For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



Witch Hunt

After Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish published in the Internet their letter against Shamir, broad polemic pro and contra broke out in the cyberspace. The following is a volume of the polemics on Shamir, anti-Semitism, and policies of the Jewish supporters of Palestine.

Lana Turner

My friends asked me to comment on the letter of Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish. They spoke against what they feared might be my anti-Semitism. I am certainly pleased with their principled stand. As a Jew and a man, I salute them. Any irrational aversion to Jews should be certainly eradicated and condemned. While saluting their good intentions, I consider their judgment to be somewhat premature. It is based on my Easter greetings which they failed to understand. Christopher Bollyn of The SPOTLIGHT stated it well. He wrote: 

"I realize that neither of you are probably deeply immersed in Christianity, but you must understand that Shamir …compares the Israelis, Jews, and Americans to spectators of an execution that they can do something to prevent. "I say to you, each one of us has to see oneself as is he personally stands on Via Dolorosa, and decides, whether the execution will be carried out. If we keep our mouth shut, we deserve to be called 'Christ killers'. If we stop it, we shall change history. The sins of the past, scarlet as blood, will become white as snow,"

Shamir wrote. He is demanding that Jews, Israelis, and Americans do something to prevent the bloodbath that is occurring in Palestine as we speak."

Indeed, while the Jews of old provide background to the Passion, all of us are the background of the present suffering of the Palestinians, which was the theology behind my Take Two. In other words, all of us, Jews and Gentiles alike, are 'the Jews' of the Palestinian Passion. 

I perceive the excitement of Mr Abunimah and Mr Ibish could be generously explained away by their relative innocence of theology and history. They even put the exclamation mark of 'sic' after my words, failing to recognize the quotation from the prophets (scarlet sins and white snow) which is a part of Yom Kippur liturgy. They are not attuned to read what I wrote.

Anyway, Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish are entitled to their opinions. Their concern for the purity of the Palestinian banner meets my approval. However, my appreciation of their position is slightly diminished by some additional facts. The present accusatory letter is not the first, nor the second they composed in connection with my humble self. In their previous letters, the accusation of anti-Semitism was absent, but they called me alternatively a Mossad agent, a pursuer of Arab money, and even a false pretender to the high rank of an Israeli Russian journalist and a Vesti columnist. Such insistence combined with inconsistence makes one wonder if their goals were limited to fighting anti-Jewish prejudice. If I were a suspicious man, I would probably suspect their motives.

But I am ready to give Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish full benefit of any doubt. It is probable that they were motivated not by spite and envy, not by a fear of competition or of 'rocking the boat', not by working in cahoots with the Jewish lobby, but by nobler feelings. They remind me of the young police officer in this period piece movie, LA Confidential, who tries to arrest a blond Lana Turner look-alike, and proclaims: "a hooker who looks like Lana Turner is still a hooker, not Lana Turner." His colleague stops him: "she IS Lana Turner!" The kid made a silly mistake.

In plain words, I do not pretend to be a friend of Palestine: I am a friend of Palestine. I am quite used to this sort of accusations, they are the professional hazard for whoever is engaged in the struggle. A fainthearted man should fight for the well-being of whales, as it is a noble cause that brings no flak.

Now I shall refer to other concerns raised by Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish. As for my alleged comparison of the Jews with 'virus', I quote the lines of Ellen Cantarow, who was present at the talk.

"I do want to stress that the comment about "viruses" cited by Ali in his letter was taken out of context. I was there; I heard the talk. This is NOT what Shamir said. Which makes me feel that THE JERUSALEM POST reference should be looked up in context. I do not feel it wise, when one has not read the entirety of a text, especially in a controversy like this one, to fan the flames by circulating partial statements. For those on the limited list to whom I send this note, in the Tufts talk Shamir referred to the movie "Matrix," with its references to "organic" "mammals" and to predatory viruses. He then said that the original Palestinian population had an "organic" relation to the land in Palestine, whereas the European-Jewish immigrants and colonists did not, and in their consequent actions, expelling the original inhabitants, destroying villages with beautiful architecture, etc., could be compared to the "viruses" in "Matrix." I find this in perfect keeping with his "Dulcinea" essay and other pieces".

I would add to it, that in my opinion every man, Jew or Gentile, can choose whether to behave like a virus or like a mammal, or even as a vulture. It is actually an idea deeply rooted in the Zionist discourse of Hertzl and Borochov, who wished to reconnect Jews and soil as the means of rejuvenation of the Jewish people. In my opinion, it failed because the settlers did not connect to the native inhabitants of the land.

Let us move on to the blood-libel accusation in the Jerusalem Post, repeated by Ali Abunima and Hussein Ibish. This Conrad Black newspaper wrote: "One of NIF's beneficiaries is the Israel-Palestine Friendship Center in Tel Aviv. The center promotes the Palestinians' 'right of return' to their pre-1948 homes. Two weeks ago, Russian-language journalist Israel Shamir told a largely Jewish audience: 'Jews only exist to drip the blood of Palestinian children into their matzas.' No one protested."

It is obviously rubbish. I certainly did not say the words they attribute to me. Have no doubt, the nice middle-class Jewish audience in Tel Aviv, where the misquoted talk was given, would protest such silly stuff instead of pouring their love on the speaker. The purpose of the JP allegation was to smear these wonderful people, who work very hard on charity lines to feed the hungry and clothe the needy in the besieged villages. It is to be regretted that Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish were deceived by the right-wingers' blood libel against Israeli supporters of Palestinian rights.

As for the blown out of proportion question of whether I write for Vesti, one answer was given by the brilliant columnist of a Jerusalem newspaper, Kol Ha'ir, Haim Baram. He wrote: "Who cares if Mr Shamir writes in Vesti or not? His articles are interesting and his approach non-conformist. Somehow, I don't really believe that you were out to vindicate Shamir, but rather to discredit him. I reject your dubious endeavour (on behalf of the fascist settlers?) with utter contempt."

Just for the sake of clarity I may add that I was asked to discontinue my regular column CONTRA in the Vesti newspaper after the Rape of Dulcinea was published, at the request of a certain American Jewish journalist attached to the staff of JP. It is a loss of income and of means to access my Russian Israeli audience, but I can bear it without regret.

What I do regret that at the time Sharon is bombing Lebanon and re-conquering Gaza I have to waste the much needed time of myself and of you on such silly accusations. I thank all of you who wrote me letters of support. Now enough of this stuff, I shall not refer to it any more and I ask you to refrain from writing more to me on this subject. Let us concentrate on the question of Palestine.

As a Russian poet wrote about a pilot arrested by Stalin after he returned to Russia from the Civil war in Spain, "The insult hurts, but it is not the issue: let my destiny befall me, it is the destiny of mankind I am worried about."

My dear friend, you HAVE landed yourself in a world of controversy, haven't you. I have a very small streak of the same lunacy in me; it ruined an academic career and still lands me in trouble on occasion. If we ever meet again I'll tell you about the letter I published in THE HARVARD CRIMSON against my department chairman when I was a beautiful young graduate student. But - sigh - I guess the years have worn down my sharp edges; I'm less reckless than you, who seem still to have a young romantic rebel's heart. I assume you're on the Al-Awda list and have read all the messages in question. Here is one I just sent to those on the list who were disturbed by the "Easter" essay:

My own view about Shamir is that he's a brilliant and eccentric writer, sometimes politically imprudent, not anti-Semitic. I don't think the Easter essay was a bad essay, in fact it was an interesting essay - but politically unwise. On the other hand one cannot expect a poet-journalist and magic surrealist, if I may characterize Shamir as such, to be a political tactician or a person who doles out his views to fit his audience. That he is an iconoclast is what attracts his readers and sometimes repels them. Anyone who wants to come to hear Shamir may do so; those who feel his view odious may stay away; those who want to question him about them may do so.

I do want to stress that the comment about "viruses" cited by Ali in his letter was taken out of context. I was there; I heard the talk. This is NOT what Shamir said. Which makes me feel that THE JERUSALEM POST reference should be looked up in context. I do not feel it wise, when one has not read the entirety of a text, especially in a controversy like this one, to fan the flames by circulating partial statements. For those on the limited list to whom I send this note, in the Tufts talk Shamir referred to the movie "Matrix," with its references to "organic" "mammals" and to predatory viruses. He then said that the original Palestinian population had an "organic" relation to the land in Palestine, whereas the European-Jewish immigrants and colonists did not, and in their consequent actions, expelling the original inhabitants, destroying villages with beautiful architecture, etc., could be compared to the "viruses" in "Matrix." I find this in perfect keeping with his "Dulcinea" essay and pieces.

Still, it is irrelevant, and i "I say to you, each one of us has to see oneself as is he personally stands on Via Dolorosa, and decides, whether the execution will be carried out. If we keep our mouth shut, we deserve to be called 'Christ killers'. If we stop it, we shall change history. The scarlet as blood sins of past will become white as snow," Shamir wrote.

PJ Party: Israel Shamir and Critics

by Harry Clark -  Religious Rhetoric - ----- Original Message ----- From: Ran Greenstein To: ALEF

I suspect it is the product of inability to deal with real issues, and a cheap attempt to appeal to religious prejudices in order to mobilise support for political causes. To use notions of blood guilt, mixed with notions of greed and conspiracy to control the world, especially at Easter (and Pesah) time, is an old trick aimed to associate Jews (not Zionists or Israelis) with murder of the innocent. While I normally reject the equation of anti-zionism with anti-semitism, in this case it seems irrefutable. Only someone completely ignorant of Jewish history and the history of anti-semitism would fail to see it. My concern with this approach is not merely that it is morally wrong, but that it is also politically stupid, and serves to undermine the just cause of the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle.

Ran Greenstein Johannesburg, South Africa


Mr Greenstein, since you say you've never heard of Israel Shamir, you may wish to visit for a bio and sample of recent writings, to judge how much he can "deal with real issues" and knows about Jewish history.

Naim Ateek, a Palestinian churchman who has invested his life trying to reach a modus vivendi with his Jewish counterparts, said that Israel was turning Palestine into Golgotha. Edward Dillon, whose piece on "Today's Via Dolorosa" from The Link I excerpted in an earlier msg (downloadable as a Word document; open in your browser) is also a veteran of ecumenical dialogue. Mr Greenstein, are they just part of the easter-seasonal tide of anti-semitic propaganda? Benny, as a scholar of religion surely you allow religious discourse from religious people? Perfectly sincere people are using the most extreme terminology available, comparing the passion of Christ to the current passion of Palestine. Shamir's use of the "Christ-killer" epithet is simply a Jewish escalation of the more restrained Dillon piece, and it seems Ateek's comment, to Shamir, goaded him into it, which is admirable in a way. Typically, discussion of this rhetoric focuses entirely on Jewish moral claims, and ignores Jewish moral obligations, not to accept such language stoically, but to have a defensible position on Israel-Palestine, and to adequately address Jewish chauvinism before before casting stones on their own behalf.

US Jews Mostly Bankrupt

A minority of US Jews support Palestinian rights, as shown by polls commissioned by the US Jewish establishment (Haaretz, March 7), percentages ranging from 20-35 on various questions. The establishment tried to suppress those results. The polls also showed majority support for Israel's actions, and Jewish institutions reflect almost no dissent. In October, as Israeli atrocities ramped up, I attended a talk on "The Future of Israel as a Jewish State" at the University of Michigan Center for Judaic Studies, to hear a Jewish Israeli academic call the "new history" of Benny Morris et al. "nihilism" and "self-doubt" while the leading lights of Judaic Studies gazed on benignly and a Jewish grad student raised the only objection. 

There is almost weekly some disgraceful apologetic at Hillel, which has a blue-and-white sign out front, "Israel, Our Prayers Are With You." Most recently, Dennis Ross was managed like Stalin before the Central Committee, allowed 30 min of breezy dissembling about the total collapse of his policy, followed by "discussion": no mike, questions only on index cards (pencil and card on each and every chair) read by the moderators.

Recall the extraordinary appearance at the Yale Political Union in March of Elyakim Haetzni, co-sponsored by Yale Friends of Israel and the Peres Center at Yale (Haetzni once called for Peres's assassination, according to the Jewish Israeli grad student who reported it to ALEF). This right-wing fanatic was not opposed by any speaker, and advanced a "resolution" that "peace with the Palestinians was not possible" which "carried" by a lopsided vote, in a bizarre parody of debate. The grad student was arrested after interjecting, when Haetzni proclaimed his merciful attitude toward Palestinians, if that included the massacre of 30 of them by his fellow settlers.

Progressive Judaism

The latest expression of the "progressive Jewish" ("PJ") conscience is the "Jewish Unity for a Just Peace" conference in Chicago May 4-5. This appears to be the outgrowth of Not In My Name, which began as angry, creative spark when a computer consultant and author, Steven Feuerstein, appeared outside the confab of Jewish leaders in Chicago last fall, where Barak spoke, with signs and leaflets, his first experience of activism. I was impressed, but when I saw a call for a conference, wondered when the dull gray moths of PJ would arrive, led by Michael Lerner, Tikkun editor and proud father of an IDF soldier, who has yet to oppose US funding of Israel. I didn't have to wait long.

Jewish Unity's language and program are recycled from similar impulses during the first intifada 10+ yrs ago, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon 10 yrs before that. Here we are in 2001, Sharon is PM, Palestine is getting the Warsaw Ghetto treatment, and the announcements only refer discreetly to a "variety of views" and propose a lowest common denominator of "completely ending occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip," all the while disingenuously protesting "mainstream" Jewish organizational and media views (see PJ follows, does not lead, events. "Jewish Unity" means Jewish consensus, Jewish limits, the pale of acceptable opinion, beyond which one cannot go. Marc Ellis has long denounced Lerner and his PJ establishment. (Not in My Name continues independently, with links to the SUSTAIN project of ending US funding of Israel, and other interesting views: )  Jewish Contribution to Right-Wing Politics and Ideology

In addition to common humanity, the model of "Jewish identity" required is that of classical anti-Zionism, or the "modern, secular Jewish tradition" as Israel Shahak calls it: the classical liberal, Enlightenment ideals of juridical citizenship, equality of all citizens before the law, separation of church and state, etc. Jewish engagement with this tradition includes Spinoza, Moses Mendelssohn, Reform Judaism, the Jewish presence in liberal causes, from social democracy to bolshevism, the extraordinary Jewish cultural efflorescence in central Europe in the 19th century, the epic migration to the US, and avid pursuit of the opportunities of liberal society.

This model suffered a catastrophic defeat in Germany 1933-45, but Zionism agreed totally with that logic, if not its ultimate expression. Herzl (and Zangwill and the Territorialists) were the last Zionists to be concerned with the Jewish nation of eastern Europe, in their quixotic fashion, with grandiose plans to evacuate millions to Argentina, East Africa, Palestine, wherever. The Jewish masses needed no false messiahs, and moved to the US.

After Herzl's death Zangwill and the Ts left the movement, which recast itself as an elite project of national renewal, concerned with "the problems of Judaism, not of Jewry" in Ahad Ha'am's lofty phrase. The Zionists agreed completely with the anti-Semites on the failure of liberal society and need of a separate state for Jews. At the Versailles conference the Jewish national movement politicked for the British Mandate and its Palestine project, leaving the fate of the Jewish nation in the former Russian imperial domains to the American Jewish Committee, who sought minority rights guarantees in the new states.

When the Nazis came to power US Jewish activists started the boycott of German goods; the Zionists responded with the Transfer Agreement. These complex arrangements used the assets of wealthy German Jews to export German goods through Palestine, earning foreign exchange for Germany, breaking the boycott and handing the Nazis a major practical and propaganda victory when the regime was just finding its feet and vulnerable to world pressure. Transfer was also a boomlet for the Jewish Palestine economy, and got a relative handful of Jews out of Germany.

The Zionists undermined the democracies' Evian Conference on Jewish humanitarian relief after Kristallnacht because it detracted from their national project. Throughout the war, in the US, the UK and Palestine, they saved their political capital for the coming struggle over Palestine, rather than expending it agitating about the Judeocide and for rescue, (and collaborated in various ways with the Nazis, as in the Kastner affair, etc)

In 1945-48 they drove the British out of Palestine, conducted the Truman Administration's Palestine policy like Leonard Bernstein leading the New York Philharmonic, routed the indigenous Palestinian forces, "colluded across the Jordan" with King Abdullah to divide Palestine, and routed the Arab armies who reluctantly entered the fray after May 15, expelling 750,000 or so Palestinians by design and default.

The rest, as they say, is history, of internal "Judaization"--indigenous dispossession and ethnic cleansing--and malignantly aggressive foreign policy. A quarter-century of occupation of the territories conquered in 1967 culminated, in dramatically changed international circumstances, in the collapse of the PLO and its enlistment as Israel's quisling in administering Palestinian bantustans. The pent-up frustration has finally shaken that diabolical arrangement to its rotten foundations, and it is unclear if Dennis Ross can put it back together as he expects.

In sum, there has never been a positive reason to be a Zionist. Israel's cultural and intellectual accomplishents are fatally compromised by Zionism; how could it be otherwise, given the daily headlines? Yerah Gover, in "Zionism: The Moral Limits of Israeli Hebrew Fiction", judges Hebrew literature. Israel Finkelstein and Menahem Ussishkin are trying to overturn the biblical interpretations of archaeology, against heavy resistance. The "new historians", celebrated in the west, are marginal to Israeli society. Ilan Pappe dismissed "post-Zionism", likewise celebrated, as a cultural phenomenon of negligible political impact.

he "Diaspora" must be affirmed as the locus of positive Jewish accomplishment; see Joel Finkel's admirable statement on the NIMN site. Jacob Neusner once called Israel an "intellectual backwater of the Jewish world" in the Washington Post. Zionism must be seen simply as the Jewish contribution to modern right-wing politics and ideology. It replaced the pre-modern "Jewish question" with a new "Jewish state question." Whatever else it may be, Israel is a rabidly chauvinist, militarist, religious, nuclear-armed Jewish ghetto.

Solution States

The classical anti-Zionist solution was a democratic, secular state in all of Mandate Palestine. 5-10 yrs after the 1967 war, proposals for a two-state solution became staples of diplomacy, except for Israel and the US. A 2-state solution also became the conventional wisdom of the Respectable Left in the US, idealistic talk of a unitary state, and of the illegitimacy of Zionism, being eschewed as unpragmatic. RL overlaps but is not identical with PJ; Middle East Report is the leading voice; Prof Joel Beinin of Stanford, long a pillar of MER, is a co-organizer of the PJ conference. His 1990 book, "Was the Red Flag Flying There? Marxist Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict in Egypt and Israel, 1948-1965" eruditely reduces internationalist history and outcomes to mutual acceptance of a 2-state solution.

Such pragmatism is much a historical artifact as Ottoman banknotes. As the PLO was inching toward its 2-state acceptance in Algiers in November, 1988, Israel was engorging Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, blasting the PLO out of Lebanon, killing its leaders in Tunis, and crushing the Intifada. When the PLO, literally and figuratively bankrupt, adopted Zionist practice and made the movement the raison d'etre of the nation by becoming Israel's quisling partner at Oslo, it was recognized in Israel as Zionism's greatest victory since 1948, the end of hopes for genuine Palestinian sovereignty. 

A Palestinian state entered Israeli political discourse precisely because it became a fig leaf for apartheid. Israeli policy itself is raising the classical solution of a unitary, democratic state in Palestine. There is one today--for Jews. Israeli policy is also raising darker possibilities. As demographic and economic factors imperil Jewish statehood, the Israeli establishment contemplates "transfer" of the Palestinians, both those under occupation and even its own citizens ("A Very Moving Scenario", Yair Sheleg, Haaretz, March 23).

Israel Shamir finds the comparison with apartheid unfair to white supremacy, which never used tanks and helicopter gunships against black townships, calling Zionism "creeping genocide" ("Mamilla Pool", ) What might induce the millions of undesirables to assent to the "moving scenario" isn't explained, but walking or loping genocide will certainly help.

Since Oslo, there have been periodic calls to restart the Palestinian solidarity movement as a struggle against Zionist apartheid, like the South Africa liberation movement. Edward Said recently called ("Time to Turn to the Other Front", Al-Ahram, March 30) for depicting the Palestinian struggle as one of liberation. Said rejects a two-state solution, calling for a bi-national state, recognizing that Zionism is wrong in principle. It cannot be so only outside the Green Line.

I am not concerned with immediate outcomes in Israel/Palestine, but with raising the level of discussion in the US. The PJ conference claims a media spotlight is shining on it. Let it then issue, among other things, a ringing affirmation of universalist values, an unequivocal condemnation of Zionism as a form of racism, and a warning against Jewish chauvinism, not a 25-yr old call to "end the occupation."

Let it lead, not follow, the minority of US Jews who disagree with the Israeli government and their own establishment. Let it be as radical as Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and Edward Said. The gulf between such action and the PJ mindset measures the failure of left Jewish intellectuals to educate about Zionism, to question the legitimacy of a Jewish state, due to misguided pragmatism, or to their own chauvinism.


The Israel lobby, a galaxy of formally and informally related, mostly Jewish institutions of all sorts, has obviously not invented the characteristics of US society that it so enhances and supports on Israel's behalf, namely, its imperial reach, its militarism, its racism. Yet to consider the relationship of US policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict to Jewish activity is to encounter PJ yet again, or its intellectual outer works, the Respectable Left. The RL (in addition to Middle East Report Stephen Zunes is an acolyte on this point) claims that Jewish activity makes no difference whatever, that US policy would be exactly the same in its absence. RL truncates Marxist outcomes to a two-state solution in the Middle East, but in the US is all rigorous political economy, rejecting national factors like Lenin and Trotsky attacking the Bund.

This claim is preposterous to the naive observer, and it trips at the starting line, in the nascent Israel lobby's virtuoso orchestration of the Truman Administration's Palestine policy 1945-48, when it prevailed over the unanimous wish of the foreign policy establishment and elite opinion generally. 

t would also fail at the finish line, in the extraordinary Zionisation of Middle East policy under Clinton: unprecedented intervention to make Martin Indyk a US citizen to head the Middle East desk at the National Security Council and his "dual containment" of Iran and Iraq. Richard Murphy, ex-State Department official, attributed DC entirely to the Israel lobby, urging Clinton to open negotiations with it, like treating with a foreign power. 

Iraq sanctions are openly violated. Iran has concluded detente with its Arab Gulf neighbors despite US efforts to foment division, and is leading the race for Central Asian gas and oil exploitation, as US firms clamor for access to Iranian markets. The true "fateful triangle" is the Jewish state, the US Israel lobby, and the US national security state.

Denial of US Jewish organizations' responsibility in US Middle East policy is related to suppression of universalist ideas of Jewish identity in relation to outcomes in Israel/Palestine. When you cannot accept the former you have no reason to explore the latter; when you cannot talk of the latter, you have no positive examples to counterbalance the former. 

Also undeniable is that the PLO's stewardship of the Palestinian cause has been a total disaster. The "cult of the gun" that Edward Said derided decades ago blossomed into Arafat's national security statelet with its myriad police and intelligence services. As Israel has overplayed its irredentist hand, every official gunman could become a patriot by pulling the trigger. The possibility of a non-violent, popular, Gandhian struggle like the first Intifada, and the early phase of the current one (still asserted at times), is overwhelmed in feeble military sallies and Israel's head for an eye, jaw for a tooth response.

Of course the PLO and the Palestinian people have tried peace, in many ways, and Israel has always responded with literal or figurative war, most recently in exploiting the Oslo regime. Recent non-violent efforts have met with repression, precisely because they are more threatening. Baruch Kimmerling condemned the violence of the IDF and settlers, the ceaseless engorgement of Palestinian land, the siege-like control of movement, the infinite harassment and humiliation, and the immoral, stupid bombings within the Green Line, while affirming the Palestinians' "Right to Resist" the flagrantly immoral and illegal, 34-year old occupation (Haaretz, March 27).

For what polls are worth in occupied Palestine, Palestinians are deeply embittered, no surprise ("73% of Palestinians Support Suicide Bombings", Daniel Sobelman, Haaretz, April 24). Many apparently feel there is little choice between the Oslo treatment and the Warsaw Ghetto treatment even in the short run. Our task is addressing not Palestinian tactics, but the US govt, whose support alone enables Israel to oppress and abuse them, which is overwhelmingly responsible for the perpetuation of the conflict. 

In that task, Palestinian supporters in the US have also failed. Rather than assert democratic values, and criticise the corruption and incompetence of the PLO, supporters merely chanted a stupid slogan, "recognize the PLO". They were totally unprepared when the PLO walked off a cliff at Oslo. Eight years later, as Oslo collapses and the solidarity movement rebuilds, it faces a huge moral and practical deficit, having now to assert democracy and accountability, above all, to reach the American people effectively, after Oslo's crippling precedents.

Edward Said recounted ("Time to Turn to the Other Front", Al-Ahram, March 30) a decision by leading Palestinian businessmen and intellectuals late in 1982 to undertake a comprehensive information campaign in the West, recognizing that informing those publics is half (or more) of the battle. The campaign did not materialize for reasons Said cannot recall. In "These Are the Realities" (Al-Ahram, April 19) Said calls for a "movement of everyone" for Palestinian liberation, including elements of the US Jewish community and the Israeli public. 

PJ is parochial, not universalist. The JUNITY agenda begins with a presentation on how Jewish traditions inform peace activism, and the balance of the program is much concerned with Jewish outreach and education. Its favored mode of interaction is the "Arab-Jewish dialogue", which it enters from a position of moral equivalence, or even superiority, e.g., " 'We' have suffered, you have suffered, let's talk." (See Edward Said's scathing account of "dialogue" in "Peace and Its Discontents"). Jewish Unity invites a favored Arab-American, Ali Abunimah ("Working With Our Allies") to certify its presentation.

PJ, as formulated for years at Tikkun, may be collapsing under the weight of circumstances. If the Jewish Unity conference began in tired PJ terms, the proposals now on the web site go beyond it on many issues, including one that emphasizes working with others. As Marc Ellis wrote of PJ attitudes, "Jewishness is important, but it is not enough." We need, not PJ slumber parties, but a conference to found an all-party movement, not to celebrate Jewish (or anyone's) ethics, but to begin with hard thought about how and why we have arrived at the present disaster, surely the prerequisite to charting the way out.

he maturation of Arab-American politics is also necessary. As long as Jewish groups brings to the table the most effective initiatives like the Campaign Against Home Demolition, or congressional proposals against Israel's funding, they may bring their presumption with them (compare those projects to the content of ADC or Al-Awda sites). This is in part a function of inherent Jewish access to the oppressor camp, as well as greater experience in US political culture.

Shamir's Critics

This is the landscape in which Israel Shamir appeared, a fresh, eloquent voice, some of whose rhetoric raised some Jewish hackles. Stanley Heller at least attached his name to his objections (see ). In a later e-mail he explains that then he was 95% satisfied with Shamir's views, but after the Easter "Christ-killers" remark, became neutral. Heller does not state his views on Naim Ateek, or Edward Dillon, Palestinian and US churchmen, who both compared the passion of Christ to the passion of Palestine; he doesn't understand or care that Shamir's statement was an angry, Jewish escalation of his friend Ateek's statement to him. Heller notes that Shamir "was heavily criticized for this by reknowed Palestinian media critic Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish." Like many, I've admired the work of Ibish and Abunimah in speaking out and rallying a new generation of activists. They are correct to be concerned about the rhetoric of criticism of Israel and of US Jewish support for it. There has been a sad escalation in ethnic and religious attacks from the Arab side since last fall, which only matches the Zionist side, but cannot be countenanced if we hope to campaign against Zionist depredations.

Shamir's (and Ateek's and Dillon's) rhetoric is not mine; I'm neither a Jewish provocateur nor a practicing Christian. But with artistic insight Shamir addresses the origins of Jewish chauvinism in "chosenness" and distinctions between Jews and non-Jews in Talmudic Judaism, as well as pointing to its genocidal potential. Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky also feel Jewish religion is the foundation, whatever Zionism later added or expressed in secular terms.

This is not a subject US Jews like to consider. It is not a subject I like to consider. What satisfaction is there in pointing out others' faults? But while my tax dollars support institutionalized atrocities rationalized by Zionist ideology, I will consider it. The fire-breathing Birmingham (MI) Temple, home of famed Reconstructionist Rabbi Sherwin Wine, declined to sponsor an appearance of Mezvinsky, co-author with Shahak of "Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel," without a "balancing speaker," and "Israel Shahak does not represent mainstream Israel, you know" (Mezvinsky began his talk in Ann Arbor by quoting critiques of Jewish religion from Haaretz). Of course, Shahak's critiques have long been anathema to the Respectable Left at Middle East Report.

In their "Dear Laurie" letter to the Al-Awda list, Abunimah and Ibish show no confidence in the discrimination and intelligence of the Arab-Americans whom they presume to lead, seem to expect mass ignorance instead. They also show that their denunciation of Shamir was not the spontaneous eruption of conscience:

"we received a large number of messages from long-standing allies of the Palestinians in the Jewish community who had felt extremely uncomfortable about Shamir"

One such msg I saw practically squealed with delight and praised Abunimah and Ibish for their "courage", but there is nothing less courageous in the US than charging someone with anti-semitism.

A simple msg to Al-Awda noting that some had reservations about Shamir's rhetoric, with perhaps an explanatory comment, would have sufficed. But the Abunimah/Ibish statements against Shamir are shrill, self-righteous, almost hysterical, in contrast to Shamir's measured and tolerant response. Stung by the PJ lash, A/I gallop madly past any thought on the origins of the Easter msg. They seize upon a sentence in the Jerusalem Post about one talk to denounce Shamir as a voelkisch agitator, a view flatly contradicted by a member of that audience (which they have not acknowledged that I have seen). 

Israel Shamir in Toledo

Shamir spoke in Toledo on April 18 because I forwarded an e-mail about his availability to a member of the Greater Toledo Arab-American Association, which organized a solid program on very short notice. Maryse Mikhail, their elder stateswoman, with her husband Ramzy had just endowed a lecture on Middle East Peace at the University of Toledo. Noam Chomsky gave the first lecture in early March to a packed ballroom of 1,200.

The evening of the lecture I went to Toledo and met Shamir and the GTAAA for dinner. The GTAAA are a fine group of patriots, responding in the Arab nation's hour of need, and upholding the better impulses of their adopted land. The organizers knew all about the "controversy", had packets of Shamir's writings to distribute, including Stanley Heller's interview. They had the media all over Shamir, notices and interviews on the evening TV news, reporter from the Toledo Blade at dinner and the talk. There was a story in the Blade the next day, and an editorial (not an op-ed) on April 28 about a unitary, democratic state in Palestine Shamir's talk was perfectly unexceptionable, exemplary in many respects. He discussed "Jewish supremacism" briefly, and democratic values, including a single state in Palestine, inter alia, for 25-30 minutes; he took questions for nearly an hour. 100 or so came, mostly Arab-Americans. One organizer commented that it was the first time any of them had considered a unitary, bi-national state in Palestine (as opposed to the Arafat regime). Another comment was how constructive it was for Palestinians to hear an Israeli Jew who is on their side (even if they didn't like all they heard; "he's just another Zionist," snapped one elderly man to me as he stalked out at the end, and other Palestinians had criticisms).

After the talk there were refreshments and conversation, and several of us accompanied Shamir to a local restaurant. Christopher Bollyn, whose citation by Shamir Stanley Heller had noted with alarm ("He did respond, but very disturbingly used as a quote of support a writer for "Spotlight" which I understand to be a far right anti-Jewish publication!") was at the lecture and with us the rest of the evening. Bollyn, in his account, has some experience in the Middle East; as a teenager in the mid-1970s he wound up in Iran, broke, and rode a bicycle through Turkey, Syria and Jordan to Israel. There he worked on a kibbutz and married (and later divorced) an Israeli woman. He speaks fair Arabic and Hebrew.

I must confess, however, that I was shocked to find that Bollyn is virulently, irretrievably, rude. After we'd been seated for some time at the restaurant, Bollyn twice rearranged people to be closer to Shamir, the second time elbowing me aside, brandishing his camera with zoom lens like a bishop parting his flock, bumping me down one place at the table. He then proceeded to dominate the conversation with unoriginal questions. Shamir twice proferred the plate of nachos to me, as if in compensation, and once said, "Christopher, you know what you oppose, but not what to stand for." After laughing all the way back to Ann Arbor, we did the only decent thing and passed his name to Dear Abey at the Auntie Deportment League. I looked briefly at a copy of The Spotlight and found no smoking guns; a curious piece about "suppression of white culture" was mainly about schoolkids not being able to put confederate flags on their backpacks. But I do not vouch for The Spotlight and Liberty Lobby and all their connections and antecedents. I don't monitor far-right defamation groups; I've never understood the difference between CAMERA ("Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis") and FLAME ("Facts and Logic About the Middle East"). Writers are routinely cited for all kinds of purposes and Shamir cannot be blamed for it. The question for Shamir's critics is whether and why they have marginalized him with Arab-Americans, a refugee from Paul Findley's congressional district, and (presumably) a libertarian crank? When did any of these critics stimulate an editorial in a mainstream paper about a secular democratic state in Palestine? Of course, many (most?) PJs don't want such a that part of the problem?

Nor can I account entirely, or even mostly, for Israel Shamir, beyond his web page and recent writings, his talk, and a bit of conversation, the vast majority of it unexceptionable. I've read his web site bio and I don't really care about anything else. All that should matter to anyone is that he has illuminating things to say about the disaster in Israel/Palestine.

If Shamir's PJ critics were honest about the state of Israel and US Jewish support for it, they would be absorbed in addressing US Jewish institutions and realize how absurd their gleeful pursuit of Shamir is. They would "out" the chauvinism passing for scholarly activity at Jewish academic centers across the land, make indignant representations to Yale University, its Political Union and Friends of Israel for bringing a racist to "carry" an (unopposed!) "resolution" defaming the Palestinians, among myriad examples.  Let the "Jewish Unity" conference this weekend in Chicago be marked by raucous, emphatic disunity, by real debate about Zionism, about "Jewish identity", history, obligations, actions, not affirmation of comforting, familiar formulas, not spinning wheels, but a real advance toward the peace and justice in Palestine that we all care deeply about.

From: "Frank Rosenthal"

To: "Steven Feuerstein",

 Dear Friends: I also was disturbed by Israel Shamir's condescending and accusatory response to Ali Abunimah. Mr. Shamir is apparently unware of how much many of us value our alliance with the Palestinian American community and specifically how much we value the work of Ali Abunimah. Also I feel that Shamir's long response to Ali and Ibish did nothing to address the concerns that they raised. Those of us who object to Shamir, are not objecting to his criticism of Israel and his support of Palestinian human rights. That's fine. What we object to is his use of this issue to promote an anti-Jewish agenda (e.g. portraying Jews as Christ killers). And we object to his portraying the conflict as a religious conflict rather than a political one. These positions are not only wrong but they are also very divisive and detrimental to the organizing work we are doing in support of the Palestinian struggle and for a just peace. Frank ***************************

Frank S. Rosenthal,

Ph.D. From: Steven Feuerstein  Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 1:29 PM

Friends - I know Ali Abunimah well. He is one of the smartest and more principled human beings I have, in fact, ever met. I am some 13 years older than him, but every time we are together I think to myself: "I want to be like him when I grow up." Maybe that's why I felt so disgusted by Israel Shamir's response to concerns raised about him by Ali Abunimah & Hussein Ibish. In this response, Shamir says (in part) that: "If I were a suspicious man, I would probably suspect their motives. But I am ready to give Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish full benefit of any doubt. It is probable that they were motivated not by spite and envy, not by a fear of competition or of rocking the boat , not by working in cahoots with the Jewish lobby, but by nobler feelings." I agree with Shamir that there are more important things to do than to write emails. One of those things is to challenge unprincipled and baseless attacks on individuals. The above paragraph reflects, I believe, a severe ethical and intellectual lapse on Shamir's part and reinforces my concerns about him. Ali and Hussein raised serious concerns. Shamir replied with personal attacks and word games. I also also astonished that Shamir would rely on a reference from a journalist at Liberty Lobby's Spotlight to support his views and reputation. Liberty Lobby is an extreme right-wing organization with fascist and neo-nazi inclinations. Any friend of Liberty Lobby is no friend of mine.

SF Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:22:54 EDT From:

Subject: Re: "witch-hunt"

How is it a "witch-hunt"? I do not know Israel Shamir, but I have met Ali abu Nima and he and Steven Feuerstein are friends. Shamir, in his typical fashion, leveled an "insinuendo" as Mayor Daley would call it against Ali. What is wrong with defending your friends against implied slander?

Message: 6 Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 17:15:55 -0000 From: "fouzi slisli"

Subject: Re: Re: "witch-hunt"

Dear friends  I thought manifestations of backward tribalism were an issue and a concern only among our Arab nation. Apparently not. This is not a question of being on Shamir's side or on A. Abunimah et al. I actually know of all of them but have never met anyone of them, and the issue for me is not which side to take. The issue for me is that Abunimah and Ibish stated their "CONCERNS" and "SUSPICIONS" with Shamir's piece, but you are not allowing Shamir to state his "suspicions", although his was milder than Ali's and Ibish's were. The latter were serious charges, but it's their right to put them forward, of course respecfully and cordially. Nobody seems to acknowledge that Shamir did not evade the charges, either. He answered them. He was respectful and went through the points one by one. He did not attack Ali and Ibish, but after explaining his position he wondered why he was being suspected, not for any retribution I must say but simply to air the question. Now Ali and Ibish could make a statement and clarify their position and why they aere suspicious of Shamir's writing. They could tells us if Shamir convinced them or not. They asked Shamir to do it, it's just tactful yhat they return the gesture. My question is why are you taking a defensive position on their behalf ("What is wrong with defending your friends against implied slander?")just because Shamir wondered aloud why is he being suspected and quoted out of context? I am amazed that people are going for the jugular because of an "insinuendo." Respectfully Fouzi

Message: 7 Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 10:23:29 -0700 From: "Adam Gutride"

Subject: FW: Re: About Israel Shamir [2]

In response to Fouzi Slisli, please see the message below from the al-awda listserv about Mr. Shamir, where the debate has been raging much more vigorously than on this list. As I wrote directly to Ali Abunimah, I can understand why the idea of Shamir--Russian Israeli Jew who attacks Zionism and supports Palestinians--has such a pull on many Palestinians. But Ali's comparison to Arab-American and right-wing Israelophile Joseph Farah--see below--is exactly right. In addition, we are now seeing another front opening in the PR war about the intifada: that Palestinian resistance to Israeli aggression is part of a larger campaign of anti-Jewish attacks throughout the world. See the article in Ha'Aretz today "Intifada spurred an increase in anti-Semitic attacks" So the real problem with Palestinians supporting Shamir is that American Jews, who might be convinced to be allies with Palestinians (and whom we are trying so hard to organize) have their fears of Arab anti-semitism reinforced, throw up their hands, and decline to help us.

Dear Laurie,

1) Of course we raised these concerns with Shamir privately. Hussein remonstrated with him at length at a meeting three weeks ago to moderate his anti-jewish language and show greater concern for the sensitivities of American political discourse. He dismissed those suggestions out of hand and subsequently made the lamentable "christ killers" and "jews-as-viruses" statements. The man appears to be impervious to constructive criticism.

2) Some people in our community have in their responses to our note revealed a great deal of hypocrisy. A principal argument deployed is to ask us who are we to tell a Jew how to speak to Jews or others about Jews. And that because Shamir identifies himself as Jewish then what he is saying is fine or true or permissible. This sort of argument has come particularly from some of those who howled with anguish at the virulently anti-Arab writings of Joseph Farah, an Arab-American, who has been embraced by some slow-witted Zionists as the true, authentic voice of and about Arabs. The same is true of Abdel Hadi Palazzi, an Italian who identifies himself as a Muslim cleric, and who advocates the most extreme right-wing Israeli positions vis a vis Jerusalem. We are sorry to say that some in our community have received Shamir in precisely this spirit. We also note that we received a large number of messages from long-standing allies of the Palestinians in the Jewish community who had felt extremely uncomfortable about Shamir and who were growing more and more alarmed and alienated by our community's apparent unqualified embrace of everything Shamir has been saying.

3) It is important to point out that this "conflict" and "imbroglio" results from a very focussed note of objection to three statements attributed to Shamir. At no point in our note of concern do we in any way attempt to speculate as to the motives or the mentality of Israel Shamir. Nor do we characterize the entirety of his work. What we said then and we are happy to repeat now is that Shamir has been introducing themes such as "Jews as christ killers" and "Jews as viruses" into our conversation that are at best highly problematic and counterproductive no matter the context in which they are introduced. Given the Arab American community's enthusiastic embrace of Shamir, we strongly feel that it is vital for at least some people in our community to express reservations about these themes and to clearly state that the Palestinian movement has no need for arguments which are based on the villification of others.

4) We think it would be astonishing if people could not see the difference between our principled and focussed objection to specific comments attributed to Israel Shamir and Shamir's own shameless rant impugning our motives. Is there anyone who thinks that it is reasonable for such a man to be allowed to say that Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish "probably are not working in cahoots with the Jewish lobby"? How generous of him to allow for this, and how ridiculous that he would think that he can get away with it. Sadly much of the response to our concerns has given Shamir the impression that he can in fact get away with this kind of sly accusation. At any rate a comparison of our note and Shamir's note is sufficient to demonstrate who is raising serious and legitimate concerns and who is flinging wild accusations.

5) While some people may disagree with us, we continue to believe that the moral content of the conversation on behalf of Palestinian rights is a serious concern. It is disturbing to us that a man about whom we know very little and who has increasingly employed rhetoric which is indefensible should be uncritically championed by our community. At the very least we felt we had an obligation to register our objections publicly and to alert our colleagues to this disturbing pattern. It is a pity that some people have reacted in a purely emotional manner.

Yours, Ali & Hussein

PS: Regarding Shamir's statement: "Just for the sake of clarity I may add that I was asked to discontinue my regular column CONTRA in the Vesti newspaper after the Rape of Dulcinea was published, at the request of a certain American Jewish journalist attached to the staff of JP."

For your information, Ali spoke with Pavel Perelmutter an editor at Vesti this morning. Mr. Perelmutter said that Shamir has never had a regular column in Vesti, but that it has published his articles from time to time "with no system" and "with no obligation."

--- In Al-Awda@y..., "King/Irani"

<capcino@c... wrote:

Dear All, Has Mr. Shamir killed anyone? Would that we would direct this much passion to the indictment of Ariel Sharon, or calling a halt, via civil disobedience or direct action, to US arms shipments to Israel.

I do not know Mr. Shamir personally. I was most impressed with the first two or three of his articles I saw, particularly the "Acid Test Failed" and the "Rape of Dulcinea," plus another one whose title I forgot, maybe it was "Winter Fool, Summer Fool" or something like that. I did, however, find some of his language in the last two articles too rough and too close to the discourse of conventional anti-Semitism. But having corresponded by email on several occasions and by telephone once with Mr. Shamir, I do not in the least get the sense that he is mean-spirited, ill-intentioned, an anti-semite or bigoted in any fashion. He is definitely an iconoclastic writer, he is clearly very well read and has a unique and compelling perspective on historical events and political motivations. As a cultural anthropologist, though, I'd say he does not recognize some implicit but nonetheless powerful cultural clues and connotations in contemporary US political discourse, and hence says things that are then perceived as scandalous.

On the other hand, I DO know Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish personally. I admire and respect both of them greatly and think that they are among the leading lights of their generation in the Arab American activist/intellectual community. I could never characterize either one of them as mean-spirited or given to intrigue for the sake of intrigue. They are both "stand-up guys" and I have to take their concerns and opinions seriously since I know them and their work and thus have no reason not to trust what they say.

So this has left a lot of confusion in my mind. Perhaps the way out of it is to recall the old Arab saying: "al-`amal bin-niyyah" (The act is in the intention).

In my gut, I do not believe that it was Mr. Shamir's intention to be anti-semitic or offensive or to stir up venemous feelings. His response today indicates that some of his comments may have been taken out of context, and that another, (the one reported in the JP), was completely fabricated. Having little respect for the JP, I'm inclined to take his word on this one.

I also do not believe that Ali and Hussein acted on any motivations other than noble ones. I do not know if they raised these concerns and critiques personally with Mr. Shamir before sending out the message. I would hope that they had, and assume that they did.

Unless there are other dimensions and facts that I do not yet know, and I am open to hearing more dimensions and opinions if it is with the intention of learning from and transcending this situation, my suggestion is that we put this episode behind us, that those who share concerns about justice in Israel/Palestine and the cessation of oppression, war crimes, US military and other aid to Israel, man's inhumanity to man, and racist discourse of all kinds, can get back to focusing on the big issues. Or, as they said in the Civil Rights era: "Keep your eyes on the prize."

Best to all,

Laurie Message: 8 Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 18:05:39 -0000 From: "Charity Crouse"  Subject: Re: Re: "witch-hunt"

i don't know if this continued back and forth is necessary. i think that ali and hussein raised some concerns and they were recognized and commented on, and israel responded and raised some concerns and they were commented on. many don't agree, but we aren't always going to agree. i think furthering this "defense" of anyone's points back and forth is just going to divert us from what we need to be doing. hopefully, israel will take some of the many comments on what his comrades deem the effectiveness or destructiveness of his comments under consideration, and ali and hussein can take stock in the fact that their concerns were taken seriously and spurred a discussion that should now be applied. as i see it, there were many strategic points raised that i think we can depersonalize from israel, ali and hussien and talk about in a manner which will further our collective political aims. specifically, i'm thinking of the points raised concerning the following things:

--effective methods for communicating points, linking struggles and spurring critical and constructive dialogue without appearing to condone or promote sexist, racist, anti-Semitic or homophobic stereotpyes by drawing on them for imagery purposes and without speaking in such a hyperbolic manner that misinterpretation can overshadow necessary and effective points. this is not to say that metahpor isn't powerful, but i think that we have begun to think critically about how methods of communication can build or hinder our further collective movement --the need for multiple and varying voices to be offering their perspectives  on issues and engaging others. having one spokesperson for a cause or a "demographic" within that cause is not what a movement based on justice, peace and democracy is about. rather than continuing to go on about Israel's merits or detriments, or Ali and Hussein's intentions, we should be encouraging others to cultivate their own voices and educate themselves so that they can function as spokespeople relative to their experiences. it's one thing for me to say i think that Israel's comment were sexist, but if i and others can not find a way to offer an alternative then we're really not helping to change the world; we're just bellyaching --thinking strategically about issues that we can take beyond our groups and use to bring awareness to issues in the Middle East and how the U.S. impacts Israeli policy. i'm thinking in particular about the short discussion in the Pro-Zionist lobby, which also delved into the problems with anti-Semitism and Jewish/Arab representation issues as well as the need to educate people, including Jews, to the implications and the power of Pro-Zionist lobbyists. for a while, i was very excited by the level of discourse that was taking place around that issue. i felt like we were getting to a point where might be thinking strategically, and with the Jewish Unity for a Just Peace Conference coming up, this was inspiring to see and hopefully will be better targetted once we can get together and brainstorm, face-to-face, without the dubiousness of internet personnas clouding our ability to place faith in the sincerity of one anothers motivation.

Message: 5 Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 09:17:58 -0700 From: "Mashney"  Subject: Re: Spotlight on Spotlight

That goes without saying that many of us, in a knee jerk, shallow and politically-correct reaction, mindlessly parrot smears directed against those who remain outside the poisonous tentacles of the Zionist Lobby.  Regardless of their honorable intentions, these people end up hampering rather than helping our cause by assisting Zionist in smearing those who resist Zionism.  Winston Churchill once said that he was willing to ally himself with the devil to defeat Hitler. I don't remember anyone smearing Churchill as a diabolical veil worshipper.  We need all the allies we can get. Our first priority is to defeat Zionism. Every other consideration is secondary to that.  We cannot defeat the Zionist Entity without first defeating Zionism.

Sami B. Mashney


From: "john davies"

I have reviewed the Spotlight's website, and can find no evidence in the reporting or the books listed for purchase, of any racism of any kind. The attached article gets to the point of ethnic cleansing and massacre using only the terms Zionist and Israeli, not "Jewish".  There seems to be a general anti-bureaucratic and anti-big government theme, unfortunately to my way of thinking linked to the Kyoto climate change treaty. But the anti-corporate fascism themes of multinational corporate planning, monetarism, free trade, civil resistance, nutrition, health, are all freely debated in my own community.

I may not agree with their underlying political ideology, or with their lobbying against the Kyoto climate change agreement, but what I see here presented is good critical investigative reporting.

John Davies 


From:  Reply-To:  To:  Subject: [AL-AWDA] Re: Spotlight on Spotlight Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 16:19:17 -0000

John, You obviously haven't reviewed "The Spotlight" very carefully. I found plenty of evidence of extreme right-wing and neo-fascist views, such as the article entitled "Tidal Wave of Aliens Aim at Southwest." But that was really one of the most benign. There is the section on the site that posits that the world is run by a group of high power Jewish families and other "luminaries" who meet secretly each year called the "Bilderberg Group," among many other things.

John, you say you "can find no evidence in the reporting or the books listed for purchase, of any racism of any kind." In order to give you the benefit of the doubt I will assume you simply overlooked the prominent link to a periodical called "The Barnes Review" (TBR) to whose newsletter one can subscribe directly from the site. (If you go to, on the right hand side is a column called "Other Features" where you will see a link to "TBR Supressed History").

If you follow the link, one of the real gems you will find in the current issue of "TBR" is an article called "Concentration Camp Money" by one Jennifer White. Here are the first two paragraphs of this article:

"Far from being the "death camps" as you have heard so often, places like Auschwitz, Dachau and Buchenwald were not in the business of extermination. They were work camps, critical to the German war effort. But did you know that the Jewish workers were compensated for their labor with scrip printed specifically for their use in stores, canteens and even brothels? The prisoner monetary system was conceived in ghettos such as Lodz, carried to camps such as Auschwitz and Dachau and still existed in the displaced persons camps that were established by the Allies after World War II. Here is the story of the money the court historians do not want you to even suspect existed."

"Piles of incinerated corpses were indicting images at Nuremberg, used to prove that the German-run concentration camps during World War II were intended for purposes of exterminating the Jews of Europe. How ever, a plethora of documentary evidence, long suppressed, shows that prisoners were relatively well-treated, compensated for their hard work and allowed to purchase luxuries to which even the German public did not have ready access. This is not the image of abject deprivation that the Holocaust lobby would like you to entertain."

Another article in the latest "TBR," by one John Tiffany begins like this:

"Some Mexicans and Mexican-Americans want to see California, New Mexico and other parts of the United States given to Mexico. They call it the "reconquista," Spanish for "reconquest," and they view the millions of Mexican illegal aliens entering this country as their army of invaders to achieve that takeover."

If this is not racism of some kind, I'd be hard pressed to imagine what is.

Ali Abunimah 

Message: 8 Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:25:11 -0500 From: "Maan M. Hamze"  Subject: A Shamir Controversy or a case of Historic Ignorance?

Dear Moderator; I'd like to ask you to help stop the argument raging on Israel Shamir on your list.