New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts

Activism
on 167 Comments

A new open letter calls on the Palestine solidarity movement to “unite for Palestine” and put an end to divisive attacks on one another – most recent of which was a shocking assault by ostensible allies on Miko Peled, the courageous Israeli advocate of justice for Palestinians. Below is the text of the letter and a list of initial signers. If you agree you can sign your name at www.uniteforpalestine.com, where you can also read background on other actions that have been divisive within the movement.

A Call to Focus on Palestine and Stop Divisive Attacks

As Palestinians are killednonviolent activists are jailed and shot, prisoners are tortured, colonial settlements swallow ancestral lands, and American money enables Israeli crimes against humanity, we the undersigned have come together to cry “stop.”

Our focus as people dedicated to peace and justice must be on bringing awareness of the deep injustice at the heart of the Palestinian tragedy, the U.S. policies that enable this, and ways to bring change.

And yet some amongst us have become sidetracked.

Cases are proliferating in which activists and organizations are turning on others, scrutinizing fellow activists with seemingly greater attention than they scrutinize the incredibly powerful actors that are perpetrating and enabling war crimes. Some are undermining and even occasionally stopping important talks and events on Palestine.

Standing up for Palestinian justice is a daunting task, and one that many have long avoided. It puts careers, reputations, friendships, and sometimes even lives on the line. We must not make it harder by turning on each other whenever someone makes a mistake, says a wrong word, or takes an approach or attitude we disagree with.

It is clear who loses from these attacks on one another: Palestinians, others throughout the Middle East, and people everywhere who wish for peace and justice.

A successful movement requires a diverse group of participants – all focused on the same goal. Like successful movements of the past, such as those against apartheid in South Africa or segregation in the United States, we must keep our eyes on that goal.

Everyone is human and no one can be right all the time. Dedicated anti-racist activists may make mistakes. Activists will not always agree and may have significant differences on tactics, policies and other issues – including different opinions on the cases below. This is to be expected and is a normal part of all movements. Such differences, however, should not impede our urgent work.

We must not undermine one another. None of us must act as gatekeepers, trying to limit or dominate the movement. Instead, we must all coexist and focus our energy and resources on our goal: peace and justice in Palestine.

It is time for us all to focus on our common goal, and to move forward in our diverse, necessary, and powerful work to bring justice and peace in Palestine.

— The Undersigned

Initial signatories:
  • James Abourezk, Former Senator (South Dakota), founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • Abbas Hamideh, Co-Founder, Al-Awda: The Palestine Right To Return Coalition
  • John Erickson, Co-Chair of NorCal Friends of Sabeel
  • Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council
  • Samia Khoury, Founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre; author, “Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope” (descendant of Birzeit University founders)
  • Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist, co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, passenger on U.S. Boat to Gaza (2011)
  • Dr. Khalil Nakhleh, Author of “Globalized Palestine: The National Sell-Out of a Homeland”; former member, Steering Committee on the Strategy of Palestinian Higher Education
  • Lois Nakhleh, Artist and longtime activist in Palestine
  • Abdallah Omeish, Award-winning documentary filmmaker of “Occupation 101” and “The War Around Us”
  • Cindy Sheehan, Anti-war peace activist, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
  • The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, Former Director, Friends of Sabeel, Retired Episcopal Priest
  • John Whitbeck, International law expert, analyst on Israel-Palestine, Director of Council for the National Interest
  • Maggie Coulter, Sacramento BDS
  • Marvin Cohen, Voices for Justice in Palestine
  • Hassan Fouda, Berkeley, CA based Palestine Solidarity activist
  • Andrew Paul Gutierrez, Prof Emeritus, UC Berkeley, Friends of Sabeel – North America, Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Marina Gutierrez, Women in Black – Berkeley-Oakland and Friends of Sabeel – North America
  • Jane Jewell, 14 Friends of Palestine – Marin, US Boat to Gaza west coast coordinator, Gaza’s Ark
  • Alice Diane Kisch, Friends of Sabeel – North America and Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Henry Norr, International Solidarity Movement, Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area, participant 2011 Gaza Freedom Flotilla
  • Jon D. Peterson, MD, Albany, CA
  • Marianne Torres, Spokane Committee for Palestine and longtime Palestine solidarity activist
  • Donna Wallach, Justice for Palestinians – San Jose, participant in 1st Free Gaza successful breaking of Israeli naval blockade
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167 Responses

  1. Mooser
    October 18, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Googled “assault by ostensible allies on Miko Peled, the courageous Israeli advocate of justice for Palestinians.” and got and got this.

    • gamal
      October 19, 2016, 11:42 am

      “assault by ostensible allies on Miko Peled,”

      so what is Miko Peleds anti-semitic agenda? does it bear serious scrutiny?

      when the witch hunt starts you’ll find me down by the old oak casting spells and killing goats, stirring the cauldron with the nymphs.

      let the coven convene in Salem.

      this is just laughable,

  2. Peter Feld
    October 18, 2016, 1:01 pm

    I agree with stopping the attacks on Miko Peled and I would also like to see an end to vicious and divisive personal attacks against leading pro-Palestine activists and writers over their opposition to US intervention in Syria.

    • echinococcus
      October 19, 2016, 7:23 pm

      Peter,

      Not all the Palestinian resistance is on the same side of the aggression on Syria –however much we may wish. Of course, the situation among foreign supporters is a mess, too .
      At a certain moment, we have to develop the skills to focus maximally on the one main objective: beating Zionism in Palestine, and to reserve non-Palestine disagreements to other fora.

    • Citizen
      October 20, 2016, 2:10 pm

      I agree, and would add I think the attacks on Allison Weir are misguided. Her POV is as an ordinary American, in a USA that is 98% not Jewish.

      • CigarGod
        October 25, 2016, 8:17 am

        70% of Americans identify as Christian. I assume adults are speaking for their minor children…which grow up and just as uncritically speak for their children.

        The way I see Christianity practiced by many in the USA, It looks more like just a different version of Judaism. This makes sense, as both “Christian” texts were written by Jews.

        The USA is really a 200 million population of Jews. The largest Jewish nation on earth.

  3. Ira Glunts
    October 18, 2016, 1:26 pm

    Thanks Henry for posting this. I just signed the statement. I would write more but this is a very sensitive subject here and elsewhere.

    Did you get my last email?

  4. Blaine Coleman
    October 18, 2016, 1:35 pm

    I heard Miko speak and he said the same things that every other sane person says: Israel is mistreating the Palestinian people. The speech was fine. All the Movement speakers give fine speeches. For sure it would be stupid to pit these fine speakers against each other.

    There is no good reason to slam Miko or any of the other fine speakers, although no one will notice either way, because very little mass media coverage is given to any of them.

    Let me just say that I am getting sick of all these fine speeches in the absence of any public movement to boycott Israel.

    That is because only one campus has anything resembling a public campaign for boycott or divestment against Israel. Just one. It’s Portland State University: http://psuvanguard.com/to-divest-or-not-to-divest/

    It’s simply unbelievable: 16 years, and oceans of Palestinian blood, have passed under your nose since divestment and boycotts were first widely proposed against Israel. Do you smell that?

    To all of you underground “activists”, who only bring out a divestment resolution in April or May– and often not at all– explain your unconscionable delay to 2 million Palestinian in Gaza. Try telling them how beautiful your (never-to-be-seen) divestment resolution is. Tell those 2 million bleeding Gazans why you need one, two, or three years to bring it into public view.

    So we are left with just one public divestment campaign defending Palestinian human rights, for the entire semester of Fall 2016. Shame on the entire inaudible “movement” for forcing Portland State students to shoulder the whole BDS burden themselves.

    In case you can’t hear the contempt in my voice, about the sickening campus silence on BDS, here it is again:

    http://presstv.ir/Detail/2016/10/16/489297/Israel-Palestine-violence-Ramallah-BDS-US-human-rights

    You seem to have endless time to fart out blog posts and emails on Miko — instead of using your time to publicly demand BDS at your universities.

    Who cares about Miko? Leave him alone, find your voice, and demand a total boycott against Israel on your campus, to the maximum extent allowed by law.

  5. Susie Kneedler
    October 18, 2016, 2:15 pm

    Thanks, Henry and All who wrote and signed it, for this beautiful letter. Thanks for working faithfully for Justice and Peace in Palestine, assuming the best and not the worst about all who care and try to help. Thanks!

    P.S. And of course I signed it as soon as I read it.

  6. Curatica
    October 18, 2016, 3:38 pm

    Miko Peled is a man of great conscience and honesty. Any honorable person who knows Miko Peled’s life story, can realize this. This man speaks only the truth.

  7. PeaceThroughJustice
    October 18, 2016, 6:31 pm

    “Divisive internal conflicts” once again means accusations of “antisemitism,” which in turn just means failure to prioritize Jewish preoccupations.

    Anyone who has followed this site for any length of time will know that Phil Weiss will never in a million years sign this letter or any of the others like it. That’s fine, but maybe he could explain why not?

    • jd65
      October 21, 2016, 4:53 pm

      Hey PTJ…

      …means accusations of “antisemitism,” which in turn just means failure to prioritize Jewish preoccupations.

      While I think I generally agree w/ your sentiment, I don’t think what happens in these types of occurrences necessarily means certain folks feel the need to “prioritize Jewish preoccupations” (nice unintended pun, by the way…). My point may get a bit hard to follow, or be seemingly confused, but stay w/ me…

      I think it has more to do – even after all this time and all the things written and said and confirmed by so many across the spectrum of the “Palestine solidarity community,” including contributing writers and editors at this MW site and in this very thread – w/ some folks still being worried about being perceived as “soft on anti-Semitism” (see my recent related comment under the Glanz article here the other day…). For example – Since some powerful voices in the community made it known that they perceived Peled’s recent tweet as anti-Semitic, other folks who may have felt (or, more accurately, knew…) that it was not might have felt uneasy about loudly backing Peled in this instance for fear of being similarly smeared. It’s nothing new.

      But that’s not prioritizing “Jewish preoccupations.” That’s prioritizing the public’s opinion of you over the truth. In my mind, that’s a very different animal. The two things may be related and may interact w/ one another, but they’re not the same. Not by a long shot. Prioritizing public opinion over truth in this instance may inadvertently aid “Jewish preoccupations” (“Israeli preoccupations,” really…), but, again, they’re not the same thing. ‘Round and ’round we go…

      This all reminds me of my first attempt at getting something published here at MW. Like Norr’s article above, there was an edit/rewrite made to my piece that I didn’t like (cutting a good amount out). However, unlike Norr, I was not ok w/ them publishing it. Couldn’t live w/ it. And that’s fine. It’s not my site and I’m not an editor here. I’m certain being an editor here has many difficulties and there are many calls that aren’t fun/easy to make. The above piece having that bit cut just reminded of that happening to myself as well.

      I was also told from two writers/editors here, re: my unpublished article, that “[In] my opinion there is too much specifically Jewish that you neglect in your analysis,” and that MW “…do[es]n’t like alienating [J Street].” But that was about 5 years ago. It is what it is. They’ve published a couple things for me since. This is a good site :)

      And I, of course, read and signed the open letter. It’s a good one. I don’t know how much good these types of things do. But it’s a good letter…

  8. Keith
    October 18, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Why, oh why, do people like Miko Peled say things like this on the social media? It is like giving your opponent a club to beat you with. That the tweet lends itself to misrepresentation should be obvious. Is anyone surprised that is exactly what happened? Has the memory of Steven Salaita faded so quickly? And for what? A self-indulgent tweet.

    • echinococcus
      October 18, 2016, 8:13 pm

      With or without the pretext, this is the main job of the tribal clubs and other “antisemitism” hunters, including those of the allegedly non-Zionist variety. As soon as anyone is successful in getting the message across to the larger audience without limiting it to discussions within the tribe, or without limiting the opposition to “excesses” only of Zionism, the tribals will find a club to beat you with. See the list of JVP victims.

    • jd65
      October 21, 2016, 11:59 pm

      Hey Keith. Point taken. And it’s a legitimate one. However…

      Why, oh why, do people like Miko Peled say things like this on the social media? It is like giving your opponent a club to beat you with. That the tweet lends itself to misrepresentation should be obvious… Has the memory of Steven Salaita faded so quickly?…

      So one should self-censor oneself due to the possibility of being misinterpreted? In my mind, that’s a tough sell. To put it lightly. But like I said, I hear you.

      For me, the point you make comes up in my mind whenever I hear pro-Palestinian folks/activists/writers/etc. make comparisons between Nazis/Germany/Holocaust and Israelis/Israel/Nakba. Yes… I know that often the comparisons make sense and are legitimate in a lot of instances. But, like you say, it’s like giving your enemy a gun to shoot you with. And more importantly, it’s completely unnecessary.

      • Keith
        October 22, 2016, 4:56 pm

        JD65- “So one should self-censor oneself due to the possibility of being misinterpreted?”

        I was specifically referring to “misreprented,” particularly when you can reasonably assume that the opposition will seek to exploit vulnerabilities and has the resources to do so. As for “misinterpreted,” I hardly consider it self-censorship to strive for clarity so that you will not be misinterpreted. Furthermore, I am not a fan of Twitter which because of its brevity seems to lend itself to both misinterpretation and misrepresentation.

        Yes, comparisons with Nazi Germany are rather problematic and frequently counterproductive. If one feels compelled to go that route, however, best to do so in a longer essay format where the relevant facts can be developed and qualified. Twitter is a terrible format for something like that. Like you say, it is usually unnecessary and inappropriate.

      • jd65
        October 23, 2016, 1:01 pm

        Hey Keith…

        I was specifically referring to “misreprented…”

        Ha! I didn’t misinterpret or misrepresent your post. I simply misread it :) That’s embarrassing and I’m usually better than that. Sorry…

        However, and kind of oddly/coincidentally, my point would’ve been essentially the same had you written “misinterpret” instead of “misrepresent.” Apologies upfront, as I’m gonna come at you w/ a weird, slightly convoluted explanation. Theoretically, the “misrepresentation” of a soundbite (as in, say, Miko or Salaita’s…) is the result of an initial “misinterpretation” of the meaning or intent of the soundbite. Right? Well, not really. In my opinion, many of these instances of “misrepresentation” as relates to statements/positions on Palestine, are entirely willful. Meaning there’s no actual initial “misinterpretation.” These misrepresentations are entirely intended and desired. And they can be created from statements that are seen as easy to manipulate, or from statements that are clear as crystal. Square peg, round hole? No problem. So the self-censoring/walking on egg shells approach to communication on this issue is mainly useless because, essentially no matter what, these folks (ie: Israel apologists, more aggressive Zionists, neocon cheerleaders, etc.) are gonna force their willfully intended “misrepresentative misinterpretations” onto the public no matter what we say or write.

        In a way, there’s nothing much that can be done about this phenomenon of intentionally mangling your opponent’s message to further one’s own agenda. It comes with the dinner in our case; and in many other social justice/political arenas. We just have to keep calling out the B.S. And maybe steer clear of Twitter altogether. Twitter, imo, is 24/7/52 bullcrap. Say what you want – It’s short attention span trash. And designed to be so. Speed kills.

        Good times…

  9. yourstruly
    October 18, 2016, 9:54 pm

    Decolonize Palestine en route to decolonizing the world

  10. Annie Robbins
    October 18, 2016, 10:01 pm

    i think it’s unfortunate that the petition, when you open it, is not identical to what’s written here. especially in light of what’s been going on in the UK w/ the labour party (huge witchhunt) and who knows what and where elsewhere on the planet. as well as all the recent stuff about max blumenthal’s reporting, which is very much dividing the palestine community including people saying they didn’t want him advocating for palestine anymore if he didn’t adhere to their principles/opinion on syria .. the additional text in the petition makes it appear as tho when you are signing it you are agreeing — not just in principle — but about these certain incidences that are particularly personal to the people who penned the petition.

    also, the additional text in the petition references JVP 12 times, yet not once in the text here. that’s very misleading considering this is not merely a local issue and certainly not limited to jvp (or campaign to end the occupation).

    i signed the petition because i agreed with text here, in principle. but i felt it was underhanded posting one thing here and another on the linked petition itself, as well as the (obviously limited) examples that are personal to the people who wrote the petition — and i think it will limit the amount of people who will sign onto it as a result (i almost didn’t because of clear limitations regarding the examples). and i also wonder if some of the people who signed on to it would have done so if it had included mention (examples) of the palestinian activists who did, essentially, the same thing to blumenthal.

    not smart imho. and disappointing. it’s not inclusive and only seeks commitment from a portion of the movement — leaving others off the hook.

    • pianoteacher
      October 19, 2016, 2:37 am

      “I felt it was underhanded posting one thing here and another on the linked petition itself”.
      The author tried to include the examples, but your boss wouldn’t allow it. Suggest you take issue with him, not the author.

    • Sibiriak
      October 19, 2016, 2:54 am

      Annie Robbins: it’s not inclusive and only seeks commitment from a portion of the movement — leaving others off the hook.
      —————————

      Thank you, Annie, for pointing that out.

      Sadly, the profoundly one-sided “Stop Divisive Attacks” statement/examples list itself appears to constitute a divisive attack.

      • echinococcus
        October 19, 2016, 4:00 pm

        Well then, Sibiriak, let’s not call the JVP (and JVP-led) shenanigans “divisive” but exactly what they are: sabotage. Happy now?

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 12:52 am

        Sibiriak,

        Do you have a suggested course of action if a leading organization like JVP assembles to drum someone out of the movement?

        Regards.

  11. Danaa
    October 19, 2016, 1:29 am

    It’s a good effort, IMO, and i am glad they highlighted the latest witch hunts against peled, who said something not the least bit controversial (unless of course you find everything controversial). It is also timely because of the great increase in the pace and severity of battles to marginalize BDS.

    When I read the petition, the examples – several of them – seemed to mention JVP as part of the “offending’ partyies as Annie mentioned above. For me, JVP, despite the good work many of its members do, has become somewhat compromised – because of the overwrought actions of certain groups of individuals who appear to take sides, for example in favor of “humanitarian” intervention in places like Syria. When Blumenthal came out recently with his devastating expose of the “white helmets” as essentially a terrorist affiliated umbrella group pretending to do “humanitarian” work but really used as propaganda arm of the CIZ/KSA/Qatar etc. he was subjected to considerable villification, some of which again came from JVP members (though they were not the worst). In fact there are a few things that burst the propaganda bubble more ferociously than commentary on Syria. Some of which appeared here, on MW, as we all saw and noticed.

    Ideally, I would have liked to see a certain unmentionable name with the initials GA added to the list of examples. Of course, that would have meant far fewer would dare to sign. Still, i do take great comfort from the fact that the lynching of Allison Weir and the great Greta Berlin were on the list.

    Overall, it’s worth adding one’s name to the list of signatories, minor quibbles notwithstanding. Especially in light of the fact that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is accelerating, with nary a word of protest from our president or the current candidates, compromised as the latter two are.

    • notatall
      October 24, 2016, 8:13 am

      I can respect Alison Weir’s decision to appear on Clay Douglas’s show; she wants to reach all audiences. And I see that the JVP and others are attacking her to advance their own agenda, seeking to set the limits of acceptable discourse on Palestine. What I cannot understand is how she could appear on his show four times (!) without challenging his outrageous remarks, for example the following, taken from his website: “They call them Zionists or Neocons today. And they hate Americans of all colors today! Especially whites.” Note that: “especially whites.” I could no more keep silent in the face of that than I could appear on a Zionist radio show and denounce Nazism without saying a word about Zionist crimes. The spirits of the countless victims of American white supremacy would rise from their graves to condemn me were I to share a platform with him without blood flowing, either his or mine. (The same is true for GA and his friend Jim Dean, who is cut from the same cloth as Douglas.) I have asked both in this venue and in private correspondence why Alison Weir and her defenders do not simply admit that she made a mistake, and thereby disarm her opponents and lay the matter to rest. So far I have received no answer, forcing me to speculate: perhaps it was more than an isolated mistake in judgment.

      • Danaa
        October 26, 2016, 12:27 am

        Notatall, I beg to differ on this matter. I don’t know Douglas or have any idea why appearance on his show is such a line crossing event. I’ll just make a few comparisons, assuming Douglas may be beyond the pale:

        1. people are willing to write for a polemic journal like the new York times (otherwise known as the pravda times) which has pushed travesties such as the Iraq war AND is currently busily promoting a campaign to divide and destroy Syria (under thee rubric of “humanitarian” intervention). This rag also promotes a racist nepotistic creature like Hillary who lies for a living and has been proven to be just about as corrupt a politician as we have ever seen, not to mention her blood-soaked hands and sadistic tendencies towards vanquished-by-empire foes (cf Qaddafi, among others). She and Bill and their corrupt money laundering “foundation’ are pretty much a mafia operation, designed to enrich them and their cronies using pay-to-play schemes every bit as bad as drug pushing. Same for the torrid write-ups from the likes of brooks et al as well as the near complete disappearance of any palestinian narrative. Yet, people who are otherwise decent still write for the NYTs now and then. Should they all be shunned?

        Oh and did i say the NYT is guilty of racism by promoting all things jewish and barely hiding their disdain for the ‘gentiles’ (to use the illustrious paul Krugman’s word. yes, he does say that, often enough and yes, we know what he means. So, am i misinterpreting or something….or may be not?). basically, if Douglas has bigotry against the zionist creed (which I would share, BTW. Zionism is nothing to be proud of, alas. It’s become almost like a scarlet letter, thanks to that murderous ethnic cleansing entity on the meditarraneans calling itself israel or some such) then krugman has all out bigotry against any economist who happens to not be jewish enough. (can’t be sure whether his ire and bigotry is directed only against economists. may be not, because he went all out against sanders too for the crime of not being sufficiently kiss ass to the PTB, whoever they are).

        2. The new Yorker is similarly guilty of pushing skulduggery, corruption and violent interventions in the name of “women’s rights” or israel or some other politically correct mem de jour. Yet a decent writer like Sy Hersh does publish there. Should he apologize for the platform and say it was a mistake to publish there?

        3. the waPO, known as pravda-on-the-potomac is a known neocon propaganda and yellow journalism rag. hey, they even have a columinist called jennoifer Rubin, a lousy writer, if there ever was one, who arguably displays more prejudice in a single column than Douglas ever did on his web site or beyond it. But here and there a ray of sunshine appears and a decent article sees the light on WaPo’s pages. Should anyone and everyone stop writing there because of the overall violent, racist, bigotted and corrupt editorial bend?

        To me , an appearance in ANY forum does not imply agreeing with editorial policy. Same for Weir as for a Rania Khalek or one Phil Weiss. the good guys are too few to demand some impossible and ludicrous purity test from them.

      • notatall
        October 27, 2016, 6:34 am

        Danaa, It was not Alison Weir’s appearance (four times!) on Douglas’s show that I objected to but her failure to challenge his white supremacy and, yes, antisemitism. I am sorry the distinction was not clear. Would you appear on a zionist show and denounce nazism while remaining silent on the crimes of zionism?

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 6:21 pm

        Notatall,

        Would you appear on a zionist show and denounce nazism while remaining silent on the crimes of zionism?

        That is exactly what all the “Western” media people are doing all day long. Just as you described.

        Even that does not seem to detract from a positive effect on the listener: it informs on (one, earlier form of) Nazism. True, most of the time the current form of Nazism has to be treated by other people in another venue –it is being done by Weir and a few other brave people.

        Also, why on earth should “antisemitism” be our problem? Especially if you cannot offer a clear definition?

    • Danaa
      October 28, 2016, 12:45 am

      notatall, I ‘ll second echiniccus’ request – what on earth is anti-semitism as opposed to any other kind of bigotry we see day in day out on our TV screens? many many jewish people say abhorent things about non jewish people (take for example paul krugman, who I cited above) or can barely conceal their contempt.

      That not to mention the torridm, horrid things you read in the pages of the NYTs, WaPo etc about palestinians, by people who are obviously jewish and obviously can’t wait till the palestinians ‘learn their place”. This problem of anti-palestinian bias and Jewish supremacy that looks down on others and FULLY SUPPORTS the ethnic cleansing of the palestinians from their own homeland, is a far far bigger problem than the imaginary “antisemitism’ some claim to see in every shadow of anyone who believers israel basically sucks (I do, as one example, Not only Israel but most israelis are people i prefer not to associate with on account of their racism and bigotry. Not to mention plain ill manners). Yet, you have a hideous creature called Nethanyahu, an even worse mafiosi thug called Lieberman and they are received by heads of state as if they were actually part of the human family. And who rolls out the red carpet for these jerks? yes, certain jewish Americans, who then put pressure on American politicians to cave in and sell American interests on the cheap..

      So yes, it is high time to denounce these bigots for they are, rather than hide behind your illusory blood libel of something you call “anti-semitism”. Which, as i said, I have never seen or witnessed, except may be by people who are persecuted by israelis and who understandably despise those who oppress them and their enablers in the US.

      I would say that this Douglas guy, who I don’t know, is much less of a problem than the writers of the NYT and WaPo plus the other jewish people who do, for example, fund raisers for the murderous criminal IDF. Depending on what Douglas said about blacks or non-whites, I would have to decide whfor myself whether weir oweas and apology or should get the medal of honor for bravery.

      • notatall
        October 31, 2016, 6:42 am

        If antisemitism were only about disliking Jews, it would be no more important than other forms of bigotry.. It is a philosophy of history that holds “the Jews” responsible for the capitalist system and all other evils of the world. Right now It is marginal in the U.S., and Clay Douglas and his like pose less of an immediate danger than Clinton,, but that could change suddenly, White supremacy is not marginal, and should be taken seriously by those who want to build a strong movement against zionism. I provided information about Douglas’s white supremacy, and could provide more, and also about Jim Dean and others like him who GA, for instance, pals around with.. It is possible that Weir both deserves a medal for bravery and owes an apology.

      • notatall
        October 31, 2016, 6:50 am

        If antisemitism were only about disliking Jews it would be no important than other forms of ethnic bigotry. It is a philosophy of history that blames “the Jews” for the capitalist system and all other evils. Right now it is marginal, and Clay Douglas poses less of an immediate threat than Clinton, but that could change. White supremacy is not marginal, and should be taken seriously by those who want to build a strong movement against zionism. I have provided evidence of Douglas’s white supremacy, and that of Jim Dean (whom Atzmon pals around with). It is possible that Weir both deserves a medal and owes an apology.

      • notatall
        October 31, 2016, 7:00 am

        If antisemitism were only about disliking Jews, it would be no more important than other forms of bigotry. It is a philosophy of history that holds “the Jews” responsible for the capitalist system and all other evils. Right now it is marginal, and Clay Douglas poses less of an immediate threat than Clinton, but that could change. White supremacy is not marginal, and should be taken seriously by those who wish to build a strong movement against zionism. I have provided information about Douglas’s white supremacy, and could provide more, and about that of Atzmon’s pal Jim Dean. It is possible that Weir both deserves a medal and owes an apology.

  12. Henry Norr
    October 19, 2016, 1:50 am

    Wow, Annie, I don’t mean to make light of your objections – after all, it’s not often that something I post is called “very misleading,” “underhanded,” “not smart,” and “disappointing” – but I have to admit that I got a hearty chuckle out of your comment. That’s because the post as I submitted it included the full text – i.e., not only what appears above, but also the bulleted list of examples that, as you note, are not included here. I won’t name names, but let’s just say it was an MW editorial decision to cut out the examples. (If you have access to submissions to MW, check my draft if you don’t believe me.)

    That said, I don’t really believe anyone was misled. In order to sign, one has to go to the open letter site and scroll through the whole text, including the example section at the end, before you get to the “Add Your Name to the Letter” form. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone could miss the example section before adding their name.

    Beyond that, there’s certainly lots one could discuss about the UK Labour Party, Max Blumenthal, and Syria, but I can’t buy your apparent feeling that it was somehow irresponsible not to include all of those issues in this particular document. It addresses one dynamic within the solidarity movement that the folks who wrote the letter and presumably the others who have signed it believe is having destructive effects. If we had tried to address all the issues you list, I’m not at all sure all the drafters could have come to any agreement, and in the best of cases the document would have been extremely ungainly, and lots of people considering reading it would have found themselves in the position of agreeing on some issues and not others and therefore having a hard time deciding whether to sign. Because it focuses instead on one problem, the letter conveys a coherent message, IMO, and I think most people who read it agree or disagree with all of it.)

    Last point: yes, the examples section mentions JVP a bunch, because JVP has been involved with a number of the incidents described. But neither the problem nor the document is limited to JVP – a number of the examples involve other organizations, including SJP chapters or other student organizations. Unfortunately, I think the dynamic in question – the effort to impose limits on what others can say, based on a particular political perspective – is increasingly visible in many if not all sectors of the movement.

    How about you writing something – or, better, some things – about the Labour Party, Max B., and the divisions about Syria?

    • echinococcus
      October 19, 2016, 10:56 am

      Without intending to offend anybody, one has to observe the obvious: that “editorial” decision sure creates confusion and delays exposing the offenders. For a couple minutes.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 19, 2016, 4:21 pm

      It addresses one dynamic within the solidarity movement that the folks who wrote the letter and presumably the others who have signed it believe is having destructive effects.

      but that one dynamic, as it reads above, seems very inclusive to many aspects within the movement tho (labour,syria etc.)

      If we had tried to address all the issues you list, I’m not at all sure all the drafters could have come to any agreement

      so then the drafters don’t have to confront trying to adhere to their own principles when it comes to topics and subjects they don’t agree with?

      Activists will not always agree and may have significant differences on tactics, policies and other issues – including different opinions on the cases below.

      but if the all the drafters can’t agree on the very principle itself if it applies to attacks within our (palestinian) movement regarding syria then it seems strange — you don’t mean “including” the cases below, you mean regarding the cases below.

      it’s a stronger petition without your selective examples. there’s no need to mention labour and syria, but once you start listing examples while eliminating examples you can’t agree on, or examples your supporters can’t agree on, then it just seems like you want the principle to apply when it aligns with your views. hmm.

      anyway, now that i know this, i’d like my name removed please — if there’s a way of doing that.

      and i’m sorry the full text was edited down, even tho i like it better the way it reads here. i just opened it and scrolled where it said sign — assuming it was what i read above. my mistake. and i’m very sorry for characterizing it as very misleading and underhanded, especially since you attempted to include all of it. but i’m still disappointed and think the selection is not smart, especially now knowing the drafters wouldn’t have been able to agree on it if it included incidences in which they themselves are divided. knowing that, i don’t think i want to be part of it anymore.

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 1:11 am

        Dear Annie,

        If you get a chance, can you please point me to some of the attacks (eg from JVP) against Blumenthal for speaking out against the proxy war on Syria?

        I am sorry to hear about that.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 30, 2016, 2:07 pm

        w.jones, i’m not aware jvp criticized blumenthal over syria, others did. try googling “blumenthal white helmets”.

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 2:56 pm

        A ton of Syrians actually side with Assad over the fundamentalists and prefer hopes for reform to the latter taking over. And Syrians have 22 million of people. The other thing is that the Israelis might be happy Assad is getting a beating for 4 years, but they might not really want to have a version of current Libya or Iraq right on their borders either. And American people aren’t real interested in helping the fundies take over. So right now Assad looks like he at least still has some time.

  13. tokyobk
    October 19, 2016, 4:40 am

    Its pretty reasonable to ask people engaged in a justice movement to speak carefully.

    Each case mentioned is different in Miko Peled’s case his tweet was objectionable in ways that would be both obvious and have similar result had someone made them about say terrorism and Muslims.

    But yes, it was just one tweet and to pillory him over it is unwarranted.

    • Donald Johnson
      October 19, 2016, 8:01 am

      Agreed on all counts.

      On Annie’s point, I initially thought this was about Max B and Syria. Syria, whatever one’s stance, is a massively important issue and people who agree on Palestine disagree on Syria in sometimes complicated ways and get heated over it, just as people get heated over antisemitism, real or alleged. People can sign petitions pledging to put issue X over issue Y– the issue Z will come along and some will change their minds. Plus every individual case is different. On Syria, for instance, Max B gets it from both sides and he doesn’t want to be attacked unfairly as pro Assad, but he gets labeled that by one side and I’ve seen one person on the other attack him for being dismissive of “marginal websites”. Maybe people should play nice because they agree on Palestine even if they disagree on Syria, but they won’t, because both issues matter. The same with antisemitism. People will draw lines differently.

      People are now going to argue about the petition and how you regard it will be seen as indicative of whether you are good or bad.

    • Danaa
      October 19, 2016, 2:55 pm

      tokybk – why was peled’s tweet objectionable? it’s not like he said the ‘p’ or ‘c’ words or anything obscene that i could see.

      Peled is an ex-israeli and talks as Israelis do – being ‘ex’ doesn’t alter that, it only slightly dials down the insults, which in israel are so common as to be matter of fact. Whether it’s politicians or ordinary citizens. peled retains one of the features so widely admired by Jewish visitors to the state – directness in speech. I am often guilty of the self same. He saw sleaze and called it by its name – so what? just go over to the Wikileaks releases about the Clinton sleaze campaign and marvel at the level of corruption. Oh yes, that one is across the board, so OK to call it that (or is it?).

      If you could read hebrew (which of course, you may know a little of – just enough perhaps to think you do) you would find israeli social media a literal cesspool. I realize that’s why most Jewish people around the world (excluding the settler support varieties) would never even try to understand the language spoken by by their supposed bretherns in the “holy” land, as it would offend their delicate sensibilities and eternally bolstered sense of victimhood (oh, those anti-semites all around them!).

      that being said, i can say what i want, but Peled is now a public figure and EVERYTHING he tweets or says publicly will be jumped on by enemies – from within and without the movement. I assume he must have gotten exasperated and let out in public that which most ex-Israelis see, mention and talk about in private. that because many israelis escaped that lousy little place by the sea precisely because they could not stand the endemic corruption of the Oligarchic political and business life. It’s pretty much like in the ukraine except they get much larger hand-outs from big daddy, so the veneer of the good life is thicker (cf. the Tel Aviv and its great night life). So, sometimes it’s hard not to get exasperated when you witness the cover-up operation run in America by “nice” jewish people who’ll do anything and everything not to see the ethnic cleansing spectacle unfolding before our very eyes. And that is indeed sleazy (which remains so even if many non-jewish brain washed evangelical types share the same blind spot, which in their case, is truly blind, so perhaps a bit less sleazy?).

      • tokyobk
        October 19, 2016, 5:33 pm

        Hi Danaa —

        I think the tweet in itself was silly and rude and offensive but if people want to use that to smear him as an anti-Semite or derail his efforts, of course that is absurd and by the way more offensive than his stupid tweet.

        That other people say worse or that its just the way this group talks in that situation, well all that to me sounds like the way people minimize Trumps’ grab comments as just ‘locker room talk’ or ‘boys talk,’ and ‘Bill Clinton says worse.’

        I do read enough Hebrew and have known enough Israelis to get what you are saying but not sure how that redeems the one tweet.

        Now the tweet: Explaining the context of bigotry is very different than rationalizing bigotry. Peled’s tweet was in the second category. It would be offensive no matter which group it was applied to, including Palestinians. Its important to many anti-semites to not only minimize the history of anti Jewish bigotry but to explain it as a rational phenomenon. Peled’s tweet had that tone.

        The problem with the petition is that it is angry that people who should know better got caught not knowing better (I consider Helen Thomas and Miko Peled to be very different than Alison Weir and Greta Berlin btw).

        Do we blame the people who notice, or do we blame the activists themselves for saying stupid things, or hanging out with sleazy people who have a different or extra agenda than Palestinian rights? I think if a social movement is serious, it draws clear lines and many of the important Palestinian rights activists have drawn lines. This is a good thing.

        I see the same thing about the social collision between Israeli and US Jews as you do. In fact like many it is in seeing that with open eyes that changed much of my views of I/P.

      • tokyobk
        October 19, 2016, 5:36 pm

        … I should have said “a problem with the petition.” I am certainly not denying that “anti-semite” beside being a real thing can also be a way to smear and silence people.

  14. russgreen
    October 19, 2016, 3:38 pm

    I am glad people pointed out that it wasn’t Henry Norr’s fault that the full petition text (with examples) was not posted on Mondoweiss. Henry did submit the full text, but a Mondoweiss editor refused to publish it unless the examples were omitted. That was a wrong decision by the Mondoweiss editor. It seems like censorship of the petition. So I would encourage Annie to ask that editor not to censor petitions in the future, and I would encourage her to apologize (in this comment section) to Henry Noor for calling him underhanded.

  15. russgreen
    October 19, 2016, 3:54 pm

    I signed this petition. It is entirely appropriate that JVP was mentioned numerous times in the examples. Because in the past several years, JVP has done numerous things to discredit and undermine fellow Palestine activists.

    JVP leaders have made unwarranted accusations of antisemitism against several prominent activists and have worked behind the scenes to get their speaking events cancelled. This is completely unacceptable behavior. It is divisive and destructive.

    If JVP wanted to address antisemitism a positive, helpful way, it would talk with Palestine activists privately and help them improve their language. There is absolutely no excuse for (and no need for) JVP to make public accusations of antisemitism against fellow activists. All it does is destroy their reputations and ruin their credibility. JVP starts that process, and Stand With Us and other zionist organizations come in behind JVP and finish the job of destroying people, using JVP’s accusations as proof that the person is an antisemite.

    JVP sees this happening yet keeps making these accusations. So everyone should sign this petition and pressure JVP to improve its behavior.

  16. Jeff in Brooklyn
    October 19, 2016, 8:59 pm

    This petition attempts to muddle a number of issues, and therefore lacks integrity.
    It is reasonable to suspect that Allison Weir or a compatriot is playing a part in this, and using it to try and attack JVP or get them to loosen their stance on her racism.

    1) An anti-racism movement must be 110% free of racism – against ANYONE (Muslim, Palestinian, Black, gay, White, Jewish)

    2) I’m not well informed on the Miko Peled saga so I don’t know whether it was right or wrong to call him out. Same for Max Blumenthal. These are individual cases that are not connected or mutually exclusive.

    3) Alison Weir is unquestionably racist.
    A quick scan of her blog has revealed talk of ‘Jewish power’ and Jewish conspiracy theories that are exaggerated and intentionally overblown..
    There’s no question that Jews wield a lot of power in the US, and there’s no question about AIPAC’s widespread toxic influence. There’s no question that Israel is a racist apartheid state. But an obsession over Jewish conspiracies – and glossing over white American Protestant supremecists as the singular most powerful and sinister group in the US – is falsehood and is racist.
    Ms Weir does not seem terribly concerned about white Protestant supremecists – who have colonized and committed untold genocides long before there was Zionism or substantially powerful Jews. They are the most influential and toxic group in the world – not Jews.
    It should be noted that this is not a zero-sum issue. It is not ‘Jews have ALL the power’ VS ‘Jews have NO power.’ The fact is that Jews have ALOT of power, but not ALL of it by any long shot. Flimsy zero-sum arguments in attempt to rebut this hold no water. Any argument that comes back trying to claim it has to be all or nothing is a weak anti-intellectual comeback.
    Anti-Zionism is not Anti-semitic. Noone here is arguing that anti-Zionism is anti-semitism. But not ALL anti-semitism is anti-Zionism. Ms. Weir’s racism against Jews (and her obsession with them) has nothing to do with her anti-Zionism. if there was no Israel or Zionism – for Palestinians and genuine anti-racism activists Jews would not be a major focus – but Ms. Weir would STILL be obsessed with Jews.

    4) This petition broadly generalizes and attempts to excuse questionable language and behavior which could easily be avoided. What is so difficult about watching their language. We do it for LGBTQ. We do it for Muslims. We do it for our black brothers and sisters. It’s not that difficult.

    5) The petition says: “Cases are proliferating in which activist are… scrutinizing fellow activists with seemingly greater attention than they scrutinize the incredibly powerful actors that are perpetrating and enabling war crimes.”
    NO KIDDING!!!!!
    This is a repackaging of a common Zionist argument – ‘what about X, and what about Y, they’re worse than us…’
    This is a flimsy argument and attempted deflection. OF COURSE anti-racist activists have a superior moral threshold to uphold. Is the standard really set at morally repugnant Zionist or conservative groups? We have already passed judgement on those groups. If you claim to be anti-racist then you are under FAR more scrutiny than openly racist groups. This argument is cut-and-dry straight out of the Zionist/Afrikaner playbook. To try and use the same exact argument (which is easily dismissable as nonsense) on people well versed on these kind of straw man distractions and whattaboutisms is an insult to anyone who reads this.

    6) There is a notion being perpetuated that people speaking against racism (of any kind – against blacks, gays,Hispanics OR white Jews) are ‘secret Zionist sabateurs’ or are not really committed to the cause of Palestinian liberation. This is complete and total rubbish. It is BECAUSE I am an advocate of Palestinian liberation that I am offended by any racism, including against Jews. Whoever OVERLOOKS racism (including against Jews, unrelated to Zionism) is the one who is NOT really an ally of liberation and equality. Ms. Weir is the one who is not a real ally of liberation – not her anti-Zionist critics (her Zionist critics are obviously full of baloney and have no place in this discussion). Palestinians may be convenient allies for her agenda right now – but she is not intersectional.

    Disclaimer: I am white and culturally Jewish. I despise apartheid Israel.

    • Citizen
      October 20, 2016, 1:59 pm

      Ms. Weir has written an essay on just how and why she became an advocate for the Palestinians, and for a better use of American blood and treasure than enabling Israel to keep them down and steal their land. I suggest interested folks read it on her If Americans Only Knew web site. I have never understood why Phil Weiss does not like her and her activity, nor why JVP call her a jew-hater.

      • echinococcus
        October 20, 2016, 4:47 pm

        One explanation that would fit most of the observations may be that the tribally-minded (or, if their mind is restricted to myth, the racially-minded) are in this primarily to cleanse the good name of the tribe or, if they realize the impending doom of Zionism, to limit the damage to tribe members (what makes tribals tribal is the fact that tribe members are seen as personal relatives commanding personal loyalty, no matter their Zionist politics.) Any results of the activity that benefit the Palestinian people are seen as a fringe benefit.

        So, when the primary aim (upholding the good name of the tribe / protecting relatives) clashes with that of helping the Palestinian people get justice, the main objective becomes fighting “antisemitism”* or maligning any calls to get the invaders out. A call for Americans at large to know would clash with the aim of keeping the discussions under control.

        This said, I am not suggesting that all of the above explains it all, or that it applies to all of JVP, although all of JVP is obviously on a basis of Jewish nationalism. Psychology might explain some –let’s ask Ms Abarbanel. Visceral, unconscious dislike or suspicion of anything coming from a, Gentile, in individuals who were grown in protected paranoia (and deserve appreciation for breaking loose), for example, is something I have observed sometimes, without being a psychologist.
        —–
        *”Antisemitism” here is obviously not the same as racism but includes criticism of acquired traits. Some occurrences suggest that it sometimes applies to any criticism of Jewish nationalism (not necesarily only Zionism) –no matter if coming from either a Gentile or a “biological” Jew.

      • Jeff in Brooklyn
        October 21, 2016, 1:14 pm

        Thank you for your comments.
        Since you are speaking on Allison Weir then it should be assumed that you are well informed on the specifics of the discourse on her and are not just talking based on your personal feelings about this general subject.

        Here is what I have to say:
        Ms Weir’s collaboration with Clay Douglas – a loony-bin Alex Jones-inspiring white supremecist ‘oath keeper’ – makes her position very clear. She very openly expressed how they are two peas in a pod – both ‘misunderstood’ for their ‘alternative’ views.
        This is bolstered by her ‘investigation’ of historic blood libels having a legitimate basis; and their claim that ‘Zionists’ are heavily responsible for World War One.
        Whoever thinks Zionists were a decisive force behind WW1 – and that it would not have happened without Zionist involvement – will find themselves more at home on Infowars or some other crackpot alt-right blog. Not in a space of genuine social justice activism.

        Ms Weir is explicit in her agenda: ‘American national interest’ NOT universal liberation.

        The Southern Poverty Law Center has the skinny on Allison Weir’s chum and collaborator Clayton Douglas.
        (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2010/09/10/anti-semitic-activist-now-%E2%80%98liberty-villages%E2%80%99-hemp)

        Anyone remotely associated with this Confederate flag-waving ‘chem trail’ and ‘Christian power’ lunatic would have zero place in Black Lives Matter, gay rights or any other social justice movement. They would be tossed out the door with no debate of any kind.
        Why such a person would then be a legitimate member of the grassroots Palestinian-rights camp – I’d love to hear an explanation for that.
        And there is absolutely no question that Weir clearly expressed how big pals they are.

        Whoever disagrees is welcome to bring this to a black lives activist or immigration activists and see what they have to say.
        There is a simple litmus test:
        Approach a group of Black Lives or immigrant activists and show them the following:

        – The transcript of Weir’s appearance on Clayton Douglas’ show; including their legitimization of KKK proponent David Duke and validation of his statements
        http://ifamericansknewalisonweir.com/tag/clay-douglas/

        – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s dossier on Clayton Douglas
        (https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2010/09/10/anti-semitic-activist-now-%E2%80%98liberty-villages%E2%80%99-hemp)

        See what the BLM activists or immigration activists will have to say about her; and whether they would consider her an intersectional advocate of universal liberation that they would work with. See if they will consider her an ally of immigrant rights or gay rights.
        Maybe those groups consider a pal of ‘oath keepers’and David Duke to be an authentic social justice warrior. Maybe they are not bothered by someone claiming to be a social justice activist chumming around with a confederate flag-waver.
        Ask them if a participant in the American Free Press and other KKK-type publications is someone that they would trust as an activist towards their cause.
        Please let me know what they say.

      • echinococcus
        October 21, 2016, 2:26 pm

        Jeff in Brooklyn.

        First off, you may be more comfortable expressing things in your native tongue, whatever that is. I don’t know what “the specifics of the discourse on her” are, as opposed to whatever “just talking based on your personal feelings about this general subject” means, but yes, we all are very familiar with the facts of the case.

        Ms Weir’s collaboration with Clay Douglas – a loony-bin Alex Jones-inspiring white supremecist ‘oath keeper’ – makes her position very clear. She very openly expressed how they are two peas in a pod – both ‘misunderstood’ for their ‘alternative’ views

        It’s very clear that, as Weir insists, Americans have to know about the US-Zionist crime, enough to decide them to turn the clock back. Any Americans. Not only those you personally like. I may or may not oppose Mr Douglas in another venue about something else, but as long as he gives Ms Weir an opportunity to inform Americans –of all sorts– that’s very welcome and the rest of your rant is irrelevant.

        This is bolstered by her ‘investigation’ of historic blood libels having a legitimate basis; and their claim that ‘Zionists’ are heavily responsible for World War One.

        That “heavily” is added there by your propagandistic self. The Zionists sure are responsible to a certain degree; their intensive sleaze maneuvers are well documented, in part also ably summarized by Ms Weir; the word “blood libel” is again some stupid propaganda word added by your Zionist self; “Zionists” doesn’t need scare quotes as we are discussing precisely that, Zionists, the scum of the earth, as also “investigation”, which stands to any decent standards.

        Whoever thinks Zionists were a decisive force behind WW1 – and that it would not have happened without Zionist involvement – will find themselves more at home on Infowars or some other crackpot alt-right blog. Not in a space of genuine social justice activism.

        “decisive force behind WWI” and “would not have happened without Zionist involvement” are added by your viciously propagandistic self. Zionist involvement, nicely but not completely documented, by Ms Weir among others, was certainly intended to facilitate the war participation of the USA and the British claim on Palestine, among others; it may well have been an important factor, unless you have decisive documentation proving otherwise.
        Also, on this forum what is discussed is destroying Zionism and promoting Palestinian resistance, “alt-right”, genuine or fake “social justice” and “activism” be damned. At least the real vicious Zionist propaganda trudges posting here are somewhat, what’s the word, honest.

        Ms Weir is explicit in her agenda: ‘American national interest’ NOT universal liberation.

        Screw “universal liberation”. Here we are talking about support to Palestinian resistance. Nose to the topic, please.
        I hope you are not an official representative of JVP, as you make it sound fully like a Zionist-manipulated nest of prehistoric Trotskyist spies. What I so like is the silent assumption that everybody participates in their craze. Just say “universal” and they’ll all fall for it, eh?

        Of course American national interest. How else is the US to stop the nonsense?
        By the pc leftist nice Jewish kids, only population approved by yourself (as opposed to the general American public, warts and and all) mildly pursuing some selective boycott of Zionist-selected post-67 products –that will do the trick? You sure don’t suggest but openly insist that all must be confined to “genuine social justice activists”, whatever this is.

        As for your ridiculous rant on behalf of an imaginary tefillim-carrying frumm Black Lives Matter movement, get me something serious who won’t ever refuse airing an uncensored, undoctored information segment on, say, the AIPAC radio. Anybody would of course encourage them to take it. It has an audience.

      • Jeff in Brooklyn
        October 21, 2016, 5:38 pm

        Echinococcus,

        I will not address your assumptions about my personal opinions on BDS, etc. since you have already decided them for me. No need to burden you with my actual positions on those things.

        You say you don’t subscribe to intersectionality. Okay. If you are not into universal anti-racism you are welcome to your opinion. If you are very immersed in anti-Zionism but don’t believe in gay rights, black lives or immigrant rights – you are welcome to your opinions.
        If you don’t see a problem with an individual who participates in publications that are anti-black lives and anti-gay, you are welcome to your opinion.

        If you don’t see a problem with an individual who will be thrown right out of numerous other activism movements, you are welcome to your opinion.
        If you think neo-Nazi and white supremacist “all lives matter” people need to be ‘educated’ on Palestine, you are welcome to your opinion.

        I personally beg to differ. Since I believe in equality for women and equality for my gay brothers and sisters. since I believe that black lives matter and an care for our environment.

        If you don’t care for any of those things – but are focused solely on Palestine and Zionists – and see issues like Americans being terrorized in the streets daily by police as unimportant – then we have two very different views of the world.

        But I respect your opinion.

      • echinococcus
        October 21, 2016, 8:26 pm

        Wow, Jeff from NYC respects my opinion! How believable.
        Well, I sure don’t respect his.
        First, he doesn’t seem able to read.
        “I may or may not oppose Mr Douglas in another venue about something else, but as long as he gives Ms Weir an opportunity to inform Americans –of all sorts– that’s very welcome and the rest of your rant is irrelevant.”
        Is read as:

        If you are not into universal anti-racism you are welcome to your opinion. If you are very immersed in anti-Zionism but don’t believe in gay rights, black lives or immigrant rights – you are welcome to your opinions.

        Yarright. He is universally antiracist, only reacting to the unmasking of Zionists, so that they can continue with their racial-supremacist occupation and genocide.

        And who the hell gives a rat’s ass about “antisemitism” if it is not directed at a characteristic by birth? All the rest is free game.

        So probably the guy doesn’t understand English. And doesn’t write it, either: who, now, is “Intersectionality”?

        Anyway, why the hell do we have to tolerate Zionist plants inside a movement to support the Palestinian resistance destroy exactly that, Zionists?
        I shouldn’t have signed the goddam letter. It doesn’t make sense to try moving in any direction with a Zionist-directed tribal horde continually biting at our ankles and performing character assassination. A Narr or a Michael are no end obnoxious but at least they are honest in their support of Zionism.

      • Jeff in Brooklyn
        October 22, 2016, 9:19 am

        I am grateful for your concerns about my English comprehension. Since English has been a first language in my family for at least 400 years, I’m not too worried about it.

        Furthermore I’m not too concerned about anyone’s challenge to my American identity, since I’ve had descendents in North America for more than 250 years. And the United States is a settler-colony created in a similar manner to Israel. The only ‘real’ authentic Americans are -ironically – TRIBES; with tribal mentality.

        Regarding Ms Weir and this discussion:

        We seem to disagree on the implications of participating in hate publications – without challenging them – in order to inform them on another issue.

        I have given my opinion on it.
        You have given your opinion on it.

        So that leaves the opinion of other parties:
        Ask a black lives activist how they feel about someone going on an anti-black pro-apartheid (South Africa) publication – without challenging them on those stances – in order to inform them on another issue.

        We’ve already gotten your opinion on it; why don’t we see what others think about it.

        Furthermore it’s interesting that an anti-apartheid advocate would go on a pro-apartheid publication and not even mention it or challenge them on it in any way.

      • echinococcus
        October 22, 2016, 1:55 pm

        Jeff in Brooklyn

        No one doubts that you are as American as your fringe-group gobbledygook (not to mention your “ha-sebara” terminology.) Used, as observed, for the purposes of restricting any anti-Zionist action to some tribal fringe group officially in the service of Jewish nationalism –no doubt to enforce their being “110% free of racism – against ANYONE (Muslim, Palestinian, Black, gay, White, Jewish)”. Under penalty of character assassination and other nice Zionist dirty wrestling, of course.

        It’s not your opinion, however kooky (and same old Trotzkyite nonsense, if I may add my opinion), anyone is objecting to. It’s your criminal participation in Zionist propaganda and action.

      • Mooser
        October 22, 2016, 3:16 pm

        “Jeff in Brooklyn”

        “Brooklyn”? That’s in New York City!!!

      • Jeff in Brooklyn
        October 23, 2016, 12:33 am

        Ecconeous,

        I’m very impressed with your articulate and rational rebuttal. It’s good that you didn’t merely just resort to hysteric bungling accusations.

        Anyway, the impression I’m getting – from your obsession with Jews and your intimate knowledge of Jewish culture – is that maybe you are actually Jewish yourself. Maybe you are ashamed of it?
        Perhaps a self-hating Jew?

      • echinococcus
        October 24, 2016, 2:08 am

        All right, Jeff in Brooklyn seems to have been released from his Zionist cocoon before the hatcher could warn him not to use exclusively Zionist attack terminology (=Angriffsworte in the technical sense.)
        Like –are you sitting?– “Self-hating Jew”. Wow. Where else did we hear that?
        Coming on top of “blood libel”. Another wow.
        What’s next, “practice of Jewish self-determination in Judea and Samaria”?

        I don’t think this is the kind of people I want to work with against Zionism –not with open Zionists working by backstabbing every solid opponent of nasty Jewish nationalism.

        As for your personal questions, they are, if you’ll pass the pun, beyond the pale and irrelevant to one’s policy (except, of course, for bronze-age tribals.) I’ll answer, tough: I have no religion, so I cannot be Jewish. Also, I like myself fine, that’s why I cannot be either self-hating or Jew.
        Also, only a tribal Zionist could call “self” a bronze-age tribal group based exclusively on racial myth. And, well, “culturally” I do know you guys well and we are talking Zionist culture, not “Jewish”.

        There is nothing to be ashamed of in acknowledging that several generations back, my relatives probably were involved in Jewish religious practice. That does not give you the right to insult me by implying religious or tribal connections.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 12:04 pm

        “Perhaps a self-hating Jew?”

        Jeff, you are really freaking me out! I’ve been Jewish my whole life, and I never heard about this awful “self-hating Jew”.

        Could you p[lease explain what a self-hating Jew is? And maybe give us a few examples, and maybe an estimate of their numbers?
        Jeff, if anybody dared to call me a “self-hating Jew” (especially another Jew) my first reaction would be to laugh and tell them to stick it in their tuchus. Am I being too dismissive? Please tell us more about this condition of Jewish self-hate.

      • jd65
        October 28, 2016, 5:59 pm

        @ Mooser:

        “Perhaps a self-hating Jew?”

        Jeff, you are really freaking me out! I’ve been Jewish my whole life, and I never heard about this awful “self-hating Jew”.

        Could you p[lease explain what a self-hating Jew is? And maybe give us a few examples, and maybe an estimate of their numbers?
        Jeff, if anybody dared to call me a “self-hating Jew” (especially another Jew) my first reaction would be to laugh and tell them to stick it in their tuchus. Am I being too dismissive? Please tell us more about this condition of Jewish self-hate.

        You’re crackin’ me up, man :)

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 7:14 pm

        “You’re crackin’ me up, man “

        Oh, maybe it’s funny to you, but it’s not funny to me. I’m trying to find out if I have a serious condition.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 29, 2016, 3:25 am

        I’m trying to find out if I have a serious condition.

        the impression I’m getting – from your obsession with Jews and your intimate knowledge of Jewish culture – is that maybe you are actually Jewish yourself. Maybe you are ashamed of it?
        Perhaps a self-hating Jew?

        accusing someone (even the suggestion) of self hatred is really pompous. who comes up with these propaganda /psychiatric terms? probably cowards who are too afraid to speak of their own hatreds. i don’t consider the hatred of others. it’s a no win situation cuz it’s merely a low level degrading cop out diversionary ad hominem — and how someone thinks of themselves is none of my business.

        mooser, do you have a serious condition? yes. is it self hatred, absolutely not!!!

      • echinococcus
        October 29, 2016, 11:11 am

        “accusing someone (even the suggestion) of self hatred is really pompous. who comes up with these propaganda /psychiatric terms?”

        People who still haven’t made the grade from the herd to the individual. Stone-age guys who don’t see themselves existing as persons able to think and act on their own. People who continue blood feuds across generations because one member of group or nation Y has, thousands of years ago, dissed one member of group or nation Z. For a better-informed response let’s ask Ms Abarbanel, she’s the specialist.

        Who comes up with these propaganda terms? In the current case, rabid Zionists, that’s who.

        And we let them take the lead in movements to support Palestinian resistance. That, now, is way crazier than anything ever seen in any nuthouse. In the middle of an ongoing, endless war. In fact, we deserve a collective Darwin award.

        It’s not just this guy: he’s too clueless to cross the street on his own. The slicker ones know better than to use official Zionist terminology but they act the same.

      • echinococcus
        October 29, 2016, 11:18 am

        Mooser,

        Seriously, you want to know if you have a serious condition?
        You can’t. The seriouser the condition, the more you’d be wisecracking.

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2016, 1:42 pm

        “mooser, do you have a serious condition? Yes…!”

        I’ve got Bright’s disease, and he has mine. And I’ve got a case of samples, which is a heavy load.

      • Mooser
        October 29, 2016, 3:48 pm

        “Perhaps a self-hating Jew?”

        “Jeff in Brooklyn”, you have just given me a great idea for a series of SNL skits: “The Temple Lady”

      • jd65
        October 29, 2016, 10:57 pm

        @ echinococcus:

        People who still haven’t made the grade from the herd to the individual.

        Again, apologies upfront for me being so ridiculous. Here we go…

        “…from the herd to the individual.” Or possibly stated “from the collective/community to the individual person?” The Collective vs. The Individual? Duality, anyone?

        So maybe those who coined/use the phrase “self-hating Jew” are those who haven’t yet grasped the Law of Duality? Collective/Individual? Love/Hate? Yada yada…

        Below is a rare video of a discussion on the Duality of Man between a “Liberal Zionist” IDF soldier and his more nationalistically fascist battalion leader at Deir Yassin. Enjoy:

      • echinococcus
        October 30, 2016, 5:37 pm

        JD65,

        Thanks for the Duality of Man. Much appreciated because I am not a moviegoer, so I miss a lot of this kind of fun.

        In this case, though, unfortunately I think that the iron made its way in the flesh deeper than it appears at first look. The metal-jacket US team, although some of it sounds Neanderthal, is quite a long way from the genuine stone-age tribe. I mean, with the tribe, on the surface it looks as if there were the person-collective duality. Then you adjust your reading glasses, scratch the more or less civilized veneer, get hold of a magnifier, look again and what do you see? Right where it counts, there is no duality but only the tribe.

    • Ara
      October 20, 2016, 6:58 pm

      Thanks for this letter.

      When Jeff in Brooklyn makes the very principled-SOUNDING statement that “An anti-racism movement must be 110% free of racism – against ANYONE (Muslim, Palestinian, Black, gay, White, Jewish)” I get the message that what that really means is that he wants to dictate every activist’s position and language on every peripheral issue. Who died and gave him that right?

      He accuses Alison Wier of racism and says: “A quick scan of her blog has revealed talk of ‘Jewish power’”

      Ok, I just did a search of Weir’s blog for “Jewish power” and it came up 5 times — in things written by other people.

      I searched mondoweiss for the term “Jewish power” and it came up over 1,200 times.

      That said, Weir does explicitly focus on the American element of the Israel colonial project, with the rationale that as Americans it’s our responsibility to tackle American support of Israeli atrocities. I accept this rationale. Looking at the lobby is part of examining – and opposing – US support. Wier examines the lobby, among many other things. If you think some of her facts are wrong, address that, but simply looking into facts you personally don’t like is not “racism.”

      I’ve heard Wier speak and found her fair, reasonable, and convincing.

      Where on earth does Jeff come up with the claim that ” if there was no Israel or Zionism … Ms. Weir would STILL be obsessed with Jews”? Silly.

      • echinococcus
        October 20, 2016, 11:39 pm

        Ara,

        the very principled-SOUNDING statement that “An anti-racism movement must be 110% free of racism – against ANYONE (Muslim, Palestinian, Black, gay, White, Jewish)” I get the message that what that really means is that he wants to dictate every activist’s position and language on every peripheral issue. Who died and gave him that right?

        I never heard it better expressed, thank you!

        Besides, when one forces oneself to keep calm and read Jeff’s propaganda bilge, what hits you is that it’s got zilch to do with racism, but exclusively about provable, arguable things:
        “A quick scan of her blog has revealed talk of ‘Jewish power’ and Jewish conspiracy theories”
        Immediately after that, look what Mr Jeff himself says:
        “There’s no question that Jews wield a lot of power in the US”
        What? Didn’t he just object to just that being said?

        “and there’s no question about AIPAC’s widespread toxic influence. There’s no question that Israel is a racist apartheid state. But an obsession over Jewish conspiracies …”
        What? Did he just forget that all the work of Alison Weir consists in unmasking in detail, and documenting the Zionist conspiracy –which has just become “Jewish” in the mouth of our brave tribal warrior.

        So, it’s exclusively about provable, arguable things with the truth of which he agrees –apart from an undemonstrable “obsessional” character when it’s someone else speaking.

        For the umpteenth time, our tribal friends continue to spread muck without ever being able to refer to something specific. Enough to use words like “conspiracy theory” and “obsession”, oh, and “Jews”… exactly in the same spots any Zionist official propaganda uses them.

      • Jeff in Brooklyn
        October 21, 2016, 1:50 pm

        Please see my response above

      • Ara
        October 21, 2016, 6:40 pm

        Jeff in Brooklyn: Yes, I have read every word of the detailed accusatory document compiled against Wier and every word of her response, which addresses all the accusations in exhausting detail: http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html

        I’m assuming you have not, unless you are intentionally lying.

        Because there’s no other explanation for you to call her a “pal of David Duke” based on the sole fact that the guy has re-posted her writing without permission — as she clearly states in her response.

        Or for using the term “chumming around” to describe granting a couple of interviews to someone — out of many hundreds of interviews with all kinds of people. Was she chumming around with everyone she’s let interview her over the years??

        As for your claim that she is clear that her agenda is for US national interest not universal liberation, again you’re either unfamiliar with her actual statements or intentionally lying. Her mission states clearly: “We believe all people are endowed with inalienable human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. We believe in justice, fairness, and compassion and in treating all human beings with respect, empathy, and in the manner in which we would wish to be treated.” http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/

        ETC.

        When people go around calling someone “pals” with people they demonstrably have nothing or next to nothing to do with, that’s a smear campaign. Now that you’re hip to her response, which you clearly haven’t had the chance to check out, I hope you’ll no longer participate in it.

      • jd65
        October 22, 2016, 12:15 am

        Hey Ara –

        Jeff in Brooklyn… Silly.

        Yup. ‘Nuff said.

      • pianoteacher
        October 22, 2016, 11:43 am

        Jeff in Brooklyn provides a perfect example of why this petition is necessary!

  17. Donald Johnson
    October 20, 2016, 7:45 am

    There’ve been at least three articles about Syria in the past two days on lefty siites condemning the propaganda on both sides of the left. Here is one–

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/20/the-many-truths-on-syria-how-our-rivalry-has-destroyed-a-country/

    I suppose the petition avoided Syria for good reason–each left faction on Syria would expect the other left faction to admit it is wrong.

    • Keith
      October 20, 2016, 3:04 pm

      DONALD JOHNSON- “There’ve been at least three articles about Syria in the past two days on lefty siites condemning the propaganda on both sides of the left.”

      Indeed, there are those on the left who perform a de facto propaganda function by presenting a false equivalency between the two sides, while ignoring or minimizing the historical role of Western imperialism in creating the conditions which exist in the Middle East as a consequence of the “divide and conquer, divide and rule” philosophy. The empire is on a rampage throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East, in its attempt to destroy anything or anyone standing in the way of imperial hegemony. This is the overarching reality against which everything else must be evaluated. One “lefty” who does this very well is John Pilger. I provide a link where he discusses Syria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwLX7k57_8U

      • gamal
        October 20, 2016, 6:25 pm

        Yes Keith Vaska Tumir of offguardian posted a comment to a weak article by Eric Draitser that seems to get to the heart of the issue.

        “Vaska Tumir: Viewing the situation in Syria in terms of anti-Assad and pro-Assad positions is precisely to accept the framing narrative of the liberal imperialists who’ve been funding and arming the proxy war there.

        Does the Left recognize the validity and importance of national sovereignty and international law? These seem to me the questions nobody wants to raise because the answers to them may be far too troubling to contemplate. Unless we can answer with an unambiguous “yes” in both cases, we in the Left are leaving the field open to the imperialist lawlessness which has characterized Western foreign policy in the Middle East for decades now.”

      • Donald Johnson
        October 21, 2016, 4:37 pm

        You don’t seem to have read the link and you use the tired old cliche that anyone who isn’t with you must in fact be an apologist for Western imperialism. This is simply false. Western imperialism is bad for all the reasons you say and even the most naive person, one who imagined our government had humanitarian motives, would, if honest, be forced to admit tha our interventions in the Mideast have been catastrophic for the people involved and this includes Syria. Baroud says that. In fact he goes further and says the US and others want the Syrian war to drag on indefinitely and are not motivated by humanitarian goals at all. So what is your problem with it? Apparently it is the dreaded sin of moral equivalence. I don’t think Baroud actually commits that sin, but anyway, I have never seen that phrase used except to downplay or whitewash the atrocities of some faction. Why do this? Why should people use some ” overarching reality” as a reason for not noticing that both the Syrian government and its various armed opponents murder civilians? All this does is make it harder to understand what is actually happening.

      • Keith
        October 21, 2016, 7:07 pm

        DONALD JOHNSON- “You don’t seem to have read the link….”

        I read CounterPunch before I read Mondoweiss and saw the article before you linked it. I found it disappointing. On the other hand, you give no indication that you followed my link to John Pilger.

        DONALD JOHNSON- “…you use the tired old cliche that anyone who isn’t with you must in fact be an apologist for Western imperialism.”

        Who did I refer to as an apologist for Western imperialism? I refer to performing a de facto propaganda function by setting up a false equivalency. This hybrid war was unilaterally started by the empire to break apart Syria and could be unilaterally stopped by empire in short order. The legitimate government of Syria did not start this war and cannot unilaterally end it short accepting defeat by the terrorist proxy forces of empire or by militarily defeating these mercenary terrorists. Western imperialism bears the ultimate responsibility for the carnage in Syria, just as in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. And I get a little tired of people like Ramzy Baroud (who I normally like) pointing fingers at empire’s victims and equating their behavior to somehow comparable to that of empire. It is not. Syria is under attack. Period. And any citizen of empire who criticizes the behavior of those under imperial assault is in a morally untenable position. And Baroud is wrong about the origins of the conflict. It was an imperial destabilization right from the get go.

        DONALD JOHNSON- “Why should people use some ” overarching reality” as a reason for not noticing that both the Syrian government and its various armed opponents murder civilians?”

        There is no doubt that these “various armed opponents” murder civilians. And there is no doubt that the Syrian armed forces in defending Syria against these mercenary Islamists of empire have killed civilians in the fighting. But murder? You seem to place undo credence in Western media sources. The empire has destroyed how many countries in the Middle East already, including Syria? And, as a citizen of empire surrounded by the imperial media, you feel that folks like me aren’t critical enough of Assad? The empire is on a rampage rushing headlong into war everywhere aiming soon enough at Iran, Russia and maybe China, and we on the left should criticize Assad? I would hope that our focus as citizens of empire would be on the deplorable actions of empire, not on the victims of empire. Sorry to disappoint you Donald, but I refuse to criticize any country being attacked by empire. This only serves to reinforce the demonization of the leadership of the victim country.

        You have difficulty grasping the meaning of “overarching reality?” Overarching reality refers to the environment which influences and constrains behavior. Western imperialism and the current global empire place enormous constraints upon the behavior of the leadership of the various Middle Eastern nations. Neoliberal globalization, trade agreements, financial interdependencies and information interconnectivity have created an environment where pursuing a national policy at odds with imperial objectives is very difficult and, of late, perhaps impossible for all but a few. Following the imperial neoliberal agenda creates enormous problems for the majority, yet resisting imperial desires results in destabilization. The empire has this power. Iran does not. Russia does not. China does not. Once the empire made the decision to destabilize and break up Syria, Assad had only two choices- surrender or fight. We created the Mujahideen which begat al-Qaeda which begat ISIS, etc. We and/or our allies (vassals) equip, fund and train them. There are NATO special operations forces illegally on the ground in Syria. International law is firmly on the side of the Syrian government, and of the Russian forces assisting the Syrian government. The empire is illegally making war on Syria by proxy, the Syrian government is legally defending the country. All empires are inherently evil. That is the overarching reality.

      • Sibiriak
        October 22, 2016, 12:35 am

        Donald Johnson: Why should people use some ” overarching reality” as a reason for not noticing that both the Syrian government and its various armed opponents murder civilians?
        ——————

        With all due respect, that statement strikes me as a blatant straw man.

        The issue is not one of “not noticing” the deaths of civilians, but of putting them in context ( “the overarching reality”), and making political and moral judgments only after such contextualization. Facts and context–both are critical.

        Apparently it is the dreaded sin of moral equivalence.

        There is no sin of “moral equivalence” per se– only one of asserting false moral equivalences, ignoring context and overarching power asymmetries.

        Thus when Keith writes:

        Western imperialism bears the ultimate responsibility for the carnage in Syria, just as in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

        it’s not a case of ignoring facts, as you suggested, but putting them in context and only then drawing “ultimate” political/moral judgments.

        A false “moral equivalence” argument would assert that “both sides” are killing civilians and everyone, ultimately, is equally to blame.

      • gamal
        October 22, 2016, 9:37 am

        “I have never seen that phrase used except to downplay or whitewash the atrocities of some faction. Why do this? Why should people use some ” overarching reality” as a reason for not noticing that both the Syrian government and its various armed opponents murder civilians? All this does is make it harder to understand what is actually happening.”

        yes Donald Pontius Pilate is a moral exemplar in the American Church?

      • Donald Johnson
        October 22, 2016, 4:14 pm

        I accept that the US, Turkey, the Saudis and Qatar and others wanted to topple Assad or failing that, use the Syrian War as a quagmire to weaken their enemies, The US apparently hopes Syria will weaken Russupia the way the Afghan conflict weakened the Soviet Union. It is a deeply cynical and immoral policy and the blame for all the deaths does fall heavily on the US and others.

        But blame is not a zero sum game and a government which bombs urban areas is not a “victim”. Children killed by bombs are victims.

        “Ultimate blame” is a dodge. Context is absolutely necessary in exposing the hypocrisy of the West in its condemnations of the Syrian government, but it doesn’t magically grant that government the right to use whatever tactics it wants to use.

        The Western press and the UN claim that most of the civilian dead were killed by the Syrian government. I suspect there is a massive undercount of civilians killed by the jihadists, but there is little reason to doubt many were killed by the Syrian government itself.

        BTW, is every Syrian or Palestinian who criticizes Assad and thinks he is a war criminal a deluded servant of the empire.?

      • Keith
        October 22, 2016, 5:47 pm

        DONALD JOHNSON- “The Western press and the UN claim that most of the civilian dead were killed by the Syrian government.”

        How then to explain the continued popularity of Assad? Donald, this is the same wall to wall propaganda that we last saw during the runup to the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. A Democratic war monger in chief can count on full neocon/media support, along with the UN and Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Why would the Syrian government be targeting its own civilians? This isn’t an internal rebellion, this is a foreign intervention, involving US supplied tanks and artillery with full support for mercenary Islamists. Did you read the original Kinzer article? And while you criticize empire, apparently blaming the demonized target of this imperial destabilization provides you with some sort of psychological tether to the outer limits of liberal dissent. So most of the carnage is Assad’s fault? Wow! Have you made a contribution to the White Helmets?

        DONALD JOHNSON- “BTW, is every Syrian or Palestinian who criticizes Assad and thinks he is a war criminal a deluded servant of the empire.?”

        You do yourself no favors with an infantile comment like this. Let me add that the division on the Left regarding Syria is primarily a consequence of the fact that this is a Democrat intervention. If this was a Republican intervention, there would be unified opposition as in Iraq.

      • gamal
        October 22, 2016, 9:36 pm

        “BTW, is every Syrian or Palestinian who criticizes Assad and thinks he is a war criminal a deluded servant of the empire.?”

        native guides by definition take you where you want to go, many Arabs are asking how whiskey drinking sexually liberated democrats metamorphosed overnight into Al-Quaida (bell pottinger produces their propaganda) supporters after the Syrian government shot at them, we are sceptical, but we are not the Arabs you are looking for.

        follow the link to the GCC Monitoring Group report.

        So you are saying that the Syrian Arab Army has no sovereign right to mount military operations in its own territory in defence of the state and that Syria is just a morass of murdering savages, and children that the regime and everyone else is killing, all indistinguishable from each other, merely united by their savagery, oh ok that sounds like Arabs.

        you are going to lecture me about Arabs, oh ok, I am fluent and i know the whole Quran by heart, Daddy was insistent, before i was 14, but i will defer to you on Arabs and the Syria about which you know nothing, you have all the arrogance of a conqueror now posing as a humanitarian.

        Syria has the right to defend itself.

        Exposed the Arab Agenda in Syria

        Pepe Escobar

        What is happening in Syria is a NATO-led regime change plot. It is not a popular uprising, as the West and its Gulf allies would like the world to believe. Syria is battling heavily armed foreign mercenaries.

        Here’s a crash course on the “democratic” machinations of the Arab League – rather the GCC League, as real power in this pan-Arab organization is wielded by two of the six Persian Gulf monarchies composing the Gulf Cooperation Council, also known as Gulf Counter-revolution Club; Qatar and the House of Saud.

        Essentially, the GCC created an Arab League group to monitor what’s going on in Syria. The Syrian National Council – based in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries Turkey and France – enthusiastically supported it. It’s telling that Syria’s neighbour Lebanon did not.

        When the over 160 monitors, after one month of enquiries, issued their report … surprise! The report did not follow the official GCC line – which is that the “evil” Bashar al-Assad government is indiscriminately, and unilaterally, killing its own people, and so regime change is in order.

        The Arab League’s Ministerial Committee had approved the report, with four votes in favour (Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and GCC member Oman) and only one against; guess who, Qatar – which is now presiding the Arab League because the emirate bought their (rotating) turn from the Palestinian Authority.

        So the report was either ignored (by Western corporate media) or mercilessly destroyed – by Arab media, virtually all of it financed by either the House of Saud or Qatar. It was not even discussed – because it was prevented by the GCC from being translated from Arabic into English and published in the Arab League’s website.

        Until it was leaked. Here it is, in full.

        The report is adamant. There was no organized, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, the report points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, bombing of trains carrying diesel oil, bombing of police buses and bombing of bridges and pipelines.

        Once again, the official NATO-GCC version of Syria is of a popular uprising smashed by bullets and tanks. Instead, BRICS members Russia and China, and large swathes of the developing world see it as the Syrian government fighting heavily armed foreign mercenaries. The report largely confirms these suspicions.

        The Syrian National Council is essentially a Muslim Brotherhood outfit affiliated with both the House of Saud and Qatar – with an uneasy Israel quietly supporting it in the background. Legitimacy is not exactly its cup of green tea. As for the Free Syrian Army, it does have its defectors, and well-meaning opponents of the Assad
        regime, but most of all is infested with these foreign mercenaries weaponized by the GCC, especially Salafist gangs.

        http://www.pambazuka.org/human-security/exposed-arab-agenda-syria

      • Keith
        October 23, 2016, 1:08 am

        GAMAL- “…you have all the arrogance of a conqueror now posing as a humanitarian.”

        Bravo! You sum it up nicely. Donald is attempting to misrepresent the reality that he is essentially lending support to “liberal” interventionism. He can’t deny the reality on the ground so he attempts to mitigate it through spurious accusations against official enemies. Psychologically, he simply can’t deal with the reality that “liberals” are liars and mass murderers.

      • Donald Johnson
        October 23, 2016, 9:47 am

        You guys always do this– if I am not 100 percent in your corner I must be in the opposite corner. If you aren’t with us you are against us. It’s convenient but silly.

        I couldn’t be plainer. The rebels should not be supported and I agree that there is a foreign goal to either install a pliant government or destroy Syria. Sorry to disappoint, but I also think you can’t bomb urban areas and torture people and claim to be a victim. There are war criminals on both sides and it is normal for people involved to become polarized.

        Cockburn wrote an interesting piece

        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iraq-syria-aleppo-mosul-patrick-cockburn-propaganda-we-consume-a7373951.html
        I

      • Donald Johnson
        October 23, 2016, 12:07 pm

        Summarizing, gamal’s position appears to be that virtually all the killing of civilians is done by the rebels and Keith thinks that I am psychologicalky incapable of understanding that liberal interventionists are mass murderers and since I am not with Keith, I am really in support of the rebels.

        On point 1, I don’t believe it. It goes against the evidence and common sense. The opposite view, which purports that the rebels killed 100,000 armed supporters of the Syrian government and almost no civilians is also extremely hard to believe. But go ahead and ignore that I said that. You always will. And go ahead and label Arabs on the other side as native informers.

        On point 2, Keith trots out a commonplace lefty observation like it’s some deep truth lesser mortals can’t grasp. Sorry, Keith, but it’s obvious. I have noticed, for instance, that the liberal pundit interventionists on Syria have not written a word about the US supported Saudi atrocities in Yemen, where they bomb hospitals and schools and funerals and have created a famine where children die. Of course liberal interventionists are hypocrites. One doesn’t need some giant IQ or your amazing ability to see what is invisible to lesser beings what is plain to anyone. And no, I don’t support the rebels.

        It must be nice to live in a mental universe where everyone has to fall into one of two categories on any given issue. What do you do with people who don’t fit? Why, force them to fit.

      • Keith
        October 23, 2016, 12:15 pm

        DONALD JOHNSON- “Sorry to disappoint, but I also think you can’t bomb urban areas and torture people and claim to be a victim.”

        So, heavily armed Islamist mercenaries of empire seize urban areas in order to conquer or destabilize Syria, but if the Syrian government bombs these terrorist invaders, then the Syrian people cannot claim to be victims? All of this based upon your understanding derived from the “Western media?”

        This all started with you linking a Ramzy Baroud article in which he referenced a Stephen Kinzer article which he linked to. https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/18/the-media-are-misleading-public-syria/8YB75otYirPzUCnlwaVtcK/story.html Nowhere did Ramzy Baroud question the essential facts of the Kinzer article. Did you read it? Permit me a long quote:

        “COVERAGE OF the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

        For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

        This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.

        Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars,” one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS — so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?” (Stephen Kinzer)

        The problem, Donald, is not a “If you aren’t with us you are against us” attitude on the part of “us guys.” The problem is your continued misrepresentation of reality in an attempt to portray a false equivalency between the Syrian military and the imperial Islamist mercenaries. This tends to mitigate the crimes of empire. You also misrepresent what your fellow commenters are saying, ignoring the facts presented while trying to make us seem narrow minded. You are what you are and seem incapable of change.

      • gamal
        October 23, 2016, 1:59 pm

        Keith

        as an side couple of things the US force descending on Mosul are accompanied by, i am going phonetic, asab’lhaq a militia that emerged in the US destroyed Iraq they are led by one kais khazali he has just given a speech, cleared by his US handlers i guess saying i para: the people of Mosul are the children of Yezid and we will avenge Hussein in Mosul” Donald may know what thats all about its all greek to me.

        i guess you know Eva Bartlett, pretty little Canadian girl, excellent Arabic

        http://www.theeventchronicle.com/media/interview/journalist-eva-bartlett-im-back-from-syria-the-media-is-lying-to-you/#

        and Vanessa Beeley I guess she is from a diplomatic family i am sure is an Arabic speaker her father advised Bevin on Arabs, its all at the link,

        http://alternativeview.co.uk/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=50

        Donald I can’t talk to you about any of this because you don’t know enough, i am not interested in your body counts or taking the other Arab side on, all the Arab media is anti-assad pretty much, i could give you links to scores of Arabic sites denouncing him in blood curdling imprecations, now you want to foment trouble between me and the Arabs of the “other side”, bit petulant don’t you think coming as it does from the protector of the Arab child.

        you have brought nothing but bad faith and weird ideas to this, if Assad kills children no one is attacking Syria and if they are you don’t support it ok, so 100,000 Syrians soldiers died killing children, the Marines just call in an airstrike, camp bucca (where Isis were trained) for them.

        did you know the Syrian civil defense was formed in 1959 and is associated with the worldwide organization of such, they don’t wear white hats or behead 12 year old sick Palestinian kids,

        afala taqilun is sound quranic advise

      • gamal
        October 23, 2016, 2:24 pm

        also Keith whatever the composition of the anti-government forces elsewhere Aleppo will have the highest proportion of Syrians i would guess and they will be the hardest of the hardcore, one of their number is one of the main ideologues the ultra-extreme Salafists, they nurse an intense desire for revenge for homs and hama and for 40 years the Aleppine ikhwan have been funded by fanatical Wahhabi Saudi groups whose outlook they have adopted.

        they will fight to the last man and espouse unbridled violence.

      • Donald Johnson
        October 23, 2016, 2:44 pm

        Sorry to disappoint again, but I read the Kinzer piece, I’ve read Beeley, I’ve read Max B ( who gets it from both sides)’ I’ve read moonofalabama, I read consortiumnews,I listened to the recent interview with the Assad’s wife and Ehsani’s pieces at Josh Landis’s site and another interesting article there about the Druze mobilizing against the rebels and you guys just can’t stand the fact that I agree with much of what you say, so it has to be that I am pro liberal interventionist or whatever other horrible thing you can dream up.

        And Keith, you did it again. The Syrian people and the people actually responsible for the bombing of urban areas and the torturing of prisoners and whatever massacres have been conducted by the government side are not the same people. It’s quite possible the majority of Syrians prefer Assad–I would take him over the jihadis myself. The natural tendency of all humans in that situation would be to pick the lesser evil. We all do it. It doesn’ t mean that there aren’t war crimes being committed by Assad’s forces. This goes back to Assad senior, and yeah, a long time ago I read Seale’s biography of him. He fought against the extremists of his day. But Seale agreed his security forces were ruthless and practiced torture and leveled Hama. The people who actually drop bombs on cities and torture or murder prisoners are not victims.

      • jd65
        October 23, 2016, 2:53 pm

        Hey again Keith/Gamal:

        GAMAL- “…you have all the arrogance of a conqueror now posing as a humanitarian.”

        Bravo! You sum it up nicely. Donald is attempting to misrepresent the reality that he is essentially lending support to “liberal” interventionism. He can’t deny the reality on the ground so he attempts to mitigate it through spurious accusations against official enemies. Psychologically, he simply can’t deal with the reality that “liberals” are liars and mass murderers.

        Yup. From Chris Hedges’ Death Of The Liberal Class (imo, a major definitive statement):

        [Michael] Ignatieff, defending the [2003 Iraq] invasion… laid out the classic arguments of the liberal class. He insisted the war was a humanitarian action, that he supported the war with a heavy heart, but that there was no other option. This humanitarian and moral coloring to war, the insistence that the motives of the war-makers [are] virtuous, is the primary function of the liberal class, the reason the power elite tolerates its existence… The liberal class played the same function during the war in Vietnam. War becomes a necessary evil… Ignatieff’s assertion at the time that “the only real chance that Iraq has to become a decent society is through American force of arms” is… little different from the cruder propaganda disseminated by the Bush White House. He and the liberal class joined the Bush administration…

        And, as quoted in Hedges’ same book, the great Tony Judt states, “Today, America’s liberal armchair warriors are the ‘useful idiots’ of the War on Terror.”

        Or, we can just listen to Ochs:

      • echinococcus
        October 23, 2016, 3:29 pm

        Johnson,

        The people who actually drop bombs on cities and torture or murder prisoners are not victims.

        That statement doesn’t make a lot of sense. Or even a little.
        Sounds like “the mouse I squashed wasn’t a victim: it had swallowed a gnat.”
        We’re not all cast in a single role forever, you know.

      • gamal
        October 23, 2016, 9:08 pm

        for the perplexed a long detailed reply to Draitser by Stephen Gowan author of the soon to be released “America’s Long War on Syria’

        i would recommend it

        https://off-guardian.org/2016/10/23/31166/

      • Donald Johnson
        October 24, 2016, 8:40 am

        Echino–

        Point one. Yes, some of the people in Assad’s government who torture and murder dissidents might themselves have family members killed by jihadists. And some jihadists might have had family members killed by the security services. So your response makes no sense except as a blanket excuse for all torturers and murderers.

        Point two–your man, mouse gnat analogy is stupid on two levels. So point two part A–we are talking about humans, not gnats.

        Point two B– You are just repeating the Keith argument. So the security forces in Syria have the right to torture people because of the greater powers outside.

        Defenders of Israeli atrocities use essentially the same arguments. The names change, but the logic is similar. There is always a set of designated Bad Guys, though of course people use the nice grown up sounding words to cover the essentially childish rationalizations. It boils down to saying that this group with the power to commit war crimes is justified in doing so, because there is this other group over there who are more powerful and are the real villains.

      • Keith
        October 24, 2016, 11:30 am

        DONALD JOHNSON- “You are just repeating the Keith argument.”

        My argument or your misrepresentation of my argument? My argument is straightforward and irrefutable. The violence in Syria is an imperial hybrid war utilizing mercenary Islamists as proxy boots on the ground. The empire started this aggression unilaterally and could end it unilaterally. Since the empire wishes the fighting to continue, the people of Syria can either surrender or fight, they have no other options. And yes, Donald, as much as you try to spin the reality on the ground, the people of Syria, including their elected, legitimate government and the military defending them are all victims of this imperial destabilization. And that you, Donald, lend de facto support for this imperial aggression through your dishonest demonization of Assad and the Syrian military.

        The notion that the Syrian armed forces shouldn’t bomb these terrorists inside the cities they have captured is ludicrous. What military doctrine calls for this? And your phraseology implying that the Syrian air force is some sort of foreign power terror bombing Syrian cities killing innocent civilians is dishonest in the extreme. Apparently, those defending themselves against imperial aggression are no better than the forces attacking them by virtue of the fact that they are daring to fight! Defense = aggression = war crime! What rubbish! And no one claimed a “right” to torture. But the reality is that in war, particularly a dirty war such as this, all combatants engage in torture. The empire does it routinely as you should be aware. So your torture concerns are nothing but a red herring and an excuse to justify your demonization of official enemies as part of the overall imperial propaganda offensive.

        DONALD JOHNSON- “Defenders of Israeli atrocities use essentially the same arguments.”

        That is right, Donald. Your arguments are right out of the Israeli apologists’ playbook. Ignore the overall context and relevant history. Ignore the asymmetrical power relations. Ignore that Israel could end the conflict unilaterally, but that the Palestinians only two options are resist or surrender. Play up the “illegality” of “terror” rockets from Gaza towards Sderot, etc, etc, etc.

        I wasn’t going to comment again, however, your continued misrepresentation of me compelled me to do so. When all else fails, Donald, you might try resorting to honesty.

      • echinococcus
        October 24, 2016, 3:01 pm

        Johnson,

        To avoid this kind of misunderstanding: first off, I’m all for the gnats. I’m one myself, same for my kids and grandkids. Then, the analogy is not about the human or animal nature of perps or victims, but the simple logical principle of two characteristics (victim and perp) being compatible in one and the same subject, which they most certainly are. I see you are agreeing to that, albeit only if your own terminology is used. That’s fine with me.

        Now to what is really the crucial point of all this, in my not-too-well-informed (but neither is yours) opinion: you are hopelessly confusing the international principle of no aggression, ever, under any other policy pretext, and the commission of war crimes by state parties.

        Meaning, when I resign myself to accepting that it was impossible to avoid taking sides, on the balance I’ll still keep tilting toward the Allied side in WWII, even with Dresden, even by smuggling Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the heading “WWII”. Of course they were war crimes, you’re dam tootin’. Should they have been judged in Nuremberg along with the Nazi crimes against humanity? Not so fast.

      • lysias
        October 24, 2016, 6:45 pm

        Governments defend themselves against insurgencies with violence. It’s in the nature of governments to do so. The U.S. government certainly did so in our Civil War.

        In Syria’s case, what Assad’s government has been defending itself has been much more of the nature of a foreign invasion than a domestic insurgency. Which makes the government’s use of violence to defend itself much more justifiable.

      • echinococcus
        October 28, 2016, 12:26 pm

        Breathtaking, Danaa.

        I mean, not that the Intercept would be so easy to buy, but the same-old Turkish national intelligence signature propaganda narrative re-emerging here (not by chance recorded at an interview in Istanbul): a pretzel twisting all the way from the selfless communist who languishes in the jails of the horrible Western-imperialist dictatorship that’s being bombed to oblivion by the same Western-imperialists, whose local tools, the Islamists, are destroying their other tool, the local Western-imperialist baddy… meanwhile you can’t follow anymore whose hand is in whose pocket –and we conclude better Da’esh than Assad, bomb them both but keep Da’esh handy, Hallelujah.

        The pretzel took eight turns, same number as for, say, the plant who started a fervent maoist party in exile, to then proudly defend the genocide of Armenians in support of the military dictatorship to oppose the US imperialism that commanded said generals, then fought the Americans by supporting their Iraq invasion, and now united with the Turkish Nazi party in urging the government to speed up the extermination of the Kurds and the invasion of Syria, and still keeps brains spinning. And, of course, keeps recruiting a lot of greenbacks.

        Can you spot Waldo? I mean, Yinon, “let them kill each other until nothing is left standing”?

    • Danaa
      October 28, 2016, 1:52 am

      Donald, gamal, Keith, echi, jd65 – have you guys had a chance to read this truly gawd awful screed just published on The Interecept of all places?

      https://theintercept.com/2016/10/26/syria-yassin-al-haj-saleh-interview/

      This one has one murtaza hussein as co-author, the same one who publish a glowing report of the ‘revolutionaries” in Syria on The Intercept some days ago.

      It’s a good read, not because it makes blood curdle but because it frames the new /old terms of debate for humanitarian interventionism under the unfortunately-soon-to-be-elected Hillary. The goal here is to present the so-called “opposition” (cf. salafist terrorists in my book) as winsome revolutionaries, while Assad is, by definition, the oppressor of such noble aspirations as ISIS (yess, there’s a place where the interviewee says something along the lines of “better ISIS than Assad” or some such. I could not read through in great detail due to blood boiling. Not good, that). Note how these westerners, funded no doubt by an assortment of saudi/Qatari money, purport to speak for ALL Syrians. Even as they live the good life outside.

      That being said, I am sure one can find among Syrian refugees someone who will say one thing and another next to them who’ll say the opposite, depending on what they figure must be expected of them. refugees do what refugees must, and words are less important than food or a ticket to the EU, surely.

      Not to repeat the many good points made by you all (yes, even* Donald makes his own case reasonably well. After all, who are we to pick our few supporters, even if they don’t play exactly as we wish them to), I think it is important to take stock of the new enemies to the cause of Syrian people (as people, now subjected to terrible hardships by our own Western and gulf state regimes). In particular, let us note the publishing forum – The Intercept. Whether Glenn caved in to critics after Rania Khalek published one or two articles there, or he is just under extreme pressure from the corporatocracy – for which he now works, whether he agrees or not – and has to prostate the publication’s good name, is immaterial. Be it as it may, such articles are not what the old Glenn (especially the firebrand who once wrote in Salon) would have tolerated, given the glaring hypocracies (too many to count).

      Instead of setting off on each other, my suggestion is that we may all unite in the interest of standing up against the powerful propaganda machines – arrayed against us all. Donald may not go as far as we may want him to, because perhaps he is not a crosser of Rubicons. But he has written on the subject of Syria better than the likes of ones whose heart is with interventionism, come hell or fire. Ones we have seen published right here on MW.

      I do expect things to get much worse, propaganda wise after hillary comes to the power, propelled and pushed across the finish line by the corporate deep state. We, as in all of us, Donald too, will no doubt be described as Putinists, Assadists and worse in the months and years to come, as the evil doers plot a way to their “no fly” zone. There will be time enough to take it out on each other, I think and hope, once the dust settles and most of Syria has been freed from the clutches of the cuddly al Nusra, ISIS and their FSA buddies. For now, I wish we could unite in common cause, whatever secret motivations we may suspect in this or that individual.

      _____
      * Donald, the ‘even” is not to be taken as battle cry unless you want or need a battle, In which case, I’ll be happy to oblige of course, since I am an obliging kind of person, as we know.

      • Keith
        October 28, 2016, 2:15 pm

        DANAA- “Donald, gamal, Keith, echi, jd65 – have you guys had a chance to read this truly gawd awful screed just published on The Interecept of all places?”

        Not until you linked it. Yes, it is shameless propaganda demonizing Assad and whitewashing the “rebels,” in actuality Islamist mercenaries. When a Clinton does neocon business, the entire media is a monolithic propaganda machine supporting intervention. The only way to end the killing and destruction is to end the intervention. And you don’t pressure the empire to end the intervention by joining the demonization of Assad and Putin. Can you imagine the Viet Nam protests criticizing the behavior of the Viet Cong, Ho Chi Minh or the Russians? How ineffective would that have been? We are responsible for imperial crimes, not the behavior of imperial enemies. What is different now? Instead of American conscripts, the empire is using Islamist mercenary terrorists. What is criticizng Assad and Putin going to do except lay the psychological ground work for an intensified war? And this article you linked is nothing but a justification for the increased violence to come.

  18. Kay24
    October 20, 2016, 8:03 am

    This must be karma. Caterpillar CEO to step down this year.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/doug-oberhelman-learns-lesson-lora-cecere

  19. JoeSmack
    October 21, 2016, 6:11 pm

    A great and valuable statement.

    I’d like to address two criticisms:

    1) I suspect that this is not a generalized “unite for Palestine” statement, which is why it says nothing about Syria. It is explicitly written in the introduction that this was written in the aftermath of JVP’s very public insult at Miko Peled. Given that JVP’s leadership explicitly pointed out that Miko has particular responsibilities to be careful in his rhetoric because he is a white, Jewish, Israeli guy and has immense privilege on the issue, it is unsurprising that the same scrutiny is being applied to JVP. This petition is a long overdue statement calling out JVP’s consistent attempts to police the rhetoric of the solidarity movement to privilege Jewish voices and Jewish dissent. It is not a generalized statement about every possible fissure within the movement (Syria, etc). Nada Elia recently wrote a piece challenging this line of reasoning on this very website. These kinds of challenges are overdue and the fact that JVP believes it is appropriate to release such statements without even being asked is all the more reason for a public rebuke.

    2) Others are (again) making a fuss about Alison Weir. About 2,000 activists rejected these insults against Weir, including the heads of several major anti-discrimination organizations and world-renowned peace and justice activists. The notion that they are part of some sort of racist conspiracy is ludicrous. Moreover, as the petition points out, the allegations against Weir were pretextually used to justify shutting down two Palestinian refugees from speaking about the Nakba while Weir happened to be present. If Weir is suspect for challenging “Jewish power,” discussing the Israel lobby in exaggerated terms, or touching on taboo topics, then MondoWeiss is suspect for the same reasons. The effect of these kinds of insinuations is to cast aspersions on a significant part of the anti-Zionist movement, which is exactly the purpose of making these kinds of cheap allegations.

    • pianoteacher
      October 22, 2016, 12:06 pm

      Well said JoeSmack. Yes, indeed, the petition was a response to the attack on Miko Peled, and to show there is a pattern, of trying to pick off our top activists, one by one. Divide and rule is a great way to weaken a movement. “Stop divisive attacks” seems to have gone unheeded here, with people still attacking Alison Weir! And then people who defend others get attacked too. It’s got crazy. And all the time, Palestinian children are dying, and we are too obsessed with fighting each other to notice. Even our beloved Hedy Epstein was severely attacked for simply signing the first petition in support of Alison Weir. One email that Hedy received was the most spiteful one I have ever read in my life, and shamefully, it was written by a Palestinian, no less, who seemed oblivious to the ” divide and rule ” tactics being used to weaken us all.

  20. CitizenC
    October 21, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Since Alison Weir has come up, and the JVP charges against her repeated, readers may find interesting a critique of their “case”, including a discussion of Clay Douglas. And the absurdity of “anti-racism principles”, from a group supposedly concerned with Palestine, that do not condemn Zionism as a form of racism, despite the long history and literature on the subject.

    The “principles” mention only Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, suggesting that they were devised to mount a show trial for “anti-Semitism,” and that JVP’s real animus against Weir lies elsewhere. That would be her version of the “Israel Lobby” critique; her book that has sold 28,000 copies, “Against Our Better Judgment”

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    That is JVP’s use of “anti-racism principles”

    https://questionofpalestine.net/2016/09/09/ms-weir-goes-to-washington/

    • Phillip Crawford
      October 23, 2016, 6:12 pm

      The website of the BDS movement (bdsmovement.net) is maintained by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the coalition of Palestinian organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement and by the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a BNC member organisation. The website states: “BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia.” So, the Palestinian leadership of the BDS movement also fails to mention Zionism in its anti-racist principles. Should we subject them to the same criticism to which you subject JVP?

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 1:25 am

        Philip,

        I think people can make constructive criticisms of these statements. For example, why not mention anti-Palestinian or anti-Christian prejudice? That might sound pretty strange considering America is typically “Christian” culturally, but in the Palestinian context, things are different and Christians actually are a historically oppressed minority on both sides of the Green Line.

        I have found some statements to be prejudicial of Christianity by some in the Soldiarity movement, but am definitely not interested in denouncing them or drumming them out of it. We need to work together.

  21. Phillip Crawford
    October 23, 2016, 6:37 pm

    Although the Unite for Palestine letter was signed by several people for whom I have great respect and who had very good intentions, I fear the letter will cause more of the very division it was meant to reduce.
    The letter refers to seven different people who, over a span of about six years, were subjected to accusations or recriminations based on perceived antisemitism. This is hardly an indication of an epidemic of divisive attacks. Furthermore, as others have noted, each of these incidents has its own particular circumstances which need to be analyzed separately. In some cases, the criticism may have been justified and, in other cases, unjustified. The letter lumps them all together as manifestations of the same phenomenon. Finally, the letter strongly implies that that the criticisms of all seven people were unfair. The letter takes the side of those who were accused against the accusers. This furthers division.
    I’d like to share with readers the effect the controversy over Alison Weir has had on Palestine solidarity activism in the community where I live, Monterey County in California.
    Last year, a number of local activists affiliated with WILPF decided that Ms. Weir’s expulsion from the U.S. Campaign was unjustified. An appropriate approach to addressing the controversy would have been for local Palestine solidarity activists to get together for a discussion and then reach an agreement on how we should respond to the controversy. This did not happen. Instead, Weir’s ardent supporters decided that she had been subjected to a McCarthy-style witch hunt. They then embarked on a witch hunt of their own against those in our community whom they considered insufficiently supportive of Weir, employing the same kind of McCarthy-style tactics they accused JVP and the U.S. Campaign of employing against Weir.
    The community’s most prominent and effective of Palestinian rights was subjected to a campaign of gossip, slander and character assassination simply because he was insufficiently enthusiastic about taking Weir’s side in the controversy. Bizarre allegations were made behind his back, sometimes attributed to unnamed second and third parties. After months of bitter infighting and backstabbing, he resigned from the board of the local peace center. Since he was the center’s most effective fundraiser, the peace center’s financial state deteriorated and it eventually laid off its staff person. Eventually, the local Palestine solidarity committee collapsed.
    In the meantime, Weir’s local supporters have continued to promulgate the idea that Weir was the victim of not only Jewish control of U.S. foreign policy, but nefarious Jewish influence over the Palestine solidarity movement in the US. They are promoting a blatantly offensive anti-Jewish conspiracy theory. While these activists have done absolutely nothing to promote the BDS campaign in the past year, they did find time to organize a speaking appearance for Weir, hawked her recent book (the only book on Palestine in which they seem to be interested), and endlessly promoted her website (while never promoting the website of the BDS movement or the U.S. Campaign). The message being promoted to the community appears to be that the most urgent threat to Palestinian freedom is the alleged mistreatment of Ms. Weir by JVP and the country’s leading Palestine solidarity organization, the U.S. Campaign. Now these same activists are promoting the letter calling for an end to divisive attacks. However, they are using the letter not to further to cause of unity, but as ammunition in their war against those who don’t endorse their conspiracy theory.
    Weir’s supporters in my community have cited articles by Jack Dresser and Harry Clark that were posted on the Counterpunch website. These articles included slanderous and divisive attacks on Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign. The attacks are based on wild speculation about the alleged nefarious motivations of the leadership of these organizations, among which is (presumably) a desire to prioritize Jewish preoccupations.
    One of the most bizarre charges made by Ms. Weir’s ardent defenders focuses on the failure of JVP and the U.S. Campaign to include Zionism in their anti-racist principles. Perhaps they haven’t noticed that the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee also fails to mention Zionism, stating: “BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” Should we conclude from this that the BNC has also decided to “prioritize Jewish preoccupations?”
    The Unite for Palestine letter calls upon activists to cease divisive attacks against other solidarity activists. In my community, the only people launching divisive attacks are the fanatical followers of Alison Weir.

    • echinococcus
      October 24, 2016, 1:39 am

      Perhaps they haven’t noticed that the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee also fails to mention Zionism

      Guess what, everyone who can read had noticed that.

      Perhaps because the Palestinian National BDS committee has as friendly and cozy a relationship with the Quisling “PA” as the JVP has with its Zionist entity mothership?

      I’m not saying it’s necessarily an explanation, but it sure is the one that comes to mind first.

      The only thing that can be considered positive in that official BDS campaign that’s worth attention is that it cannot restrict the scope of individual boycott.

      .. stating: “BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” Should we conclude from this that the BNC has also decided to “prioritize Jewish preoccupations?”

      Yes, definitely!
      In fact, it may me prioritizing Zionist preoccupations.
      If “anti-Semitism” is used for opposition to any characteristics by birth, it is racism and does not deserve a special category.
      If it is used for opposition to any *acquired* characteristics, factual or imagined, it is not racism and discussion is legitimate, period. Otherwise said, if anyone attacks you for the only fact of being born to “Jewish” parents, it is racism. If that person attacks you for your religion or your “culture” or your aggressive behavior, that is kosher. Claiming “anti-Semitism” won’t make it go away.
      Finally, the goal of Palestinian resistance is to destroy its enemy, Zionism, an offshoot of fake 19th Century Jewish Nationalism. Not to pander to “anti-Semitism” hunters. Not to play nice with the Zionists. Not to reject the support of anyone if that anyone is fighting against Zionism (the latter being something JVP doesn’t really do much, by the way, if it weren’t for some individual members.)

      • Phillip Crawford
        October 26, 2016, 5:00 pm

        What are the qualifications you possess that give you the authority to determine what the goal of Palestinian resistance is? Aren’t the Palestinians themselves the people most qualified to determine the goal of their resistance?

      • jd65
        October 27, 2016, 1:10 am

        Hey Phillip (& echinococcus…).

        “What are the qualifications you possess that give you the authority to determine what the goal of Palestinian resistance is? Aren’t the Palestinians themselves the people most qualified to determine the goal of their resistance?”

        I assume this is in response to echinococcus writing “Finally, the goal of Palestinian resistance is to destroy its enemy, Zionism…,” right? So, I would infer this means you think echinococcus is incorrect about this, right? That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing someone who agrees with him/her would write…

        Also, Phillip, “Perhaps they haven’t noticed that the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee also fails to mention Zionism…” Does my cherry-picking that out of your post change what you meant by that? Just trying to make sure I’m understanding stuff here before I take any time to post more..

        Full disclosure, I haven’t read all of every post here. These threads sometimes get too long for me to feel that reading everything is worthwhile. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t.

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 7:42 am

        Talking to me, Crawford?
        Resistance is defined by its goal. The qualification to determine if its fit the definition is called logic and language.
        “Aren’t the Palestinians themselves the people most qualified to determine the goal of their resistance?”
        Sure they are, and a certain Philip Crawford ain’t it. Neither is a BNCBDS functioning under the occupier’s authority.

        To check your credibility, try writing, in 1942, “Aren’t the Norwegians/French/Croats/Greeks themselves the people most qualified to determine the goal of their resistance?” and propose the goals set by an organization endorsed or tolerated by the Nazi Kommandantur –the goals that won’t ever mention the friendly ally Germany…

    • pianoteacher
      October 25, 2016, 11:34 pm

      This comment is bizarre, and hard to take seriously.
      For a start, my understanding is that the Monterey PJC finances are in better shape now than before.

      Jack Dresser’s article slanderous? He is one of the most highly respected writers in our movement!

      The comment sounds like fantasy written by some one with an axe to grind. It is as believable as Donald Trump’s statement saying he respects women.

      • Phillip Crawford
        October 26, 2016, 1:18 pm

        A typical example of the lack of intellectual and moral clarity demonstrated by so many of Ms. Weir’s more fanatical supporters. The author doesn’t have the spine to reveal her identity. She says “my understanding is,” revealing that she has no direct knowledge upon which to base her assertions. She asserts that Dresser is “highly respected” (by those who share his views), so his article couldn’t be slanderous. (Kind of an ad hominem in reverse.) Dresser accused JVP and the U.S. Campaign of the McCarthy-style attacks on Weir and speculated (without evidence) about their allegedly nefarious motives. Accusations made without evidence are characteristic of McCarthyism.
        Since she is unable to refute any of my statements, she resorts to labeling my comments as “bizarre” and “fantasy.”

      • echinococcus
        October 26, 2016, 2:26 pm

        Crawford,

        What the JVP is has been abundantly exposed with a lot of evidence. No need to revisit at this point.
        It is a tribally (or racially, depending on your belief system) segregated American organization of people who consider themselves family with the Zionists, cannot call Zionism by its name, cannot accept opposition to pre-1967 invasion, an organization that has demonstrated that its overarching objective is to hunt “antisemitism”, not otherwise specified.

      • Keith
        October 26, 2016, 4:19 pm

        PHILLIP CRAWFORD- ” The author doesn’t have the spine to reveal her identity.”

        Why do you rely upon an ad hominem attack? Pianoteacher’s use of a screen name is irrelevant unless he/she has relevant personal involvement. Speaking of which, you refer to the community’s most prominent and most effective Palestinian rights (activist?) was subjected to a campaign of gossip, slander and character assassination. And your relationship to this champion of Palestinian rights is? I don’t suppose….

      • jd65
        October 27, 2016, 2:36 am

        @ echinococcus:

        “What the JVP is has been abundantly exposed with a lot of evidence. No need to revisit at this point. It is a tribally (or racially, depending on your belief system) segregated American organization of people who consider themselves family with the Zionists, cannot call Zionism by its name, cannot accept opposition to pre-1967 invasion, an organization that has demonstrated that its overarching objective is to hunt “antisemitism”, not otherwise specified.”

        I don’t spend too, too much time posting here. So I may sometimes, over the months/years repeat myself to certain posters; so actual, non-sarcastic apologies upfront if I have gone through this w/ you before :)

        Understand that I am a person who wanted to do what he could to help Palestine and the Palestinian people – in Palestine and worldwide. I joined and worked w/ JVP for about one year thinking that this would be a chance to move toward this goal. After the one year, I decided that i couldn’t stay part of JVP, as too many things about the organization rubbed me the wrong way. I wrote an open letter to my chapter detailing to them why I could no longer work with them. It is published on my “blog.” To date, I believe approximately 6 people have read it :)

        I wanted to be clear about that “history” I have because I want to tell you that some of the stuff in the quote I’ve pulled from you above is, to be gentle, not right. To quote (somewhat inappropriately) Veronica Mars, “Don’t oversell it, echinococcus. People will think you’re a mark.” Alright. Here we go…

        “It is a tribally (or racially, depending on your belief system) segregated American organization…” Uhh. Not really. JVP is a tribally/racially segregated American organization? This paints JVPers as a bunch of anachronistic, self-ghettoized, shtetl adoring, xenophobic pricks. Unless my experience w/ the Chicago chapter was extraordinarily unique among all the national chapters, this picture your phrase paints is… Uhh. Not right. While it may be the case that most of the folks who run the organization are white Jews, I would estimate that about one third of all the people who came to meetings, demonstrations, worked on committees, etc. in the Chicago chapter while I was there were all sorts of non-Jews. My assumption is that all the other chapters are essentially the same in that regard. So if you’re actually including all the people who actually meet and work w/ JVP on things, instead of narrowing your gaze at leadership, your painting JVP as some sort of goy hating, racially inculcated “tribe,” is way off. You can make the argument that there’s some sort of “leadership trickle-down” effect that permeates the whole organization, top down, w/ some sort of unavoidable “Jewishness,” or “Jewiosity.” But I’d say that’s nonsense.

        “…[JVP is an] organization of people who consider themselves family with the Zionists…” Really? That reads like you’re saying that JVP, as an organization, categorically considers “Jew” to be a race category. Is that what you’re saying? Number one – if that is the case and you can point me to a legit link that verifies it, I’d wanna see it. I’ll add it to my letter on why I had to leave the chapter. Number two – if you’re pullin’ that out of your a**, that’s a pretty messed up accusation to simply throw out there just ‘cuz it’s got a nice ring to it. The whole “What is Jewish?” navel-gazing scenario has become a complete bore for me most of the time these days. It’s a race. No, it’s a religion. No, it’s an ethnicity. No, it’s a culture. Excuse me while I vomit from excessive B.S. inhalation. It reminds me of the old SNL late night TV ad sales sketch: “It’s a floor wax. No, it’s a dessert topping. Wait: It’s BOTH!”

        “[JVP] cannot call Zionism by its name…” I’m with you on that one, basically. And I detail it in my letter.

        “{JVP] cannot accept opposition to pre-1967 invasion…” Not sure if I’m totally w/ you on this criticism or not. But I hear you. And my not being w/ on the criticism doesn’t mean that I personally don’t accept opposition to pre-67 invasion. I consider ALL of Palestine to be occupied territory, river to the sea, yes indeed. Zionist activity from 1880s onward, all bad news. What I’m not sure I’m w/ you on in this criticism is assuming that JVP is entirely opposed to criticizing pre-1967 invasion. I can tell you from some personal conversations I had w/ members, one in particular pretty high up the pecking order, that many share my attitude on the whole of Palestine being occupied. I also recall a conversation w/ a JVPer about the original BDS statement – in 2004 or ’05 – not containing the language that seems to limit “occupation” to simply the West Bank and Gaza. However, I could sense that when I pressed this issue, wanting more information on what happened, and why this language was changed, I was pushing into something I would not get through.

        “[JVP is] an organization that has demonstrated that its overarching objective is to hunt “antisemitism…” No. It hasn’t. Although I do hear you on this, and, in a way, I deal w/ it my letter on leaving JVP. But, again. You’re overselling it, man. Their “overarching objective?” Gimme a break.

        This will likely piss you off, but I think it’s a reasonable, legitimate point to make: When you, or many other folks, oversell this JVP criticism stuff, what happens is similar to what happens when Israel apologists oversell their criticisms of anti-Zionists. They’re both kind of like crying wolf. So by blowing up criticism of JVP where it’s not appropriate, you’re sapping more legitimate criticisms of JVP of their strength, and you’re helping their organizations’ weaknesses/problems become their strengths.

        Now maybe I’m overselling a bit… :)

        Peace to you, echinococcus.

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 7:22 am

        jd65,

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond, and to do so carefully, thoughtfully.

        To points 1 and 2: no doubt your description corresponds to reality. No doubt the organization has any number of Gentiles and non-tribals. I know for a fact that it has/had among its following good number of people I admire, by much my betters as to thinking and action. You may be one of those I’d so describe and might be one of your deeply impressed six readers.

        Organizations, though, are not defined by their individual membership.
        For example, a ruling-class party with a 99.9% working-and-lower-middle-class individual membership is still a ruling-class party in its end outcome, its complexive action.

        I was not explicit enough there, and did not take pains to make the necessary and obvious difference between management and personnel.

        “if you’re actually including all the people who actually meet and work w/ JVP on things, instead of narrowing your gaze at leadership, your painting JVP as some sort of goy hating, racially inculcated “tribe,” is way off”: Not only I’m narrowing my gaze, as you say, at leadership, I’m narrowing it exclusively at the end effect directed by management. As you know much better than I do, the adverse actions did in fact bypass membership in this case.

        Worse, only under Point 1 and 2 I am going by the organization shingle only:
        “reads like you’re saying that JVP, as an organization, categorically considers “Jew” to be a race category. Is that what you’re saying?”
        Essentially, yes. No matter how much it bores everybody, the fact remains that for people or groups to call themselves Jewish, Christian, Hindoo or Wiccan “by birth”, independently from individual religiosity, is asserting some biological continuity –a “race category” as you so well say, and there is no way out of that: no matter the people they managed to recruit, or just because they are not a religious organization, their title proclaims them a Jewish-nationalist org.

        Then Point 2, an extension of 1, based on the heavily tribal character of management and the shingle, manifested to the outside most importantly by the telltale fact of not frontally attacking at the start, and the following extreme reluctance later, to target Zionism –but that’s obvious to you concerning both management and the end effect on bylaws and activity.

        Now come to the “overarching objective” part. You surprise me a little there. First, even the mention of “antisemitism” (not even limited to racism, mind you) in an organization whose exclusive goal is supposed to be supporting Palestinian resistance? A parallel to the puppet-PA-enforced BDS group bylaws? Even if one could swallow it as justified by a perceived need to pander to Zionist-conditioned Western hysteria, what do you say to –again, management, not membership action– repeated, baseless, ill-documented and ill-defined but relentless and highly organized attacks and character assassination of highly effective critics of Zionism and Jewish nationalism?

        The organization only showed this amount of energy and nastiness to attack “antisemitism” or “appearance of hobnobbing with antisemitism” or “not lashing out forcefully enough at suspected antisemitism”. Not to attack and oppose Zionism. Of course it appears to be the main objective of management. And, if I’m not totally wrong, this came directly from management every time, not the membership. If they had been as unyielding with the Zionists as they have been with Weir, Greta or Atzmon…

        So yes, for whoever doesn’t share some of my views, especially re religion, tribalism etc., it will look like overselling; that’s how we all function. Thanks for the reminder.

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 9:13 am

        Crawford,

        What’s the point of not providing a link to the Dresser article, so as to let the reader judge?

      • pianoteacher
        October 27, 2016, 6:46 pm

        @keith:
        “And your relationship to this champion of Palestinian rights is? I don’t suppose….”

        Well guessed! Crawford was indeed on the board of MPJC, but resigned in November 2015 over quite different issues, not to do with Alison Weir or with Palestine-Israel.
        He desperately tried to have the speaking event by Weir cancelled, but his emails got ignored. There was no witch hunt against him. People had better things to do, getting ready for Weir! Event was a huge success, despite Crawford’s sabotage efforts.

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 10:22 pm

        Pianoteacher,

        Well then, Crawford surely wasn’t describing himself in the person of “[t]he community’s most prominent and effective [ ] of Palestinian rights”… that one was a martyr for the common good, “subjected to a campaign of gossip, slander and character assassination simply because he was insufficiently enthusiastic about taking Weir’s side in the controversy. Bizarre allegations were made behind his back, sometimes attributed to unnamed second and third parties.”

        The hero of Crawford’s anecdote bravely stood up to moral torture: “After months of bitter infighting and backstabbing, he resigned from the board of the local peace center.” And the Heavens appropriately punished the Gomorrah of “his community”: “Since he was the center’s most effective fundraiser, the peace center’s financial state deteriorated and it eventually laid off its staff person. Eventually, the local Palestine solidarity committee collapsed.” Of course this cannot be the currently flourishing Monterey campaign, then.

      • echinococcus
        October 27, 2016, 10:33 pm

        Crawford,

        After waiting a day for you to provide us the material to judge if Dresser’s article is “slanderous”, as you say, I’ll give you the link so you can read and understand it is nothing of the kind.

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/03/the-case-of-alison-weir-two-palestinian-solidarity-organizations-borrow-from-joe-mccarthys-playbook/

        Clark’s link is in his own message:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/10/statement-palestine-conflicts/#comment-856670

        Never too late for reading two remarkable articles.

      • pianoteacher
        October 28, 2016, 11:16 am

        @echinococcus
        “Of course this cannot be the currently flourishing Monterey campaign, then.”

        No. The Monterey Peace and Justice center that Crawford refers to resides in an alternative universe.

        But joking apart, Crawford provides a perfect example of why the petition was drawn up in the first place: to stop these divisive attacks by trouble makers intent on stirring up trouble in the activist community. We all have to keep our eye on the prize: helping the Palestinian people achieve justice. Right now, their suffering is horrendous, and we need to go all out to help them, not waste time on our minor differences.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 1:49 pm

        “Well then, Crawford surely wasn’t describing himself in the person of…”

        Remember “justjessetr” and ‘who stands up for Palestinians at the co-op’?

    • Phillip Crawford
      October 29, 2016, 1:04 pm

      @pianoteacher:
      Here’s an integrity test for you. You weren’t a board member of MPJC at the time of the events in question. Therefore, you are making statements about me based on secondhand or thirdhand reports. In other words, you are engaging in gossip about me (whom I assume you’ve never met) in a public forum while hiding behind a pseudonym. This conduct supports my claim that Weir’s supporters conduct themselves with a lack of integrity and prefer gossip and slander to open and honest discussion. So, if you have any integrity, you can demonstrate it by doing one of two things: reveal your true identity, or contact me directly to discuss this dispute like a rational adult.

      • MHughes976
        October 29, 2016, 4:21 pm

        I live 3,587 miles from Monterey per Google but I’ve had a look at the Peace and Justice Center and its works. I read some statements by you, Phillip, and thought (first impression, of course, not careful analysis) that they were good stuff and that you were energetic in the cause. So I’m sorry that there has been a rift.
        It all seems to come down to Alison Weir and whether she’s an anti-Semite. I must say I’ve not seen any statement by her that really amounts to anti-Semitism, which to me is prejudice or irrational sentiment against at least some things characteristically Jewish. Dresser says, I think, that it is a negative view of the influence of some Jewish people on American history that is held against her and that her detractors cannot come up with much more. He mentions substantially only Brandeis, Wilson and WW1. I think I would disagree with her on that topic but would not see that as proof of anti-Semitism, at least not to the point of mistrusting the generality of her remarks about Palestine or to thinking that she is not the humane and generous person that in other ways she appears to be. Am I mistaken about that? There are UK analogies to this question, of course

      • jd65
        October 29, 2016, 11:11 pm

        Ahoy Mr. Integrity! Got a question for you:

        …I don’t know who “piano teacher” is, but she clearly has no direct knowledge of the facts. She doesn’t know why I resigned… I doubt she is on the board of MPJC or that she even lives in Monterey County. As for echinococcus, he or she is simply a troll. He/she seems to have a lot of free time to spend insulting people who don’t share his/her crackpot views. His/her main criticism of JVP seems to that the organization is run by Jews.

        If you don’t know who pianoteacher is, why do you consistently refer to that poster as “she,” while consistently referring to echinococcus as “his/her” or “he/she?”

        As for having an issue w/ folks not using their full, real names to post at this board, gimme a break. You only bring that up because you don’t like/agree w/ someone’s views. If pianoteacher had been posting stuff that lines up w/ your attitudes you’d never have mentioned it. And everyone here, including you, knows that’s true. Have some integrity and admit it…

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 2:12 am

        JD,

        If you post your blog link here, you can get more than 6 readers!

      • jd65
        October 30, 2016, 2:29 pm

        JD,

        If you post your blog link here, you can get more than 6 readers!

        Thanks W.Jones. My “blog” link is in my “commenter profile” here at MW. And when the discussions here warrant it, I occasionally link to it in a post when something I’ve already written pertains to the discussion. But I try not to do that too often as if I was a MW muckitymuck I wouldn’t want folks using the discussions here as a way to direct traffic to their blogs/sites.

        All the same, I appreciate your suggestion :)

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 3:22 pm

        Thanks for sharing, John D.

        You wrote on your blog that you pointed us to:

        I’ve read all the statements from the parties involved and I absolutely do not believe Weir to be racist, anti-Semitic, etc. I’ve known about Weir’s work and organization (IAK) for a long time, as I assume you have as well. About four years ago I met her at the Tree of Life conference in Old Lyme, CT where she politely allowed me film her presentation. Without going into too much detail, I agree with Weir’s position that her being ostracized from JVP and U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation was basically an overblown “guilt by association” verdict and action.

        Actually, some US CEIO leaders who made the decision asserted that Weir herself is not actually a racist.

        Maybe if she’d simply been asked by JVP and others in the Solidarity movement to stop appearing on certain programs moving forward, she’d have agreed? I obviously don’t know. Maybe she actually was given this opportunity?

        I think she was and that her response was that she will be more careful about going on those programs, but that she reverses for herself the right to do so because she wants to take the message to the American people at large, whose views go across the spectrum.

        Personally I would not go on those shows because of the fear of “guilt by association” – I wouldn’t want people to wrongly think I supported those views. But at the same time, if someone doesn’t actually support those views, then I don’t want to mistakenly label them as if they do either.

      • Phillip Crawford
        October 30, 2016, 6:31 pm

        At MHughes976:
        Thank you for your comment, which was devoid of any of the insults which are so common on this message board.
        A little more background, which is not intended to portray me as a hero or martyr. In May 2015, right before the whole Weir controversy went public, the vice-president of MPJC described me as “the only person currently providing dynamic leadership to the local peace movement.” I was elected twice by fellow board members to serve as president. I was empowered by the board to start the first Palestine solidarity committee in this community. I led and organized all of the demonstrations against the Operation Protective Edge. And I was asked by my colleagues to write opinion pieces in the local media on Palestine and other issues. I was publicly denounced as Jew-hater in a guest commentary in the local newspaper. After considerable effort, I convinced the paper to remove the offending piece from its website and to print an apology and retraction. I also initiated and led the struggle to convince our local Peace Coalition to endorse the BDS campaign.
        When the Weir/JVP/U.S. Campaign split became public knowledge, I offered my personal opinion that, although I didn’t agree with Weir about everything, I didn’t know anything about her that would preclude me from working with her but that I didn’t see any benefit to our local organization in getting involved in the controversy. My position was that we shouldn’t take a position. This position was conveyed in an email. I never participated in a meeting of activists in which the controversy was discussed. Based on my email, two people dropped out of the Palestine solidarity group, claiming that I was joining in an anti-Weir witch hunt. The next thing I knew, a previously trusted colleague was spreading a rumor that – a year earlier – I had been so cruel to a fellow activist that she’d had a nervous breakdown. Of course, that never happened. In fact, months after my alleged intolerable abuse of this activist, she wrote a letter to the editor our local weekly, saying: “Crawford speaks for many of us in the community.” Numerous other rumors were spread by Weir’s fevered supporters, including the board member of MPJC who had praised me so highly just a few months earlier. Eventually the atmosphere became so intolerable that I resigned. To this day, none of Weir’s local devotees have agreed to sit down in a room with me and discuss what the hell happened. Everything else that I described in my original post was accurate.
        I think there are perfectly valid reasons to be critical of Weir that have nothing to do with “guilt by association.” See: http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/blog/2015/08/14/prioritizing-anti-racism-august-13-2015
        But my problem is not so much with Weir as with her frenzied acolytes who have behaved in an incredibly destructive and unprincipled manner. It is one thing to think that JVP and the U.S. Campaign should have handled this differently. It is quite another thing to sabotage a fellow activist because he is reluctant to view the alleged mistreatment of Weir as the single most urgent issue for the Palestine solidarity movement. These people have gone from being part of a solidarity movement to being a cult.
        Dresser speculates about the “real” reasons behind the decision to expel Weir, but I have no reason to believe that he has any inside knowledge. His article and the Unite for Palestine letter are, in effect, attacks on JVP and the U.S. Campaign. This does nothing to heal division.
        The nasty responses to my post illustrate the point.

      • Phillip Crawford
        October 30, 2016, 7:15 pm

        At MHughes976 again:
        A couple of other points and then I must get back to work.
        1. There may be perfectly valid reasons why one might post online using a pseudonym. But to use a pseudonym while posting derogatory comments and gossip about another activist strikes me as cowardly.
        2. As if the story of MPJC isn’t bizarre enough, a few months before all the kerfuffle about Weir, I did participate in a meeting at which some of the Weir cultists expressed concern that my passionate advocacy on behalf of the Palestinians might be alienate members of the local Jewish community!

      • jd65
        October 31, 2016, 1:08 am

        @ W.Jones: I appreciate your post and the fact that you took some time to read some of what I’d written ay my “blog.” There are a couple/few things I definitely ask you/respond to, but I’m gettin’ into bed :) Later tomorrow. Peace…

      • jd65
        October 31, 2016, 1:12 am

        @ W.Jones:

        Thanks for sharing, John D.

        Sure thing, man. I appreciate your post and the fact that you took some time to read some of what I’d written at my “blog.” There are a couple/few things I definitely want to ask you/respond to, but I’m gettin’ into bed :) Too much information, right? Later tomorrow. Peace…

      • W.Jones
        October 31, 2016, 3:03 am

        Dear John,

        What did you “want to ask me/respond to”?

        You wrote in your letter

        the Z word feels like it may have played a part in driving JVP’s dealings with Weir. Considering what I perceive as JVP’s position on Zionism vs. Weir’s more straight-forward anti-Zionist stance, it seems this difference could be one of the reasons for JVP’s cutting ties with Weir.

        JVP I think has noted that its members have different views on that topic. So Weir’s stance would of course alienate those members and be a source of contention from them against her. For example, MJ Rosenberg considers Ali Abunimah anti-Semitic for the way that he attacks “Zionists”. (SEE: mondoweiss.net/2013/10/rosenberg-abunimah-accusations).

        But since JVP in fact does have a range of views on ZIonism, I think that simply her stance on that question is not nearly enough to explain JVP’s banning of her. The main motive for the decision must have been her book campaign on the Lobby, considering the timing of bringing up and squarely relying on her offenses that were already several years old.

        I suggest you look at the Analysis section on the “Stop Divisive Attacks” website, which will help address the kind of questions you are asking on your blog:
        https://stopdivisiveattacks.wordpress.com/analysis

      • jd65
        November 2, 2016, 1:48 am

        @ W.Jones:

        Dear John,
        What did you “want to ask me/respond to”?

        Hey W.Jones. Been having computer issues on top of being a bit busy. Sorry…

        Actually, some US CEIO leaders who made the decision asserted that Weir herself is not actually a racist.

        Just to be clear: This means that some of the US CEIO leaders personally believed Weir to not be racist AND thought it a good idea to dissociate from her because others, who may mistakenly perceive Weir to be a racist, may then, through another further removed association, mistakenly perceive USCEIO to also be a racist organization? This sounds like a new, and quite serious, Diss[Ass]ociative Disorder condition. Should we contact the APA so they can add it to their DSM? Maybe Bristol-Myers Squibb can develop, market and sell a pill to make billions. Then, after the profits, when it’s found to have killed nearly 100 people, they can simply point to their published scientific studies, trials run by their own best researchers, which showed Zaiypaxanol was safe. Echhhhem… Stay on task, John.

        But seriously, are these folks you mention who asserted Weir herself was not racist on record as saying/believing as much while also being on the record that they feel it was right to dissociate their organizations from Weir/IAK? It’s not completely wacko to place strategy above truth, but it’s quite a “political” mindset, as opposed to “activist,” if you know what I mean. And I generally don’t go there. I actually spoke w/ folks at JVP about their seemingly “political” direction. In a way that’s fine and “necessary.” And in another way it makes me ill. It’s very Finkelstein, whom I have great respect for and great trouble with. If there are links to statements from these USCEIO folks I’d be interested for them to be shared. I missed ’em. Or, if they happened to be personal private conversations I understand that as well…

        I think she was and that her response was that she will be more careful about going on those programs, but that she reverses for herself the right to do so because she wants to take the message to the American people at large, whose views go across the spectrum.

        That’s “interesting.” I’ve also not seen any stuff on the interwebs about that – JVP/USCEIO speaking/meeting w/ Weir beforehand to give her a heads up, tell her they wanted her to stop doing interviews on those shows or they’d… Well, you know. Where would I read about those conversations/meetings? Maybe that was in the stuff that got all the attention a year or so back and since there was so much stuff I just don’t recall reading it? But if this is what happened (ie: they met, told Weir to stop, Weir said it’s my right to do these interviews and it doesn’t mean I’m racist, maybe I will, maybe I won’t continue, then JVP/USCEIO dissociated from Weir/IAK…), it basically comes down to JVP/USCEIO saying to Weir/IAK, “It’s our way or the highway.” In this case, from my perspective, that’s not cool. To say the least. But it’s their right to do the wrong thing I guess…

        Personally I would not go on those shows because of the fear of “guilt by association” – I wouldn’t want people to wrongly think I supported those views. But at the same time, if someone doesn’t actually support those views, then I don’t want to mistakenly label them as if they do either.

        What? Quit being so damn reasonable.

        I think that simply her stance on [the Zionism] question is not nearly enough to explain JVP’s banning of her. The main motive for the decision must have been her book campaign on the Lobby, considering the timing of bringing up and squarely relying on her offenses that were already several years old.

        I basically agree w/ this. Though it seems plain to see that, in a way, Zionism and “The Lobby” are, if not “one,” certainly rather intimately connected by the spine. This seemed to be the point of Weir’s book, no? I only read it once back when it came out. I should re-read it. And to split another hair, I wouldn’t call the book JVP/USCEIO’s “motive.” I’d say they likely saw the publication of that book (which, if memory serves, could easily be said to be as much about Zionism as it is about “The Lobby”) as their “opportunity to move forward.” It gave them a sort of perceived, illegitimate/false/manufactured cover to act.

        I suggest you look at the Analysis section on the “Stop Divisive Attacks” website, which will help address the kind of questions you are asking on your blog:
        https://stopdivisiveattacks.wordpress.com/analysis

        Will do. Looks like there’s a lot of information there. I gave a brief look and will go back. During my first look through there I saw the young Palestinian woman refugee (lives in Lebanon?), Amena El-Ashkar, who dares to speak the true words “Israel has no right to exist.” I wish I could interview her myself. She’s got guts. Good on her. There’s another woman, of whom I assume you are aware, named Lamis Deek who speaks on the concept of Israel’s “right to exist.” She deserves mass respect and, I believe, is starting to get it. She’ll be speaking at The 9th Annual AMP Conference in Chicago this month. I wish I could go to support and learn from the folks there. Miko Peled will also be speaking. My understanding is that Lamis and Miko are friends and have similar attitudes on Palestine. More power to them and I hope that Amena El-Ashkar knows of them and draws hope and inspiration from them.

      • W.Jones
        November 2, 2016, 3:55 pm

        Dear John D.

        You ask:

        “This means that some of the US CEIO leaders personally believed Weir to not be racist AND thought it a good idea to dissociate from her because others, who may mistakenly perceive Weir to be a racist, may then, through another further removed association, mistakenly perceive USCEIO to also be a racist organization?

        are these folks you mention who asserted Weir herself was not racist on record as saying/believing as much while also being on the record that they feel it was right to dissociate their organizations from Weir/IAK? “

        No, it means some leaders declared that they are not saying if they believe her to be racist, only that her actions like giving interviews on intolerant shows was bad enough to ban her. My educated guess is that a few other USCEIO leaders disagreed with the banning, but did not announce their disagreement openly and were in the minority.

        You ask: “Should we contact the APA so they can add it to their DSM?”
        Probably a quite serious dissasociative disorder comes from being a provocateur. I suggest reading about the Pinkertons’ use of provocateurs to infiltrate and villify the Left already in the 19th c. However, at this point I am unaware of any convincing, direct evidence that US CEIO or JVP’s leaders are actual provocateurs. I am not interested in making fun of them. Many of their leaders I am sure are heartfelt supporters of Palestinian rights who have made major contributions.

        I would have to dig around for where some of them said that they were not declaring Weir to be racist. For something like this, see:

        What has been found problematic is not individual statements or explicitly anti-Semitic and racist actions by Alison or If American’s Knew, but rather their repeated use of platforms that promote anti-Semitism and racism to share messages about Palestine and their insistence that speaking on any media platform without regard to how it is regularly used is principled. This is a position that is inconsistent with an anti-racist approach to organizing.

        https://www.afsc.org/blogs/acting-in-faith/palestine-activism-anti-racist-framework
        In other words: it’s not Weir making racist statements, it’s that if you are going to do organizing against racism, you can’t go speak on just any media platform.

        If you want to hear about discussions between Weir and US CEIO before she was banned, I think some of them are posted on her site:
        http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html

        Maybe that was in the stuff that got all the attention a year or so back and since there was so much stuff I just don’t recall reading it?

        Yes.

        What? Quit being so damn reasonable.

        Hmmm…. Humor.

        Though it seems plain to see that, in a way, Zionism and “The Lobby” are, if not “one,” certainly rather intimately connected by the spine. This seemed to be the point of Weir’s book, no?

        It’s one of her main points.

        I’d say they likely saw the publication of that book as their “opportunity to move forward.” It gave them a sort of perceived, illegitimate/false/manufactured cover to act.

        I doubt it, because they didn’t cite it as one of their reasons, thus not making it their cover.

        During my first look through there I saw the young Palestinian woman refugee , Amena El-Ashkar. I wish I could interview her myself.

        Yes, you can probably interview her. Try contacting the groups that invited her.
        https://www.facebook.com/NYCSJP/
        http://freepalestinemovement.org/2016/01/31/the-north-america-nakba-tour

        Lamis Deek who speaks on the concept of Israel’s “right to exist.” She deserves mass respect and, I believe, is starting to get it. She’ll be speaking at The 9th Annual AMP Conference in Chicago this month. I wish I could go to support and learn from the folks there

        Why can’t you?

        Peace.

      • jd65
        November 3, 2016, 10:10 am

        Hello Again W.Jones,

        However, at this point I am unaware of any convincing, direct evidence that US CEIO or JVP’s leaders are actual provocateurs. I am not interested in making fun of them.

        The “APA/DSM,” Bristol-Myers Squibb joke was making fun of the Psychiatric/Pharmaceutical Industry, not members of JVP or USCEIO. As for provocateur infiltration of the left, I’m not sure why it was brought up. But I agree w/ you.

        Thanks for the info on Amena El-Ashkar & the FreePalestineMovement.org.

        Why can’t you?

        Money and time.

      • W.Jones
        November 3, 2016, 12:56 pm

        Dear John D. 65,

        You said that you were unsure why infiltration and provocations were brought up. I brought it up with a tangent from your humorous question about disassociative disorders: “Should we contact the APA so they can add it to their DSM?” Namely, one of the clearest disassociative disorders would be a situation where intelligent people who openly led human rights campaigns were knowingly working for human rights abusers. The person would live a big part of their life as if they were a virtuous supporter of the oppressed, while secretly really being a supporter of the oppressor and actually working against their own outward campaign. Such an extreme, deep level of duplicitousness must create cognitive dissonance at some level.

        Do you understand what I mean? In the Big Bill Haywood trial, in which the Pinkerton spy played a big role, Clarence Darrow said that the prosecution could not be trusted because it was based on a life of duplicitousness.

        The Free Gaza boats, Helen Thomas, Blankfort, A.Weir, Miko Peled, and Finkelstein have all been major Pal.Solidarity figures, so if some activists were intentionally sidelining those figures out of a secret goal to degrade the movement from within, it would be a good case of “disassociation”.

        Electronic Intifada found that in fact this kind of infiltration and provocation played a role in getting the Free Gaza movement sidelined in the Pal. Solidarity community.

        Please see:

        Israeli man who impersonated Palestinian woman is linked to Free Gaza debacle and photo hoax
        https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/benjamin-doherty/israeli-man-who-impersonated-palestinian-woman-linked-free-gaza-debacle-and

        More evidence corroborates that Israeli Ofer Engel faked Palestinian activists online
        https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/benjamin-doherty/more-evidence-corroborates-israeli-ofer-engel-faked-palestinian-activists

        But like I said, I am unaware of any direct evidence proving that JVP or CEIO’s leaders have these kinds of intentions.

    • W.Jones
      October 30, 2016, 2:09 am

      Dear Philip,

      I appreciate the years that you have put in to advocating for Palestinians and am regretful to hear when Palestinian advocates step down.

      It sounds like people in the Monterrey area were also concerned about whether Weir was getting fair treatment and what precedent her banning sent for judging everyone else in the movement. However, it’s true that I don’t have the details on this. This is the first I’ve heard of “a witch hunt of their own against those in our community whom they considered insufficiently supportive of Weir”. It’s strange. As far as I can tell – and I followed this very closely, criticisms were always directed against actual attacks on Weir, not people who just didn’t say anything one way or the other. It would be very strange for me to hear of them attacking someone for just giving some or any support to Weir in her difficult time and not more.

      May I please ask where Weir’s supporters have actually spoken of “nefarious ‘Jewish influence’ over the Palestine solidarity movement in the US.”?
      A big problem with your statement is generalizing. Here you say “Weir’s supporters” (collectively) have done this, but please understand that finding even one or two people who have does not justify such sweeping claims.

      You ask

      One of the most bizarre charges made by Ms. Weir’s ardent defenders focuses on the failure of JVP and the U.S. Campaign to include Zionism in their anti-racist principles. Perhaps they haven’t noticed that the website of the Palestinian BDS National Committee also fails to mention Zionism, stating: “BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” Should we conclude from this that the BNC has also decided to “prioritize Jewish preoccupations?”

      Isn’t this again generalizing about her “ardent defenders”? How would you feel if I told you that I and people who know who signed petitions favoring Weir actually voted in favor of the US Campaign’s “Principles”, including on this question?

      I agree with being opposed to anti-Semitism, which the US Campaign principles say. But I also understand that some activist Palestinians make the argument that if we worry about Antisemitism(religion and people) and fear of Islam (a religion), then we should also demand avoidance of fear of Christianity (a religion of Palestinians) and of Palestinians (a people). Do you understand what I mean? I am OK with the Principles as they are, but I understand the legitimate criticism that some Palestinians want them to just be against racism, not emphasizing anti-Semitism because of their own particular “reversed” context.

      You ask: “Should we conclude from this that the BNC has also decided to prioritize Jewish preoccupations?”
      No, you need to look at the whole organization. Not being privy to JVP’s leadership’s internal discussions, I can’t tell why they do what they do and I would not use terms like “Jewish preoccupations” in describing their attacks on Peled and Weir. Opposition to anti-semitism is not just a “Jewish pre-occupation”. But JVP has also said that there is a danger of attacking people as anti-Semtiic when they aren’t. So the question really needs to go back to whether these people, like Weir and Peled, are being treated right.

      Regards.

  22. CitizenC
    October 24, 2016, 1:10 am

    Philip Crawford claims that my article included “slanderous and divisive attacks on Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign”, and that “the only people launching divisive attacks are the fanatical followers of Alison Weir.”

    A subjective judgment to say the least, which the reader may make for him or herself. Note the availability of a longer (13000) word version of the CounterPunch article.

    https://questionofpalestine.net/2016/09/09/ms-weir-goes-to-washington/

    The reader may also consider that 2000 people signed the petition in support of Alison Weir in 2015. So far 1600 have signed the petition against the attack on Miko Peled, and all the attacks mounted by JVP in the last few years. Weir’s book “Against Our Better Judgment” has sold 28,000 copies.

    As I pointed out in my article JVP, after 20 years of existence, is about 1300 people nationwide, notwithstanding their ceaseless claims of importance. Its August election for board of directors required a quorum of 20% of the membership, 1250 votes, which was attained in the final hours of 10-day on-line voting period.

    More people signed the petitions against JVP’s attacks than vote in JVP’s elections. JVP’s active members are less than 5% of those who bought Alison Weir’s book. Like the rest of the Israel Lobby, JVP has little to do with the views of the American people, but imposes itself by being relentless, highly organized and lavishly funded.

    Crawford states that:

    “BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.” Should we conclude from this that the BNC has also decided to “prioritize Jewish preoccupations?”

    Yes, we should ask why the BDS Committee has accepted the JVP “anti-racism” formula. It opposes Islamphobia, which has no adherents in Palestine ranks, and otherwise mentions only anti-Semitism, and is obviously designed to persecute people for anti-Semitism. This double standard was so egregious that JVP discussed formulating a position on Zionism, which was dismissed on spurious grounds by Stanford historian Joel Beinin

    Palestinians should not be so bound. We should indeed ask why a group addressing Palestine, above all one formed by Palestinians, does not condemn Zionism as a form of racism, given its racialist and racist theory and practice, and the many critiques of it on those terms.

    Palestinians accept the double standard of “anti-racism” that ignores Zionism, because Palestine politics in the US is dominated by Jews just as much on the left as in the mainstream

    • Phillip Crawford
      October 26, 2016, 1:21 pm

      CitizenC: Just so I’m sure I understand what you’re saying; is it your contention that the BNC is prioritizing Jewish preoccupations by failing to include opposition to Zionism in its anti-racist principles?

    • ritzl
      October 26, 2016, 5:54 pm

      Good question CitizenC. It would be interesting to hear – in its own words – why Zionism is not listed as a form of racism by the BNC.

      Some DEEP movement insight to be gleaned there, methinks.

      It would also be interesting if the scorekeepers on these things would come up with a number on how many times Palestinian solidarity activists have appeared on Zionist media without bluntly criticizing that belief system and/or fora at length and without the slightest rebuke by their fellow movement-eers for that apparently mortal sin. I mean “universal” is “universal” is “universal” right?

    • W.Jones
      October 30, 2016, 2:17 am

      As I pointed out in my article JVP, after 20 years of existence, is about 1300 people nationwide, notwithstanding their ceaseless claims of importance. Its August election for board of directors required a quorum of 20% of the membership, 1250 votes, which was attained in the final hours of 10-day on-line voting period.

      More people signed the petitions against JVP’s attacks than vote in JVP’s elections. JVP’s active members are less than 5% of those who bought Alison Weir’s book. Like the rest of the Israel Lobby, JVP has little to do with the views of the American people, but imposes itself by being relentless, highly organized and lavishly funded.

      Concise and to the point.

  23. echinococcus
    October 26, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Crawford,

    How are “anti-racist principles” even marginally anti-racist when the most murderous of all racist ideologies, i.e. Zionism, is not only flourishing but directly oppressing those supposed to be supported by the worthy BDS-BNC alphabet outfits?

    A minimum of elementary logic, please.

    The explanation is also staring you in the face: their ties to the Zionist-US Quislings, the PA, and to the JVP, an organization primarily intended for “antisemitism” witchhunts.

  24. ritzl
    October 26, 2016, 5:36 pm

    Thanks Henry and drafters. Signed.

    Great comment thread here.

  25. Phillip Crawford
    October 28, 2016, 4:23 am

    Mondoweiss should reconsider allowing people to post under pseudonyms. It encourages trolls. I don’t know who “piano teacher” is, but she clearly has no direct knowledge of the facts. She doesn’t know why I resigned from the board despite the unanimous request of the board members that I stay on. I doubt she is on the board of MPJC or that she even lives in Monterey County. As for echinococcus, he or she is simply a troll. He/she seems to have a lot of free time to spend insulting people who don’t share his/her crackpot views. His/her main criticism of JVP seems to that the organization is run by Jews. And apparently those same diabolical Jews control the BNC. Are these the same scheming Jews who faked the moon landing?

    • Mooser
      October 28, 2016, 12:10 pm

      My dear “Phillip Crawford” (if that, indeed is your real name) we have been advised that any complaints about posters should be submitted to the Editors in an e-mail.
      Please put in a good word for me.

    • echinococcus
      October 28, 2016, 12:29 pm

      “Mondoweiss should reconsider allowing people to post under pseudonyms”, says Crawford.
      How right he is. No one has the right to make things difficult for Zionist hunters like his JVP friends to perform their character assassinations! Especially considering that this is a shooting war with north of 70,000 or so dead and millions displaced, without mentioning the larger area of Iraq, Libya, Syria and counting.

      Anyway, Crawford, I wouldn’t know if anyone faked a moon landing, or, if anyone did, their religious preferences. I know that JVP is a Zionist plant, though, not necessarily Jewish, and that a military occupation does control the organizations in the area under its control, duh.

      • Mooser
        October 28, 2016, 1:42 pm

        “Anyway, Crawford, I wouldn’t know if anyone faked a moon landing, or, if anyone did, their religious preferences.”

        It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that Jews had any part in faking the moon landing. After all, we worship the sun, as proven by the artifacts in ancient temples.

      • echinococcus
        October 28, 2016, 3:11 pm

        Mooser,

        I don’t really know if the artifacts show that we, as faithful Seleucid subjects, worshipped the sun or used the icons to pay our respects to the temporal power. If we did worship it, though, Selene received part of it as Helios’ sister.
        Now, there’s no discussion that between faking a landing and a real conquest to chase away the Selenites, no red-blooded Jewish nationalist would hesitate.

    • jd65
      October 28, 2016, 6:17 pm

      Hey Phillip:

      I don’t know who “piano teacher” is, but she clearly has no direct knowledge of the facts. She doesn’t know why I resigned… I doubt she is on the board of MPJC or that she even lives in Monterey County.

      As for echinococcus, he or she is simply a troll. He/she seems to have a lot of free time to spend insulting people who don’t share his/her crackpot views. His/her main criticism of JVP seems to…

      Curious. If you who pianoteacher is, why would you consistently refer to “her” as “she,” while consistently referring to echinococcus as “he/she?”

      As for requiring folks here to use their real names as their handles, why? This is the internet forum section. We’re not writing vetted, hard news, peer reviewed articles here.

      • Phillip Crawford
        October 30, 2016, 4:16 pm

        In fact, at the time I posted that comment, I had no idea who “piano teacher” was, but I gleaned from reviewing her prior comments that she was probably a woman. Since that time, I’ve done a bit of research and I now know who she is. To my knowledge, we’ve never met.
        Some of us have jobs and lives. We are interested in exchanging ideas with other Palestinian solidarity activists in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect in what little free time we have from actual responsibilities. Personally, I don’t have the time to wade through the endless sea of comments by unemployed misanthropes who sit in their parents’ basements in their tin foil hats, dreaming up paranoid conspiracy theories, and who have all the time in the world to post insulting, divisive comments about other activists on every single thread (or, in the case of “pianoteacher,” repeat gossip about activists they’ve never met) while hiding behind pseudonyms.
        The only way I can possibly see to engage meaningfully in discussions on Mondoweiss’s comments section is to simply not read or respond to comments posted under pseudonyms. Unfortunately, I will probably miss many worthwhile comments, but it will spare me from being subjected to the toxic personalities whose ubiquitous obnoxiousness has probably already driven many rational people away from the site.
        Perhaps the editors might someday be persuaded to set up a separate comments section for the adults.

      • echinococcus
        October 30, 2016, 4:52 pm

        Now, that “Phillip Crawford” may be posting under his own name, or he may be impersonating a Salinas lawyer he hates to direct hostility at him. Who knows?
        A message board is not a good place to judge that. Message boards are where you are judged exclusively by the content of what you write.

        Let’s say that if I had half a mind to damage that lawyer, I would just write stuff just as egregiously nationalistic and bigoted as our “Phillip Crawford” is writing, under his name.

        Besides, the use of pseudonyms here is, say, natural.
        Perhaps our “Phillip Crawford” has not heard of the manifold Zionist attack groups, their harassment, character assassinations, the people they put out of a job, the families destroyed?

        Even if those did not exist, the JVP and associated character assassination groups are replacing them enough for using pseudonyms. Look at what they did to outstanding anti-Zionists that they judged insufficiently tribal! I’d like to have a minimum of privacy, thank you very much.

      • jd65
        October 30, 2016, 5:08 pm

        Thanks for the response, Phillip. I think that post, combined w/ some of the other stuff you’ve posted in this “thread,” give me a pretty good picture of yourself.

    • W.Jones
      October 30, 2016, 2:57 am

      Philip,
      That was Nixon using Kubrick to film it in order to show the Russians up in the Cold War. It had nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That would not make sense. Let’s not get into crazy nonsense theories now!

      • jd65
        October 30, 2016, 3:52 pm

        Hey again W.Jones:

        That was Nixon using Kubrick to film it in order to show the Russians up in the Cold War. It had nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That would not make sense. Let’s not get into crazy nonsense theories now!

        Was this supposed to be directed at me? Did someone else make reference to Kubrick in this thread?! When I wrote that the clip from FMJ was “a rare video of a discussion on the Duality of Man between a “Liberal Zionist” IDF soldier and his more nationalistically fascist battalion leader at Deir Yassin, I assumed that it would be self-evident I was making some sort of ironic/joke/analogy. Maybe you were also being “ironic?” I guess sometimes the internet and humor don’t mix too well. Or maybe I’m just consistently unfunny?

      • W.Jones
        October 30, 2016, 7:35 pm

        JD,

        It was directed at P.Crawford’s comment of October 28, 2016, 4:23 am.

        It’s true that “sometimes the internet and humor don’t mix too well. ” In the past once I was using humorous sarcasm in the comments section about something and Annie thought I was serious and took me literally and got offended.
        (It was about Christian Zionists).

  26. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 12:44 am

    The petition says that Miko Peled, Alison Weir, Amena El-Ashkar, Umm Akram, Greta Berlin, Ann Wright, and Helen Thomas “have been undermined from within.”
    How about Norman Finkelstein and Jeff Blankfort?

    Norman F. it’s true has a critical stance or attitude to BDS, but he has been such a foundational speaker for a long time and is quite educated and prolific…. It seems to me he has been sidelined too much, even though the official reason was not that he has actually said things much more provocative than Weir or Peled.

    In Blankfort’s case, his transgression IIRC was that he liked to talk about the State’s connections to WWII Germany. But those connections were documented in Lenni Brenner’s book. I would have to revisit Blankfort’s banning, but it seems he should have been given a warning that he was going to get banned and that he just said the same things Brenner did, so it wasn’t like he was giving out State Secrets or something.

  27. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 12:45 am

    Thanks for posting the petition, Phil and Adam.

  28. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 2:42 am

    JVP Members made a Petition to JVP here:
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfhtKy6-pKbF3hRnEvrmE4ew39b8SrGDox5pums_mELW8VfUQ/viewform?c=0&w=1

    Miko pretty much said the same kind of thing in one tweet that S. Salaita said over the course of maybe half a dozen in stronger language. It’s strange – considering Salaita’s case, why did JVP “jump” to denounce an ally like Miko and praise cancellation of Miko’s talks? Do they also want to see Salaita’s talks canceled?

    Now, it’s fine that Vilkomersen apologized, but what about the cancellations that JVP encouraged and occurred as a result? (another cancellation followed it) If JVP would see to it that these cancellations were overturned and Peled got invited back, the issue could end there, except that we are left with a lingering question: What does it say about what Vilkomerson and JVP’s leadership actually think when their automatic response was to denounce Peled?

  29. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 2:54 am

    When the case with Weir went down, I was struck with how her supporters, even after amassing 2000 signatures, could not succeed in getting the USCEIO or JVP to reinstate her. Clearly the decision did not represent the membership. At best, people were divided on the issue.

    And the lesson was not just that this was bad in Weir’s case, but “There will be more”. That is, JVP and USCEIO had adopted a plan that would effectively sideline major figures like H.Thomas, Weir, Free Gaza,J.Blankfort. The fact is, in over a decade of writing on the topic, an anti-racist activist is de facto going to make some mistakes or say some things very many other anti-racists are going to disagree with as offensive, be it in a tweet or otherwise. H. Thomas on candid camera was a good example, and I can say I wouldn’t do the same thing that the accused persons did. But de facto in real life it’s going to happen when we talk about some of the more common activists. And so drumming someone out on this basis becomes a recipe or plan that de facto removes the most outspoken critics, as they in fact will at some times make offensive statements just as unfortunately very many other people do.

    But whereas JVP or US CEIO can effectively stop some lectures by Peled or If Americans Knew, or keep some Free Gaza activists off the boats for unacceptable tweets, can they stop the IDF from targeting tens of thousands of Gazans the next time hostilities flare up? It’s a very one-way street, sadly.

    • echinococcus
      October 30, 2016, 10:00 pm

      Jones,

      Excellent post, thank you.
      One thing, though: there is a difference between “making some mistakes” and presenting opinions that are fully within the range of the defense of Palestinian rights.

      I say that because of your “H. Thomas on candid camera was a good example” statement.
      I can’t agree at all. It is only now, after years of continual brainwashing, that a majority even within our ranks (JVP and such not included) imagine that the Zionist invaders have some kind of a toehold right. Until recently, anticolonial opposition and the people in the area would not even discuss the total illegality of the partition.

      When Helen Thomas suggested that the Zionist invaders could well go back to their own countries, she expressed exactly what very many people think and can defend with good ground. I am not the only one who would sign the same statement with both hands and repeat it as often as needed.

      There are many more similar divergences within the resistance community and that is precisely why no one supposed to be supporting Palestinian liberation is allowed to attack any other anti-Zionists on the basis of anything else than resistance to the invader.

  30. gamal
    October 30, 2016, 3:21 pm

    Since Blumenthal has come up Narwani wrote a response to his public denunciation of her,

    from “Cry me river Max”

    “This does not make me or anyone else at Al Akhbar pro-Assad, or pro-Gaddafi, for that matter. I stand proudly behind my articles, many of which bring new information to the media marketplace and highlight facts that are quite deliberately buried in the mainstream media that feeds at the trough of their governments’ narratives. Max also does me a disservice when he seeks only to hone in on perceived “weak points” in my articles – namely an “anonymous journalist” who happens to be one of the very few Arab reporters to have managed to infiltrate armed salafist groups in Lebanon, Syria and beyond. He is unnamed for obvious reasons – so that he can continue his courageous work, unrecognized by those who might seek to kill him for pursuing these difficult stories. Max, however, conveniently forgets that his “dominant narrative” on Syria in the mainstream media consistently and repeatedly sources “unnamed activists” to bolster their dubious story lines on a daily basis.

    Instead of addressing the substantial evidence at the core of my articles, Max chooses to conflate my opinions with that of zionist Israel and imperialist America in order to malign by association. Then this man, whom I have never met and who knows next to nothing about my personal views on Bashar al-Assad, accuses me of cobbling “together a scattershot of YouTube clips” to make my arguments. Nothing could be further from the truth. I actively avoid YouTube footage from either side in Syria and have publicly stated that I believe them to be highly unreliable as sources of information – entirely unverifiable unless there is a “known” individual in them (Gilles Jacquier, Danny Abdul Dayem), and have even written that some amount to little more than “snuff films.” Meanwhile, Max’s preferred media – the ones that reflect his viewpoint on Syria – regularly feature unverifiable video footage as evidence in their stories. He just flat-out lies about my use of YouTube footage. Amazing.

    “None of Assad’s apologists appear to have done any journalistic fieldwork to support their opinions. Ghorayeb and Narwani seem to have confined themselves to Beirut,” declares Max. Wrong. I have made two trips to Syria in the past six months – the first to interview a wide range of domestic opposition figures, most of whom have spent years languishing in Syrian prisons; the second just a week ago, to spend time with the UN Observer team and learn about the changed military landscape throughout the country.

    No journalistic fieldwork? How would Max know? He has done none on Syria, yet he presumes to condemn the dogged pursuit of truth by others. Even the unlikely neoconservative National Review recognized the value of the extensive research I did on the myths surrounding the Syrian “Casualty List,” calling that piece “perhaps the only serious attempt yet made to assess the solidity of those grounds (humanitarian).” ”

    https://mideastshuffle.com/2012/06/23/cry-me-a-river-max-blumenthal/

  31. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 5:49 pm

    Russ Greenleaf made a post about his resignation from JVP that you can read here:
    https://www.facebook.com/richforer/posts/2760568423600?comment_id=2761195799284&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

    I think that the situation is sad, because JVP is a major organization supporting Palestinian rights, while Weir and Peled are major activists too.

    • W.Jones
      October 30, 2016, 7:49 pm

      To clarify:
      Rich Forer made an opening letter in the link I posted above, and then down in the comments section, Russ Greenleaf posted his own to JVP:

    • echinococcus
      October 30, 2016, 8:57 pm

      Jones,’

      “Sad” it isn’t.

      Whoever is trying to do anything inside JVP can do much more, unimpeded, in a general-population organization.

      In the Facebook post, the guy says, in very measured/moderate language:

      I sometimes wonder what JVP’s real motive is. It seems that they are more interested in catering to the hysterical fears of people for whom precise politically correct language that describes Israeli atrocities is more important than the atrocities themselves.

      Bingo! JVP is obviously under the Zionist influence and has been inflicting heavy damage to resistance solidarity.

  32. W.Jones
    October 30, 2016, 6:20 pm

    Actually, I find the cancelling of Peled’s talk at Princeton unusual:
    http://legalinsurrection.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Miko-Peled-Event-Cancellation-Flyer-e1474763484571.jpg

    Wouldn’t a college group active on the issue for as long as Princeton’s understand that it was a freak tweet, of which Salaita had many more examples?

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