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Making Boulder a sister city to Nablus would be ‘anti-Semitic,’ says local Republican

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Macon Cowles

Macon Cowles, at an antiwar rally in Boulder

The Boulder Daily Camera reports on a campaign by local extremists to head off a proposal to make Boulder a sister city of Nablus. The initiative was defeated last June, but three City Councilpeople, including Macon Cowles, above, voted for it. The opponents of the proposal say it’s anti-Semitic. How crazy is that?

A Colorado Springs-based conservative organization is targeting Boulder City Councilman Macon Cowles with automated phone calls spotlighting his vote in favor of making the Palestinian city of Nablus a Boulder sister city.

In the so-called “robocalls,” which appear to have started Thursday evening, the caller identifies himself as “Kevin” from Colorado Liberty Alliance.

“Boulder means something special, but Councilman Macon Cowles doesn’t understand it,” the recorded call said. “Are honor killings of women, jailing journalists for what they write and oppressing gays Boulder values? Of course not. But Councilman Macon Cowles voted to make Nablus, where these atrocities are routine, Boulder’s sister city.”

Cowles described his run-in with one of the anti-Nablus activists at a fundraiser for local farmers:

Eric Weissmann

Eric Weissmann

Cowles said he was going to get a glass of wine when Eric Weissmann, a failed Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, the seat held by Boulder Democrat Jared Polis, said, “After you, Nablus.”

Weissmann exchanged words with Cowles’ wife, Regina Cowles, at the fundraiser, and Weissmann then started tweeting extensively about Cowles’ vote and urging people not to re-elect Cowles, who is one of two incumbents running for re-election.

The other is Mayor Matt Appelbaum, who voted “no” on making Nablus a sister city…

“I think his vote to make Nablus a sister city of Boulder was an endorsement of the anti-Semitic rhetoric used by the proponents of that relationship and in complete disregard of the human rights situation in Nablus,” Weissmann said.

Max Blumenthal brought this to our attention.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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18 Responses

  1. seafoid on November 18, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Mork and Mindy was filmed in Boulder. Maybe the Republican is from the planet Ork too. Nanu nanu

    • amigo on November 18, 2013, 4:08 pm

      Colarado rocky mountain high.

    • sandhillexit on November 18, 2013, 4:24 pm

      Because Lille, Dublin, Dundee, and Florence is a club with which Boulder wouldn’t want to be associated.

      Or is it that Boulder should be more exclusive? We must have only have one friend.

    • bilal a on November 18, 2013, 5:22 pm

      In India, [Hindu] Castes, Honor and Killings Intertwine

      • bilal a on November 18, 2013, 5:34 pm

        USA Honor killings: In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.2

      • piotr on November 18, 2013, 7:04 pm

        On the bright side, some people in USA are killed merely for being Batman fans. This is a huge country and people (mostly men) are getting killed for assorted reasons, like being noisy at night (google mcbride killed). As I was checking on McBride, I got a really strange story:

        a bear mauled a girl in Michigan, so personel of Department of Natural Resourced came and killed a totally innocent bear; apparently it does not happen to humans only.

    • gamal on November 18, 2013, 6:07 pm

      the ‘human rights situation in Nablus’, is :

      ” honor killings of women, jailing journalists for what they write and oppressing gays (are these) Boulder values? Of course not. But Councilman Macon Cowles voted to make Nablus, where these atrocities are routine, Boulder’s sister city.”

      it entirely avoids I/P in favour of the Crusader credo. America is attempting to have an Empire via LIC, eternal war with Islam is no way to run an Empire, but what other rationale is there currently for the projection of force, Islam the trope has a long future, with its happily buzzing little swarm of memes, its interesting that he never mentions Israel here, its Palestinian victims of Palestinians, who are twice injured as a result of their oppression in Palestinian society and then by their resulting loss of a status, resulting from this very oppression, that wrings the Republicans heart, qualifying them and their municipality for the benefits of sisterhood, at least according to Mr. Whitemans frame, we all admire discriminating people.

      and so Catalus,

      ” 29. Catamite

      Who could see it, who could endure it,

      unless he were shameless, greedy, a gambler?

      Mamurra owns riches that Transalpine Gaul

      and furthest Britain once owned.

      Roman sodomite, do you see this and bear it?

      And now shall the man, arrogant, overbearing,

      flit through all of the beds

      like a whitish dove or an Adonis?

      Roman sodomite, do you see this and bear it?

      You’re shameless, greedy, a gambler.

      Surely it wasn’t for this, you, the unique leader,

      were in the furthest western isle,

      so that this loose-living tool of yours

      might squander two or three hundred times its worth?

      What is it but perverted generosity?

      Hasn’t he squandered enough, or been elevated enough?

      First his inheritance was well and truly spent,

      then the booty from Pontus, then

      Spain’s, to make three, as the gold-bearing Tagus knows:

      now be afraid for Gaul’s and Britain’s.

      Why cherish this evil? What’s he good for

      but to devour his rich patrimony?

      Was it for this, the city’s wealthiest,

      you, father-in law, son-in-law, wasted a world?”

  2. RoHa on November 18, 2013, 6:00 pm

    “Making Boulder a sister city to Nablus would be ‘anti-Semitic,’”

    Meh. What isn’t?

  3. piotr on November 18, 2013, 6:54 pm

    “Are honor killings of women, jailing journalists for what they write and oppressing gays Boulder values? Of course not.”

    I like when people are so precise when they specify “values”. Quite possible these are Colorado Springs values. More seriously, while Colorado Springs is not that far from Boulder, politically they are extremely far apart.

    Characteristically, the article in Boulder newspaper cites Boulder Jewish opponents of “Nablus sister city” as stressing that they have nothing to do with the evil influence from Colorado Springs.

    Pragmatically, Macon Cowles has a very good case. This is precisely a kind of idea that would be attacked by die-hard supporters of two sides in the conflict, after all, it is pretty close to “normalizing”. Yet “sister city” program entails some exchanges when both sides can learn more about problems and successes of the other side. Indeed, I do not recall any recent case of journalists arrested in Boulder. While in Nablus, quick google search shows:

    IDF detains TV director, attacks journalists during Nablus raid …
    Feb 27, 2007 … In a separate development, on Sunday, the Israeli army interrupted the signals of several local television stations, including Nablus TV, and …

    Israeli forces raid school, TV station, houses in Nablus
    Date: 24 / 02 / 2009 Time: 09:53

    And this year:

    During the time of the invasion, Israeli forces shot numerous tear gas canisters low and directly at people. Two Palestinians and an international activist were hit by the canisters. The soldiers reportedly arrested one man from a car in the city centre.

    Every week the Israeli army comes and often raids different parts of the city of Nablus, ransacking houses, arresting people, firing sound bombs and gas canisters.

    According to the Oslo agreements, Nablus is in Area A, which means that both security and civil administration should be the role of the Palestinian Authority. Once again last night, the Israeli army ignored these agreements.

    Journalists can also be arrested by PA forces that are trained by USA and cooperating with IDF, so it is not precisely indigenous idea. Of course, each story has more than one side. But if a community like Boulder cannot make an effort to understand other cultures with achievements and problems, problems that come from within and from outside, who can do it in USA? Think tanks in D.C.? [piotr dabbles is semi-sincere speech writing, but Boulder should have well-deserved civic pride]

  4. Bandolero on November 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I don’t think it’s neccessary to highlight that the local representative of the Israel lobby, who made such outragous comments, is Republican. I think, it would be better to highlight that that zionist racist in disguise represents the Israeli lobby.

  5. richb on November 18, 2013, 7:17 pm

    The dirty little secret is Boulder is loaded with PEPs. You couldn’t blame the shameful vote in June on the Springs and Republicans. They just repeated what the good “progressives” of Boulder said at the meeting:

    “It is dividing our Boulder community, rather than uniting us to work for peace,” said Beth Ornstein, a member of Bonai Shalom.

    Others said Nablus doesn’t share Boulder’s values, pointing to honor killings of women, discrimination against lesbian and gay residents and, in some cases, support of terrorist acts. They also noted that American travel to Nablus is now discouraged.

    “Nablus is well known for its terrorism,” said Boulder’s Mimi Ito. “The culture is one of intolerance, hate and violence.”

    • Kathleen on November 18, 2013, 9:55 pm

      richb you are totally right about Boulder being “loaded” with Pep’s. PeIP’s Progressive except for Iran and Palestine. Although 35 years ago when I talked with friends about the I/P issue here in Boulder people were much more defensive then than they are now. So there has been movement. Just moved back here two years ago. But of course with Boulder’s alleged progressive values one would think the movement would be much further along. There are lots of myths about Boulder

    • gamal on November 19, 2013, 2:35 pm

      “Nablus is well known for its terrorism,” said Boulder’s Mimi Ito. “The culture is one of intolerance, hate and violence.”

      well yes but doesnt this encapsulate the great Karma Nabulsi, who has a history, unless I am confusing her with a female relative, of resistance going back to the days of the benign occupation in the late 60’s early 70’s, she was arrested and tortured numerous times, when she took time out from killing women, oppressing gays and hating.

      She writes in English and French see for yourself

      the hate and encultured inferiority just shine through in all her work, of course she may have been civilized via some unknown process and De-Nablusified, we are all so proud of her, despite her gender, I particularly liked “The Peace Process and the Palestinians: a Road Map to Mars”, International Affairs, 80 (2), 2004, she is intolerant of the road map, she hates it and does violence, albeit merely analytical, to it, actually this explains (expalins) a lot,

      “The culture is one of intolerance, hate and violence.” deep thought is always moving, while Mde Ito’s culture is one of acceptance, love and foreplay, I know by the profound way she accepts and extols that “culture ..of..intolerance..hate..violence” its in her own words, cool eh, refulgent with all the qualities she, by implication, extols. Exterminate the brutes!

  6. Talkback on November 18, 2013, 8:18 pm

    In that case Boulder is well known for its sex offences. The culture is one of rape, theft and assault.

  7. Kathleen on November 18, 2013, 9:58 pm

    I attended that City Council meeting where Cowles voted yes. The Nablus sister city crew were so well organized one speaker after the next who were clear, concrete, factual. Some of the speakers with emotional personal stories also. But the pro Nablus speakers were amazing. Seriously so well spoken. On the other hand the anti Nablus sister city folks were full of rage and hate speech. You had to be there. I know at the Boulder council website you used to be able to find the link to the whole meeting. Could not find it right now. You could watch that meeting for yourself

      • ritzl on November 20, 2013, 1:26 am

        That was a link to the Boulder City council meeting video.

        I watched for 3+ hours until it made me literally sick. At about 2:54:00 there is a group of four or five pro- sister city comments, but they were but a thoughtful island in the midst of an extended, orchestrated, pro-Israel hate fest.

        A couple of those few were of Palestinian descent and were literally crying and/or shaking with rage at being called terrorists, thugs, Hamas!…, etc./the usual by a stream of Jewish, and a few CUFI-type, smiling (like this was some dream-crushing lark/just another day at the office) racists and bullies. To their faces.

        I guess I never sufficiently appreciated what you do, Kathleen/et. al. I was shocked by the open hate, vitriol, and one-sided information that was spewed (and accepted) in that meeting. Is it always like that at meetings where someone is trying to do some eye-opening work wrt anything having to do with Palestine?

        Given the nature of the testimony, the Boulder city council should have accepted the motion to adopt Nablus on the basis of the glaring need to foster more understanding. They had perfect, wonderful, examples of the benefits of more (and less) understanding right in front of them. But sadly the hate and less-than-zero-sum-at-any-cost “pro-“Israel attitudes carried more weight (this time?). They adopted ignorance and hate instead.

        And as one guy pointed out, for people being divisive to claim divisiveness as an argument against the motion, should have been an immediately recognizable and ignorable non-argument. But that’s what about half the pro-Israel testimony was.

        Thanks for the pointer to the video, Kathleen. I’m glad I watched it, but wish I hadn’t. Very, very ugly. It’ll stick with me for a long, long time.

  8. ritzl on November 18, 2013, 11:30 pm

    Not only the robocalls, but the whole opposition at the meeting was to call this pairing “anti-semitic.” The proponents were defensive, cloaking themselves in “Jewish heritage,” from the outset of their presentation. This was all about local Jewish interests and sensitivities, no matter the cultural exchange merits.

    The fact that Weissman resorted to “Councilman Nablus” as an epithet showed that the effort was successful to paint any interaction with a Palestinian city/entity as anti-semitic.

    Disturbing on so many levels. Complete double standard.

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