KPFK and Radio Intifada are under attack.
Three area supermarkets are being campaigned to stop supporting the radio station for the very same reasons that Cafe Intifada, (no relation to Radio Intifada) SDS and the UTLA Human Rights Committee came under attack: for allegedly supporting terrorism, anti-Semitism and being anti-Israel. Gelson’s supermarket posted an apology to its webpage, for supporting KPFK, claiming that it did not know that KPFK was “anti-Israel,” and that the employee responsible for the decision to make a food donation during the last fund drive, had been reprimanded! They have removed the apology from the web page, but I understand that they won’t be making donations to KFPK in the future. Gelsons and Trader Joes have taken their names off of the list of donors to KPFK. Whole Foods, which sells Israeli products, may well, also buckle under the pressure.
The campaign to limit speech in the press, the schools, our unions, is launched by well endowed, corporate funded, right wing non-profit organizations, seeking to eliminate all discussion on Israeli human rights violations and paint any organization that wishes to humanize the Palestinian people or acknowledged their human rights, as extremist and fringe. Any use of the Arabic word; “intifada”, which simply means “to shake off” and has come to mean “uprising”, which includes all resistance to oppression, including non-violent resistance, is quickly exploited by this campaign, and equated with terrorism. That so many react so viscerally to this word only highlights the general fear and bigotry against Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. One wonders how students in Arab countries would study the Shoah, without this word. The entire Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (in Arabic: intifada Warsaw) could not be discussed without this word.
This right wing, pro-imperialist campaign exploits and perpetuates the fears of persecution and genocide within the Jewish community, and the fear of being called anti-Semitic in the general public, in the service of militarism and western imperialism. Unfortunately the leadership of UTLA (many of whom also hail from similarly “extremist” organizations and tendencies) and several members of the Human Rights Committee, submitted to this campaign, blocked an open meeting to discuss boycott, sanctions and divestiture and supported calls (and letters) to distance themselves from Cafe Intifada and other “extremist, fringe” groups, significantly limiting the scope and efficacy of the Human Rights Committee for years to come. Some of these activists within UTLA were worried about losing votes in upcoming elections, guarding their privileged positions, or protecting their own narrow, and often single issue political agenda, and some were simply unwilling to take on the behemoth of the Simon Weisenthal Center, the ADL or Stand With Us, or to begin the task of deconstructing the difference between critiquing Israeli policy or zionism and real instances of racism, against Jews or anyone else.
It is important to see this campaign for what it is: a means by which those in power, manipulate the working class against its own interests, marginalizing activists who take a stand, convincing others to ally themselves with reactionary forces in the hope of maintaining a donor base, a broad constituency or simply to avoid controversy.
It is very important to RESIST, RESIST, RESIST any and all attempts to thwart community dialogue, free speech and human rights, no matter how inconvenient or controversial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST KPFK (in their own words:)
http://www.pragmaticview.com/?cat=17 (This site also includes the Gelson’s letter.)
Provide your own feedback to Gelsons:
Here’s my message to Gelsons:
Due to your reactionary response to an unethical campaign to thwart free speech at KPFK; a well respected and important community asset and resource, I have decided not to do any of my Passover shopping at your store this year. Palestinian human rights are essential to any discussion of human rights. Many members of the Jewish community, myself included, feel very strongly that, especially during the week of Passover; the celebration of freedom and liberation, that supporting and recognizing the important of universal human rights is essential to the freedom and
survival of every and all peoples.
What follows is an announcement for an upcoming program of KPFK’s Radio Intifada, which has been specifically targeted by this campaign.
Voices from Kolkata to Casablanca
Voices of struggle, Voices for change
Thursday, April 5, 2007, 3-4pm
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
In remembrance of Deir Yassin & Land Day,
Celebrating Free Speech Radio
On April 9, 1948, 124 Palestinians in the village of DeirYassin outside Jeruslaem were massacred in a prelude to what Palestinians call the nakba – the catastrophe – that led to the expulsion and flight of 750,000 Palestinians from what became Israel. 28 years later, on March 30th, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed and 100 injured as they went on strike against massive land confiscations in the Galilee,
This week’s program,commemorates those events with a focus on the ongoing struggle for peace and justice waged on the ground by Palestinians, Israelis and internationals – and their refusal to be silenced.
In the face of recent, vicious attacks on Radio Intifada and KPFK – accusing us of being anti-Semitic – RADIO INTIFADA is proud to again present the voices of Palestinians and Israelis not heard in mainstream media. We will not be silenced and we will not participate in the silencing of Palestinians and Israelis who speak out against the Israeli violation of human rights, UN resolutions and international law.
For more information on the attack on Radio Intifada, go to the website of the group that has launched this attack: http://www.geocities.com/truthmasters/jointheboycott.htm
GM Eva Georgia will be airing an editorial at the end of Radio Intifada, and this attack on KPFK will be discussed in the Report to the Listeners, Friday, April 6th, 5pm. Keep up to date on the issue by checking out the KPFK website. In the meantime, speak out/stand up for FREE SPEECH RADIO yourselves – write Gelson’s, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in support of KPFK and the kind of programming we do here; and send letters of support to the station.
So Emma did not shop for Passover at Gelsons, big deal! I know for fact of many dozens who stopped shopping altogether at Whole Foods and now Wild Oats, some even divested. Am Israel Chai!
Posted by Man deVoshkes on 04/19/2007 03:27:42 PM
gelson’s was right to drop kpfk…. they are anti-Israel extremists…..and anti-semitic too
Posted by eyesopen on 05/15/2007 04:04:57 PM