These are standard hasbara methods right out of their handbooks on "how to talk about Israel." They seem/act oblivious to the fact that since Israeli archives were declassified 40 years ago their own "new" historians such as Ilan Pappe, Benny Morris, Avi Shlaim and Shlomo Sand have been able to access, study and publish what has really happened, supplemented by British , UN, and US consular records, Palestinian historians such as Walid Khalidi and Salman Abu Sitta, independent correspondents such as Robert Fisk, David Hirsch, Alan Hart and John Pilger, international attorneys such as Richard Falk, John Dugard and Francis Boyle, and a Palestinian attorney such as Noura Erakat or George Bisharat. Hasbara instructions emphasize avoidance of history and facts plus lots of emotionally evocative language, aka hysterics. If I were Ms Alexander I would immediately challenge them to a public, prime time-televised debate with several of the above figures empanelled alongside her. I would hope to see them bring along Alan Dershowitz to be skewered and publicly embarrassed as well. He once wrote that 95% of a defense attorney's clients are guilty, which puts him in familiar territory defending Israel.
This is directed not to other comments that are much more enlightened, but to author Scott Simon who has long remained stubbornly oblivious to elemental historical truth. Scott, Zionists didn’t just emigrate with intentions to become good neighbors. Israel was established by violent and genocidal ethnic cleansing of the largely unarmed and helpless indigenous Palestinian population by terrorism in 1948 after the UNSC had declined to endorse UNGA 181. Israel was admitted to the UN in 1949 only by agreeing to honor the Palestinian right of return (UNGA Resolution 194, annually reaffirmed) and to internationalize Jerusalem under UN administration (UNSC Resolution 273), conditions it has yet to fulfill as pledged. Israel would have undoubtedly been expelled from the UN long ago were it not for ever-reliable US vetoes.
The 20% Palestinian population within Israel live under an apartheid system with over 50 discriminatory laws restricting virtually every basic area of life (see www.adalah.org). After seizing the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 in a preemptive war of aggression (see any YouTube presentation by Miko Peled, son of IDF general Matti Peled), Israel has illegally occupied these lands in violation of UNSC Resolution 242 and multiple provisions of the 4th Geneva Convention, to which it is a signatory, subjecting occupied Palestinians to suffocating military law (see www.al-nakba-history.com/alnakbacontinuing/4thgenevaconvention.html). It has continued to violate international law and human rights ever since (see www.addameer.org), protected from international justice by 44 US vetoes in the UNSC, cast every time in isolation from all other UNSC members (see Jewish virtual library).
Mr. Simon, you promote the cruel illusion of symmetry and co-equal responsibility and the chimera that “dialogue” will somehow magically correct the brutal power dynamics where half the population of historic Palestine degrades and subjugates the other half by brute force, a situation that can only be solved by enforcement of international law. The BDS movement is necessary to bypass the US roadblock. To evade these facts is a betrayal of your profession, the only profession specifically protected, for sacred reasons you profane, by the U.S. Constitution.
First, let me first comment on the photo chosen of Alison, suggesting the Wicked Witch of the Right. This is visual propaganda. I’ve known Alison for many years and never seen such an unfriendly expression.
Other comments have covered the ground well, including Henry Norr’s link to my Counterpunch article where I already cast my ballot with an exit interview.
But let me just add something about Spencer Sunshine whose attack on Alison, as Russ Greenleaf observes, seems to have provided a template for the JVP allegations. Eugene had its own encounter recently with Sunshine, who is associated with Political Research Associates, a small Massachusetts non-profit that has been criticized for using a “links and ties” guilt-by-association method of “research” (see Jeffrey Kaplan in The Cultic Milieu) and whose alarmist discourse on “paramilitaries” was circulated to incite a brief, hysterical “anti-hate” campaign in our community.
Guilt-by-association is certainly his stock-in-trade. I described his paper as “a confused mishmash employing familiar propaganda imagery and judgmental language to construct an ominous vision of an integrated, sinister, non-governmental force gathering to threaten our civil rights...conflating and discounting about half the US population into an artificially constructed, all-encompassing ‘right-wing’ category...citing no political science research validating the implied correlations between them.”
He uses the very questionable SPLC (www.counterpunch.org/2009/05/15/king-of-the-hate-business) as an information source, an organization that rakes in massive contributions to provide long lists of putatively hateful organizations that feed sales of their “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum to school districts terrorized by fear of lurking local extremists.
Sunshine ignores the natural alliance between people who may differ deeply on some issues but are united in opposition to American militarism and the surveillance/security state (e.g., libertarians and progressives). This discourages citizens from discriminating between a variety of perspectives or looking too closely, behind the media veil or beneath the surface of state policies and propaganda, tendentiously pointing public worries in the wrong direction, away from agencies and policies of US government, lobbies, militarized police, multinational corporations, controlled media, predatory banking, and other sources of institutional oppression.
Sunshine's hit piece on Alison follows much the same formula. To attract his attention, she must be doing something right.
There are mountains of data to support Hagel's previous statements about The Lobby – including testimony by former legislators such as Paul Findley, James Abourezk and Cynthia McKinney who I’m sure would have been happy to come forward on his behalf – had Hagel the cajones to defend himself honorably.
Hagel might have even responded to Graham saying, “You ask who has been influenced by the Israel lobby? Senator, I believe your colleague John McCain is one of them. He is the second leading all-time Senatorial recipient of AIPAC-directed funding, and I believe he is challenging me so aggressively today as a duty to his paymasters. And while we’re on this subject, which you have raised, perhaps Senator McCain would be patriotic enough to explain before the American people, here, today, why his father covered up Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 that killed 34 American sailors and wounded 172. He was 30 years old at the time, so I hope he won’t try to tell us they didn’t discuss this. And I won’t accept the poppycock that it was a mistake. I refer you both to the 2003 independent commission of inquiry under former chair of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Thomas Moorer, that concluded without equivocation that Israel’s attack was deliberate, premeditated and intended to sink an American Naval vessel and murder its entire crew. Furthermore, under his father’s watch, this was the only such attack in American history without retaliation, with the crew members enjoined from ever telling the truth under threat of court martial. This was an inexcusable betrayal of the American people and our men in uniform, and Liberty survivors to this day remain furious about it. I’d like the American people to know the truth and make up their own minds about our unconditional, knee-jerk support for Israel.”
Ah, I can only dream of so-called “leaders” who take seriously their oaths of office and of service.