Note: The anti-Palestinian group CAMERA just released a second major salvo/attack on me (Nov 18, 2005, the first was August 20, 2004, other minor ones in between). I decided to take the time not only to address their particular criticisms/defamations (see http://www.qumsiyeh.org/responsetocamera/ ) but to give those interested in human and civil rights a brief background with links on the attacks of such well-funded groups. I recommend you read the following first before going to my rebuttal of CAMERA.
Attacks getting more personal
In parallel with the continued Israeli government attack on Palestinians in the occupied areas and denial of basic rights to all Palestinians, there has been a parallel attack on human rights activists in Europe and North America who speak about these rights. Those who support Israeli violations of International Law and Human rights (including the seminal right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands) have used many tactics in doing so. Bringing up facts with documentation from independent sources is a reasonable tactic to advance one's agenda. But as most people reading this will recognize, the tactics used by many Zionists are personal, vindictive, and in the long run self-defeating (they only make those attacked more motivated to work more "to every action there is a reaction"!). It is getting more difficult for extremist Zionists to engage in the more extreme forms such as destruction of people's careers or even assassinations. The killers of Mike Odeh in 1985 in California are believed to have escaped justice by living in Israeli settlements but the FBI more recently had been successful at arresting others who targeted Arab Americans. The absurd notion that the victims brought this unto themselves is heard both with regards to Palestinian refugees/Palestinians under occupation and also human rights advocates who dare to speak out. Such attacks were prominent going back over the past six decades. Congressman Paul Findley wrote a book on the subject called "They Dare to Speak Out". His book remains a seminal analysis of the tactics used to silence those who speak the truth and to ensure there is continuation of taxpayer funded occupation and colonization of Palestine. Most of the attacks (physical and verbal) go unreported/unanalyzed in the Western media and the victims decide to plug along doing what they can for human rights. But as Paul Findley showed in his other book, more people just refuse to be cowed. Those who advocate for Palestinian human rights spend miniscule amounts of money and have little of the well-funded organizational structures that characterize groups working to discredit Palestinians. But it obviously takes much more money and organization to suppress the truth than to tell the truth. It seems to me we are at a critical junction where more Americans and now most Europeans see the dangers of Israeli apartheid not only to Palestinians but also as a danger to world peace and development. Perhaps that is why CAMERA, ADL and others are getting personal or could it be that because they are paid, peace with justice for all would put them out of business?
Anyway, let us cite here a few examples from attacks on us:
1) In 2001 and after 9/11, the CT Jewish Chronicle wrote an article about me titled "An apologist for Terrorism" (http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=16797). The Jewish ledger has a very right wing editor with views that fall in the extreme margin of even Zionist perspectives (he considers war criminals like Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Rabin who engaged in ethnic cleansing to be too soft).
2) In 2002 Daniel Pipes (who established his reputation bashing Arabs and Muslims and extolling Zionism) founded "Campus Watch" with the idea of "monitoring and reporting" on professors whose views he deemed unacceptable. He wrote an article titled "Professors who Hate America" listing six "examples": Noam Chomsky, myself, Glenda Gilmore (Yale), Thomas Nagy (George Washington Univ), Rim Rengo, and Eric Foner. A part of me felt flattered that he put me in the same league with Noam Chomsky but another part dreaded the hate mails and death threats that poured in after than. For a brief commentary on Pipes and his varied tactics of assault, visit http://www.qumsiyeh.org/danielpipesasanexampleofmccarthiansilencing/
3) The "Anti-Defamation League" (ADL) has a long history of attacks on peace activists (including defamation of good activists). This included spying on African and Arab Americans in the 1980s and persistent attacks on anyone who questions US support for Israeli policies that violate human rights and international law. For detail on the ADL spy case, visit http://www.counterpunch.org/adlspying2.html . In the 1990s and up until 2002 they wrote letters to editor and op eds to respond to our letters and op-eds and to any news story that brought up issues of Palestinian human rights trampled by Israel. For example after I published an op-ed about stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims (New Haven Register Beverly Levy of the ADL responded (see http://www.cactus48.com/reality.html)
claiming we are biased and "hateful". In March 2005, they opined that the Wheels of Justice bus tour and its speakers (including myself) as "anti-Israel" (http://www.adl.org/main_Israel/wheels_of_justice.htm ) and mobilized others to write letters (see my response to one such letter at http://www.qumsiyeh.org/thewheelsofjusticeandthetruth/ )
4) In 2003, an associate of Pipes (Martin Kramer) and a student member of "Yale Friends of Israel" launched an attack on me distorting an insignificant event and making it look like an "anti-Semitic" incident. See http://www.qumsiyeh.org/suneditorsdidnotallowarebuttal/
5) Local Jewish Federations are heterogeneous but on at least two (West Hartford and Western Connecticut federations) hosted hateful and racist talks. This included quislings on the payroll of the groups who are willing to say anything for the right amount of money. One person originally from Lebanon and another who claimed he used to be with the PLO (no proof was given and no such record exists) spent their talks bashing Muslims and Arabs including local activists. The latter quisling claimed I was "a fellow terrorist" (I guess he did not do his homework or thought he can incite someone to take me out).
6) Well funded Zionist groups with a deceptive names like "Committee on Accuracy on Middle East Reporting" (CAMERA) and "Honest Reporting" (HR) had long tried to intimidate, coerce, and muzzle media coverage of human rights abuses. In August 2004, CAMERA took the time to "analyze" In its latest salvo on November 18, 2005. Here is the text of what they wrote and my response to it: http://www.qumsiyeh.org/responsetocamera/
More examples and stories about such attacks are posted at http://www.qumsiyeh.org/assaultontruth/
As for Zionist myths that keep being regurgitated in attempts to obfuscate reality (despite overwhelming documentary evidence to the contrary), please visit"
We individuals who are active for human rights have always challenged CAMERA, ADL, CampusWatch, and all the other well-funded anti-Palestinian organizations to hold public debates with neutral moderators and equal time to address issues. That challenge remains open.
Israeli Jewish professor Jeff Halper's excellent expose titled "What are we doing? What have we become?" is relevant here http://www.counterpunch.org/halper11072005.html
"We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we have to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and trying to undo some of the evil we committed...we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them" Nathan Chofshi, Jewish Newsletter, New York, 9 February 1959, cited in Erskine Childers, 'The Other Exodus' in Spectator, London, 12 May 1961
"My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain - especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state." Albert Einstein http://globalwebpost.com/farooqm/writings/other/einstein.htm
"The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was‘given' by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East". Message from Bertrand Russell to the International Conference of Parliamentarians in Cairo, February 1970." Reprinted in The New York Times, Feb. 23, 1970.
To repeat, we individuals who are active for human rights have always challenged CAMERA, ADL, CampusWatch, and all the other well-funded anti-Palestinian organizations to hold public debates with neutral moderators and equal time to address issues. That challenge remains open. In the meantime, A LUTA CONTINUA