American: I never mentioned the FG movement or its management. I was refering to the broader Palestine solidarity movement and pointing out that Greta Berlin’s post brought to the surface issues that have been ignored by some for to long in the Palestine solidarity movement.
As with most social justice movements, the Palestine solidarity movement is a decentralised one and people come it with different levels of political consciousness and understanding. This is perfectly fine, as there should be inclusive and there should be room in the movement for a diversity ideas. However, if you are serious about building a SOLIDARITY movement with AN OPPRESSED PEOPLE (ie. the Palestinians in this case), then the absolute first rule should be DO NO HARM to their cause. Normalising the inclusion of ideas which reek of bigotry, racism, prejudice and conspiracy theories does nothing to aid the Palestinian cause, instead it harms it immensely.
Everyone makes mistakes and many people, including myself would have been perfectly happy to accept Greta’s explanation if she had not changed her story about what happened at least 8 times and if she had actually posted screen shots relating to the mistaken post. If she wanted to protect people’s privacy, she could have easily have redacted the names of the people in the group. However, it now has become clear that within these groups, which Greta has played an active role, there has been a systematic refusal to address posts, comments and material that promote not only anti-Jewish bigotry, but also racism and anti-Semitism.
As Bekah Wolf demonstrates in her article posted here on Mondoweiss, the “Our Land” Facebook group is rife with this sort of crap and Greta along with the other moderators failed to nip it in the bud http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/if-only-it-was-just-one-tweet-one-activists-experience-in-the-our-land-facebook-group.html ). Instead, Greta and the other moderators allowed such comments to be normalised as acceptable.
This is the real issue here – the normalisation and acceptance within in some sectors of the movement of this sort of bigotry. And it is an issue that Gabriel Ash spells out quite clearly and which Henry Norr completely ignores in his response to him.
Now that this sort of bigotry and condoning of it has been widely exposed and people are demanding that Greta and others who have condoned this sort of behaviour be accountable for their behaviour, Greta and her supporters including Norr, you and many others are blaming those who have taken a principled stand against bigotry in the movement.
This has become “so big” an issue precisely because it is a very real issue which needs to be dealt with. And as painful as all of this has been for the entire movement, it is far better that it has finally all come out in the open and clarity can be achieved about what sort of movement we are building and what sort of politicals and principles should guide the Palestine solidarity movement.
As far as I am concerned, we need to take a very clear and absolutely strong stance against the normalisation of bigotry in the movement, as Ali Abunimah and more than 100 Palestinians have noted in their statement.
Perhaps if Greta, Henry Norr and others put their egos in check, they may actually recognise they are in fact underming the Palestine solidarity movement. However, instead it appears fairly clear that they would rather allow their egos to run rampant and make it all about themselves and not the movement or the Palestinian struggle.