Alison.weir.Stanford.jpg
Alison Weir at Stanford

A petition calling for an end to attacks on people working for peace and justice

Some people have put together a powerful petition with numerous highly respected signatories. I hope many people will join this effort: An open letter to the U.S. Campaign and other Activists for Justice in Palestine. (Scroll down below all signatures to sign it.)

Among the signatories are:

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and former Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, UN Human Rights Council.

Hedy Epstein, Holocaust survivor; St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee*; Jewish Voice for Peace - St. Louis**

Samia Khoury, founding member of the board of Trustees of Birzeit University and Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, author, "Reflections from Palestine: A Journey of Hope" (descendant of Birzeit University founders).

Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat turned peace activist; passenger on 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla; co-organizer and passenger on Gaza Freedom Flotillas 2011 & 2015; co-organizer of 2009 Gaza Freedom March.

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, Co-Founder Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition.

James Abourezk, former Senator, South Dakota, founder of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Pete McCloskey, former Member of Congress (R..Calif. 1967-83) and Co-Founder, with Paul Findley, of the Council for the National Interes; and Helen McCloskey

Ray McGovern, Retired CIA officer turned peace activist. Co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Rita Giacaman, Professor, Research & Program Coordinator and founder, Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University; active in 1980s Palestinian social action movement.

Edward Peck, Americans for Middle East Understanding, Former US Ambassador to Iraq & Mauritania, Participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Abbas Hamideh, National Board Vice Chair, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, son of one of the few survivors of the massacre at Deir Yassin Palestine on April 9th 1948

Philip Giraldi, Former CIA Officer turned anti-war activist & journalist; Executive Director, Council for the National Interest*, member, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and former presidential candidate, Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox

Joe Meadors, USS Liberty Survivor, Past President, USS Liberty Veterans Association, Participant in three Gaza Freedom Flotillas, Free Palestine Movement*.

The Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus for The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, President: Tree of Life Educational Fund

John Erickson, NorCal Friends of Sabeel* -- Co-Chair

Sunaina Maira, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, USACBI

The Reverend Canon Richard K. Toll, former Director, Friends of Sabeel* , Retired Episcopal Priest

Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo, Professor Emeritus of International Law, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies

Donald A. Kruse, Retired Foreign Services Officer, Consul, Consulate General, Jerusalem 1976-1980

Lawrence Davidson, Professor Emeritus, West Chester University

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy Intellignece Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council

James Petras, Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Joel Kovel, author of "Overcoming Zionism," "White Racism," "Red Hunting inn the Promised Land," and other books; editor; former psychiatrist; Bard College professor emeritus

Ernest Gallo, President, USS Liberty Veterans Association

Ronald Kukal, USS Liberty Survivor: Petty Officer in Charge of the Body Recovery and Identification after June 8, 1967 attack

David Rovics, Folk Musician, American Federation of Musicians Local 1000

Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper - Editor

See more

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 05:14PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

ADL, Hate Group – Why many people call the "Anti-Defamation League" the "Defamation League" 

Other nicknames for it are the "Anti-Palestinian League," the "Anti-Muslim League," the "Anti-Arab League," the "Anti-Truth League," "The Anti-Justice League," etc.

The ADL has a pattern of attacking people who provide facts they dislike about Israel-Palestine. A great many of the diverse organizations, writers and speakers who provide significant, factual information about Israeli oppression and violence against Palestinians – including Jewish individuals – are called "anti-Semitic."

I've written about this in my article: "A Modest Proposal to the Anti-Defamation League."

An excellent article that discusses the ADL's role in creating Islamophobia is "The Great Islamophobic Crusade."

A short piece I wrote rebutting some of their accusations in their extremely long dossier about me is "Anti-Defamation League Defames Me - My Letter to the ADL."

A documentary about the ADL made by an Israeli filmmaker is Defamation – a trailer is here.

For decades the ADL has bullied people, intimidated victims, and spread vicious misinformation. It's time for everyone to stand up to this hate group and expose and oppose its nasty agenda.

 

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 07:22AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The diverse movement for justice

I'm on a speaking tour in the northeastern United States and am being hosted in the homes of a wonderfully diverse array of committed, principled human beings – religious and secular; Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other; old and young.

This is representative of the extraordinarily diverse collection of people working for justice in Palestine, who are of all ethnicities, races, ages, faiths, and political backgrounds.

While Israel apologists immediately call all of us, even those who are Jewish, "anti-Semitic," the fact is that I consistently find people who are committed to fairness and respect for all people and who are profoundly opposed to bigotry.

Since Israel partisans can't refute our facts, they attack the messenger with untruths and nasty names.

Nevertheless, our ranks are growing as we're being joined by courageous individuals of all backgrounds who are daring to speak out against the bullying that has too long warped American policies.

As we join together in our determination to bring justice and end violence and oppression, we will eventually, I have no doubt, overcome.

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 06:11AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Some of the articles I'm reading today

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 11:38AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Recent articles of interest

Some articles I'm reading today:

http://goingtotehran.com/snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory-the-case-for-u-s-iranian-rapprochement-that-obama-must-still-make-leveretts-in-the-national-interest

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/26/new-low-obama-doj-federal-courts-abusing-state-secrets-privilege/

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/American-Israeli-Rabbi-compares-Obama-to-Haman-395457

http://www.brussellstribunal.org/article_view.asp?id=2200#

http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/new/netanyahus-spying-denials-contradicted-by-secret-nsa-documents/#.VRfx22YmRNI

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 05:21AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

‘New anti-Semitism’ on college campuses is largely blowback against orchestrated Israel advocacy

Jeff Warner & Dick Platkin, Mondoweiss – In the past month much has been written about two incidents of anti-Semitism at University of California campuses.  According to the NY Times and the Los Angeles Times, they represent a national trend of revived campus anti-Semitism.

We think an even cursory look at these two incidents reveals a different story, with some surprising revelations about them and the new role of Israel itself as the cause of a new anti-Semitism.

One incident was a swastika painted on the wall of a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis after a campus divestment campaign.  The frat boys claim this incident was the work of pro-Palestinian BDS activists.  But neither they nor the campus cops have come forth with a shred of evidence.  Their charge, nevertheless, follows a broader trend labeled the New Anti-Semitism.  Defenders of the Israeli government equate criticisms of Israel, especially university divestment proposals, with earlier forms of anti-Semitism based on Christian theology or Nazi-type racial theories.

The second incident was at UCLA, where there has been no similar incident, before or after.   A Jewish undergraduate who is a campus Hillel officer, Rachel Beyda, applied to join the undergraduate Judicial Board.  In her interview student government officers asked if her involvement with campus Jewish organizations, specifically UCLA Hillel and her sorority, allowed her to impartially serve on the Judicial Board.  Several days later, her roommate wrote an article for The Daily Bruin, stating that she overheard the student officers, meeting in executive session after the interview, raise questions of dual loyalty.

In this case we have a full video of the interview and also an extensive written record of Israel-related activism on the UCLA campus.  This context includes the intervention of an off-campus businessman and convicted felon, Adam Milstein.   Milstein is connected to right-wing Zionist groups and has funneled money through UCLA Hillel to influence student elections and oppose divestment campaigns on the UCLA campus lead by Students for Justice in Palestine UCLA.

Although the details of the UC Davis case remain unknown, in the case of UCLA, there is a back-story to the anti-Semitic questioning of Rachel Beyda’s, namely Hillel’s role in funneling Milstein’s money into student elections.  Although this history has been excluded from the multiple stories about the incident, we believe that Milstein’s intervention through Hillel led to the student interviewers’ doubts about Hillel officer Rachel Beyda’s judicial impartiality.

While the student officers approved her application after their executive session, it took the intervention of staff advisor, Debra Geller.  She explained to the student officers that an applicant’s ethnic or religious identity could not be used to evaluate his or her candidacy.

How do these two incidents compare to empirical trends regarding anti-Semitic practices on U.S. college campuses?  According to the Anti-Defamation League, which conducts an annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, anti-Semitism at US college campuses is at a historic low point.  As we have written previously in Mondoweiss, actual anti-Semitic incidents are barely measureable, and the long history of discrimination against Jews in academia has disappeared.  

There are no more glass ceilings for Jewish professors to become department chairs, deans, or college presidents.  Admission quotas, especially for medical schools, are long gone.  And, fraternities and sororities have all dropped discriminatory clauses barring Jews from membership.  Finally, students interested in Jewish or Israeli studies, as well as Hebrew and Yiddish, now have multiple options at many campuses.

These developments are fully observable at UCLA, where the University’s Chancellor, Gene D. Bloch, is Jewish.   UCLA also offers abundant opportunities to take Jewish-related courses, write for Jewish publications, or participate in Jewish organizations.  In fact, UCLA Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller described these trends in full detail for one of his recent High Holiday sermons.

This brings us to the ultimate irony of these real and imagined anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses.  They are largely push back against externally orchestrated Israel advocacy, usually through Jewish institutions that receive support from the Israeli government, Israel-connected organization like the Jewish National Fund and AIPAC, or outside donors, like Milstein.  In many cases they operate well-funded programs, such as Hasbara Fellows, to train campus operatives supportive of the Israeli government.

So even though overall trends continue downward, the appearance of several anti-Semitic incidents directly or potentially related to Israel is simply blowback against clumsy efforts to oppose BDS campaigns or Israel Apartheid Week, a common spring program of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters.

In other words, even though Israel was established by the Zionist movement to escape what it viewed as ineradicable anti-Semitism, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and its efforts to quash dissent in the U.S. have resulted in pushback that Israeli advocates mislabel as “anti-Semitism” or the New Anti-Semitism.  But political disagreement with Israel’s policies is not based on hatred of Jews.  Rather, it is opposition to Israel’s policies of occupation and denying Palestinians individual and group rights.  When it is incorrectly labeled “anti-Semitism,” it is a blatant attempt to suppress political speech.

Ironically, Israel and its extremist supporters in the United States are undercutting the work of Jewish defense organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that have had extraordinary success over the past century in eliminating real anti-Semitism.   

One of their achievements was to rebut widespread allegations that American Jews had divided loyalties between the United States and Israel.   

Recent Israeli declarations, however, from Netanyahu himself, that Israel is the state of the entire Jewish people, have revived these suspicions, including at UCLA.  When pro-Israel activists claim they speak for all Jews, it stigmatizes Jews everywhere with the biases of these pro-Israel activists.  That perception is what underlay the reported statements from student officers about Rachel Beyda’s divided loyalties.

As we examine these and related cases, we come to an inescapable conclusion.  Defenders of the Israeli government are fostering incidents of anti-Semitism that Israel was intended to ward off.

#

In addition to the above, it's important to remember that a few years ago an AIPAC leader announced how AIPAC was going to counter the BDS movement on campuses.

As I wrote in an earlier blog entry:

"In a chilling JTA video from this convention, longtime AIPAC operative Jonathon Kessler is seen describing the Israel lobby's' plan to take over the University of California Berkeley student government, which had passed by 16-4 a resolution detested by the pro-Israel lobby.
In front of a cheering throng, Kessler announced:

"'We’re going to make certain that pro-Israel students take over the student government and reverse the vote. That is how AIPAC operates in our nation’s capitol. This is how AIPAC must operate on our nation’s campuses.'"

#

For more embedded links in the Warner-Platkin article go to Mondoweiss.

In the past month much has been written about two incidents of anti-Semitism at University of California campuses.  According to the NY Times and the Los Angeles Times, they represent a national trend of revived campus anti-Semitism.

We think an even cursory look at these two incidents reveals a different story, with some surprising revelations about them and the new role of Israel itself as the cause of a new anti-Semitism.

One incident was a swastika painted on the wall of a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis after a campus divestment campaign.  The frat boys claim this incident was the work of pro-Palestinian BDS activists.  But neither they nor the campus cops have come forth with a shred of evidence.  Their charge, nevertheless, follows a broader trend labeled the New Anti-Semitism.  Defenders of the Israeli government equate criticisms of Israel, especially university divestment proposals, with earlier forms of anti-Semitism based on Christian theology or Nazi-type racial theories.

The second incident was at UCLA, where there has been no similar incident, before or after.   A Jewish undergraduate who is a campus Hillel officer, Rachel Beyda, applied to join the undergraduate Judicial Board.  In her interview student government officers asked if her involvement with campus Jewish organizations, specifically UCLA Hillel and her sorority, allowed her to impartially serve on the Judicial Board.  Several days later, her roommate wrote an article for The Daily Bruin, stating that she overheard the student officers, meeting in executive session after the interview, raise questions of dual loyalty.

In this case we have a full video of the interview and also an extensive written record of Israel-related activism on the UCLA campus.  This context includes the intervention of an off-campus businessman and convicted felon, Adam Milstein.   Milstein is connected to right-wing Zionist groups and has funneled money through UCLA Hillel to influence student elections and oppose divestment campaigns on the UCLA campus lead by Students for Justice in Palestine UCLA.

Although the details of the UC Davis case remain unknown, in the case of UCLA, there is a back-story to the anti-Semitic questioning of Rachel Beyda’s, namely Hillel’s role in funneling Milstein’s money into student elections.  Although this history has been excluded from the multiple stories about the incident, we believe that Milstein’s intervention through Hillel led to the student interviewers’ doubts about Hillel officer Rachel Beyda’s judicial impartiality.

While the student officers approved her application after their executive session, it took the intervention of staff advisor, Debra Geller.  She explained to the student officers that an applicant’s ethnic or religious identity could not be used to evaluate his or her candidacy.

How do these two incidents compare to empirical trends regarding anti-Semitic practices on U.S. college campuses?  According to the Anti-Defamation League, which conducts an annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, anti-Semitism at US college campuses is at a historic low point.  As we have written previously in Mondoweiss, actual anti-Semitic incidents are barely measureable, and the long history of discrimination against Jews in academia has disappeared.  There are no more glass ceilings for Jewish professors to become department chairs, deans, or college presidents.  Admission quotas, especially for medical schools, are long gone.  And, fraternities and sororities have all dropped discriminatory clauses barring Jews from membership.  Finally, students interested in Jewish or Israeli studies, as well as Hebrew and Yiddish, now have multiple options at many campuses.

These developments are fully observable at UCLA, where the University’s Chancellor, Gene D. Bloch, is Jewish.   UCLA also offers abundant opportunities to take Jewish-related courses, write for Jewish publications, or participate in Jewish organizations.  In fact, UCLA Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller described these trends in full detail for one of his recent High Holiday sermons.

This brings us to the ultimate irony of these real and imagined anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses.  They are largely push back against externally orchestrated Israel advocacy, usually through Jewish institutions that receive support from the Israeli government, Israel-connected organization like the Jewish National Fund and AIPAC, or outside donors, like Milstein.  In many cases they operate well-funded programs, such as Hasbara Fellows, to train campus operatives supportive of the Israeli government.

So even though overall trends continue downward, the appearance of several anti-Semitic incidents directly or potentially related to Israel is simply blowback against clumsy efforts to oppose BDS campaigns or Israel Apartheid Week, a common spring program of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters.

In other words, even though Israel was established by the Zionist movement to escape what it viewed as ineradicable anti-Semitism, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and its efforts to quash dissent in the U.S. have resulted in pushback that Israeli advocates mislabel as “anti-Semitism” or the New Anti-Semitism.  But political disagreement with Israel’s policies is not based on hatred of Jews.  Rather, it is opposition to Israel’s policies of occupation and denying Palestinians individual and group rights.  When it is incorrectly labeled “anti-Semitism,” it is a blatant attempt to suppress political speech.

Ironically, Israel and its extremist supporters in the United States are undercutting the work of Jewish defense organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that have had extraordinary success over the past century in eliminating real anti-Semitism.   One of their achievements was to rebut widespread allegations that American Jews had divided loyalties between the United States and Israel.   Recent Israeli declarations, however, from Netanyahu himself, that Israel is the state of the entire Jewish people, have revived these suspicions, including at UCLA.  When pro-Israel activists claim they speak for all Jews, it stigmatizes Jews everywhere with the biases of these pro-Israel activists.  That perception is what underlay the reported statements from student officers about Rachel Beyda’s divided loyalties.

As we examine these and related cases, we come to an inescapable conclusion.  Defenders of the Israeli government are fostering incidents of anti-Semitism that Israel was intended to ward off.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/blowback-orchestrated-advocacy#sthash.WBIUGVZm.dpuf

In the past month much has been written about two incidents of anti-Semitism at University of California campuses.  According to the NY Times and the Los Angeles Times, they represent a national trend of revived campus anti-Semitism.

We think an even cursory look at these two incidents reveals a different story, with some surprising revelations about them and the new role of Israel itself as the cause of a new anti-Semitism.

One incident was a swastika painted on the wall of a Jewish fraternity house at UC Davis after a campus divestment campaign.  The frat boys claim this incident was the work of pro-Palestinian BDS activists.  But neither they nor the campus cops have come forth with a shred of evidence.  Their charge, nevertheless, follows a broader trend labeled the New Anti-Semitism.  Defenders of the Israeli government equate criticisms of Israel, especially university divestment proposals, with earlier forms of anti-Semitism based on Christian theology or Nazi-type racial theories.

The second incident was at UCLA, where there has been no similar incident, before or after.   A Jewish undergraduate who is a campus Hillel officer, Rachel Beyda, applied to join the undergraduate Judicial Board.  In her interview student government officers asked if her involvement with campus Jewish organizations, specifically UCLA Hillel and her sorority, allowed her to impartially serve on the Judicial Board.  Several days later, her roommate wrote an article for The Daily Bruin, stating that she overheard the student officers, meeting in executive session after the interview, raise questions of dual loyalty.

In this case we have a full video of the interview and also an extensive written record of Israel-related activism on the UCLA campus.  This context includes the intervention of an off-campus businessman and convicted felon, Adam Milstein.   Milstein is connected to right-wing Zionist groups and has funneled money through UCLA Hillel to influence student elections and oppose divestment campaigns on the UCLA campus lead by Students for Justice in Palestine UCLA.

Although the details of the UC Davis case remain unknown, in the case of UCLA, there is a back-story to the anti-Semitic questioning of Rachel Beyda’s, namely Hillel’s role in funneling Milstein’s money into student elections.  Although this history has been excluded from the multiple stories about the incident, we believe that Milstein’s intervention through Hillel led to the student interviewers’ doubts about Hillel officer Rachel Beyda’s judicial impartiality.

While the student officers approved her application after their executive session, it took the intervention of staff advisor, Debra Geller.  She explained to the student officers that an applicant’s ethnic or religious identity could not be used to evaluate his or her candidacy.

How do these two incidents compare to empirical trends regarding anti-Semitic practices on U.S. college campuses?  According to the Anti-Defamation League, which conducts an annual audit of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, anti-Semitism at US college campuses is at a historic low point.  As we have written previously in Mondoweiss, actual anti-Semitic incidents are barely measureable, and the long history of discrimination against Jews in academia has disappeared.  There are no more glass ceilings for Jewish professors to become department chairs, deans, or college presidents.  Admission quotas, especially for medical schools, are long gone.  And, fraternities and sororities have all dropped discriminatory clauses barring Jews from membership.  Finally, students interested in Jewish or Israeli studies, as well as Hebrew and Yiddish, now have multiple options at many campuses.

These developments are fully observable at UCLA, where the University’s Chancellor, Gene D. Bloch, is Jewish.   UCLA also offers abundant opportunities to take Jewish-related courses, write for Jewish publications, or participate in Jewish organizations.  In fact, UCLA Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller described these trends in full detail for one of his recent High Holiday sermons.

This brings us to the ultimate irony of these real and imagined anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses.  They are largely push back against externally orchestrated Israel advocacy, usually through Jewish institutions that receive support from the Israeli government, Israel-connected organization like the Jewish National Fund and AIPAC, or outside donors, like Milstein.  In many cases they operate well-funded programs, such as Hasbara Fellows, to train campus operatives supportive of the Israeli government.

So even though overall trends continue downward, the appearance of several anti-Semitic incidents directly or potentially related to Israel is simply blowback against clumsy efforts to oppose BDS campaigns or Israel Apartheid Week, a common spring program of Students for Justice in Palestine chapters.

In other words, even though Israel was established by the Zionist movement to escape what it viewed as ineradicable anti-Semitism, Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and its efforts to quash dissent in the U.S. have resulted in pushback that Israeli advocates mislabel as “anti-Semitism” or the New Anti-Semitism.  But political disagreement with Israel’s policies is not based on hatred of Jews.  Rather, it is opposition to Israel’s policies of occupation and denying Palestinians individual and group rights.  When it is incorrectly labeled “anti-Semitism,” it is a blatant attempt to suppress political speech.

Ironically, Israel and its extremist supporters in the United States are undercutting the work of Jewish defense organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that have had extraordinary success over the past century in eliminating real anti-Semitism.   One of their achievements was to rebut widespread allegations that American Jews had divided loyalties between the United States and Israel.   Recent Israeli declarations, however, from Netanyahu himself, that Israel is the state of the entire Jewish people, have revived these suspicions, including at UCLA.  When pro-Israel activists claim they speak for all Jews, it stigmatizes Jews everywhere with the biases of these pro-Israel activists.  That perception is what underlay the reported statements from student officers about Rachel Beyda’s divided loyalties.

As we examine these and related cases, we come to an inescapable conclusion.  Defenders of the Israeli government are fostering incidents of anti-Semitism that Israel was intended to ward off.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/blowback-orchestrated-advocacy#sthash.WBIUGVZm.dpuf
Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 04:39AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The advertisement that the American Historial Association (AHA) refused to publish

Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 06:39PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

While everyone talks about the Israeli election, this is being ignored...

Recent news from the International Middle East Media Center, IMEMC (ignored by US media. Imagine the coverage if Palestinians had taken these actions against Israelis):

Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 13:54
Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, two Palestinian villages in the central West Bank district of Tubas, and demolished a home and four residential structures. Full Story
Image Silwanic
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 12:45
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) in occupied East Jerusalem, said Israeli extremists broke into, and occupied, a residential building inhabited by the al-Malhi family, and two lands in Wadi Hilweh. Full Story
Image By Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Silwan
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 11:47
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday morning, ten Palestinians, including a woman and five children, in different parts of occupied East Jerusalem, and one in Ramallah. Two children and three teenagers have also been kidnapped in Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening. Full Story
File - Radio Bethlehem 2000
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 11:15
Palestinian medical sources have reported, Wednesday, that a man was injured after Israeli soldiers attacked him on a military roadblock, near Beit Sahour, in the West Bank district of Bethlehem. Army invades Ya’bad town, near Jenin. Full Story
File - Image PalTimes
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 09:59
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday evening, the general coordinator of the Popular Resistance Committee in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, as he was heading back to Hebron. Full Story
qaryoutfb.jpg
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 05:06
Young Palestinians in Qaryout, near Nablus, today, were planting olive saplings to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the murder of activist Rachel Corrie. They then sat down for a peaceful picnic. Watch what happens next... Full Story
Image By PPS Office - Nablus
Wednesday March 18, 2015 - 03:37
The leftist Palestinian People’s Party (PPP) has reported that unknown gunmen fired, on Tuesday at dawn, rounds of live ammunition at its office in Hitteen Street, in the center of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Full Story

Al Ray archive image

Tuesday March 17, 2015 - 22:58
Israel's interior ministry has announced that it demolished about 18 Palestinian homes in the Negev, within the last week, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency. Full Story
Tuesday March 17, 2015 - 21:51
Israeli occupation forces, Tuesday afternoon, attacked a popular demonstration that surfaced around the story of the Jerusalem Gate protest camp, on the day of Israeli Knesset elections. Full Story
(MaanImages/File)
Tuesday March 17, 2015 - 19:46
The Egyptian army demolished 1,020 houses in the border city of Rafah as part of the second stage of the establishment of a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip. Full Story
 
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 12:44PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

A viewpoint from Prince Turki re: blogger punishement

...you have to consider the problem from two points of view. The first point of view is that are we going to have an independent judiciary or not, and if we do have an independent judiciary whatever comes out of that then you have to live with it and try to improve it through education, through reforms of the judiciary, better understanding of the world today, etc..... we’ve already started even before the present King came to power on a reform program for our judiciary – literally scores if not hundreds of sitting judges in Saudi Arabia that have been taken by this reform program to visit other countries to see how their judicial systems work..... My gut reaction to a man being lashed - It’s the same gut reaction that I got from seeing how those people in Abu Ghraib prison were treated by American soldiers in 2004 and 2005. It is the same gut reaction that I get even today from seeing people that have not been put on trial, that have not been charged with anything incarcerated still in Guantanamo. So it is not an issue that is unique to Saudi Arabia. If there is injustice in the world it happens in other places. What we are doing at least about it is we are trying to reform our judicial system, and hopefully we can get there sooner than people give us credit for.

Click to read more ...

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 07:33AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

This video and article are essential to understanding Israel

From Electronic Intifada http://youtu.be/pen3Ka5IaR0 Note: This video shows disturbing footage of Israeli police shooting and killing a Palestinian youth. At least thirty Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested in the Galilee village of Kufr Kana on Sunday as protests spread over the cold-blooded police killing of a youth on Friday. The video above shows Israeli police shooting 22-year-old Kheir Hamdan in Kufr Kana in circumstances that totally contradict their initial account...

Click to read more ...

Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 at 07:30AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

JTA: "Supreme Court justices talk Jewish"- Kagan calls Rabbi Riskin (currently founder of notorious West Bank settlement) "gracious" 

In a JTA article this week, Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan talk about the significance of their Jewish upbringing, of having 3 Jewish Justices on the US Supreme Court, and of Judge Kagan's debt to Rabbi Shlomo Riskin (who has since founded a particularly notorious West Bank settlement). They fail to discuss the significance of having no Christian Protestant justices on the Supreme Court (the largest religious group in the US), no Muslim Supreme Court Justices (Muslim-Americans are about equal in number to Jewish-Americans), no Buddhist Supreme Court Justices, etc....... Justice Breyer serves on Israeli board....

Click to read more ...

Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 at 07:03AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

PBS and NPR appear to have collaborated on their responses to the David Brooks controversy

Updated on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 08:49AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir

Updated on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 10:07AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir

...UPDATE, 11am Pacific time: Mark Memmott has just emailed me: "I’ve had no contact with PBS. I’ve actually never met Sara Just, as far as I remember, and have not had any email correspondence with her. I have to think that they agreed with what I wrote and decided to (mostly) reissue it." I find it disconcerting that PBS's Sara Just didn't attribute her statement to NPR's Memmott; this seems dangerously close to plagiarism. I wonder how she learned of his statement? I'm also curious about why she removed a small but significant portion of what he had written. Please read on:

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Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:09AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NPR's standards editor & ombudsman minimize and/or ignore NPR ethics requirements regarding David Brooks

Now I've also been in touch with NPR's Standards and Practices Editor, Mark Memmot, who is in charge of ensuring that NPR journalists adhere to ethics standards. Last week NPR's ombudsman's office sent me an email that contained a statement by Mr. Memmott. I discussed this statement in a previous post and now will expand on this a bit more, specifically including information about NPR's own ethics code...

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Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 08:24AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NPR covers for David Brooks

Following is an email to me from the Office of the Ombudsman, and below that is my response...

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Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 12:25PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Will PBS now follow NYT lead on disclosing David Brooks' conflict of interest?

The New York Times ombudsman ("public editor") has now said that the Times should disclose to readers the fact that the son of columnist David Brooks, who often comments about Israel, is serving in the Israeli military. Ethics codes require such disclosure. So far, however, PBS has stated nothing about this, despite the fact that Brooks regularly appears on PBS and was commenting on Israel during its most recent massacre in Gaza, while not disclosing that his son was at the time serving in the Israeli army...

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Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 09:19AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

A question for Margaret Sullivan, New York Times public editor, regarding David Brooks

Regarding David Brooks' son serving in the Israeli military, New York Times ombudsman (known at the Times as the "public editor") Margaret Sullivan writes:

"Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news……. I do think that a one-time acknowledgement of this situation in print... is completely reasonable. This information is germane; and readers deserve to learn about it in the same place that his columns appear.

It's excellent that Sullivan is willing to acknowledge that Brooks' situation is a serious confict, particularly since this meant publicly disagreeing with Opinion Editor Andrew Rosenthal.

However, I find Sullivan's view that it requires only a "one-time acknowledgment"deeply perplexing. Since, as she states, "readers deserve to learn about this in the same place that Brooks' columns appear" why would it not be posted every time Brooks' writes about matters concerning Israel?

Obviously, many readers will not have seen that one posting, and for them it is just as germane and necessary as the first time it was posted. Brooks' conflict of interest should be divulged on all of his commentaries regarding Israel and its interests.

I've written her asking about this.

(The reality is that journalistic ethics codes suggest that the Times should take further action: he should not be allowed to comment on subject matter in which he has such a blatant conflict of interest, and he should be disciplined, possibly fired, for not revealing this conflict of interest to the Times.)

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 09:15AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

US journalists' personal ties to the Israeli media – my articles

A great many journalists reporting on Israel-Palestine for US media have personal and family ties to the Israeli military. Many have served themselves; others have sons, husbands, etc. who are currently served in the IDF or have in the past.

This is a clear conflict of interest, but is virtually never voluntarily divulged – precisely because the journalists and the media know this is improper and would constitute a particularly blatant example of journalistic bias. For journalistic ethics' statements on this go here.

It is perhaps not surprising that David Brooks only revealed that his son was serving in the IDF to an Israeli newspaper – and that the newspaper only printed the information (somewhat buried) in its Hebrew-language edition, not in the English language edition that many people incorrectly assume contains all the articles in the paper.

I've written about this situation a number of times. Below are some of my articles:

Myra Noveck & the New York Times: Another journalist with children in the Israeli military

Jodi Rudoren, Another Member Of The Family: Meet The New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief 

US Media and Israeli Military: All in the Family 

 Ethan Bronner's Conflict With Impartiality 

 Is "pundit" actually Israeli military officer? 

AP’s Matti Friedman: Israeli citizen and former Israeli soldier

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 06:56AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NYT columnist David Brooks should read National Society of Newspaper Columnists' code of ethics

Code of conduct for columnists: "As a newspaper columnist .....I will disclose potential conflicts to readers whenever possible...."

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Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 11:44AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

My email to New York Times Public Editor about David Brooks' conflict of interest

Today I sent the following email to the New York Times Public Editor's office:

In September 2014, New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote: "The Times could do a lot more to alert readers about conflicts of interests of sources used by the paper."

Similarly, The Times could and should do much more to alert readers to the conflict of interest of its own writer, David Brooks.

In the Hebrew edition of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (but not, it seems, in the English language edition), it came out that the son of New York Times columnist David Brooks, who sometimes writes about Israel-Palestine, has been serving in the Israeli military.

This fact was then divulged in English by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal on Sept. 23. The next day New York magazine reported on it, and since that time a few other websites have also reported it.

Yet, to date the New York Times has neither revealed this conflict of interest to the public nor taken any disciplinary action regarding Mr. Brooks' violation of the Times' ethics requirements.

The Times' 1999 "Guidelines on Our Integrity"state: 

"At a time of growing and even justified public suspicion about the impartiality, accuracy and integrity of some journalists and some journalism, it is imperative that The Times and its staff maintain the highest possible standards to insure that we do nothing that might erode readers’ faith and confidence in our news columns. This means that staff members should be vigilant in avoiding any activity that might pose an actual or apparent conflict of interest and thus threaten the newspaper’s ethical standing."

The Times' statement of principles, "Ethical Journalism: A Handbook of Values and Practices for the News and Editorial Departments" includes the following statements:

"The goal of The New York Times is to cover the news as impartially as possible… and to be seen to be doing so. The reputation of The Times rests upon such perceptions…"

"In keeping with its solemn responsibilities under the First Amendment, The Times strives to maintain the highest standards of journalistic ethics."

"Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, may come up in many areas……. professional activities of… family… can create conflicts or the appearance of conflicts."

"The Times believes beyond question that its staff shares the values these guidelines are intended to protect;"

"The Times views any deliberate violation of these guidelines as a serious offense that may lead to disciplinary action, potentially including dismissal…"

"…a daughter in a high profile job on Wall Street might produce the appearance of conflict for a business reporter or editor."

"Any staff member who sees a potential for conflict… in the activities of… relatives must discuss the situation with his or her supervising editor and the standards editor or the deputy editorial page editor." 

The ethics handbook also states: "In all cases The Times depends on staff members to disclose potential problems in a timely fashion so that we can work together to prevent embarrassment for staff members and The Times."  

Did Mr. Brooks do so?

The Times' handbook also says:

"In some cases, disclosure is enough. But if The Times considers the problem serious, the staff member may have to withdraw from certain coverage. Sometimes an assignment may have to be modified or a beat changed. In a few instances, a staff member may have to move to a different department – from business and financial news, say, to the culture desk – to avoid the appearance of conflict."

Will The Times now take actions regarding David Brooks in line with its own ethics requirements?

Will it publicly and consistently disclose that Mr. Brooks' son is serving in the Israeli military and was doing so while he was commenting on Israel without disclosing this fact to readers? 

Will the Times discipline Mr. Brooks for his violation of the newspaper's ethical requirements? 

If he is to continue his employment at The Times, will the Times prohibit him from commenting on subjects in which Israel is involved? 

Incidentally, a number of other journalistic codes of ethics contain similar requirements.

For example, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, according to analyst Barbara Erickson, calls for "disclosure of potential conflicts of interest."

The "Statement of Principles" of the American Society of Newspaper Editors says: "Journalists must avoid... any conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict."

NPR's code of ethics states: "All NPR journalists... must tell our supervisors in advance about potential conflicts of interest....... This includes situations in which a... family member... is an active participant in a subject area that you cover."

The Los Angeles Times ethics code states:

"Activities of family members may create conflicts of interest......  the paper may restrict a staff member’s assignment based on the activities of a family member or loved one. Staff members are responsible for informing a supervisor whenever a companion’s or close relative’s activities, investments or affiliations could create a conflict."

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 09:50AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The New York Times, NPR, and PBS must divulge David Brooks' conflict of interest

Updated on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 08:09AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir

It has now come out that David Brooks' son is serving in the Israeli military. So while Brooks was providing pro-Israel commentary during Israel's massacre in Gaza, his son was serving in the IDF. This clear conflict of interest should have required Brooks to recuse himself from commenting on Israel. Journalistic ethics now require the New York Times, NPR, and PBS to (1) reveal Brooks' conflict of interest, (2) apologize for not revealing this sooner, and (3) remove him as a commentator because of his dishonesty in neither recusing himself nor in revealing this essential fact to listeners – and, I assume, to these news organizations themselves...

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Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 09:17AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint
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