the Holocaust a false alleged tragedy:

        “It was an unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist occupation,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas. Hamas rejects Israel’s existence and interim peace accords reached by Abbas’ more moderate Fatah group with Israel.

        Barhoum further called Bandak’s visit to Auschwitz, a camp where the Nazis killed 1.5 million people, most of them Jews but also other Polish citizens, during World War Two, as “a marketing of a false Zionist alleged tragedy.”

        He said he saw this as coming “at the expense of a real Palestinian tragedy,”

        — See (Reuters) – The Hamas Islamist group in charge of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday denounced a Palestinian official’s visit to the site of a Nazi death camp in Poland, and called the Holocaust in which 6 million European Jews perished an “alleged tragedy.”

        link to reuters.com

        The hasbara fellowship has repeatedly called attention to the volumes of propaganda produced by Hamas which alleges that the Zionists planned the Holocaust, that it was a joke, or a complete falsehood, e.g. Hamas libel: Jews planned Holocaust link to youtube.com!

        My point is that even if they hold bigoted views, this does not justify the siege or committing crimes against the people of Gaza or prolonging the armed conflict.

      • gamal
        October 14, 2012, 8:08 pm

        its just too perfect is it not in such a thread, about such an issue, but its a safe racism as racism against the powerless and despised is a safe activity, such “mistakes” are costless, Jews have no idea what it is to be defamed and have no way of responding, and that that defamation may cost lives and engender extreme suffering, US Jews in particular, it is a perfect illustration of the enormous social power wielded by the Jewish community in the states, is Hostage now beyond the pale, no purges, denunciations, careful review of his comment history mining it for signs of incipient Islamophobia, just an honest mistake? How anyone could believe that that crap was the words of Ismail Haniyeh escapes me, unless they harbour some kind of contempt for the purported speakers. “Brother Seamus” I mean as if.

        Were I to post some obviously bogus and racist stuff about Noahide Laws from one of those, ‘the content of the Talmud’ explains my antipathy to Jews would it get through, strangely smartness seems no guard against stupidity when prejudices are in play.

        15+IQ points, I am starting wonder, but then IQ has been so thoroughly discredited as a measure of anything other than privilege, for complex but readily understood factors, by some very clever secular Jewish blokes that some of you may even have heard of, Chomsky’s work being a key contribution, in a sense. The most accurate indicator bar none of future academic performance is….parental income, IQ points are clearly for sale in upmarket boutiques, Hostage may need to stock up, perhaps he is running low after sterling work here in the comments sections. it was a bit of light relief.

        Palestinians in particular can not, whatever her history, afford to stand by Greta, because they are so despised, the costs for them will be too much, I am sure she understands and is willing to make the sacrifice, She was on the Mavi Mara some one said, but from the likes of Jewish Palestinian solidarity activists she can expect nothing but vicious denunciation, Atzmons whole baiting act operates in this territory, he is after all not just Jewish, but Israeli and plays quite disrespectfully with the diaspora Jewish sense of entitlement and their sense of having the right to scrutinize and preside over other communities (cf. The Black American community), and the anxious paranoia that underlies it, Israelis have no such concerns. Tony Martins “The Jewish Onslaught” is still out there and worth reading, another uppity Black guy.

        Some one in this thread or another mentioned Lionel Jefferies, without apparently understanding what he was doing, reversing the racist tropes so beloved of white people and applying them to an analysis whiteness, it reminds me of that site “what white people like” which did the same and had 1000 comment threads of enraged white folks who didnt see the joke.

        well at least here humour is not in short supply.

  33. dbroncos
    October 12, 2012, 10:58 pm

    Greta Berlin should be shown the door. The I/P struggle for equity has no place for her or her nonsense.

    • ColinWright
      October 13, 2012, 12:47 am

      So much for intellectual freedom.

  34. talknic
    October 12, 2012, 11:18 pm

    Person inadvertently tweets the subject of an article in a manner that could be taken to reflect her beliefs. Although her past activities would seem to indicate she is far from being Antisemitic the supporters of a Greater Israel leap on it as they did Helen Thomas, blowing it completely out of proportion. They even seem to have Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz by the b*lls.

  35. BrianEsker
    October 13, 2012, 1:22 am

    actually I think Greta Berlin’s sentiments reflect the general attitude of pretty much everyone I’ve ever known who were involved with BDS, the Flotillas etc. It’s all bogus, all the time in my view.

  36. chrisjj
    October 13, 2012, 1:31 am

    This is an extremely pompous, defamatory, and supercilious article that essentially says that all who express solidarity with Greta are also racist by implication. I suggest the talking heads get off their high horses and do some real activism on the ground, as has Greta for most of her life. I am truly disgusted by this kind of witch hunt coming from people who are supposed to be fighting for the rights of the Palestinians rather than self-aggrandizement. It’s no coincidence that this has all happened just as Greta’s excellent book Freedom Sailors is published.

  37. pianoteacher
    October 13, 2012, 1:53 am

    Our Priorities

    “She’s Anti-Semitic!”

    “Oh no, she’s not!”

    “But she is, she is!” someone cried.

    Round in circles they went as they argued and argued

    And simply couldn’t decide.

    The internet shook with furious use,

    As tweets and emails went flying,

    And nobody noticed that over in Gaza

    Children were quietly dying.

    But who cares about them?

    Of far more importance

    Is the issue of Greta’s mistake;

    That Tweet that went out –

    She believed all that crap?

    Or was the whole thing just a fake?

    Of course she is guilty (until proven innocent)

    For that is the way it should work

    She sent off a link that transformed to a Tweet

    And then the whole world went berserk.

    To hell with our activism –we have to decide

    If this sacrificial lamb (dressed as mutton)

    Is a raging Jew hater, or simply a lass

    Who happened to press the wrong button.
    ___
    Author’s note: apologises to Greta for the reference to mutton, but hell of a job finding a word to rhyme with button. The only alternative I could think of was glutton.

  38. yourstruly
    October 13, 2012, 2:48 am

    notes on no room for racism……..

    since neither liberation nor oppression is a zero-sum equation
    villify
    israelis and jews in general
    in order to challenge the occupation and israeli policies?
    then there’s hannah arendt’s “a military garrison state on others’ land in the mideast in the name of all jews would result in antisemitism”

    what it’s all about?
    same old same old
    resolution?
    one equals one

  39. yomochai
    October 13, 2012, 4:09 am

    Great to see a stand taken on anti-semtism… but then you couldn’t resist: “Hannah Arendt and others long ago predicted that the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East in the name of all Jews would result in anti-Semitism. That era seems to be upon us.”
    If only Israel hadn’t been established the world would be free of the scourge of antisemitism- those Jews are aways just asking for it!

    • chinese box
      October 13, 2012, 10:32 am

      If only Israel hadn’t been established the world would be free of the scourge of antisemitism- those Jews are aways just asking for it!

      Are you the new bot hasbara central has been promising us?

      • Newclench
        October 13, 2012, 12:20 pm

        What an empty, hollow response. Someone says something you don’t like… must use insider jargon to discredit the person! No sense responding to the point!
        Typical. Both for all too many folks on this site, but also just generically typical for extremist partisans in general, who nearly always prefer ad-hominem attacks and name calling. Using words like ‘hasbara central’ or ‘Zio-bot’ is quite the same as throwing around ‘Islamo-fascism.’ An excuse to wave around slogans and depress thought.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 13, 2012, 1:24 pm

        newclench, the interpretation cb cited completely thwarted the meaning of arendt’s (and by extention phil and adam’s) point. furthermore, while chastising cb for not addressing “the point”, you yourself never addressed the point either.

        so, i will address it. arendt never claimed the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East was the only source of anti semitism in the world. but certainly a rational person might conclude the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East carried out by jews would exacerbate anti semitism, wouldn’t it? even if one argues, at it’s base, it is not that different than other colonial enterprises throughout history that involved ethnic cleansing and a mass amount of death and pain to clear the land. that is not really a ‘jewish trait’, is it? but these kinds of racist actions do create racist responses, exactly arendt’s point (i think).

        and you didn’t chastise yomochai for not addressing phil or adam’s point, did you? why not, if your concern is for hollow responses using insider jargon to discredit people? i guess i am not clear how yomochai (whom i assume you are defending) wasn’t doing what you’re accusing cb of doing.

        so, since you’re into addressing points. what do you think of arendt’s point? or yomochai’s (assuming you think it was worthy of a response, because i don’t..not really)?

        edit, and when yomochai said “but then you couldn’t resist” what is that supposed to mean? why would phil or adam even consider resisting citing arendt? frankly, that’s really baffling. perhaps yomochai doesn’t recognize israel as the establishment of a militant garrison state on others’ land in the Middle East? i have no idea. sounds rather bot-like to me too.

      • Newclench
        October 13, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Annie, you and I probably agree that Israel’s behavior not only increases anti-Semitism around the world, but even absent that – the Israel project looms as one of the greatest dangers facing the Jewish people.

        That is very different than supposing that Israel itself is the origin of anti-Jewish feelings in the world today, or that victims of anti-Jewish bigotry should point the finger at Israel instead of the actual perpetrators.

        I’m a big fan of Arendt – without subscribing to everything, of course.

        and yeah – my not addressing the point either really is meta. I appreciate you for catching that. It was intentional, precisely to demonstrate what is so darn irritating about it.

        This whole mess points to one thing: even a whiff of anti-Semitism is enough to derail important Palestinian solidarity work; on those grounds, the gatekeepers and standard bearers are correct to diligently weed it out, in good times and bad.

        Ali Abunimah, who I do not agree with, represents a smart new breed of activist. He is promoting the one state idea with an eye towards both constituencies, and for that reason is establishing bona fides as a strong opponent of anti-Jewish feeling, even when it puts him at odds with ‘his own’ community. I think he is terribly unrepresentative of the one state community (the majority of one state supporters are Jewish, Christian and Islamic fundamentalists), but if he WAS representative, it would make a real difference.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 13, 2012, 3:40 pm

        i don’t think he’s terribly unrepresented clench. just look at all the signatures attached to the first comment in this thread.

      • Newclench
        October 13, 2012, 3:55 pm

        Annie, opponents of a two state solution are dominated by religious fundamentalists of various stripes who seek to subjugate the ‘other.’ One staters on this site represent tiny minority of all one staters.
        You remind me of Trotskyist supporters of the Soviet Union in the 30s and 40s. In this analogy, the Israeli settlers, supporters of expelling Jewish Israelis and supporters of Palestine as Islamic Holy Waqf land represent the pro-Moscow Communists. They are the ‘real’ one staters, the ones with the most credibility, numbers, and political power on the ground.
        “We want one state too, but we mean something entirely different than those other folks who say they want one state!”

        But that is said with kindness or sadness, not malice. I usually/mostly support two states, but just like you, I don’t mean the kind of two state solution that those “other well known folks” support, I mean the good kind of 2SS, where everyone gets equal rights, including the right to self determination.

      • yomochai
        October 13, 2012, 4:31 pm

        Annie Robbins,
        The “couldn’t resist” was an expressions of disappointment- the original post was shaping up as a worthy rejection of antisemitism within the Middle East debate – but then we just had to have the qualification at the end. Why? I would compare it to something like: “we categorically condemn sexual violence as a hateful crime, but you have to admit this particular woman was dressed provocatively…” Antisemitism has a long history, and in every historical period there was always a good “reason”: the Jews killed Christ, they are too rich, too communist, too cliquy, trying too hard to assimilate, too progressive, conservative, too cosmopolitan, or too nationalistic. All of this before 1948 (or 1881). Sexist violence occurs no matter how women dress and blaming the victims style of dress or behaviour is always deeply offensive.
        One should have the clarity and conviction to condemn both sexist violence and racism without caveat or qualification.

      • Ellen
        October 13, 2012, 6:54 pm

        Yomochai,,

        Your post makes no sense. The logic bizarre.

        First of all if you mean that rape of women is a sexual crime? No, it is simply violence against women. There is nothing sexual about the physical injury to a girl or woman by raped. permanent injury with tearing of vaginal wall and often crushing of the cervix.

        Most rapes of women are war crimes and an attack upon a society. (that is most efficiently done though permanent trauma set upon women.) The mass rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, being the most recent example.

        Your post in an attempt to associate Jewish victimology with the idea of provocatively dressed woman who is a victim of a “sexual crime” is nuts.

      • chinese box
        October 13, 2012, 10:14 pm

        Sorry, not a Newclench fan. Keep clenching, as hard as you can. I hope it works out for you.

  40. Eva Smagacz
    October 13, 2012, 4:19 am

    I think we are all judged in our own conscience by civil courage to stand and be counted when public (and family, and friend) opinion/action is threatening to destroy out work and our achievement.

    I don’t blame Phil and Adam for fighting to protect Mondoweiss from internecine warfare that engulfed Free Gaza Movement.

    But I disagree that Anti-Semitism is anything more than racism. To say that racism against Jews is a more heinous crime that racism against anybody else is racist itself.

    I disagree that historical truth can be fully explored if one only examines nice, pre-approved sources (that has such a Stalinist stench to it). I disagree that very fact of examining some areas of history is proof of racism.

    I disagree that words speak louder than actions when one judges other people’s character.

    What a Greek tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes. Life’s work and person’s character destroyed by one tweet. Guess 25 year sentence in gulag behind polar circle is the only fitting finale.

    Shame on us.

    • ColinWright
      October 13, 2012, 2:45 pm

      To Eva:

      Hear hear.

  41. yrn
    October 13, 2012, 5:29 am

    Chomsky refused to express an opinion on Faurisson’s Holocaust denial claims, but strongly vouched for Faurisson’s motives, stating “I see no hint of antisemitic implications in Faurisson’s work… As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal.” But extensive evidence had apparently already been supplied to Chomsky at the time by the French historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet demonstrating that Faurisson was both strongly antisemitic and a Nazi sympathiser. Elsewhere, Chomsky wrote, “I see no antisemitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust.”

    Chomsky’s actions in whitewashing Faurisson’s motives strongly call into question his moral judgement, but his critics do not say they make him either an antisemite or a denier, as Wheatley claims.

    Sounds familiar…

    • lareineblanche
      October 13, 2012, 11:09 am

      Chomsky refused to express an opinion on Faurisson’s Holocaust denial claims, but strongly vouched for Faurisson’s motives

      “strongly vouched for Faurisson’s motives” is somewhat of a fabrication. Whatever merits – or lack of merits – Faurisson’s “scholarship” has, Chomsky’s signing of the petition was motivated by a concern for free speech, and had absolutely nothing to do with endorsing the actual content of Faurisson’s work. Faurisson was actually brought to trial. The simple core idea, which stems from the liberal Enlightenment tradition (reflected in the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, and subsequent jurisprudence in criminal law over more than a century which made free speech a reality only relatively recently), is that the state should not have the power to silence or punish people for what they say, or expressing political ideas, unless their words are immediately connected somehow to and encourage the commission of a crime.

      It seems to me something of a scandal that it is even necessary to debate these issues two centuries after Voltaire defended the right of free expression for views he detested. It is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adopt a central doctrine of their murderers.

      link to chomsky.info

      Brandenburg v. Ohio is a landmark case in this regard:
      link to law.cornell.edu

      For those saying that this is a “free speech” issue, they are confusing the issues: no one is prohibiting Greta Berlin (or anyone around these particular Facebook groups) from saying anything at all, and obviously no one is bringing her to trial. Free speech is a restraint on the State to punish citizens, and not a guarantee to be free from criticism of one’s statements. They’re free to say whatever they like, and others are free to disagree with them, or rebut their statements. Characterizing this as a “witch hunt” is really an exaggeration.

      Regarding possible Zionist collusion with Nazis as to emigration to Palestine, this is a documented fact, even if a minor one, and there is nothing “antisemitic” about openly discussing it, and deciding on the merits and accuracy – or lack thereof – of the historical arguments.
      link to amazon.com

      Regarding the accusations of Chomsky’s supposed “liberal Zionist gatekeeping” from some commenters, I’m really not sure where this is coming from. Here is a talk he gave with Israel Shahak in 1994, in which he openly discusses the attitude of Israel and Zionists with regard to Palestinians as “racist”, discusses the funneling to Israel of US tax-exempt money through the JNF, apartheid-like policies, along with other issues, and was generally far more virulent in his criticism of US and Israeli policy towards Palestinians than most others were at the time:

      link to youtube.com

  42. MHughes976
    October 13, 2012, 9:20 am

    For me Zionism is ‘the belief that Jewish people and they only have ‘birthrights’ in the Holy Land’ and that belief is mistaken and mistakenly licenses mistreatment of Palestinians. That proposition is near unique in our world and so brings a morally bad and quite unique cloud over Israel, making it not ‘just another’ anything. That brings me close to Colin, though I don’t think (maybe he doesn’t) that that even the most committed Zionist Israeli is incapable of doing anything good or that Israel can do nothing good corporately, though everything is burdened by the falsity of the founding premise. I expect some Zionists are nicer than me.
    Despite my disagreement with Zionism I don’t think it an insult to them to say that from their point of view it was logical and right to take as much advantage as possible of the Nazis in their early phase, when they were not overtly murderous. They were walking evidence for the truth of the Judenstaat proposition that sincere and well-meant efforts by Jewish people to ‘assimilate’ would always be rejected. Their proposition that Jewish people in Germany should be encouraged ‘to fly Jewish colours’ would sound like an overture to Zionists believing in a Jewish state. Whether some Zionists went far too far in trying to make the best of this very bad job and slipped into outrages of their own I don’t know, though I think that these things have to be discussed calmly if we want the truth of them. Not that the truth or falsity of Zionist ideas itself turns on these matters.
    I’m happy to believe Berlin’s assertion (if I understand her) that she has does not believe or begin to believe in race-based moral faults or taints. I think that she was at least imprudent in trying to run a ‘private’ – though quite big! – discussion group alongside her public role. The very privacy would inevitably give rise to suspicions.

    • yomochai
      October 13, 2012, 6:18 pm

      MHughes, you choose a particular definition of Zionism that facilitates its easy dismissal. That is like defining Palestinian nationalism as the view that Palestine is to be an ethnically pure Islamic entity and that all infidels are to be forcibly expelled. Zionism and Palestinian Nationalism both incorporate a range of views and understandings – to caricature either is intellectually lazy.

  43. mcohen
    October 13, 2012, 9:23 am

    Dear adam and philip its all nauti…call

    You have been had.hook line and sinker
    Estelle is on its way
    Now that the movement has been castrated i am willing to bet you that the estelle will reach gaza
    10 bucks says it reaches its destination

    • pianoteacher
      October 13, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Make that $20.
      And the next boat should be called the Greta.

  44. pianoteacher
    October 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

    If the new Mondoweiss definition of being a racist is some one who supports Greta, then count me in, and proud of it too :)

  45. JLWarner
    October 13, 2012, 12:46 pm

    I sponsored Greta Berlin’s talk to promote her book in Los Angeles this week. Here is why:
    1. Berlin condemned the offensive video she posted. She wrote “we condemn its content” in her original apology for posting the offensive video here:
    link to freegaza.org
    She further distanced herself from the offensive video by writing, “I am not a Holocaust denier. And I am not a supporter of the video that I posted, nor would I ever have been.” In a clarification statement here:
    link to freegaza.org
    2. As several have already pointed out in this thread, Berlin does not have a record of anti-Semitic statement.
    3. Her talk was about the Free Gaza Movement and its work sailing boats into Gaza. This is important work for our cause and deserves to be acknowledged.
    4. I believe in free speech. I felt that by censoring Berlin I would be falling into doing the Zionist’s work of stifling open discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

  46. American
    October 13, 2012, 1:47 pm

    The holocaust, anti semites, anti- anti semites, self hating Jews, Greta, Aztom…ugh, ….it’s all enough I say.

    John Mearsheimer perfectly express my thinking on the hunt for anti semites. Allowing that are some anti semites in the world and they should be outed, 90% of these anti semite hunts are started, usually by the same people every time, to change the subject from current Jewish/Zionist failings and for the purpose of protecting the zionist agenda and their generations of propaganda from being exposed.
    Realize one thing…you can find one or a thousand anti semites to hang …….but it is NOT anti semitism that is currently damaging a portion of the world and the Jews. It is Zionism within the Jews that is changing the US and the ME and the Jews world.
    That’s a much larger problem than anti semites…so much a larger problem for Jews in particular that it’s almost laughable Jews can be led from their real problem and re-directed back to anti semitism as their major threat. Let’s not lose sight of that fact.

    link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    • jon s
      October 13, 2012, 3:50 pm

      The increase in Anti-Semitism is real:
      link to antisemitism.org.il

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 5:53 pm

        @ jon

        And if there is an increase in anti semitism to what do you attribute it?

    • ritzl
      October 13, 2012, 4:15 pm

      Thanks, American, for expanding the context of the discussion, generally.

    • Bruce
      October 13, 2012, 5:51 pm

      @ American

      I am wondering the reason you used “current Jewish/Zionist failing” instead of “Zionist failings.” What is the difference between the two in the context of your statement, “usually by the same people every time, to change the subject from current Jewish/Zionist failings and for the purpose of protecting the zionist agenda and their generations of propaganda from being exposed”? So many commenters here are berating others for not maintaining a strict logical distinction between Zionists and Jews.

      • American
        October 13, 2012, 8:06 pm

        @ Bruce,

        I do actually have a logical ( to me anyway) distinction between zionist and Jews, that’s why I slash it. When I am referring to the ‘whole ball of wax ‘ so to speak, re Israel, I just shortcut it to something like Jews(slash) zionist or zionist )slash) Jews.
        There are different types of Zoinist, the ubers, the liberals and some that I call sort of clueless about the whole story and just think the idea of a Jewish state is really neat.
        Then there are the Jews or the Jewish community, among which you have some anti zionist, some actively criticize it, some that actively support Israel, some that sort of support Israel passively by going along to not make waves and some indifferent. That at least is what I have observed.
        So when I do Jews/zionist in some comment I am not “merging’ the two into one collective…..I am covering the “full spectrum” of all the different segments/attitudes found among Jews that swirl around the Israel issue.
        In the particular comment I was laying some responsibility on the Jewish community cause I think more of them should be denouncing what Israel is doing and rejecting the zionist among them.
        Some have said it isn’t the Jews responsibility to do that but I think if you identify with a group and cleave to it you do have an obligation to speak out.

      • Bruce
        October 14, 2012, 2:34 pm

        @ American

        I am still confused. You wrote, “I am covering the “full spectrum” of all the different segments/attitudes found among Jews that swirl around the Israel issue.” From that and what follows, I have to assume you are only covering Jews in your Jews/Zionist hyphenation, not Christian Zionists, whom you do not mention, or in fact any non-Jewish Americans that might fall into your group of “sort of clueless about the whole story and just think the idea of a Jewish state is really neat” category. Your hyphenated construction includes both Jews who are Zionist and Jews who are anti-Zionist. I am at a loss why you don’t just use the word Jews.

        Then you posit a singular Jewish community, which includes both Zionists and anti-Zionists, and then you want to hold that community collectively responsible for not having enough people in the community denouncing what Israel is doing and for not expelling the Zionists among them. Hence, even if a Zionist denounces what Israel is doing, you expect him to be ejected from this unified Jewish community. Let’s take a concrete example, the Magnes Zionist. And you expect the anti-Zionists to reject the Zionists among them, which means what? Eject the Zionists from the Jewish community? Or remove oneself from the Jewish community if the anti-Zionists are unable to eject the Zionists?

        Just want to make sure I understand you correctly. By the way, I believe you are not clear on the meaning of to cleave.

  47. PilgrimSoul
    October 13, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Phil and Adam,

    No need to apologize for waiting on the Greta Berlin controversy–you need time to gather evidence and try to figure out what’s happening. But many of your readers aren’t aware of what you’re found in your investigation. You need to present what you’ve found, and then make your case. Until then, people won’t know why you have taken this position.

    This Greta Berlin controversy bears a strong family resemblance to the Gilad Atzmon mess. What it boils down to is that some people have, or develop, problematical ideas that can hurt the movement for justice in Israel/Palestine. Sometimes it’s simply out of ignorance, and you try to work with those people when possible. But when their ideas are antisemitic, or appear to have hardcore, repeated antisemitic content, they are especially destructive, because it was the antisemitism of European Christians that in many ways led to the current tragedy in Israel/Palestine. Antisemitism can completely discredit organizations devoted to justice in Israel/Palestine, as the Palestinians are acutely aware, so if a person doesn’t understand the dangers of antisemitism, he or she isn’t qualified to be a leader in this particular struggle. That can sometimes be a hard call, but we need to deal with it, and I congratulate the people at Mondoweiss for doing their best with it.

    On the other hand, I think the civil rights of such people as Greta and Atzmon must be defended in the larger society. I say that partly because I am a civil libertarian, and partly because I know that the inquisitorial temperament is particularly strong on the Left. There are people who demonize musicians because they once played a gig with Gilad Atmon, or think that jazz clubs should prevent him from playing his music. So we need to be clear that we’re supporting the rights of all people in civil society, whatever their beliefs are, even if we can’t allow them to lead our organizations. I personally believe that discourse around Israel/Palestine has become deeply pathological in certain respects, and that as a result we can learn a lot from the mad ones among us, like Atzmon, about how the mind in crisis operates.

    Those interested in this subject matter may wish to read my long essay on Gilad Atzmon on my website, “Israel/Palestine in the Mind of America.”

    link to pilgrimsoulblog.com

    The issue of antisemitism has become extremely important for two reasons:

    There is no doubt in my mind that the religious nationalism upon which Zionism so often rests is affecting the quality of Judaism in the US. Does that make one antisemitic to document this? It depends on how you do it. If you make your analysis with sensitivity, you should be okay, but there are many who will wish to denounce you for antisemitism nonetheless. Yet anybody who cares two hoots for the quality of discourse in this country knows that Jewish leadership has gone rapidly downhill since the death of Abraham Joshua Heschel, and that toxic neo-con ideas have been embraced by many leaders. The key to documenting this is being specific and avoiding generalizations when possible.

    Secondly, although Mondoweiss has done a great job of opening up the justice issues surrounding Israeli apartheid, there is hanging over all of us a difficult sovereignty issue. Today an actual majority of people in Congress receive money from, or on behalf of, the state of Israel, through AIPAC. When elected officials receive money from a foreign country to vote in a certain way, that’s a profound violation of American sovereignty. That’s true on its face, but especially if it can be shown that Netanyahu’s extremist values are not the consensus values of most Americans.

    Raising the sovereignty issue, and the betrayal of American values, will be a difficult tightrope to walk. On the one hand, it will bring out the real Anti-Semites, who will have to be denounced. On the other hand, the major Jewish leaders will accuse us of antisemitism, no matter how thoughtfully we try to raise this issue. But it won’t be antisemitic, if we do it with sensitivity and intelligence–and in the end, that care will be rewarded by those we are trying to reach. To that end, we need to keep up this discussion about antisemitism, but by being specific and steering clear of hearsay, and defending everybody’s right of speech in the larger society no matter what their ideas are.

    • Ellen
      October 13, 2012, 6:33 pm

      Thoughtful post. But one of the first things we can do is stop using the perverse expression “anti Semitism” for Judeophobia.

      That alone will do a lot to put the discussion on the right path and help deals with true Judeophobes who are surely to come out of the wood work.

      But remember we live in a society of Islamophobes, a few Judeophobes and Catholic phobes….you know the Catholics are easy to make fun of with the incense, costumes and holy water.

    • Donald
      October 13, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Thanks for the link to your essay on Atzmon, Pilgrim. That was really interesting.

  48. Giulio
    October 13, 2012, 3:11 pm

    The amount,and tone, of the ugliness being directed at Greta is in direct
    relationship to her effectiveness. She is really,really good at what she does.
    This whole affair is SOP for those who are living on other peoples’ land and wish to divert attention away from their inhumane treatment of those people,much as the “Iranian (Iranium?) Bomb” scare is. (which has been going on now since BEFORE the revolution in 1979!) It’s OK to drop white phosphorus on trapped,innocent,unarmed children, but NOT OK to say ANYTHING bad about those doing the bombing. A double standard that perpetuates the problem.
    Shame on this site! You WISH you were in the same league as Greta!

  49. Donald
    October 13, 2012, 3:48 pm

    The JSF people (or Gabriel anyway) weigh in–

    link

    Summary–they agree with Phil and Adam.

    • ritzl
      October 13, 2012, 5:27 pm

      JSF: “[...FGM] Transformed into a front for bigotry”? Seriously??

      Palestinians and their so-called supporters better get a grip on what’s important and rein in the extraneous baloney (all around), otherwise the cause is lost. Period. And deservedly so. Not really (and most certainly not deservedly in the moral sense), but FFS, this is way over the top. As destructive as GB’s carelessness.

      What incredible pile-on nonsense. Again I ask, Who’s the audience for this crap?

      I appreciate what you’re trying to do here Donald. I really do. But it/JSF (with this facile, contemporaneous take) ain’t part of the overall/long-term solution. Maybe that’s just the nature of blogging, but Jeez… Come on.

    • Chu
      October 13, 2012, 7:49 pm

      JSF is scared, as are Adam and Phil, about the blowback from the Zionists organizations.
      But the Zionist organizations are guilty of supporting Israel’s racism whenever there is an issue. I tend to believe Derfner in this case.
      Greta is on the frontline fighting against Israeli racism, bit now she has become the anti-semite. She has been active since the 1967 war. You guys always look weak when the shit hits the fan. Money talks in the political spheres, but Greta is someone who is a soldier against Israel oppression.

      • Bruce
        October 14, 2012, 4:22 pm

        @ Chu

        Do you know at all what you are talking abut when you assert JSF, Adam and Phil are scared “about the blowback from the Zionist organizations”?

        JSF, Adam and Phil have burned their bridges with the Zionist organizations a long time ago. Whatever is motivating their stand it is not fear from these organizations? What are they going to do? Cut off JSF and MW funding? Take away their Bar Mitzvah certificates? Ban them from the Synagogues? Have them put on a Mossad hit list?

    • Keith
      October 13, 2012, 8:51 pm

      DONALD- Gabriel Ash from Jews Sans Frontiers and his ideological soul mate Max Ajl from Jewbonics share a common characteristic: they have extremely sensitive noses when it comes to sniffing out anti-Semitism, so much so that they put Abe Foxman to shame. Gabriel Ash has devoted an inordinate amount of time to demonizing Gilad Atzmon. I suspect that this represents some sort of turf war where Jewish Marxists are trying to establish their leadership in the movement, wielding the power of the anti-Semitic club. Atzmon in particular has been a target due to his writings about Jewish tribal Marxism.
      link to gilad.co.uk

      • Red
        October 13, 2012, 11:21 pm

        What a load of baloney, Keith. It has nothing to do with a ‘turf war’. It has to have the guts and the principles to oppose all forms of bigotry and racism, regardless of who pushing them. Atzmon is a racist, a bigot and an out and out anti-semite. Gabriel Ash and others like him should be applauded for standing up and being counted and opposing Atzmon’s crap. Atzmon is NOT a friend of the Palestinian solidarity movement or the Palestinian struggle and he should be opposed at every single turn.

      • Chu
        October 13, 2012, 11:53 pm

        I have to agree with Keith

      • Bruce
        October 14, 2012, 12:13 am

        @ Keith

        More brilliant insight from you. You now want us to believe that Gabriel Ash from Jews Sans Frontiers “puts Abe Foxman of the ADL to shame” when “it comes to sniffing out anti-Semitism.” You suspect that Ash’s remarks represent a turf war among Jewish Marxists. What happened to your kinship network theories?

        Let Ash speak without an interpreter:

        But It is also a moment marked by growth in both the clarity and the confidence of a movement that knows what it wants and won’t allow itself to be hijacked and blackmailed into supporting ideas and tolerating behavior that undermine it. The response to the debacle has been swift and tenacious, beginning with Ali Abunimah’s rejection of Berlin’s obfuscatory explanations, and the clear statement of the former board members, followed with the amazing organized response of leading Palestinian activists, and the refreshingly unequivocal position taken by the editors of Mondoweiss. Critics have made every effort to invite Berlin to come clean and recognize and deal with what happened, which goes beyond the mistake of inadvertently associating solidarity with Gaza with a potty antisemite and the consequence of that for the movement as a whole. The problem is the pattern of associations, “openess” to and tolerance of bigoted cranks, as if racism and bigotry is just another opinion that one must respect, as if refusing it is too “divisive” or unecumenical, an attitude that progressively blurs the distinction between diversity of views and unhinged chauvinism, that made that kind of mistake inevitable. She did not, and then came the recurrent refrain that finding that unacceptable is in some way giving comfort to the enemy. The opposite is true. It is the renewed independence and autonomy of the movement that allow it to refuse to have its agenda set by those who attack it. We don’t take our beat from Zionists and racists in either direction. We have our own drum, and it is the unequivocal and uncompromising drum of “freedom, justice, and equality…opposed to all forms of racism and bigotry.” This renewed clarity will help us help each other so we have no more scandals such as this, and also no more moments of picking up the pieces afterwards.

      • demize
        October 14, 2012, 6:09 am

        He seems very satisfied that a brave and effective advocate has been laid low. How odd?

      • Keith
        October 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

        BRUCE- “More brilliant insight from you.”

        You’re very kind, Bruce. Would it be immodest to say that I agree completely? Wait, you aren’t being sarcastic, are you? Hmmm. Say, you sound familiar. Didn’t you comment on Modoweiss when I first showed up? Then you went on an all-too-brief sabbatical? As I recall, back then your nose for sniffing out anti-Semitism was extremely sensitive. It would appear that the old sniffer hasn’t lost any sensitivity as you pursue your driving passion to root out anti-Semitism in thought, word and deed wherever you imagine it to be.

        Bruce said: “You suspect that Ash’s remarks represent a turf war among Jewish Marxists.” No, I said “I suspect that this represents some sort of turf war where Jewish Marxists are trying to establish their leadership in the movement, wielding the power of the anti-Semitic club.” It is not a turf war among Jewish Marxists, it is a Stalinist purge by Jewish Marxists. Atzmon, Finkelstein, Berlin and perhaps others to come. Marxists react strongly to deviations from the party line as determined by the elites. Jewish Marxists have a useful club for getting their way. And while the charge of anti-Semitism may not have the impact it once did, it still has residual power, particularly when wielded against a leader of a volunteer organization dependent upon contributions for survival, especially if Jewish donors are a significant part of the financial support.

        You quote Ash as saying: “The problem is the pattern of associations, “openess” to and tolerance of bigoted cranks, as if racism and bigotry is just another opinion that one must respect, as if refusing it is too “divisive” or unecumenical, an attitude that progressively blurs the distinction between diversity of views and unhinged chauvinism, that made that kind of mistake inevitable.” Well, there it is in a nutshell. She deviated from the party line on Atzmon, hence, she has to go.

      • Bruce
        October 14, 2012, 3:34 pm

        @ Keith

        We both know that I consider you intellectually challenged, so we might as well get it out in the open again now that you raised it. I’m surprised you forgot so quickly how I am the one that reprinted your ZIONazis piece on MW. Are you still reduced to commenting on Mondoweiss after your failed attempt at your own blog, or are you contributing postings at other sites now? And from your follow-up remark may I assume I also put Abe Foxman to shame in “sniffing out anti-Semitism” along with Gabriel Ash?

        Excuse me if I am confused again, but you are instead claiming that Ash and Ajl are Jewish Marxists trying to pull off a Stalinist purge of the Palestinian solidarity movement leadership? Are these just your suspicions (which would surprise nobody that has read you) or do you have any evidence? Or are you talking about some other movement? Is Ali Abunimah a collaborator or a dupe? And what about the other Palestinians that signed the open letter at the US Palestine Community Network calling for the “disavowal of Atzmon”: Omar Barghouti, Hatem Bazian, Haidar Eid, Nadia Elia, Joseph Massad and others? Collaborators or dupes?

        And you are claiming that FGM is especially susceptible to such a purge due to the significant number of Jewish donors to the organization?

        Nobody is better at sniffing out the sniffers of anti-Semitism and Jewish Marxist conspiracies than our old hunting dog Keith. If the Zionists really wanted to destroy FGM, they would find a way to have you elected to the Board.

      • Danaa
        October 14, 2012, 4:00 am

        Again, I too must agree with keith.

        note the citation of gabriel Ash’s own words:

        Critics have made every effort to invite Berlin to come clean and recognize and deal with what happened, which goes beyond the mistake of inadvertently associating solidarity with Gaza with a potty antisemite and the consequence of that for the movement as a whole. The problem is the pattern of associations, “openess” to and tolerance of bigoted cranks, as if racism and bigotry is just another opinion that one must respect, as if refusing it is too “divisive” or unecumenical, an attitude that progressively blurs the distinction between diversity of views and unhinged chauvinism, that made that kind of mistake inevitable.

        critics did not make “every effort” based on all I’ve been reading. the critics simply decided not to accept an apology and an admission of error, choosing to broaden their censure to encompass “pattern of association”, one that remains unspecified, but one we suspect includes Gilad Atzmon. Greta failed to join in the decision by the purists and the marxist internationalists to put Gilad into herem, so she is now made to join him at the stake.

        I, for one, would just love to hear more about that ‘pattern of [dubious] associations”. Let’s hear who else is on the “list” as those who must be purged.

    • kalithea
      October 14, 2012, 3:55 am

      Anti-Zionists ARE Anti-Semites because most Jews are Zionists, but I guess that slipped their mind; I mean the fact that most Jews are Zionists. Most Jews reside in Israel and the U.S. which means over one-half and then France, Canada and the U.K. and all those countries other than Israel have powerful Zionist lobbies representing a large majority of Zionist Jews in each of those countries. Therefore most Jews are Zionists, so anti-Zionists are logically anti-Semitic.

      Methinks JSF have a conflict of interest going on. They need to make up their mind: either they want to shield Zionists or they want to obliterate Zionism by exposing Zionist corruption .

      • lareineblanche
        October 14, 2012, 10:37 am

        Anti-Zionists ARE Anti-Semites because most Jews are Zionists

        With all due respect, clearly you haven’t been paying attention. After all this time, opportunities to read material from people running this site, and others, this is the conclusion you reach?

        This is not about Greta Berlin, and this is not about you – it’s about Palestinians. It’s unfortunate that some seem to have forgotten that. Those that remember might recall the Palestinian-led call for BDS, as well as the numerous statements made by Palestinians rejecting racism in all its forms.
        link to uspcn.org
        link to electronicintifada.net

        It’s a shame to have to realize that, rather than being a victim of tribal and destructive “infighting”, on the contrary, the solidarity movement is weakened much more by a lack of clear thinking. What’s vital to understand is that the consequences of this lack of clear thinking will be suffered not by those of us not living in Palestine or in the diaspora, but by those whose rights some of us ostensibly support. Please think this through.

  50. ColinWright
    October 13, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Well. It’s all been an astonishing display, hasn’t it?

    …and I don’t mean Greta.

  51. ColinWright
    October 13, 2012, 4:24 pm

    I’ll also point out the astonishing absence of our resident Zionists from this thread. It’s testimony to either remarkable discipline or a surprising degree of intelligence.

    I just scrolled down the thread. Of the usual suspects, ‘yrn’ seems to have been the only one unable to just keep quiet and enjoy.

    So please — no more remarks about ‘stupid Zionists.’ They’re obviously a lot smarter than we are.

  52. W.Jones
    October 13, 2012, 4:45 pm

    It’s serendipitous the article about Greta Berlin is at Salem-News.com. And what a good candidate with witches’ birthmarks, like her stupid statements about taking a train vs a plane to Canada the day before, her references to herself in the first person, and the biggest skin defect of all- linking to a slightly neurotic video without comment on her Facebook page without realizing it would go on twitter.

    Yes, there are people who are prone to idiotic mistakes and Greta is one of them, but that does not make her a secret Satan-worshiper.

    She may therefore be too incompetent for being the public leader of such an important group as Annie said, but that does not make her a bad person or useless. She probably is very skilled in other talents.

    • W.Jones
      October 14, 2012, 1:44 am

      I meant to say “her references to herself in the third person”. (eg. “Greta…”)

      You see, even I sometimes make idiotic mistakes on the internet, although hopefully not as bad.

  53. W.Jones
    October 13, 2012, 4:56 pm

    I would add two more points. In the leftwing movements of the 20th century there were often infiltrations by opponents and accusations were a regular occurrence. The general rule that people devoted to the causes made was that they would take the word of the accused until proven otherwise. This is like “innocent until proven guilty.” This is how you defend a movement from becoming corrupted and destroyed from within.

    Until it is shown that Greta herself intentionally makes statements or actions explicitly endorsing views against Jews in general, she should not be denounced as anti-Semitic.

    Her defenders are correct and at the most extreme, the efforts she puts into Facebook could simply be transferred to other areas where she is more competent. She shouldn’t back down in her work though because of her mistake and because of bullying.

  54. ColinWright
    October 13, 2012, 5:37 pm

    I think everyone can agree that this argument serves no good purpose unless you’re a Zionist.

    That said, I started counting heads. There is an element of hypocrisy in proposing this solution, since I only found the idea of going to a vote attractive once I was sure what the outcome was going to be, but here it is. I got bored about a third of the way through the thread — but it’s pretty clear.

    The attacks on Greta are unjustified: fourteen posters.

    Greta should be condemned: four posters.

    So let’s do it the democratic way. Greta should not have been condemned. That’s the consensus.

    • libra
      October 13, 2012, 7:24 pm

      Colin, your poll shows one thing that is to the greatly credit of Phil, Adam and Alex. They’ve had the courage to post the many critical comments they have received. That is one of the great strengths of Mondoweiss and gives me hope it can put this divisive episode behind it.

      But I feel there is a very important lesson here. There is no doubt that the Holocaust is used by Israel and its supporters as both a sword to promote war against Iran and as a shield behind which to persecute the Palestinians. This is an exceptionally immoral abuse of the Holocaust and its victims. Ironically Mondoweiss recently illustrated this with its post on Dr. Stanton and his Genocide Watch organisation..

      Sadly some think that the best way to stop this abuse is to undermine the Holocaust itself. But not only is this morally wrong, it is a huge strategic mistake. The great tragedy here is that the memory of the Holocaust should be used to shield the Palestinians from Israeli aggression which is essentially a slow form of ethnic cleansing with the very real possibility of further escalation in the near future.

      As the Greta Berlin episode shows, the Holocaust is a very sensitive issue. Thus if there is to be a struggle to challenge and persuade the various Holocaust institutions in the USA to defend the Palestinians then I believe that it is one that would be best, indeed rightfully, led by Jewish Americans.

      I sense that at least Phil has been struggling for a fresh direction. I can only hope he – or someone like him – is bold and brave enough to take this on.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 1:28 pm

        librs says: “…Sadly some think that the best way to stop this abuse is to undermine the Holocaust itself. But not only is this morally wrong, it is a huge strategic mistake…”

        No doubt it would be both wrong and foolish to ‘undermine the holocaust.’

        However, it’s debatable if that has happened. How has the ‘holocaust been undermined’? I see Zionism having been undermined — but that’s a different matter.

        The Zionists use the Holocaust as a club. It would clarify the debate if they weren’t able to screech ‘Holocaust’ every fifteen minutes — and one way to do that is to make their association with it questionable.

        In any case, Greta wasn’t trying to do this — or anything else. She was trying to mind her own business.

        Then all the little busybodies at the church ladies auxiliary/Cheka got wind of what she’d been seen talking to that nasty Mr Smith who once said ‘God is a crock.’ It is they who made this an issue, not Greta.

      • libra
        October 14, 2012, 3:48 pm

        CW: In any case, Greta wasn’t trying to do this — or anything else.

        Colin, my wording here is regrettable as it does unfortunately (but unintentionally) imply that I think this was Greta Berlin’s aim. I did watch the video and (as Biorabbi points out below) the speaker’s unique and patently absurd etymology for the word “Nazi” is an immediate alert that one is entering fruitcake territory. To infer that her link to this means she is an anti-Semite is like saying anyone who sent a link to the “Innocence of Muslims” video is an Islamophobe.

        I’m depressed but not surprised that Mondoweiss has joined the witch hunt against Greta Berlin based on this one flimsy piece of “evidence”. In my view the editorial judgment this year has been poor on a number of issues due to an inherent tribal tendency. It was why I was recently so cynical about Annie’s view that Mondoweiss could and should talk to the “other 98%”.

        But I want to be constructive here. Hence my main point on challenging the various Holocaust institutions on why they do not seek to protect the Palestinians from their fate at the hands of the Israelis.

    • Chu
      October 13, 2012, 7:51 pm

      make it 15.

    • ToivoS
      October 13, 2012, 8:04 pm

      Colin your little “poll” is perfectly understandable. Those who believe Greta is being victimized will likely express their opinion. The purge of Greta is not a pleasant occurrence — most who support it will likely remain silent. It takes a certain political sophistication to understand why she must go, most people react to events like this with emotion and not critical analysis.

      • chrisjj
        October 14, 2012, 11:04 am

        @toivos
        Your comment is disturbing. Sort of thing the Nazi authorities would have told the workers in the extermination camps: “You must not let yourselves have any feelings towards these people – they have to go.”

      • seanmcbride
        October 14, 2012, 11:34 am

        ToivoS wrote:

        Colin your little “poll” is perfectly understandable. Those who believe Greta is being victimized will likely express their opinion. The purge of Greta is not a pleasant occurrence — most who support it will likely remain silent. It takes a certain political sophistication to understand why she must go, most people react to events like this with emotion and not critical analysis.

        This is one of the creepiest comments I have ever read on Mondoweiss — “It takes a certain political sophistication to understand why she must go” — the Stalinist mentality on display (PURGE), AIPAC working in the dark, we know better than you, we are unwilling to subject our views to testing in public debate, etc.

        Steve Rosen on AIPAC: “A lobby is a night flower, it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun.”

        (Yes, I understand that you oppose AIPAC, but one sees a similar arrogant attitude in your comments on this controversy.)

        I’ve done the sophisticated political calculus on this situation to date, and so far the biggest losers are Ali Abunimah and his fellow Palestinian activists, who come across as ungrateful and fair-weather friends, without backbone — and Mondoweiss.

        ToivoS: it’s really unfortunate that you didn’t bother to get all your facts in order before assuming the role of judge, jury and executioner. You even refuse to acknowledge that any facts needed to be gathered before going about your smear-based lynching.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 1:31 pm

        ToivoS says: “…It takes a certain political sophistication to understand why she must go…”

        I do not see the noticeable tendency of the left to conduct witchhunts and attempt to practice censorship as ‘political sophistication.’

        I see it as repulsive and — as we have seen — self-destructive.

        Trust me. The Zionists are not in awe of our ‘political sophistication.’ They’re giving each other high fives. Discreetly, I am sure. God forbid we stop.

        This has been so successful it’s going to be of clinical interest to see how soon they try it on again.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 2:10 pm

        “…This has been so successful it’s going to be of clinical interest to see how soon they try it on again.”

        And what will also be of clinical interest is to see if we’re dumb enough to fall for it a second time.

        …or it would be of clinical interest if I didn’t actually care about the outcome.

        But still…whaddaya think, guys? Think we’d be dumb enough to fall for it again next week — or should the Zionists give it a few months before running the same play again?

        And God forbid the Zionists had nothing to do with it at all. If we just did this all to ourselves without even a helpful shove, that would be even more pathetic.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 14, 2012, 2:42 pm

        > takes a certain political sophistication to understand why she must go,

        I have not seen a single “sophosticated” rebuttal out of you or anyone else to the cogent arguments against the knee-capping of Berlin. Or do you consider plane/train Ali’s arguments to be sophisticated?

        That parlour room poseurs like yourself are even in a position to determine whether frontline activists like Berlin “must go” turns my stomach. She has done more to advance the cause of Palestinian justice than 1000 of your type could hope to accomplish in 1000 years.

    • American
      October 13, 2012, 9:16 pm

      Well, I’m in limbo on Greta.
      All I know is I am not going to be the one to pronounce her an true anti semite. Same way I am not going to be the one to accuse a Jew of sending other Jews to their death in camps without a whole, whole lot of evidence and understanding of any mitigating circumstances involved in whatever took place.
      So Im not voting. Cause I don’t know.

    • Red
      October 13, 2012, 11:13 pm

      Colin, what hypocritical and not a little ridiculous is your claim that the comments here are somehow a true reflection of how everyone within the broader movement feels about this issue. I work with many Palestinians and non-Palestinians who are very active in the Palestine solidarity movement and they, like me, all support the same sort of position taken by Phil, Adam and Mondoweiss. The only difference is that they clearly don’t have the time to sit on the internet for hours to make repeated comments defending the indefensible. And if you think 18 posts in any way represents a scientifica analysis of the real feeling about this issue in the broader movement then you clearly have no idea of how legitimate scientific assessments and surveys are conducted.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Red says: “… The only difference is that they clearly don’t have the time to sit on the internet for hours to make repeated comments defending the indefensible…”

        Ah. ‘The silent majority.’ I’m trying to remember who’s lips I first heard that phrase from…

        You and you little Stalinist impulses do not excite either my admiration or my respect. I cannot express how much contempt this whole episode has filled me with.

  55. ColinWright
    October 13, 2012, 6:04 pm

    The timing of all this seems significant as well. The Estelle is at sea.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the critics of Zionism are fractured and unsure about ‘Free Gaza’ when Israel does whatever it’s going to do about the Estelle?

    I should start a circus with some of Greta’s critics. It’s certainly easy enough to get them to jump through hoops on command.

    …and people call Zionists stupid. Oh no. We’re the ones that are stupid. They play us. Face it.

  56. ColinWright
    October 13, 2012, 6:25 pm

    ‘Holocaust’. Rover comes to attention, tail quivering.

    ‘Anti-semitism!’ He starts growing menacingly.

    [Hold up hoop] ‘Get the anti-semitism, boy!’ Rover jumps through the hoop.

    It’s really like that. It’s okay — I forgive you — but could you see how you’re being played?

  57. biorabbi
    October 13, 2012, 6:39 pm

    Greta’s excuse was she didn’t actually watch the video? Why would you “share” a video with your friends without knowing/watching it? Hey, I just happened to press send on the David Duke video because I was in a hurry and didn’t check it out.

    Interesting, nobody actually seems to have watched said video in question. The guy is some sort of “expert” on the Federal Reserve Bank and then goes into a digression into the origins of Zionism. His contribution to Holocaust denial is unique. He claims the actual word NAZI stands for National Socialist and the Z stands for Zionist, claiming there was some sort physical linkage between Hitler and the Zionists in the 1923 timeframe. The camps were run by secular/zionist Jews to “punish” Orthodox Jews, and the modern day state of Israel is the literal–not metaphorical–continuation of Nazi, ie the ZI part of NAZI. He alleges there was only philosemitism in Germany and especially amongst Nazis… in spirit and according to the 1923 Zionist–National Socialist pact. The speaker is also some sort of expert on Ezra Pound as well. He scared the shit out of me as he seemed to actually believe Israelis were Nazis. Not ‘acting’ like Nazis, but, literally, Nazis. Completely Insane.

    • kalithea
      October 14, 2012, 12:08 pm

      “Completely Insane.”

      Yeah, that’s exactly how I would describe what Zionists are doing to Palestinians. IMHO there are two types of anti-Semites: the ones who just plain hate everyone not of their stock (and this includes Zionists) AND, pay close attention: the ones that Zionists create with this own vile acts.

    • ColinWright
      October 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

      Biorabbi says: ‘…He claims the actual word NAZI stands for National Socialist and the Z stands for Zionist…’

      …which, to me, suggests that Greta’s story is true. She was just linking to this as something of clinical interest.

      Now, how did that post come to be public? Just ‘somehow’ crosslinked…

    • Hostage
      October 14, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Greta’s excuse was she didn’t actually watch the video? Why would you “share” a video with your friends without knowing/watching it? Hey, I just happened to press send on the David Duke video because I was in a hurry and didn’t check it out.

      I take it that her explanation was something along the lines that the title alone was enough to identify it as an example of the type of propaganda that her group was discussing at the time.

  58. pabelmont
    October 13, 2012, 9:30 pm

    PUSHING REJECTION BUTTONS:

    The horrific (I would say over-) response to perceived / claimed / apparent / possible Anti-Semitism by an ally (Greta Berlin in this case) has a reason, sadly, and that reason is that there are WEAK BROTHERS AND SISTERS out there who’d like to be (perhaps rather tentative) allies of the pro-Palestine, pro-human-rights, pro-rule-of-law folks, but who are WEAK in the following way: namely, that they cannot think straight once various of their “buttons” are “pushed”, and doing anything that THEY THINK is Anti-Semitic pushes their principal rejection button.

    So the reason Phil and Adam and many other people are distancing themselves like smooth-talking practiced-politicians from Greta Berlin is that they value their allies too much to dare to appear “weak” in the face of asserted Anti-Semitism on her part.

    She didn’t press THEIR buttons, but they are afraid that failing to distance themselves from her will press the rejection buttons of many-many-many of their weaker allies.

    That’s politics, folks. Remember when Obama threw his pastor, Jeremy Wright, under the bus? Same thing. Cruel and horrid, but weak allies are moved by their perceptions and feelings, not by argument, and not by facts, so politicians do stuff like that, and so do pro-Palestine folks who are pushing boulders up steep hills as it is and don’t need any unnecessary trouble added.

  59. W.Jones
    October 13, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Ali Abunimah,

    Good job with your investigation on
    link to electronicintifada.net
    showing the facebook group(s) Berlin was using was manipulated without her knowledge.

    This is evidence that Berlin was just trying to share the link with a select group of people, expecting their input. If so, perhaps there need not be the literal “facebook group” or entity you are asking her to provide to back up her story, but just a circle of acquaintances she discussed topics with. It could be like someone talking with a “group of friends” even if there is no list of people written down anywhere.

    In any case, you did a good job.

    • ColinWright
      October 14, 2012, 1:40 pm

      W. Jones says: “…In any case, you did a good job.”

      What Ali Abunimah did a good job of is another matter. The Zionists didn’t even have to spend money for this.

  60. Marlene
    October 13, 2012, 11:35 pm

    I have very little tolerance for bigotry and hatred, but I don’t see anything here as what I would consider “honorable” as to the reactions to this, especially when many of you, including Abunimah has been on the anti-semitic hotseat himself. Accusations of anti-semitism are the norm these days even for the slightest criticism of Israel which you are all well aware of.

    While I do think that one certainly has the right to criticize, this has become a witch-hunt for a person who has done nothing but a lot of good for others, and now you wish to join in to make a public spectacle of it. She is no stranger here to most of us.

    So while you stand in judgment of others as to what constitutes anti-semitism, there are many standing in judgment of you for exactly the same thing, and I am sure that the Zionists are thorougly enjoying this. Even the racist Chief Rabbi of Israel at the time who claimed that the Holocaust was retribution from God for Jews who had once sinned did not even cause such a commotion as this..even with his exoneration of the Nazis for their crimes. It never changed his status.

    • W.Jones
      October 14, 2012, 1:38 am

      Marlene,

      When I complimented Abunimah I was specifically referring to his detailed investigation showing that Berlin’s group was likely manipulated from outside. I was suggesting this evidence suggests Berlin may be correct when she says there was a technical mistake of some kind made with her posting.

      • kalithea
        October 14, 2012, 3:03 am

        And yet Abunimah sheepishly followed the cue of his Jewish counterparts’ knee-jerk reaction and outrage against Berlin by throwing her under the bus first and investigating later.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 14, 2012, 1:53 am

      Even the racist Chief Rabbi of Israel at the time who claimed that the Holocaust was retribution from God for Jews who had once sinned did not even cause such a commotion as this

      and who is responsible for our commotion mariene? do you imagine we all act in lockstep to defend a leader, whose actions require a suspension of logic… to send out a link she allegedly never viewed, was unaware regardless of the inflammatory nature of the title, because she was late for a train or plane? regarding a deeply painful event that impacted the lives of virtually every jewish person in our movement..and many many more (i lost someone an uncle in that war, my mother’s rock her brother whom i never met) which subsequently lead to the nakba..and somehow you or she anticipate that each one of those people would..be ok with that? as if the circumstances of the deaths of those people is negotiable wrt transferring blatant fabrication? or because it was not supposed to go out on twitter?

      this is like herding cats. no one owns the memories of those victims. they do not belong to a political position, neither to zionist or freedom riders. they are relatives of our cherished comrades in this fight for freedom and justice. so of course by not removing herself from a position of leadership the onus falls on each and everyone of us to be true to ourselves and make a choice on which side we stand on here. whose fault is that? the side where it is ok to promote or excuse outrageous untrue claims, or the side to say “our movement cannot tolerate racism”. but we would never be in this position if this gross error was not made. instead it is us on the chopping block for not defending her? we cannot afford to be traveling in lies, that is for the other side.

      this is horribly sad but do not mistake who made this commotion here. it is an impossible situation expecting this to dissolve with our movement unscathed. it won’t go away and the world is watching.

      • kalithea
        October 14, 2012, 3:17 am

        “or the side to say “our movement cannot tolerate racism””

        The slightest affiliation with Zionism is what I call “tolerating racism”.

        “we cannot afford to be traveling in lies, that is for the other side.”

        No, not strictly for the other side, since the greatest lie of all is the one many around here convinced themselves of, that: Zionism could be a good thing, IF ONLY, it were not…”for the other side”.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 1:43 pm

        Annie Robbins says: ‘…this is horribly sad but do not mistake who made this commotion here…’

        Indeed. The commotion was made by those who mounted a witch hunt aimed at Greta Berlin. It certainly wasn’t mounted by Greta.

        And if you scan the posts, you will see that the commotion continues because the vast majority of posters find this witch hunt utterly repulsive.

        As it is.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 14, 2012, 2:18 pm

        The commotion was made by those who mounted a witch hunt aimed at Greta Berlin.

        mounted? you mean after the national post, front page mag, some avi israeli spokesperson, and every other hasbro on the planet wrote an article about it and tweeted it? the campaign was already in full swing colin. she’s a famous person. the only way it could have disappeared would have been some benign unobtrusive step down from the board but that didn’t happen. it is sad. that was my first reaction when i encountered the discussion on twitter (i tweeted, ‘how sad’ or something to that effect). i knew immediately it was going to get huge. it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that.

        but one thing i find really interesting is you’ve got almost 50 comments on this thread. for a person who allegedly doesn’t want a commotion you’re certainly feeding the fire. good bye

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Annie Robinson says: “…but one thing i find really interesting is you’ve got almost 50 comments on this thread. for a person who allegedly doesn’t want a commotion you’re certainly feeding the fire. good bye.”

        So now I started it? Wouldn’t want to ask yourself who actually took part in this, would you?

        And what would you have had me do? Watch in silence as someone who said something bad about Zionists is immediately vilified as an ‘anti-semite’?

        As I’ve said over and over — and will keep saying over and over — if we’re going to accept that equation, we might as well throw in the towel.

        It is clear that to oppose Israel is to oppose Zionism. If attacks on Zionism are anti-semitism, then only anti-semites can oppose Israel.

        If you buy into that, why this board? Why post? Just give a thousand dollars to Israel every year and forget it. Hell, go help. Become a settler. At least join J-Street. Show your support for Israel. Wouldn’t want to be an anti-semite.

      • Bruce
        October 14, 2012, 4:03 pm

        @ Annie

        So Annie, why does Colin have any comments on here? His attacks on Phil and Adam on this thread have been ad hominem, outrageous and incorrect from the start.

        While questioning the manhood of Phil and Adam, all he has done is set a record for the number of self-pleasuring climaxes on one thread.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 2:51 pm

        Annie says: “…this is like herding cats. no one owns the memories of those victims. they do not belong to a political position, neither to zionist or freedom riders. they are relatives of our cherished comrades in this fight for freedom and justice. so of course by not removing herself from a position of leadership the onus falls on each and everyone of us to be true to ourselves and make a choice on which side we stand on here. whose fault is that? the side where it is ok to promote or excuse outrageous untrue claims, or the side to say “our movement cannot tolerate racism”. but we would never be in this position if this gross error was not made. instead it is us on the chopping block for not defending her? we cannot afford to be traveling in lies, that is for the other side…”

        Or in other words, you’re confused and unsure.

      • ColinWright
        October 14, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Annie Robbins says: “and who is responsible for our commotion mariene? do you imagine we all act in lockstep to defend a leader, whose actions require a suspension of logic… to send out a link she allegedly never viewed, was unaware regardless of the inflammatory nature of the title, because she was late for a train or plane?”

        First, it’s very questionable if she’s the one who arranged for it to be ‘sent out.’

        Second, it’s only inflammatory if you’re a Zionist. The accusation is a bit improbable — but I can’t say I’m too concerned about the feelings of Zionists.

      • Marlene
        October 14, 2012, 5:46 pm

        Annie, if you want to speak for yourself, then please do so, that is your right, but who are you to say that her actions offends practically every Jewish person in this movement.

        If I lived during the Nazi period, certain members of my family including myself would have been put on a train to a concentration camp, and certainly robbed of our rights even before that time, and because of the same detestible definiton, I and certain members of my family have privileged rights to Israel while others are robbed of their rights and crimes are carried out against them.

        In all the years that I’m familiar with Greta Berlin, I cannot say she ever exhibited any racism or bigotry towards anyone, but rather was the recipient of hate just for her taking an ethical stand when she certainly could have minded her own damn business. If she posted a video, regardless of what it was, that means nothing to me because I have posted in the past what the Nazis used as propaganda to demonize Jews and certainly not because I believe in what they did or support it, but just simply to show how Israel emulates the Nazis in their own policies and laws which is despicable. That is what should offend all Jews, not only in this movement.

        There is nothing to defend for Greta Berlin. She is not racist and she is not bigoted. She has already apologized on October 5 for any misunderstanding, but it seems that some of you just wish to pursue this which is obvious from the above article dated October 12.

  61. Frankie P
    October 14, 2012, 2:23 am

    @Annie,

    “this is horribly sad but do not mistake who made this commotion here. it is an impossible situation expecting this to dissolve unscathed. it won’t go away and the world is watching.”

    Fuck this commotion and fuck the watching world. They are watching the wrong thing. Your world may be watching this little tempest in the teapot of “anti-zionism”, but I’m watching and bitching about how Israel continues to oppress Palestinians and how my country enables it. This whole episode serves as evidence of Atzmon’s claims about Anti-Zionist Zionists and their gatekeeping, and I’m shocked and appalled at how many here are fitting that bill perfectly.

    FPM

    • Annie Robbins
      October 14, 2012, 2:33 am

      well fpm, there are more actors here than than ‘Anti-Zionist Zionists and their gatekeepers’ and we/they have voices too. put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  62. American
    October 14, 2012, 4:27 am

    I am trying to figure out what I’ve learned about the holocaust or anti semitism on this thread….lol.
    Not much, I guess I’m still committed to my original theories, positions on how the holocaust should be treated, allowing it might be treated different by Jews than the rest of the world. As for zionist and zionism I agree with those who say if you accuse zionist of something that isn’t the accusing all the Jews. Zionist are the ones who try to say it is…for reasons we all know.
    The one thing that hit me though, for first time really, was how devastating the accusation of being an anti semite could be to someone. For someone like me, I would be insulted by it but shrug it off because it would not affect my life. But for someone like this Greta lady it could well be devastating and affect her life.

    I dont like the way this was pursued at all. It reminds me of the McCarthy tactics.
    When dealing with someone’s good name investigations and questioning should be kept private. And even if it was proved she was anti semitic beyond all doubt, what’s the higher priority there, exposing publicly one anti semite on grounds she damaged the FG movement or making a public display of her that further damages the movement? Was it worth it just to elicit more statements from Palestine activist reaffirming yet again their rejection of anti semitism?
    These people who have done this so publicly under the banner of concern for the Palestine Movement have their priorities wrong and so it makes me question their motives as well as their ethics.
    Nope, this has been handled the wrong way. They should be ashamed.

  63. kalithea
    October 14, 2012, 5:33 am

    From all the uproar over this, you’d think Zionists never used corrupt means or killed anyone throughout the years to get their way. This is more about the GOTCHA! than anything else. Zionists milk the Holocaust for their own deceitful purposes to justify the injustice and bigotry of Zionism ALL THE TIME. Where are the pages and pages of outrage??? Oh, and here’s a stark reminder and reality check: Zionists just happen to be Jews…ouch! Quit trying to caramelize Zionism when we can all see it’s rotten to the core and quit pretending Zionists are some alien tribe only when it’s convenient to the discussion.

    The ONLY proof I need to know where Zionists are coming from is found in what they’re doing TODAY!!! But what they’re doing today, has been going on for DECADES and under the law, I believe it’s referred to as a “pattern of behavior”. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  64. Emma
    October 14, 2012, 6:47 am

    “The important battle of explaining to people that opposing Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism was dealt a terrible blow this past week … ”

    Isn’t that what you have just done?

    I am very disappointed in your stance, and in your continuing to fuel and promote this baseless attack against someone whose long history demonstrates a courageous commitment to justice and equality.

  65. marc b.
    October 14, 2012, 10:53 am

    how pathetic. a laundry list of pathetic. i expect this sort of condescending posturing from weiss, but not from some of the others here, and recent visitors such abunimah. there is nothing that i have read in the various comments or links that should convince any objective person that berlin is an anti-semite, or that she even endorsed the content of the link. this whole star chamber tribunal is completely ass-backwards, people claiming to be seeking justice pushing to the head of the line to grab a stone to heave at berlin. no wonder this movement is going nowhere, with people pissing themselves at the possibility that the soul of one of their bretheren might not be a pure as ivory soap.

    as for weiss, who the eff is he to sit in judgment? he regularly posts ‘confessions’ about his misogynistic, racist, elitist tendencies, and some of the same ‘brave’ souls now piling on top of berlin can’t stop themselves from gushing over weiss’s risk-free honesty. he fantastically identifies with the dipsomaniac wife beater, norman mailer, fauns over the serial bomber, and likely government provocateur, bernardine dohrn (as if revoluntaries in egypt needed her advice. and speaking of dohrn, this whole soap opera has the same smell as dohrn’s intentional bust up of an effective, democratic movement, the SDS.) pals around with shmully hecht, trivializes the violence in the middle of a war zone, and can’t help but cheerlead for the latest ‘humanitarian’ intervention in syria, before the bodies are even cold in the now medieval state of libya.

    the proper response to all this noise would be ‘prove it.’ ( if i were palestinian i wouldn’t be holding my breath for any relief with weiss, jvp, etc. at the tip of the spear the movement.)

  66. kalithea
    October 14, 2012, 1:16 pm

    And the verbal stoning continues… What I find laughable and pathetic in all this is the astounding hypocrisy of the side painting Greta as an anti-Semite. The FACT is, the majority of Jews are ZIONISTS. It’s only human to be tempted to cross the line in criticism against Zionists for the VILE ACTS they’re committing against Palestinians and others although I’m not convinced this is what Greta did. Zionists are beating up on Palestinians while they bully and manipulate everyone into loving them in spite of their actions. Zionists (who again I remind you includes the majority of Jews) milk “anti-Semitism” and the Holocaust repeatedly for selfish gain and to get away with just about anything: lying, theft and murder to name a few.

    Zionists are JEWS, Zionists include a MAJORITY of Jews ERGO Jews have all the power to END the suffering of Palestinians AND THEY DON’T!!! If Jews care about justice, human rights, and are indeed humane WE WOULDN’T BE HERE DISCUSSING THE SUFFERING OF PALESTINIANS at the hands of Zionists who happen to be the majority of Jews because as a demographic bloc Jews are very powerful politically in the U.S., Canada, France and the U.K. and that’s not anti-Semitism it’s a FACT! So there’s no EXCUSE whatsoever for the suffering inflicted on Palestinians because Jews have the power to put and end to it NOWWWWWWWW.

    The answer to this tragedy is in the hands of JEWS who on the whole are ZIONISTS. If Palestinians continue to suffer it’s because JEWS want to sacrifice them to the needs of ZIONISM and the survival of ZIONISM.

    So quit the hypocritical bullshet here. The problem is NOT with Greta, the problem is with the majority of Jews around the world who are enabling the suffering of Palestinians simply by supporting ZIONISM, a RACIST, CRUEL, INHUMANE ideology and consequently generating a bad reputation for themselves.

    What YOU are proving here is that not offending Jews who are on the whole promoting and enabling Zionism ergo responsible for their negative image is way more important than the suffering of Palestinians and moving heaven and earth to free them from this SCOURGE. Because Greta moved heaven and earth in her own life to help them, when Jews have that ultimate responsibility and are instead self-absorbed!

    Let’s have a thread on: “Why every Jew should come out of the closet and shun and condemn Zionism for GOOD!” and then get back to me on this “Greta problem”.

    • ToivoS
      October 14, 2012, 3:29 pm

      K what you are saying is mostly true. The problem is Israeli oppression of and theft of land from Palestinians. The Greta problem is an internal political issue inside the movement for Palestinian justice. She is being removed from a position of influence inside that movement. That position is not an inherent right but is a privilege granted by the consent of the movement. Unfortunately she made a serious political mistake and has lost the trust of the Palestinians which after all make up the most important segment of that movement. Her mandate has been removed. She can no longer serve effectively as a leader.

      Greta obviously has the support of many good people here at MW so this removal process is painful. It is best that she go quietly now for the sake of the goals she obviously has worked so hard to achieve.

      • Danaa
        October 14, 2012, 6:29 pm

        ToivoS – this is beyond a “painful” process. this is about a very real split occurring among the ranks of the pro-palestinian movement. I know that for me Ali Abunimah’s name will never carry the weight it did before, and unfortunately the stand taken by MW allowed me to see that while effective as disseminators of information about what’s going on in palestiniane and parts of the lobby,, this site – and founders – cannot be counted on to serve as leader/warriors in the huge battle that is about to take place. they will fold in the face of concerted criticism, and so will you. Which is fine since perhaps MW never aspired to leadership role on any level and being an information disseminator is already plenty given the desert of information out there.

        In case you didn’t notice ToivoS, a decisive majority of commenters here do not side with Stalinist style purges. I am obviously one of them. Your side is in a distinct minority and i suspect that is so among real bona fide palestinians as well, especially the ones we never hear from on these or any other pages run by jewish American voices.

        Too bad you don’t get just what an unmitigated disaster this is and can’t assess the implications. Those of us on this side of the divide did not fail to notice who is cheering the witch hunt unfolding before our eyes.

      • Frankie P
        October 14, 2012, 7:59 pm

        @Danaa,

        Again, I find myself unable to express my ideas more clearly than you just did in this post. I thank you again. Please get working on that book! The world needs to hear your views.
        FPM

      • Hostage
        October 14, 2012, 7:43 pm

        Unfortunately she made a serious political mistake and has lost the trust of the Palestinians which after all make up the most important segment of that movement.

        I seriously doubt that. I got tired a long time ago of trying to read all of the complaints and counter-complaints from the Israeli government and the PA about violations of the Wye River agreement on the suppression of incitement. They were always full of items about Holocaust denial in the official and unofficial Palestinian media.

        It’s much more likely that this is viewed as a threat to continued funding from western liberal sources.

  67. ColinWright
    October 14, 2012, 2:20 pm

    kalithea: “…Let’s have a thread on: “Why every Jew should come out of the closet and shun and condemn Zionism for GOOD!” and then get back to me on this “Greta problem”.”

    There is something to be said for that. Biting my tongue here, but…

    I think that Jews do tend to veer away at the last minute from accepting the whole truth about Israel. At any rate, as we’ve seen, they can certainly be called off by barking ‘anti-semitism!’ Rover stops, sinks to the ground, whines appeasingly…

    They do need to make up their minds. Do they share a tribal identity with Israel, or are they prepared to fight evil things? If I hear ‘I’m not a Zionist but…’ one more time, I think I’m going to spew.

    • seanmcbride
      October 14, 2012, 8:03 pm

      Colin wrote:

      I think that Jews do tend to veer away at the last minute from accepting the whole truth about Israel. At any rate, as we’ve seen, they can certainly be called off by barking ‘anti-semitism!’ Rover stops, sinks to the ground, whines appeasingly…

      They do need to make up their minds. Do they share a tribal identity with Israel, or are they prepared to fight evil things? If I hear ‘I’m not a Zionist but…’ one more time, I think I’m going to spew.

      Do you realize what a traumatic experience it would be for the worldwide Jewish establishment, after investing so much energy, passion and money into the project, to admit that, oops, Israel was a big mistake and should be dismantled? That Zionism is inflicting unacceptable damage on Jewish interests in the Diaspora and ruining the Jewish “brand”?

      How likely is that to happen at this stage of the game? The natural instinct of most Jewish Zionists will be to dig in their heels ever deeper and to lash back against an increasingly alienated world with ever greater self-righteousness, bitterness and anger — always with the Samson Option lurking in the background.

      Truly this situation is a hell of a mess, with no reasonable and good solution in sight that will be acceptable to most Zionists. The game will have to play itself fully out according to the prescribed biblical narrative, apparently: Israel vs. “the nations” — BOOM!

  68. ColinWright
    October 14, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Interesting. Now this is what anti-semitism is, and I have to agree that it should indeed have come down.

    link to haaretz.com

    • demize
      October 14, 2012, 6:31 pm

      Colin are you trying to atone for all your good commentary? What I see is a peice of street art that depicts some stereotypically greedy old banker sorts. If you or others see Jew in that that is your problem. My mom is a Jew and I have the neurosis to prove it, and I thank Jupiter that I dont go through life looking for things to be sanctimoniously offended about. And why on earth does Ha Aaretz now have The Welsh Dragon on its masthead?