Commenter Profile

Rachel Roberts and the Alison Weir Controversy – FaceBook Message

October 19, 2015 9:03 pm
I got this from Wikipedia: Is Zionism Racist? UN Resolution 3379 "The UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379 on November 10, 1975 determining that 'Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.' The vote took place approximately one year after UNGA 3237 granted the PLO 'observer status,' following Yasser Arafat's 'olive branch' speech to the General Assembly in November 1974." Resolution 3379 revoked at Israel's insistence: "Israel had made revocation of Resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference, in progress in the last quarter of 1991."

“Looks like I’m being attacked as being a Zionist” – Stephen Zunes/Facebook

October 3, 2015 10:33 pm
Thanks Taxi. After I read your comments on Mondoweiss Roundtable, I googled "Taxi," which brought me here. I tried to log into MW but somehow screwed it up. I've never commented on a website before. I contacted Annie but she didn't reply for over a week. By then, my comment was moot, in that it had been covered by other commenters. It does feel rather cathartic to be able to speak my mind here. Thanking you all for that.
October 3, 2015 1:44 am
The High Horse Post Parade - in full swing! I'm new to website comments but I wanted to get my 2 cents in. I was overjoyed when JVP came on board in support for BDS! A Palestinian rights group I'm involved in is a member of US Campaign. We invited Josh Ruebner to speak here. We invited two JVP leaders to speak at one of our well attended events - a fund raiser for MECA. These leaders gave excellent presentations. They made me love them, which makes it more difficult now to speak against their decision. I don't take these things lightly, as divisions can absolutely ruin solidarity. Who wants that? . . . other than Reut Institute, Zionists and Zionist sympathizers, and the long line of Israel/US regimes. Israeli think tank, Reut Institute, published a paper in 2010, entitled, "Building a Political Firewall Against Israel's De-legitimizers." It recommends strategies, including many aimed at getting into the Palestinian solidarity movement in order to "drive a wedge between leaders of the BDS movement." Discredit leaders by "naming and shaming" the delegitimizers (their term for anit-Zionists). Joe Stork of HRW was used as an example of what can happen if you get marked "anti-Semite/racist." HRW defended Stork at the time. I recommend reading Reut's paper (section A is particularly troublesome). I saw that JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson also was interviewed on Free American Press (maybe twice) and a number of others who now favor expelling Weir. So I guess it's not that she was on these shows but that she didn't argue enough or sufficiently go after the interviewer. Anyone is free to believe Weir when she says her hope is to reach listeners of any program on which she gives interviews. After all, they may seldom hear rational thinking about the plight of Palestinian people at the hands of Israel. Vilkomerson and many others who gave interviews on Free American Press may have had the same hope. They want to reach everyone, not just the choir. It would be counter-productive to come onto a show in attack mode, riding a high horse. The show's hosts and the people who listen are human beings. They don't have a "hate gene." Gandhi talks about how to approach situations where you're trying to bring the listener to an on-ramp to your own way of thinking. Riding a high horse, using a degrading attitude is not constructive. Listen, have respect, and try to remain focused on your common humanity. OK, here's where the chill comes in. When I listened to these interviews, I didn't notice that Alsion Weir is a racist and anti-Semitic. What did I miss? Was it that the racism went over my head because it's just so normal for me? Or am I a kindred spirit with whom Steve Rendall refers to as the "not-too-bright Greta Berlin." (mean thing to say, Steve) We can't all have high IQs but we can support Palestinian justice. On November 10, 1975, The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379: "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination." Oh dear. Do any of your here hang with Zionists? If so, do you chew them out at every opportunity? The Resolution was revoked in 1991, as a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference. The revocation was raised under pressure from the George H.W. Bush administration. Still, the notion that Zionism is racist doesn't merely linger on, it's a basic principle within many groups and supporters of Palestinian rights. I think I can safely say that a majority of Palestinians, were anyone to ask them, might agree with the resolution and disagree with its having been revoked. Yet, Zionism is not included in JVP's mission statement which claims only to oppose "anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression." Isn't Zionist ideology a greater threat than anti-Muslim/Arab bigotry alone and is it not actually the greatest threat to the Palestinian people, greater than "anti-Jewish" ideology? Many Palestinian supporters are moderate Zionists (i.e., support Israel as a Jewish state, on stolen, Palestinian land - moderate racists?). Zionism has destroyed the notion of two states, side by side. Why not call a spade a spade? I'd like an answer. While high horses can be thrilling to ride upon, it takes humility and compassion to create a more peaceful world. I listened to interviews with Alison. I read the accusations and her rebuttal. I read and listened to Henry Norrs comments, saw the list of nearly 2,000 people who support Weir. I read the Mondoweiss website comments, overwhelmingly in support of Weir. So I'm to believe all of these people and I can't tell a racist or anti-Semite from a hole in the ground: Richard Falk, Mazin Qumsiyeh; Hedy Epstein; Iyad Burnat (Bi'lin activist); Arun Gandhi, James Petras, Abdallah Omeish (Occupation 101, and The War Around Us); Ray McGovern; Richard Forer; Lawrence Davidson; Abbas Hamideh (Al-Awda); James Abourezk (American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee founder); Bassem Tamimi (Palestinian resistance leader); Henry Norr (Gaza Freedom Flotilla); Ann Wright; members of "Free Gaza Movement;" and "Free Palestine Movement" How many Palestinians are afraid to add their names to this list? I felt the chill when I signed it. Is this an atmosphere we want to work within? Reut Institute might be happy but I'm not. US Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace and Alison Weir, please rethink this expulsion and the reasons for it. Ask yourselves, is this good for Palestinians? .
October 3, 2015 10:24 pm
I watched this. His closing comment, "Actually, I'm quite delighted with the way Obama is going now" floored me, Really? Delighted with arming and funding terrorists - Israeli, US, and Arab - who are slaughtering thousands of innocent people? He may be referring to the so-called "Iran deal."
October 3, 2015 1:52 am
You have no way of knowing they aren't interested in Palestinian people. Your comments are hurtful and counter-productive. It's not just you, a lot of people here are in attack mode, not trying to figure out a solution.
October 3, 2015 8:29 pm
Sean, I don't normally get involved in the social/tribal aspects of things. I enjoy a mind (some call a disability) which is not given to such nuisances. Sometimes my nose gets rubbed into some yuk, making it impossible for me to ignore. I became deeply troubled by the question put to me, "who do you align with?" As if now I must take a side. It's stressful but I signed the Weir support letter for good reason and reasoning. I found Rabbi Allissa Wise's presentation at the Sabeel conference disturbing. It appeared to be a lecture on how to properly walk around on egg shells. I was surprised the Corries agreed with the expulsion. They said they always had to sort through Weir's materials before allowing them to be used by the Foundation. I have no idea what material didn't make it through or why. The Corries are caring, thinking people. I might ask them to clarify. I live just a few hours away from Olympia. Maybe I'll take a trip up there, ask them in person. Again, Israel's Reut Institute: "To achieve this goal, we explained to the government representatives that we have to operate with as large a base as possible" and “to divide and drive a wedge between the leaders of the BDS campaign.” Voila!

Activist, Heal Thyself

August 18, 2015 11:15 pm
What is causing me some cognitive dissonance is JVP and every other holier than thou gatekeeper not even mentioning Omar Barghouti's own blatant racist statements. After a comment made by a white French woman, actually praising Barghouti and bds for their focus on non-violent strategy, he said, "I won't take this from a white person lecturing us on violence." He went on to say, "the white race is the most violent in the history of mankind." He might as well have said, "your race tells me you are a violent person. Therefore, you can't comment on violence. So shut up." Clearly, he could have accused Western imperialism as it coincided with advanced military technology. He of all people should know that it's not a matter of race but rather the social/psychological complex in which we live and learn. My mother used to say to me in situations like this: "But by the grace of 'god,' go there I." My take on that: Circumstances, simple twists of fate, serendipitous encounters could have steered me towards racism, Zionism, or worse. To me, it's more constructive to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when a person has a track record as exemplary as Alison Weirs'. I wouldn't have gone onto those radio programs but she has her own ideas about spreading the word. She thought it was worth it. She wasn't colluding with racists, imo. I get Barghouti's point, too. While it was an unfortunate comment, I don't condemn him because I can understand where he was coming from when he said it. And it's not a theme in his work. We are human and none of us are so inherently special that we can't give slack to a fellow human who is clearly working to bring justice to others, in this case, the Palestinian people. My point here is that Barghouti's racist statement is overlooked by JVP yet Alison Weir gets dragged through the mud, not for making racist statements herself but for talking to supposed racists some years back.