Alison Weir at Stanford
I had not been planning to write about the controversy inside the Move Over AIPAC colition that occurred awhile ago, but I've discovered that an inaccurate statement was published by Mondoweiss about this. I'm surprised this statement was sent to Weiss, since most people had sought to keep this discussion only within the coalition itself. However, now that this has become public, it seems important to set the record straight: Awhile ago Move Over AIPAC organizers issued a press release, which they didn't send to the coalition but which was published by a number of Israeli and pro-Israel publications. It said: “Helen Thomas was invited to speak, as a journalist who is fearless about questioning power and unnecessary wars, but because some of her comments have sparked controversy, several members of the coalition and our grassroots community had concerns about her appearance.” As a member of two coalition organizations, I was extremely concerned about this. I felt it was important that Helen not be pushed out of our conference as she had been pushed out of numerous other speaking engagements by the ADL and Israel partisans, and I tried to contact the organizers about the situation by phone and email.
...To try to counter this Israeli-spin-passing-as-reporting, we've created an an easily printed out hand-out of my article about Itamar, which includes an extremely long list of Palestinian children 13 and under killed by Israeli forces. I hope people will distribute this as widely as possible. Bulk copies can be ordered from us at minimal or no cost. You can order these online or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org It is critical that we all work to expose this cover-up and disseminate the facts...
Demand that Hillary Clinton investigate charges that Marc Grossman, her new AfPak choice, does "special favors" for Israel - eg gives it classified information
Updated on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 06:55AM by [Alison Weir
Former undersecretary of State for political affairs Marc Grossman has just been named as the new U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are serious problems with this: (1) A federal court approved a subpoena for Grossman to learn to what degree he had shared classified information with AIPAC with the understanding that this would be passed on to Israel. Such an action is both illegal and treasonous. (The trial was then quashed. More.) (2) An FBI whistleblower stated that the FBI had been investigating Grossman for many years, finding that he was doing special favors for Israel and Turkish interests, and that he was serving as a conduit to a group of congressmen who become, in a sense, the targets to be recruited as “agents of influence.” Below is an excerpt from an interview by Philip Giraldi with former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds:
I subscribe to Brasscheck TV and have just viewed the following clip of Chicago mainstream "reporters" trying to block a radio reporter from asking Rahm Emanuel hardball questions: It's an extremely revealing video and demonstrates the press corps's failure to discharge its important duties. No wonder that many joined the attack on Helen Thomas, who actually asked real questions. I have not heard of William J. Kelly before, the man trying to ask Mayoral candidate Emanuel about his alleged Chicago residency and his financial connections. Kelly is labeled a "conservative talk show host," and I have no idea what his various political views are. I certainly applaud his attempt to ask Emanuel important, legitimate questions. Emanuel, of course, is very close to Israel. His father was a pre-Israel terrorist and he himself held Israeli citizen for many years. In the first Gulf War rather than serve in the US military, Rahm went to Israel and volunteered for Israeli forces. Following is some background about Emanuel that more people should know. It would be good if Kelly would sometime try to ask him about this, but I don't know if Kelly would be willing to touch the "third rail," as Helen Thomas calls it. In fact, he probably doesn't even know this part of Emanuel's bio:
Giffords, Hurndall and Palestinian Children: Shot in the Head – one more story: "A hopeful Palestinian boy"
My article about Palestinian children and others shot in the head by Israeli forces came out yesterday in CounterPunch. The first email response was the usual Zionist diatribe, but since then I've received many positive, supportive messages. Below is an especially moving one: ...The reason I'm writing you is to relate that sometimes the Israeli bullets kill children many years later. I met this Palestinian kid, Deya Ali, when I was active in the Palestine movement. He was shot by a settler. He was brought here in 2003 and received treatment at Mountain Side Hospital among others. I spoke on his behalf at a well-attended event at Rutgers in which he was present. I had written a poem and was so nervous reading in front of the large crowd that my arm flapped around. One thing I remember vividly is that he wanted me to know that he was only walking when the settler shot him. He wanted me to believe him that he wasn't throwing rocks. I believe him, although even if he had been throwing a rock that would not have justified the devastating bullet the Israeli settler shot into his spine. It is a grave injustice that he was the victim of a gunshot wound which caused him extreme pain, debilitation and unbearable suffering for eight years before finally ending his life last year. You can imagine how sad I was last year when I read of Deya's death from complications http://www.arabisto.com/article/Blogs/Dr_Aref_Assaf/Deya_Ali_Dreams_derailed/55293 I went to this link and below is what I read: Deya Ali: Dreams derailed I mourn the loss of my friend, Deya, who passed away in Germany on February 18, 2010, after a series of complications stemming from his long and brave fight to recover from an Israeli bullet's shrapnel lodged in his fragile body. In January 2003, I travelled to Jordan to bring back to the US the then 15 years old youth to be treated in NJ hospitals. Acting as his Legal Guardian, I witnessed and shared in Deya's fight for life. I am recalling my memory of Deya over the last seven years, details of which are known only to very few. It is an inspiring story even though fate has so untimely ended his life dreams- and boy did he have dreams!
It's interesting to see the misreporting on Thomas's words. For example, nowhere did she say the word "Jews."
Another point also tells more about her critics than about her.
When one actually views the video, it appears that Thomas is referring to Israeli settlers. (Truthfully, the correct word should be colonists, but I'll use the commonly employed euphemism).
Her words are: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied. And it’s their land…”
The reference to "occupied" would normally suggest the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Occupied Territories. However, her attackers almost universally seem to have taken her words as referring to all of Israel.
In other words, in a sort of Freudian slip, her attackers acknowledge that all of the land of Palestine is occupied.
On April 4th we posted a report on our news site about how the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) targets student leaders from around the country, bringing over 1,000 students to its annual national convention in Washington D.C.
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.
Yes, that is exactly what the Israel lobby has often succeeded in doing in Congress and throughout the United States. It has taken over numerous campus organizations, university departments, and even churches. (See my recent article giving some of the specifics of this decades-long campaign).
For years writers such as Paul Findley, Edward Tivnan, George Ball, Donald Neff, John Mulhall, Steven Green, James Abourezek, Andrew Killgore, Richard Curtiss, Janet McMahon, Delinda Hanley, James Ennes, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have described this process, but their books have been largely suppressed and/or attacked and only a very small portion of the American public is aware of ths information.
Please view the following video and send it to others. It is time for all of us – of all religions, races, ethnicities and political backgrounds – to oppose this fanatic, destructive, manipulative, and massively powerful special interest pressure group.
Following is a moving letter that one person has already sent:
Dear members of the ASUC Senate,
My name is Anne Weinstein Garcia. I am a Jewish American woman and a college teacher in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But I will always call California “home”. I was born in California, received my doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco and was fortunate enough to be fully funded by a prestigious scholarship for my complete tenure there. Preceding my doctoral work (and post-doctoral studies in Cambridge, England), I had received other academic degrees in Fresno and San Diego.
I mention all of these experiences as evidence of what would appear to be a strong educational background.
But at the ripe old age of 50 (almost 6 years ago), I discovered that my education in at least one arena was sadly lacking—the “story” of Israel. Now I had been told a story over all those years—from my family, my friends, my temple and my community. This story was corroborated by the popular culture that emphasized the frequent persecution of people of the Jewish faith during Biblical times; I saw the film “The Ten Commandments” when I was 4 or 5 and read Exodus when I was 13. My understanding of why the state of Israel was to be celebrated was also based on the narratives of various plays and films I attended as a young adult—I know the words to “Fiddler on the Roof” by heart. And much of these “historical” events did take place—in one fashion or another.
Unfortunately, however, none of these experiences provided me with the factual basis of why Israel was founded, and equally importantly, how it was founded—namely, on the backs of the Palestinian people. The injustice that has been done to them for over 60 years now is so reminiscent of the mistreatment of Jews throughout history that one is blinded by the parallels.
By now I have to believe that you, as educated members of the Berkeley campus (a campus from which both of my nieces recently graduated and one of them is currently completing her residency at UC Davis), know full well that the only thing that stands between human rights for the Palestinians and the abuse of power by Israel is the political will of Americans to do the right thing. We must stop supporting Israel’s mistreatment of these people—stop the diplomatic support, stop the political support and, in your case, stop the financial support.
To this end, I strongly urge you to reaffirm Senate Bill 118A, despite the recent presidential veto. Divesting from the occupation is a critical nonviolent tool for putting pressure on Israel to abide by international law. Stand tall against false criticism—you know and I know that there is nothing against Judaic principles when one protects the victim of an attack. And that is what has happened for 62 years—the Palestinians have been victims—the “fall guys” for the entire world—not Hitler and his cronies who produced the Holocaust—but the people of Palestine who had NOTHING to do with it.
Jewish people around the world, whether they know it or not, will benefit from this important and appropriate action on the part of the Berkeley Student Senate.
Anne Weinstein Garcia
(An excellent blog report on this can be seen on a site by Richard Brenneman.)
The battle with Michigan Radio, the powerful NPR affiliate in southern Michigan, the most listened to public radio service in Michigan, continues. After months of official stone-walling, public pressure finally forced Michigan Radio and University of Michigan officials (the U of M holds Michigan Radio's licenses) to participate in a conference call with me and four Ann Arbor residents. The entire situation with Michigan Radio has been bizarre. Normally, NPR stations plead for money. Yet, it has taken three public campaigns to get Michigan Radio, under the direction of Steve Schram, to even talk to us about giving them money. Months after Schram promised he would respond “soon” to our request to be an underwriter, during which neither he nor anyone else under his control would reply to my phone calls or emails, I was again in Ann Arbor on a lecture tour. This time I went to visit him in person, accompanied by approximately 20 concerned Ann Arbor residents, including at least one UM professor. There was no chanting or disruption; these individuals were simply there in support and to provide passersby with information on the situation. Also along was an independent filmmaker, who had learned about our planned visit and asked if he could film it. I, of course, said yes. The station also knew about this visit ahead of time, since I had announced it at two of my lectures, and the receptionist knew who I was even before I introduced myself. Of course, my voice should have been enormously familiar, since I had spoken to her a multitude of times as she transferred me to voicemail after voicemail. Mr. Schram would not deign to come out of his office to speak with us. He was, we were told, “in a meeting.” Another person told us he was “out of town.” When I asked which it was, the receptionist settled on “in a meeting.” I said I would wait. I also asked to speak with other individuals. Everyone I requested (eventually, every member of their staff) was, I was told, unavailable.
Updated on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 06:00AM by [Alison Weir
This has been going on for months, and they just can’t get their story straight.
...Barely mentioned in the mainstream US or UK media, however, were statements made by Tony Blair in his testimony before the Inquiry referring to the involvement of Israel in the decision for war....
Other journalists with ties to the Israeli military... Is Ethan Bronner the rule rather than the exception?
Updated on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 07:19AM by [Alison Weir
Now that there has been so much controversy over the fact that the son of the New York Times' Israel-Palestine bureau chief is serving in the Israeli army, more is starting to come out about other major journalists who had/have their own intimate connections to the IDF. Jewish Week reports that a previous Times bureau chief, Joel Greenberg, "before he was Jerusalem bureau chief but after he was already having bylines in the Times from Israel, actually served in the IDF." Richard Chesnoff admits: "I've been covering and writing about Mideast events for more than 40 years. And like Bronner, I had a son serving in the Israeli army during part of the 14 years I covered both Israel and the Arab world as US News & World Report's senior foreign correspondent." (I wonder if he disclosed this to readers at the time.) As I've noted previously and featured in a video, Atlantic Monthly's Jeffrey Goldberg served in the Israeli military himself; it's unclear when/if his military service ended. NPR's Linda Gradstein's husband was an IDF sniper and may still be in the reserves. I don't know whether Gradstein herself is also an Israeli citizen, as are her children and husband. About five or six years ago I learned that the national editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune was an Israeli citizen who had served in the Israeli millitary.
Currently, the New York Times has only one bureau to cover Israel-Palestine. This is in Israel and its chief editor, Ethan Bronner, consistently shows Israeli bias, as I've noted in a number of previous postings (even apart from the fact that his son has recently entered the Israeli military). The Times' other major correspondent, Isabel Kershner, is an Israeli citizen. New York Times Editor Bill Keller, in defending his decision to retain Bronner as their bureau chief despite Bronner's conflict of interest and profoundly flawed track record, writes that he feels Bronner's intimate family ties with Israel "supply a measure of sophistication about Israel and its adversaries." If the Times actually does want full, unbiased reporting on this region (there is little to indicate this, but let's imagine it is so), it is essential that the Times also have bureaus in the Palestinian Territories; ideally, one in the West Bank and one in Gaza, headed by people with equal "sophistication" about Palestine and its adversaries.
As I predicted, the New York Times management is ignoring evidence of Ethan Bronner's Israel-centric reporting and is, so far, keeping him on as their Jerusalem bureau chief. Editor Bill Keller explains in a blog posting that the Times' "rulebook leaves us wide latitude," that they're not going "to capitulate to the more savage partisans," and that they're not even going to listen to their own ombudsman, Readers Representative Clark Hoyt, who, in a column to be published in tomorrow's paper, recommends moving Bronner: But, stepping back [Clark writes], this is what I see: The Times sent a reporter overseas to provide disinterested coverage of one of the world’s most intense and potentially explosive conflicts, and now his son has taken up arms for one side. Even the most sympathetic reader could reasonably wonder how that would affect the father, especially if shooting broke out. ...this is not about punishment; it is simply a difficult reality. I would find a plum assignment for him somewhere else, at least for the duration of his son’s service in the I.D.F. Keller claims, referring to Hoyt's column, "...everyone you interviewed for your column concurs that Ethan Bronner is fully capable of continuing to cover his beat fairly." Actually, Hoyt, who perhaps due to lack of personal expertise in the region praises Bronner's "excellent track record," references only three interviews with people concerning Bronner's work (other than with Keller himself): one was quoted significantly out of context and the other two were former Times' journalists.
Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive of Haiti told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Jan. 27th that there had been reports of child trafficking and organ trafficking in Haiti...
CNN news report on this - "Traffickers targeting Haiti's children, human organs, PM says"
(CNN) -- Trafficking of children and human organs is occurring in the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti, killed more than 150,000 people, and left many children orphans, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said Wednesday.
"There is organ trafficking for children and other persons also, because they need all types of organs," Bellerive said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour....
Updated on Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 02:56PM by [Alison Weir
It's not difficult to predict that the Times will refuse to acknowledge Bronner's conflict of interest, despite the paper's own ethics guidelines and journalism ethics in general, which state: "Even the appearance of obligation or conflict of interest should be avoided." It is sad that places like the Times so often violate the noble sentiments proclaimed in a multitude of journalistic ethics statements, and that mainstream critics so rarely call them on it when the violations concern Israel-Palestine...
Updated on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 07:11AM by [Alison Weir
... The announcements for his upcoming talks on college campuses also state that Bronner will "explore the challenges faced by a journalist covering two distinctly opposing narratives." The announcements fail to reveal his intimate connection to one. I find Bronner's "two narratives" approach to Israel-Palestine strange. The reality is that there are objective facts to obtain and report. In this case, the reality is that the Israeli army, the fourth most powerful on earth, is, in the words of Israeli soldiers, 'dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people.' And Mr. Bronner's son has just signed on...
New York Times' Ethan Bronner's Conflict of Interest: Conversation with Bronner and Alternative News Sources...
The Electronic Intifada has just broken the story that the son of Ethan Bronner, the New York Times bureau chief for Israel-Palestine, has just joined the Israeli army. This is obviously a serious conflict of interest... my conversation with Bronner... other sources of news.
Updated on Friday, June 3, 2011 at 09:50PM by [Alison Weir
...at this point my feeling is that the Israeli team is most likely there largely for humanitarian reasons. At the same time, of course, I suspect that the IDF and Israeli government are fully aware of their use in pro-Israel publicity, as well... while I'd like to think the best of the Israeli relief team in Haiti, I'd feel better about them if they'd use their media fame to speak out about Gaza, as some Israelis have done... In terms of the question of organ trafficking and theft in Haiti... I would tend to worry about this more in the future – when media attention is averted, yet the desperately poor remain.
Quite a bit has happened since I wrote my articles. It turns out that Israel's chief pathologist and one of its highest paid public officials, at least, had admitted on tape in 2000 that he had taken numerous body parts from Palestinians (as well as from Israelis). I'll write more about this later, especially since the Israeli propaganda apparatus in the US and in Israel is attempting to bury this/spin it away. Also, additional stories have been published on the issue. I'll start posting some of them here: