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By Emma Rosenthal
Posted on the 40th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre.  Written on the 30th anniversary of the massacre.  On a campus that was 5% Jewish.  75% of the students killed, and 50% of the students who were shot, were Jewish– no word from the ADL.  (bold text by Neil Young)

 

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming

We’re finally on our own

This summer I heard the drumming

Four dead in Ohio.” 

Tin soldiers are marching again

bayonets pointed at the multitude

  Nicaragua

  Vietnam

  Grenada

  Cambodia

  Iraq

  Afghanistan

  El Salvador

  Chile

Palestine

Kent State

Jackson State
Tin soldiers point their weapons at the tender flesh of the outspoken

there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform

so the tin soldiers, eyes glazed and without vision

at the command of the generals take aim

point their state of mind

their point of view

the eyes of the state

the words of the state

the will of the state

and

four lives hit the floor

thirteen lives hit the floor

one hundred lives hit the ground

three thousand lives are swallowed by the dust

one hundred lives disappear behind prison walls

two million lives are swallowed by the state

six million lives are burned at the stake

are thrown into ovens

are tossed into ditches

are chained to the gates are lost for the ages

are hidden in attics and temples

are thrust behind the guns

are transformed into tin soldiers

are lulled into passivity

are hiding behind night clubs

this year’s fashions

the evening news that tells you nothing

the elections no one votes in

the television that doesn’t tell you your story

the latest horror movie about government conspiracy

But it’s just a story so don’t worry

it could never happen

someone would say something

and the government would never destroy a whole town

a whole village

just ask the indigenous of the Americas

Mai Lai

Love Canal

Three Mile Island

Santiago

Baghdad

South Central

CIA drug sales while whole generations are thrown into jail

in the war against drugs

unless the drug can fund the war against the rising multitudes

and incarcerate a whole village here at home.


“Four dead in Ohio”

“Four dead in Ohio” 

“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground

How could you run when you know?”

  Could you watch her tiny form as it fell

  could you call to the heavens and pray for her vision

  to continue to dwell amongst us

  could you watch her spirit as it lingered for a few seconds

  as it rose to the clouds and left us forever

  four dead

  ten dead

  hundreds dead

thousands dead

millions dead.

What does the loss of a hundred  thousand souls sound like?

What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls feel like?

What wealth have we lost

as the tin soldiers march and mark their territory in the blood of the forgotten?

Where are the paintings?

the stories

the poems

the discoveries

the cures

the embraces

the children running in the streets

playing among burned out cars, bombed out buildings

and land mines

that mark the territory and say

don’t walk here

don’t tread on this free soil

it has been apprehended from you

it is no longer a field of grain and sustenance

it is a land of horror and devastation?

“What would you do if you found her dead on the ground?

How could you run when you know?”

And when they catch you in the cross hairs of their high powered rifles

or in the cross hairs of a phone tap and the clicks on the line get louder

or your mail starts arriving already opened for you

or a stack of evidence is piled 

up against you for a crime you did not commit

for a crime that may not even be a crime

Will you run?

Will you name names?

like Elia Kazan

Will you rot in jail or twist and turn at the hands of your torturers

 at the executioner’s s

wing of the ax or turn of the knob

Dalton Trumbo

Julius and Ethyl

Sacco and Vanzetti

Ashata Shakur

Mummia Abu J

amal.

Where will you go?

Will you hide out in suburbia?

will you pack you brief case and kiss your vacant wife?

will you pack his vacant brief case with tuna fish sandwiches on white bread

and mayo and cut off the crusts for him

and be his vacant wife?

will you scream about having your own life

but never really get one?

will you cry behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz

you used to croon about with Janis Joplin

and swear you’d never become what you are today?

Will you sit with your friends and insist that it’s all just too far away

to do any thing about?

and remember her broken body as her red blood

spilled onto the pavement

and left her pale and lifeless

and forget that you ran because it was

too close

It isn’t too far away

it’s right here

it isn’t gone

it hasn’t moved

the tin soldiers are poised and waiting to attack

their eyes are glazed over with the threads of disbelief

with the fog of discontent

with the need to belong

which is like food for the hungry

They are poised and ready

they are in your back yard or the park by your home

what would you do?

she is lying on the ground

will you hurl her into the bushes of your memory?

Will she rot behind the azaleas and the camellias?

will you bury her in peat

and water her daily

and let everyone tell you what at beautiful garden you have

while you forget that she is even there?

Will you fight?

speak your mind against the multitudes of the opiated?

will you raise your voice in protest to the destruction of the sacred

or will you run and hide and pretend you never knew?

pretend it was all about the next top album and sex and who had the best stash

or will you stand still and let them build a monument to the veterans

of the destruction on the graves of those who died

that day many years ago?

 

“How could you run when you know?”

How could you stand still over her body

while the guards circled and dug her grave and planted new grass

and erected a monument to their own perpetuity

How could you?

How could you not say something

were the gun pointed at you?

or was the next technological innovation

the next breath you wanted to breath?

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

have they taken you hostage behind the picket fence of your imagination?

 

“How could you run when you know?” 

How could you hide from the destruction all around you

and bury your life in the television of the visionless?

Tin soldiers point their weapons ant the tender flesh of the outspoken

there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform

so your eyes glaze and are without vision

The command of the generals takes aim

points their state of mind

at your state of mind

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

Do you tell your self

it’s just a story so don’t worry?

it could never happen

someone would say something?

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when the zionist jewish establishment descended on the teachers union in los angeles, after years of monitoring our activities, attacking a class taught at the union hall by the afsc, and attacking a meeting hosted by the human rights committee of the union (utla) to discuss bds, and specifically calling on utla to disassociate from (union members) associated with “extreme fringe groups”  (aka–cafe intifada’s emma rosenthal), the union president (with the complicit support of many leftists–iso, solidarity, etc within the union leadership)  shut down the meeting, shut down the human rights committee and stated, in reference to the fact that l.a. is the city with the second largest jewish population in the u..s, “not in this time, not in this place.”

kudos to colombia university, in the heart of nyc, with a large (several members of my own family included) jewish endowment pool, for standing down these campaigns.  and maintaining a commitment to academic freedom and integrity!

thanks to e.i. for covering this story, and the ongoing attacks on public discourse.

also important is the use of privatized espionage against dissident voices– groups such as: stand with us, campus watch, camera, adl, etc all maintain dossiers and campaigns of documentation against those who dare to speak out in academia, against israeli hegemony and brutality.

-Cafe Intifada

Pro-Israel group monitoring, intimidating Columbia faculty
Jared Malsin, The Electronic Intifada, 30 April 2010

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11239.shtml

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when the human rights committee of united teachers los angeles agreed to host a meeting to discuss bds, we were attacked by the zionist establishment. most activists capitulated, and i was blacklisted when “jewish” organizations met with utla president duffy, demanding that he disassociate himself from my organization cafe intifada and me (a union member in good standing!) that lobby included all the standard bearers of zionist power structure- the simon wiesenthal ctr, the (we spy on u.s. citizens and organizations and turn the info over to the fbi) ADL, stand (we maintain a dossier on activists who are critical of israel, with special attention to jewish activists) with us, and unfortunately, the progressive jewish alliance. so i had very little expectation of j street when it formed. (the stand with us, dossier on me at last report–they secured their site and i can’t get access– is over 60 printed pages) i don’t believe that one can reconcile zionism with human rights. it is by its very nature a political movement that confers entitlement to one group (a settler group) over another (indigenous ) group. two states, or one, a zionist state is by definition an apartheid state, a racist state, a segregated state. the only just solution is a single secular democratic state with full equal human rights for all. the attack and censorship of these two poets was for doing exactly what they were booked to do, and is an outrage. we pick our battles says it all. it seems to me, in the face of red baiting (this IS the new red baiting) and blacklisting, the battle chose jstreet and they chose not to fight, they chose to capitulate. the same argument was made by the chair of the human rights committee when bowing under pressure, capitulated and actually stated that the committee would never take up an issue that had not been cleared by the union leadership. (that’s the role of committees, to bring new issues to the union leadership!!!) how can jstreet claim to be an alternative to the current zionist lobby, if it won’t stand up to the pressures of that lobby, if it too can be lobbied into submission. they might as well cancel the entire conference.!!!

Emma Rosenthal

Cafe Intifada

________________________________________

   Kevin Coval: Searching for a Minyan: Our Response to Being Censored by J Street

Kevin Coval

Aauthor of Everyday People and Slingshots (A Hip-Hop Poetica)

Posted: October 20, 2009 03:57 PM

Searching for a Minyan: Our Response to

Being Censored by J Street

Co-authored by Josh Healey.

This weekend, J Street, a new Jewish “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” PAC and Washington-based organization is holding its first national conference. The two of us, along with another artist, were to perform and read poems at several sessions during the  conference. Specifically, we were invited to lead a workshop on how culture and spoken word create democratic spaces that sift through difficult issues and ensure a multiplicity of voices are heard: and how that can be used to open up the Israel/Palestine debate.

Instead, we have been censored and pushed out of that very debate.

 

This week, some right-wing blogs and pseudo-news organizations latched on to various lines of poems Josh wrote and churned the alarmist rumor mill saying that hateful anti-Israeli poets are keynote speakers at the J Street conference. This is not surprising. The radical right-wing, including the growing Jewish right-wing of this country and abroad, hates complex discourse, especially when it brings to light truths they seek to systematically deny. The Weekly Standard, Commentary, and their AIPAC-influenced

brethren have been attacking J Street for weeks, scared that the conference will bring together the majority of American Jews who do favor a more rigorous peace process. When they found Josh’s poems and took lines out of context, they had the perfect straw man: the Van Jones to J Street’s Obama. Again, this is not surprising.

 

What is disappointing, and troubling, is J Street’s response in caving to this sort of McCarthyism. The executive director of J Street called us to say “I know what I’m doing is wrong … but there are some battles we choose not to fight,” before canceling our program, and disinviting us from the conference. This accommodates their red-baiting and is the wrong response. Rather than give in, which only emboldens the right and legitimizes their attacks, we need to stand up for our principles and engage on that front.

 

Van Jones is another perfect example: after the Fox News venom became too much and he resigned last month, the radical right hasn’t stopped attacking Obama, or more accurately, the alternative, progressive voice they fear he represents. The right stands by its politics, and practices solidarity with their allies. Too often the left doesn’t. And that’s why we often lose — on health care, on global warming, and on Israel/Palestine.

 

For the second time in two months Kevin, who is Jewish, has been told not to come to a Jewish conference because of what he will say about Palestine and Israel. This past August, the evening before the International Hillel Conference, conference planners said if he were to read poems about Palestine, they’d rather not have him. Today, Josh, who is Jewish, has had his name thrown into a mudslide of blogs and hate emails. All this because we are practicing the Jewish maxim of the refusal to be silent in the face

of oppression, anyone’s oppression.

 

One of the key teachings of Judaism is the insistence on wrestling with and debating ideas. There are a thousand years of codified arguing, recorded in the Talmud and Midrash, over the meaning of the stories in the five books of Torah. Jews debate everything. There is the old adage, “when you have two Jews in the room, you have three opinions”. Our families cannot come to agreement about what constitutes a deli as opposed to a diner. (A deli must have pickles on the table with poppy seed rolls, etc.)

 

But when you try to talk about Palestine there is silence. When you talk about the role the United States plays in supporting Israel and its military coffers, there is no room for discourse. If you bring up Palestinians’ right to return to land they were forced out of, or mention that this past January over 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilian, were killed in Gaza, there is no room to speak in Jewish-centric spaces in this country.

 

There are many reasons why this trend of censorship is disturbing. We believe in democracy, in the right to speak and be heard and in the right be disagreed with. We are disheartened and outraged by the lack of democratic discourse in the American Jewish community and within the country as a whole.

 

Why are we scared of what will come from an honest conversation? What do we have to lose, or discover, or admit to if we question the policies of Israel or America’s support of its government and military? It can be unsettling for one’s worldview to unravel, the intricate web of white lies and half-truths pulled apart. This can be disconcerting for generations of Jews who have accepted the propaganda of a chosen people and the acting out of geostrategic nightmares via military might.

 

Kevin works at a Hillel for Hashem’s sake! He is charged with the task of addressing why so many young Jews are distancing themselves from the religious and cultural practice of Judaism. This is one of those reasons! American Jews are told at shul to repent for our sins, but silenced if we bring up the sins of the country that acts in our name. We need authentic, honest discourse in the American Jewish community. It must start today and it must be about Palestine and Israel.

 

So, we are searching for a minyan — a crew of progressives and progressive Jews to build and connect with. We want to have a conversation. Not wait for the conversation to be dictated and have borders and walls built around acceptable topics, but to have a conversation determined by us, Jews That Are Left, that are on the Left. A conversation that is honest and open and genuinely reclaims and considers our progressive past as well as forges the future world. A conversation engaged in the work of tikkun olam for real, the work of repair and healing and wholeness.

Progressive American Jews, where you at? Holla at us! For real: jewsthatareleft@gmail.com. Let’s reshape the conversation. Let’s build a minyan, a coalition of progressive Jews and gentiles who want what is just and right for all people and all people in Israel and Palestine

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-coval/searching-for-a-minyan-ou_b_327597.html?view=screen

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For the last three years I have been documenting a series of events within United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), around disability rights, Palestinian rights, union democracy and blacklisting, which started as a strange power play within the Human Rights Committee apparently around disability rights, but in my estimation, may have merely been the utilization of (my) disability as the socially acceptable way of attacking when no legitimate means was available. 

Just as that controversy seemed to be resolving itself,  the Jewish Zionist Establishment (the ADL, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jewish National Congress, Stand With Us, the Progressive Jewish Alliance–them too!, as well as others) launched a campaign against the Union, the Human Rights Committee, the AFSC, Café Intifada, and….. me, focusing particularly on an upcoming meeting to discuss boycotts, sanctions and divestiture (BDS) from Israel.  Thisresulted in an unholy alliance between the Zionist lobby, the “progressive” UTLA leadership, bent on protecting themselves and their positions, and the members of the Committee who now had a (pro-imperialist) arsenal of accusations to use against me, resulting in my removal from any position of leadership within the Committee and the destruction of the Committee infrastructure I had played a  large role in creating. 

Due to the (ongoing)  blacklisting, death threats, personal attacks, humiliations and the limitations of my health,  as well as, more recently a “tip” to a hot line,  an early morning service of a search warrant  of our home, complete with 14 armed police officers, a news camera, the seizure of our property, which included a thorough three month investigation  of every computer,  hard drive, zip drive, digital camera, thumb drive, back up disc and memory card, the result of which determined NO EVIDENCE OF CRIMINALITY  (no arrests, no charges, case closed!.  All of this, leaving us with  legal bills and other expenses,  PTSD (!) and (for all teachers under police investigation) the removal of my partner from the classroom.    (More on the police action later. )

Over the course of this time,  I retreated into a period of deep self reflection, depression, study and creativity. I sold my house, moved in with my partner and fellow activist, went back to school to learn new skills and  with him, bought and restored  an old house that promises to be a vehicle for our vision of local and global struggles for social justice.   The pressure on our marriage has been considerable as we have both needed to take time to work on our most basic support system: each other.  Only now am I  attempting to emerge, increasing my personal security, finding out who my real allies are, breaking the silence, speaking out,  healing deep wounds, initiating new dialogue with some of those who committed betrayals of silence, and enjoying the emergence of new, younger movements for social justice within Los Angeles. 

In the interest of disclosure:  During this same span of time the original home of my blogs shut down, so I had to repost each blog entry piece by piece, photo by photo to the new server. Emotionally, there were periods where I couldn’t look at this any more.  It just hurt too much.  And life had its own demands.  Our  larger adversaries are paid to bring us down.  We must work for justice in our spare time.  Emergencies come up, work gets put to the side. So, I have contributed to this thread on and off,  and while material is provided in chronological order, some of the entries have recently been updated or contextualized, drafts written at the time may have been recently completed and posted.  

And I doubt we have seen the end of this.  I invite my detractors to feel free to post comments as they see fit.  If their positions have the validity they claim, there should be no reason for their ongoing anonymity and stealth.  As long as they don’t obscure their identity, I will approve their posts. And it is quite possible that some events have been misrepresented.  I am open to critique and will be issuing corrections in that event. 

Finally, a word about my union ( UTLA), and the progressive slate, whose members include activists with whom I have worked for decades.  I submit this documentation, in the spirit of critical support.  I believe that dissent is essential for the life of this organization that I first joined over 25 years ago.  I was involved in the early recruiting campaign that brought UTLA membership from  30% of teachers and support staff,  to greater than 90% going into the 89 strike. I was active in the fight for bi-lingual education and against the English only movement. I was a cluster leader during the 1989 strike, rising at 4 am and not getting home until after 9:30, all the time carrying my 2 month old son.  (nicknamed “el huelgito)! I have helped plan several conferences, served on the House of Representatives, participated in the School Community Relations Committee, the Human Rights Committee and the Chicano Latino Education Committee.  I have been a delegate to the NEA RA, served as a Chapter Chair (shop steward) before I had permanent status, and filed and won over 30 grievances.   I chose at several junctures not to file harassment or discrimination lawsuits against the union, though I would have been in very good standing, especially when targeted by a member of the Board of Directors and Vice Presidents.  I also chose at the time of the entire controversy regarding BDS, not to present the matter as a an attack on my person, or use the matter to promote my own agenda within the larger community. While the L.A. Times originally accused us of planning for a rally inside (!?)  of UTLA , we very well could have, without union permission, held a protest outside the hall on the day of and at the time the canceled meeting was to be held.  We did not.  We attempted to address these matters internally, except for a call for letters to the broader community when President Duffy made a similar request to only members of the Jewish community.  It is only with considered reflection and after years of continued marginalization, harassment, innuendo and humiliation  along with increase attacks on other activists by these same forces,  that I have decided to fully address myself to this compilation and  broadcast these events more publicly.   

 To follow the complete dialogue on the issue,  please start by reading the statement:Enough is Enough- Who’s Who and Why it Matters, where  I provide a summary of events and  list the real names of the people (formerly given pseudonyms)  who have carried out this campaign against me within the Union.  As I make changes, adjustments or additions, I will post updates and links.  For those who chose to follow this closely, you may subscribe to the blog and will be alerted to newer posts.

 

The beginning of the thread, regarding disability discrimination is chronicled on my blog:  In Bed With Frida Kahlo- daily indignities, small insurrections and honest musings for a life of infirmity and rebellion 

The documentation pertaining to the Zionist lobby continues on my other blog: Cafe Intifada which is the web page of the organization of the same name.  

1. Go to: Enough is Enough: Who’s Who and Why it Matters:   http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/enough-is-enough-who’s-who-and-why-it-matters/  (If that doesn’t work, try cutting and pasting.  I don’t understand it, all the other links i post, seem to work!) 

2, Then start the thread at the beginning at: http://inbedwithfridakahlo.wordpress.com/category/utla-human-rights-committee/page/4/    and read the posts in reverse chronological order, starting with the link at the bottom of each page.  

3From there, within the thread,  you should be directed back to this blog; Cafe Intifada, but should that link fail, return to this page, and follow this link to the continued thread:

 http://cafeintifada.wordpress.com/category/anatomy-of-a-blacklisting/page/3/   and read the posts in reverse chronological order, starting with the link at the bottom of each page.)

Peace with Justice, 

Emma Rosenthal

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So glad UCSB stood down the bully tactics of the Simon Wiesenthal Ctr, the ADL and Stand With Us. But the impact of this investigation can not be underestimated. The  stress and trauma to Professor Robinson and the effect these campaigns have on education and public discourse is chilling. These are the new blacklists. support for israel, the new loyalty oath.

-Cafe Intifada

_____________________________________

UCSB teacher who sent Gaza e-mail cleared by panel

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(06-24) 19:55 PDT Santa Barbara, Calif. (AP) –

An academic committee at University of California, Santa Barbara has found no reason to discipline a professor who sent an e-mail that compared Israel’s offensive in Gaza to the Holocaust.

University officials sent a letter to Sociology professor William I. Robinson Wednesday, saying the Academic Senate’s ad hoc committee has closed the matter.

In January, Robinson offended students at UCSB with an e-mail to his “Sociology of Globalization” class that juxtaposed grisly photos from the Nazi era and the Gaza offensive.

Jewish groups called the e-mail “hate spam” and claimed Robinson violated university policy that bars professors from intimidating students and using campus resources for political reasons unrelated to teaching.

 

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/06/24/state/n195555D70.DTL

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Please note the similarity of tactics and parties, here as with the situation within UTLA, the methodologies employed, rhetoric etc. to stifle debate, intimidate, limit academic (and union) freedom and free speech, to isolate dissident Jewish voices, and control the narrative in respect to Israeli policies, actions and history. When a concession is made in one instance, it empowers them the next time around.  While the impact of the decisions at UTLA impacted me, most directly, the repercussions for educators, activists and academics are extensive.  The opportunism that lead to the decision within UTLA,  to capitulate to Zionist pressure in October of 2006, resonates with the events transpiring at UCSB today.  -Cafe Intifada

 

“There’s growing division among Jews about how the U.S. should relate to Israel, and that’s intensified this ultra-Zionist campaign to discredit people critical of Israel precisely because Israel’s positions have become much more contested”   -Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights

 

Israel advocacy group “Stand With Us” pushes university administrators to investigate sociology professor

May 13, 2009
Contacts:      Daniel Olmos, (818) 468-8894, olmos@umail.ucsb.edu.
Alba Peña-Leon, (626) 665-9212, alba@umail.ucsb.edu.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.  The international pro-Israel organization “Stand With Us” is spearheading an aggressive public campaign to push administrators and faculty at the University of California at Santa Barbara to investigate sociology professor William I. Robinson for “anti-Semitism.”

The organization has set up a Web site to rally other pro-Israel organizations and individuals to pressure UCSB officials through public statements and letters to the chancellor and the Academic Senate. The group has recruited UCSB donors to write letters, some of which threaten to withdraw support for the university.

The Web site and letter campaign comes on top of direct pressure from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), whose national director, Abraham Foxman, met in March with university officials and faculty to demand that administrators censor Robinson for introducing materials critical of state Israeli policies in a course on global affairs in January.

The materials included a photo essay that Robinson forwarded to students from the Internet juxtaposing images of Israeli abuse against Palestinians with Nazi abuses during the holocaust. Two students took offense at the images and withdrew from the course, prompting the ADL to pressure the university to investigate Robinson for “anti-Semitism.”

Given the pressures from Stand With Us and ADL, scholars say the pro-Israel lobby appears to be using the Robinson case to intimidate critics in general and stem rising debate on campuses about Israeli policies in the Middle East.

Richard Falk, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories and a visiting scholar on global studies at UCSB, said it’s part of an emerging pattern by the Israeli lobby nationwide.

“There’s growing division among Jews about how the U.S. should relate to Israel, and that’s intensified this ultra-Zionist campaign to discredit people critical of Israel precisely because Israel’s positions have become much more contested,” Falk said.

“The pressures at UCSB have the appearance of a campaign generated and orchestrated from outside the campus.”

It’s unclear what effect the pressures may have, but one Stand With Us letter — dated March 16 and posted on the organization’s Web site — suggests that Chancellor Henry Yang may have made biased comments against Robinson under pressure.

The letter is directed to Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas and was written by Stand With Us International Director Roz Rothstein, board member Howard Waldow, and sociology student Leah Yadegar. It states that Waldow, a UCSB donor, had presented a letter of concern about Robinson to Yang at a reception, and in response, the chancellor suggested that the group write to Lucas.

“Chancellor Yang directed us to you, and raised the issue of possible violations of the Faculty Code of Conduct,” reads the letter to the vice chancellor.

About a week later, the Academic Senate opened a formal investigation of Robinson.

Although the letter has been posted for weeks on the Stand With Us blog, the university has made no official statement about the chancellor’s alleged suggestion that Robinson violated the Faculty Code of Conduct.

The university’s silence prompted Mark Levine, a Jewish professor of Middle Eastern studies at UC-Irvine and a member of the California Scholars for Academic Freedom, to call for an investigation of the chancellor’s interaction with Stand With Us.
“If the letter hasn’t been refuted, then one assumes the chancellor did say those things,” Levine said. “If so, he should be investigated for violation of university procedure and academic freedom, if not removed from office.”

Others want an investigation of the ADL’s March 9 meeting on campus with UCSB officials and faculty.

The Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) sent a letter on May 8 to Academic Senate Chair Joel Michelson requesting an investigation.

“Discussing the case with ADL representatives in any manner constituted a violation of Robinson’s right to confidentiality, and opened the door to the appearance of outside influence in the adjudicatory process,” MESA wrote.

Falk said the real danger is that, even if the charges against Robinson are dismissed, the pressures by pro-Israel organizations will still have a lasting effect.

“It’s an extremely unhealthy situation for the university, which depends on an atmosphere of academic freedom to perform effectively,” Falk said. “Even if Robinson is exonerated, it will continue to intimidate people against criticizing Israel, because nobody wants to face these kinds of situations.”

The Stand With Us blog can be viewed here.

For detailed information about the Robinson case, visit the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom Web site at http://www.sb4af.wordpress.com.

For media inquiries, call Alba Peña-Leon at (626) 665-9212 or Daniel Olmos at (818) 468-8894.

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The Counterpunch article below claims that the Hate Crime Bill of 2009 will result in criminalizing speech that is (specifically?) critical of Israel, Jews, Christianity, or that questions the Holocaust. The article follows my commentary.

1. The hate crime legislature is quiet specific.  It limits hate crimes to acts of violence, and simply extends the protections to LGBT people and people with disabilities.

2. The bill creates no new crimes.  It attaches a 10 yr penalty to already existing crimes in which acts of violence are “motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability of the victim” adding sexual orientation, gender and disability to the already protected categories of race, color, national origin and religion.

 

3. The bill says absolutely nothing about speech!!!!! nothing about the Holocaust, nothing about Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Christianity. There is no correlation between the Hate Crimes Bill and the scenarios the author describes.

 

4. The bill is quite simple and straight forward.  for the full bill:  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.256:

 

5. Counterpunch magazine has been of the opinion that since Zionists condemn all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic, nothing is.  I am of the opinion that Counterpunch often promotes positions, attitudes and stereotypes that are anti-Jewish, using the Zionist accusation as a smokescreen for their own bigotry. 

 

6. This bill would simply add as a protected class, LGBT people and people with disabilities, who are often the target of some of the most brutal hate crimes. Incidentally, the bill changes nothing regarding discrimination against or the alleged privilege of Jews and Christians (current law protects people against discrimination based on religion– any religion).  The people most directly hurt by this article and this agenda are not the people this article expects or wants the reader to fear.

 

7. By adding these groups to protected classes, data of incidents can be collected and categorized as hate crimes. 

 

8. The article is written by Paul Craig Roberts whose bio states “was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.”  He is a right wing Republican author of The New Color Line, How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy, has written profusely against affirmative action and other compensations to deter discrimination.

9. Lest anyone think that I excuse or support Israeli brutality or U.S. support thereof, for the record, I am anti-Zionist and anti-imperialist. I support the right of return for all Palestinians and a fully democratic, secular state in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.  I support and am part of the bds movement, have been targeted by Zionists and the Zionist establishment, placed on Zionist blacklists and hit lists and have been blacklisted from my union for expressing such views.  Often when I express concern and opposition to anti-Jewish sentiment within progressive movements I am falsely accused of being a crypto-Zionist, with a Zionist agenda. Those familiar with my writings know that I am highly critical of what I refer to as the Zionist campaign against academic freedom and free speech and that I have criticized the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL of using the rhetoric of human rights to advance U.S. (global) and Israeli (regional) hegemony. I support free speech, which includes my right to counter what I don’t agree with.

 

I do agree with Noam Chomsky when he state:

 

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

 

Emma Rosenthal

Café Intifada

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html

May 7, 2009

The End of Free Speech?

Criminalizing Criticism of Israel

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

On October 16, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Israel Lobby’s bill, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act.  This legislation requires the US Department of State to monitor anti-semitism world wide.

To monitor anti-semitism, it has to be defined.  What is the definition?  Basically, as defined by the Israel Lobby and Abe Foxman, it boils down to any criticism of Israel or Jews. 

Rahm Israel Emanuel hasn’t been mopping floors at the White House. 
As soon as he gets the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.  

It will be a crime for Christians to acknowledge the New Testament’s account of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus.

It will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on the White House and Congress, such as the AIPAC-written resolutions praising Israel for its war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that were endorsed by 100 per cent  of the US Senate and 99 per cent  of the House of Representatives, while the rest of the world condemned Israel for its barbarity. 

It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust.  

It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy.

In other words, it means the end of free speech, free inquiry, and the First Amendment to the Constitution. Any facts or truths that cast aspersion upon Israel will simply be banned. 

Given the hubris of the US government, which leads Washington to apply US law to every country and organization, what will happen to the International Red Cross, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the various human rights organizations that have demanded investigations of Israel’s military assault on Gaza’s civilian population?  Will they all be arrested for the hate crime of “excessive” criticism of Israel?

This is a serious question. 

A recent UN report, which is yet to be released in its entirety, blames Israel for the deaths and injuries that occurred within the United Nations premises in Gaza.  The Israeli government has responded by charging that the UN report is “tendentious, patently biased,”  which puts the UN report into the State Department’s category of excessive criticism and strong anti-Israel sentiment.

Israel is getting away with its blatant use of the American government to silence its critics despite the fact that the Israeli press and Israeli soldiers have exposed the Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the premeditated murder of women and children urged upon the Israeli invaders by rabbis.  These acts are clearly war crimes.  

It was the Israeli press that published the pictures of the Israeli soldiers’ T-shirts that  indicate that the willful murder of women and children is now the culture of the Israeli army.  The T-shirts are horrific expressions of barbarity.  For example, one shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a crosshairs over her stomach and the slogan, “One shot, two kills.”  These T-shirts are an indication that Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is one of extermination.

It has been true for years that the most potent criticism of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians comes from the Israeli press and Israeli peace groups.  For example, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and Jeff Halper of ICAHD have shown a moral conscience that apparently does not exist in the Western democracies where Israel’s crimes are covered up and even praised.

Will the American hate crime bill be applied to Haaretz and Jeff Halper?  Will American commentators who say nothing themselves but simply report what Haaretz and Halper have said be arrested for “spreading hatred of Israel, an anti-semitic act”?

Many Americans have been brainwashed by the propaganda that Palestinians are terrorists who threaten innocent Israel.  These Americans will see the censorship as merely part of the necessary war on terror.  They will accept the demonization of fellow citizens who report unpalatable facts about Israel and agree that such people should be punished for aiding and abetting terrorists.

A massive push is underway to criminalize criticism of Israel.  American university professors have fallen victim to the well organized attempt to eliminate all criticism of Israel.  Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at a Catholic university because of the power of the Israel Lobby.  Now the Israel Lobby is after University of California  (at Santa Barbara,) professor Wiliam Robinson.  Robinson’s crime:  his course on global affairs included some reading assignments critical of Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

The Israel Lobby apparently succeeded in convincing the Obama Justice (sic) Department that it is anti-semitic to accuse two Jewish AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, of spying.  The Israel Lobby succeeded in getting their trial delayed for four years, and now Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped charges.  Yet, Larry Franklin, the DOD official accused of giving secret material to Rosen and Weissman, is serving 12 years and 7 months in prison.

The absurdity is extraordinary.  The two Israeli agents are not guilty of receiving secrets, but the American official is guilty of giving secrets to them!  If there is no spy in the story, how was Franklin convicted of giving secrets to a spy?

Criminalizing criticism of Israel destroys any hope of America having an independent foreign policy in the Middle East that serves American rather than Israeli interests.  It eliminates  any prospect of Americans escaping from their enculturation with Israeli propaganda. 

To keep American minds captive, the Lobby is working to ban as anti-semitic any truth or disagreeable fact that pertains to Israel.  It is permissible to criticize every other country in the world, but it is anti-semitic to criticize Israel, and anti-semitism will soon be a universal hate-crime in the Western world.

Most of Europe has already criminalized doubting the Holocaust.  It is a crime even to confirm that it happened but to conclude that less than 6 million Jews were murdered.  

Why is the Holocaust  a subject that is off limits to examination? How could a case buttressed by hard facts possibly be endangered by kooks and anti-semitics?  Surely the case doesn’t need to be protected by thought control.  

Imprisoning people for doubts is the antithesis of modernity.  

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

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latimes.com
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-professor30-2009apr30,0,7753995.story

From the Los Angeles Times

Professor’s comparison of Israelis to Nazis stirs furor

The UC Santa Barbara sociologist, who is Jewish, sent images from the Holocaust and from Israel’s Gaza offensive to students in his class. He has drawn denunciation and support.

By Duke Helfand

April 30, 2009

Controversy has erupted at UC Santa Barbara over a professor’s decision to send his students an e-mail in which he compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel’s recent Gaza offensive.

The e-mail by tenured sociology professor William I. Robinson has triggered a campus investigation and drawn accusations of anti-Semitism from two national Jewish groups, even as many students and faculty members have voiced support for him.

The uproar began in January when Robinson sent his message — titled “parallel images of Nazis and Israelis” — to the 80 students in his sociology of globalization class.

The e-mail contained more than two dozen photographs of Jewish victims of the Nazis, including those of dead children, juxtaposed with nearly identical images from the Gaza Strip. It also included an article critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and a note from Robinson.

“Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw — a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians,” the professor wrote. “We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide.”

Two Jewish students dropped the class, saying they felt intimidated by the professor’s message. They contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which advised them to file formal complaints with the university.

In their letters, senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman accused Robinson of violating the campus’ faculty code of conduct by disseminating personal, political material unrelated to his course.

“I was shocked,” said Joseph, 22. “He overstepped his boundaries as a professor. He has his own freedom of speech, but he doesn’t have the freedom to send his students his own opinion that is so strong.”

Robinson, 50, who is Jewish, called the accusations and the campus investigation an attack on academic freedom. He said his former students, the Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League had all confused his criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.

“That’s like saying if I condemn the U.S. government for the invasion of Iraq, I’m anti-American,” he said. “It’s the most absurd, baseless argument.”

Robinson said he regularly sends his students voluntary reading material about current events for the global affairs course, and that no one raised questions when he subsequently discussed his e-mail.

“The whole nature of academic freedom is to introduce students to controversial material, to provoke students to think and make students uncomfortable,” said Robinson, a UC Santa Barbara professor for nine years.

As the dispute over his e-mail plays out, UC Santa Barbara has become the most recent U.S. university to confront campus unrest over issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In recent years, Jewish and Muslim groups have quarreled repeatedly at UC Irvine about the Holocaust and Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Professors and students at Columbia University have also argued over issues of intimidation and academic freedom amid debates on the Mideast.

In Robinson’s case, reaction has been strong — on both sides.

Shortly after hearing from the two students in January, the Wiesenthal Center produced a YouTube video titled “Jewish Students Under Siege from Professor at UC Santa Barbara.” The clip shows one of Robinson’s former students, her face obscured to protect her identity, reading from his e-mail.

The head of the ADL’s Santa Barbara region sent Robinson a letter in February calling on him to repudiate his statements about Israel. Last month, the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, in a meeting with faculty members at the campus, urged the university to conduct an investigation into Robinson. He was told that an inquiry was already underway.

“You can criticize Israel; you can criticize the war in Gaza,” Foxman said. “But to compare what the Israelis are doing in defense of their citizens to what the Nazis did to the Jews is clearly anti-Semitism.”

Robinson’s supporters say the professor is being maligned for exercising his right to challenge his students to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Students on campus have formed a group, the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB, which is chronicling the saga on its website.

Letters of support also have arrived from academics across the country, including one from California Scholars for Academic Freedom, which says it represents 100 professors at 20 college campuses. The group argues that the allegations have been raised against Robinson to “silence criticism of Israeli policies and practices.”

Some UC Santa Barbara faculty members also are speaking up for Robinson. History professor Harold Marcuse, who attended the March meeting with the ADL’s Foxman, said the pictures e-mailed by Robinson were “well within the bounds of appropriateness on campus. It’s something I could have used in a course.”

Marcuse, who is Jewish and teaches about the Holocaust in his world history and German history classes, said he would not have injected his own views into such a message to students, but added: “I don’t think Bill Robinson’s e-mail is anti-Semitic in any way. I think criticism of Israel is OK.”

One UC Santa Barbara official has already looked into the allegations against Robinson, and a faculty committee is being formed to decide whether to forward the case to UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang. A university spokesman declined to comment on the case.

Robinson has hired an attorney, and the student committee supporting him has scheduled a May 14 campus forum on the matter. Joseph and Hausman, the students who filed the original complaints, said they plan to attend. So do Hausman’s parents from Los Angeles and Rabbi Aron Hier, director of campus outreach for the Wiesenthal Center.

“I just want to bring awareness,” said Hausman, 20. “I want people to know that educators shouldn’t be sending out something that is so disturbing.”

duke.helfand@latimes.com


 

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives.
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This image comes from Jewish World Review, along with the article. Had Cafe Intifada published or developed the image, it would be attacked for being anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

“Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?”

“As Union rolls here in the United States swell with members of minority communities, anti-Israel forces waste no time forging alliances with those groups. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, self-appointed visionary of a new socialist Latin America and bosom buddy of Iran’s Ahmadinejad, blatantly tries to drive a wedge between working-class Americans and others by offering Citgo heating oil at reduced prices in Boston and the Bronx. When the Latino Congresso — a national umbrella for Latino organizations — met in Los Angeles, Chavez’ representatives were highly visible on the program and in the crowd. We know that part of the declared strategy of anti-Israel groups is to infiltrate labor unions across America in an attempt to target Israeli goods.”

The quotes above, come from the following article, published months after a Zionist victory against union democracy at UTLA.  Cafe Intifada and Emma Rosenthal were specifically targeted during that campaign, resulting in shutting down the web page and the list serve of the Human Rights Committee, erasing the entire archive, and silencing dissent and discourse within the Committee.  Rosenthal had developed both the web page and the list serve, constantly seeking out guidance and input from the Committee, careful to make sure that the public image of the Committee, the public statements of the Committee represented the Committee as a whole, and not her particular point of view.  Even during the contentious period leading up to the decision to destroy anything affiliated with her or moderated with her (the listserve was also moderated by Committee Chair, Steve Seal, and former Chair Andy Griggs,) She was careful to make sure that public comments of hers not be attributed to the group as a whole, clarifying to the press and in her own statements that she spoke only for herself as a committee member, not for the group.

The article that follows is an outstanding example of the dual role that Zionist “human rights” organizations play in promoting Israeli hegemony in historic Palestine, and U.S. empire around the globe.

By manipulating the fears of the Jewish public (exploiting the trauma of the Shoah for the purpose of empire,) groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the ADL perpetuate the collective trauma of the Jewish community, and the collective guilt (at the expense of the Palestinian community) of the West.  Doomsday scenarios and constant reminders of what may happen, suggestions that former allies are no longer friends, constant linking critique of Israel, Zionism and U.S. policy to the memory of the shoah mobilize fear and hysteria, not dialogue and discourse.  Case in point was the modest meeting that the Wiesenthal Center, the ADL etc.  effectively shut down, arguing that such a meeting would be biased and unbalanced.  Had they simply ATTENDED the meeting, they would have been free to inject their own bigotry into the discourse.  It was their insistence that the meeting not be held, that the union determine the scope and nature of discourse of union members and their associated organizations.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center constantly baits progressive international leaders, such as Hugo Chavez, with anti-Semitism, and distorts the statements of others.

For example, they  state:   Rosenthal also believes that antisemitism “is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Herzl and Jabotinsky, and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups.”

The statement comes from a response to hate mail in which a Jewish man addresses  Rosenthal as “Jew Bitch.”  The accurate quote is:

…it was in Europe where our people met the greatest persecution; it was in Europe where we were subjected to crusades, inquisitions, pogroms, humiliation, ghettos, discrimination, rape, slave labor and genocide. It was in the United States, an extension of European hegemony, and now, the empirical force in the world, where we were subjected to immigration restrictions, discrimination, witch hunts, red scares, executions, klan violence and false imprisonment. In this country, Jews fleeing Nazi persecution were turned back to Germany, to face certain death, while British children, and even British dogs (yes, some British sent their dogs) were given safe harbor to escape the bombings imposed on them during the war. During times of great repression in Europe, many Jews found it safer to escape to the Middle East where we never suffered in the way that we suffered in Europe, where we lived, for the most part in peaceful co-existence with Christians and Moslems. Animosity against the Jews in whole or in part, coming from the Middle East is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Hertzl and Jabotinsky and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups such as the Urgun and the Stern Gang, who made clear their desire, not to simply resettle as immigrants or refugees, but to conquer. Opposition to Zionist hegemony, is not genocidal, it is reasonable. (emphasis, cafe itifada)  (http://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/category/jew-bitch/)”

So, where she clearly state that animosity to the Jews, in the Middle East is not much more than a century old, they quote her as saying that anti-semitism (anywhere) is not much more than a century old.  Why the need for such brazen dishonesty? If their arguments are just and found, why do they have to resort to distortions and lies to attack her?”

Additionally, they ask the question:  “Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?” Is it their $36 million a year budget, their self appointed role of spokes organization for the shoah, that gives them the hubris to determine who is a legitimate Jewish voice.  They state:

Every Palestinian agitprop presentation trots out a Jewish activist who hates Israel. The message they wish to convey is clear: American Jews are divided about Israel…We must let America know that this is not true. Jewish Israel-haters are entitled to speak, but not for us. We should not let America think that they are anything but a small minority, swimming against the current of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. They must be moved to where they belong — at the margins and fringes of the community, but not within our mainstream.

And here it is!!!  The absolute and total control of the narrative in the hands of those who have wealthy donors and important  connections to the seats of power.  This is the Jewish establishment, not to be confused with  the rest of the Jewish people.  Of course Rosenthal is a legitimate Jewish voice, She’s Jewish. Jews are an astoundingly diverse population, so much so, that they defy definition. No one can claim, including the Wiesenthal Center, to speak for all Jews, or even most Jews.  On the other hand, can the Wiesenthal Center be considered, as they claim, to be a human rights organization, when they attempt to marginalize and silence those with whom they don’t agree, while all the time, demanding “balance” of  those who would criticize Israeli brutality and hegemony?  Israel claims to be a nation for all the Jews of the world.  As such, how can the voice of any Jew, not be legitimate?  These are their definitions, and their contradictions, bound in their privilege and the hegemonies and empires they defend.  While most Jews don’t have the same nuanced understanding of zionism, Rosenthal possesses, most disagree with and are silenced, intimidated and ignored by the Jewish establishment whose real purpose is to support the power elites, either regionally in Israel, or globally in defense of  U.S. empire.

-Cafe Intifada

___________________________

Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2007 / 14 Teves, 5767

Israel’s Next Battle: Labor unions

By Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Life-saving medical equipment, standing in crates in Galveston, undelivered to waiting hospitals, because truckers refuse to handle Israeli cargo. Tons of Jaffa oranges, dumped into the waters off Long Beach, California, as a labor action against the Israeli ‘occupation’ gets out of hand.

 

These events have not occurred yet, but they are not merely part of a speculative doomsday scenario either. There are groups committed to make them happen, as a new front opens up in the war against the Jewish state. The shock troops have already taken their positions, in unions overseas and across America.

Labor unions were once among Israel’s most important allies. In the spring of 1948, President Truman sustained intense pressure to vote against the United Nations partition plan that ultimately created the State of Israel. Having originally voted for partition in November 1947, Truman reversed US policy in March of 1948, after intense lobbying by British and Arab interests, and announced to the UN that it supported a trusteeship instead. On April 14th, fifty thousand garment workers packed Yankee Stadium to rally against the shift. Clark Clifford, Truman’s advisor, produced a list of interest groups whose support was crucial to his presidential campaign. Jews ranked eighth, but labor placed second. Labor’s support for the Jewish state was a force that Truman could not and did not ignore, turning a deaf ear to the entreaties of the Arabists in the State Department.

Labor’s partnership with Israel began much earlier, with the American labor movement purchasing land in Palestine for Jewish workers, building trade schools, and lobbying the British to lift barriers against the emerging Jewish State through its clout with the British Labor Party. Jews at the helm of unions – Max Zaritsky, David Dubinsky, Sidney Hillman – agitated on behalf of the Jewish homeland succeeding in bringing non-Jewish colleagues on board, all the way to the top echelons of the AFL and CIO. In 1944, the CIO convention passed a resolution endorsing “the ultimate establishment of a Palestinian Jewish Commonwealth.” The contribution of Organized Labor continued after the establishment of the State in May 1948, with the construction of housing and cultural centers in Israel funded by the AFL and CIO. United Auto Workers founder Walter Reuther was close with Golda Meir; at one point, the UAW may have been the largest institutional purchaser of Israel Bonds.

Naturally, the face of the Unions changed over the next decades, as the social and economic makeup of the labor force changed. To be sure, there is strong and steady support for Israel in many unions today, and the Jewish Labor Committee works to maintain that support. The makeup of both the rank and file as well as the politics of the unions has shifted, however. Other minorities have taken the places of Jewish laborers. Union political orientations always had progressive and socialist leanings, which today are bolstered by alliances with left-leaning and third world groups around the globe, many of whom regularly demonize Israel and the United States. Indeed, unions played a prominent role in the single largest hate-fest against Israel at the United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism at Durban in August 2001.

The anti-Israel chants hardly stopped with Durban. Recently, the Ontario division of Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted overwhelmingly to support an international campaign boycotting Israel. After the Danish General Workers Union (SiD) voted for a boycott of Israeli goods, Norway’s largest labor organization, the Federation of Trade Unions (LO), called for a boycott of all Israeli products, despite the fact that LO has been a long-time supporter of Israel, and has ties with Israel’s Labor Party. Calling Israel an “apartheid state” the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) demanded in July that the South African government drop diplomatic ties with Israel, and participate in a program of boycott and sanctions.

Here in the United States, union leadership has shifted its focus. Where they previously took an internationalist stance – and valued ties with union-friendly countries like Israel – they now often hunker down against the threat of globalism, and worry about basic survival on the local level. Today, individual union members are often disconnected from political posturing of their organizations about non-economic issues, half way around the world. These changes have left room for highly motivated, agendized extremists to fill the vacuum in committee positions, and assume disproportionate prominence. For many years, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party helped keep anti-Israel union extremists in check, but in recent years they have shown an unwillingness or inability to take a stand-up position.

We therefore shouldn’t be surprised or view as an isolated incident when the Human Rights Committee of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) agreed to host the launch of a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions directed against Israel. The goal of this agenda – known as BDS, and the kingpin of the enunciated strategy of dozens of pro-Palestinian groups working in concert – is to cripple Israel’s economy while propagandizing people to treat Israel as a racist, colonialist, apartheid state. The Los Angeles program was sponsored by the Movement for a Democratic Society (where former SDS members go when they are too old to be students any longer) and Caf� Intifada. Only the public outcry from Jewish organizations in Los Angeles forced the union to move the meeting off-site from its headquarters.

As Union rolls here in the United States swell with members of minority communities, anti-Israel forces waste no time forging alliances with those groups. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, self-appointed visionary of a new socialist Latin America and bosom buddy of Iran’s Ahmadinejad, blatantly tries to drive a wedge between working-class Americans and others by offering Citgo heating oil at reduced prices in Boston and the Bronx. When the Latino Congresso — a national umbrella for Latino organizations — met in Los Angeles, Chavez’ representatives were highly visible on the program and in the crowd. We know that part of the declared strategy of anti-Israel groups is to infiltrate labor unions across America in an attempt to target Israeli goods.

All of these developments should serve as a wakeup call for supporters of Israel.

  • First, if you are a member of any union, be informed about its human rights agenda. Find out what positions they take at the bully pulpit that your dues are funding. Don’t allow well-organized extremists to speak in your union’s name. When the UTLA story broke, union members sent a tidal wave of email — overwhelmingly critical of the union hosting an anti-Israel event. Only active participation in the Union can prevent extremists from acting in stealth.
  • Take union leaders to Israel. A well-planned trip to Israel – one in which visitors meet ordinary, dues-paying working Israelis- continues to be the single most effective way to get people to understand Israel’s predicament and value her democracy.
  • Communicate. So many Americans have simply never heard Israel’s take on the events in the news. Nor do they understand the scope and depth of American Jewish commitment to Israel. We can’t expect them to respect Israel’s integrity and interests if we do not let them know how important they are to us.
  • Not in our name. Every Palestinian agitprop presentation trots out a Jewish activist who hates Israel. The message they wish to convey is clear: American Jews are divided about Israel; taking a stance against her will not lead to undesirable consequences from the Jewish community. We must let America know that this is not true. Jewish Israel-haters are entitled to speak, but not for us. We should not let America think that they are anything but a small minority, swimming against the current of the overwhelming majority of American Jews. They must be moved to where they belong — at the margins and fringes of the community, but not within our mainstream.
  • As a case in point, consider Caf� Intifada, one of the sponsors of the event hosted by the UTLA Human Rights Committee. It is headed by Emma Rosenthal who is also a member of that committee. Rosenthal endorses the infamous International Solidarity Movement – which has refused to condemn “armed struggle” against Israel, and has aided terrorists on the group. Rosenthal also believes that antisemitism “is not much more than a century old, in reaction to the imperialist intentions of Zionists such as Herzl and Jabotinsky, and the terrorist activities of Jewish groups.” Should Rosenthal and her ilk be treated as legitimate Jewish voices?


We must never concede that this piece’s opening scenario as inevitable. We need not give up on the historic alliance between Unions and the Middle East’s only democracy. Ultimately, however, which way the Unions go will depend on how well advocates for Israel connect her core values with those of Organized Labors’ card-carrying constituency.


Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein serves as its Director of Interfaith Affairs.

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This ADL report, taken from their web page, delineates their role in furthering neo-liberalism and neo-colonialism.  It is published here to expose this trend, of an alleged human rights organization fronting for U.S. empire.  -Cafe Intifada

 

The Chavez Regime: Fostering Anti-Semitism and Supporting Radical IslamRULEIntroduction 

Posted: November 6, 2006


This report details a number of troubling trends observable in the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez and his government-affiliated institutions have elevated their anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic rhetoric – under the guise of anti-imperialism and anti-Americanism – to dangerous new levels.

 

At the same time, a proliferation of anti-Jewish statements and actions by government officials, university faculty and government-sponsored media outlets has created a spillover effect into mainstream society in Venezuela, where anti-Israel rallies, anti-Semitic vandalism and vicious anti-Jewish caricatures have become all-too commonplace.

 

This is taking place as Chavez has taken an aggressively hostile foreign policy stance against America and the West and, by extension, the State of Israel.  Indeed, the Chavez regime has aligned itself with countries and radical Islamic movements that are a verifiable threat to Israel and world Jewry, among them Iran and the Lebanon-based terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Specific trends documented in this report include: 

 

  • Promoting Anti-Semitism: Chavez and his government have resorted to implicit and explicit anti-Semitic displays by rehashing the ancient canard of Jews as power-hungry and conspiratorial, blaming Israel and the Jews for the world’s problems, and adopting anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish financial influence and control.   

  • Allying with Extremists and Radical Islamists: Chavez has strengthened and formed new alliances with extreme leaders in the Middle East, includingIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Chavez also has fostered relationships with convicted guerrilla terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez (a.k.a. Carlos The Jackal) and Holocaust denier Norberto Ceresole of Argentina.  
  • Support for Hezbollah: The Venezuelan government has openly expressed support for the terrorist organization Hezbollah and solidarity with Iran, whose leaders questionIsrael’s right to exist, deny the Holocaust, and continue to defy calls by the international community to halt nuclear production. During the 2006 conflict in Lebanon, the Venezuelan National Assembly and various Venezuelan states issued a number of one-sided declarations against Israel.  Chavez himself was very aggressive in condemning Israel’s actions against Hezbollah, recalling his charge d’affaires from Israel and threatening to sever diplomatic relations.  
  • Israel Bashing: The government’s rhetoric has become increasingly anti-Zionist, comparing Israel and Zionism to Nazi Germany.  These views are frequently expressed in various Venezuelan government-sponsored media outlets, in radio and TV broadcasts, newspaper articles and political cartoons.  Israel is the target of Venezuelan government officials and faculty of public universities who have received an implicit “green light” from Chavez to promote classical anti-Zionist and increasingly anti-Semitic views.  Following Chavez’s provocative September 2006 speech to the U.N., reports in the government-sponsored media suggested that the CIA and Mossad were plotting his assassination.  
  • Intimidation and Vandalism: Government sponsored anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism may have an impact on the well-being of the Jewish community in Venezuela.  The frequency of intimidation, vandalism and physical attacks against Jewish institutions in Venezuela is on the rise.Anti-Semitic graffiti and leaflets have appeared near synagogues and densely populated Jewish neighborhoods with statements including “Jews Assassins,” “Jews Dogs,” “Go Away Zionists,” “Jewish Zionist Assassins Leave,” and Stars of David equated with swastikas. 

 

There are a reported 25,000-plus Jews living in Venezuela today.  For years, Venezuelan Jews lived peacefully with their non-Jewish neighbors; anti-Semitism was in fact negligible before Chavez rose to power. Jewish communal activities started in the 1920s and 1930s when immigration from Northern Africa and Europe began. In the 1940s, Holocaust survivors were warmly welcomed in Venezuela as were Sephardic Jews emigrating from Arab countries in the 1950s and 60s.

The Jewish community, as represented by its umbrella organization the Confederacion de Asociaciones Israelitas de Venezuela (CAIV), has actively denounced recent anti-Semitism and issued statements articulating their Zionism and declaring their concern regarding the one-sided government stance against Israel.


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