Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Marcy Winograd: Hates Israel, "Loves to Hava Nagilah"

Charter school teacher and long-time political activist Marcy Winograd is the founder of L.A. Jews for Peace. Winograd is an executive board member of the California Democratic Party and president of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles. She is also on the list of potential Obama delegates to the Democratic convention, after having been removed from the list, complaining about it in her blog on the Huffington Post (read here and here), and subsequently being returned by the Obama campaign to their list of delegates (read here).
Winograd ran against Rep. Jane Harmon for the Democratic nomination in California's 36th District in 2006, as an opponent of the Patriot Act, Iraq War enabling acts, bankruptcy bill and other Bush initiatives which Harmon supported. She got endorsements from Tom Hayden, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, Ed Begley Jr. and Daniel Ellsberg. Although she had campaigned on behalf of Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Henry Waxman, both endorsed Harmon over Winograd, who ended up losing the primary with about 1/3 of the vote.
Winograd is also an ardent opponent of Israel and a member of Friends of Sabeel. Sabeel is the Liberation Theology-based organization largely responsible for promoting anti-Israel divestment and spreading bigoted anti-Israel propaganda within the mainline Protestant churches. Their view of Jews and Judaism is sometimes called Replacement Theology, sometimes supercessionism. This theology maintains that Judaism is obsolete -- an oppressive regime against which Christianity rebelled as a liberation movement. (Read here and here and here and here and here. Christians for Fair Witness analyzes Sabeel’s opposition to the existence of Israel here. Sabeel uses the deicide trope as a spur for the second intifada here. For more on Liberation Theology's use of Jews as symbolic of oppressors see Amy-Jill Levine's The Misunderstood Jew.)
Winograd participated in Febraury's Sabeel conference at All Saint's Episcopal Church in Pasadena. (Read about that conference here.) According to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles (read here), on February 16, Winograd promoted the following views to the Friends of Sabeel:
She explained her advocacy for a single Arab-Jewish state by saying, "We are not talking about 'destroying' Israel, but about a transformation to a one-state solution."

Among Winograd's targets is the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, and she urged pressure on school boards to stop transporting students there on educational trips.

She claimed that the museum's Holocaust exhibits are used for pro-Israel lobbying and demanded exhibit space for the Palestinian nakba.

Winograd posts her text version of her speech in Pasadena on her organization's website, (read here) including the following:
LA Jews for Peace was born in the midst of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon two summers ago, almost immediately following my congressional challenge to Jane Harman in the 36th District. During my campaign, I prayed no one would ask me to clarify my position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. On my candidate web site, I said I supported the Geneva Accord, a two-state solution....
Personally, I think it is too late for a two-state solution...

Not only do I think a two-state solution is unrealistic, but also fundamentally wrong because it only reinforces heightened nationalism.
In her speech, Winograd also pointedly recounts her refusal to answer a CNN interviewer who had the temerity to ask her whether she believes that Israel has a right to exist. She stonewalled that question. Clearly, she's a candidate who feels she has something to hide from the general public, even as she touts it to her anti-Israel allies.

The hypocrisy of sometimes claiming not to oppose the existence of Israel and sometimes actively opposing its existence and advocating a "single-state solution" is so obvious that it should require no elucidation. This hypocrisy is entirely consistent with that of Sabeel which has both advocated land-for-peace and opposed it, and supported the second intifada as it opposed violence.

Concluding her speech, Winograd claimed (in poetry no less) to oppose all nationalism. It appears that she would like to put this opposition into action only against the existence of Israel.

To compound the hypocrisy of her purported "peace" proposal, Winograd opposes Holocaust education because it denies equal time for dissemination of pro-Palestinian propaganda. Moreover, she is organizing those who oppose Holocaust education to pressure local school boards to cease support for public school students visiting L.A.'s Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance. (Click here for the museum's website.) Below (from the LA Jews for peace website) is a photo of their demonstration outside the museum on October 19. Six protesters and one pedestrian. That may be Winograd on the left in shades holding an illegible sign.
Blogger Ami Isseroff was emailed the following:
Marcy Winograd is the co-founder of the LA Jews for Peace collective and a long-time anti-war activist in Los Angeles. Inspired by author Joel Kovel's book Overcoming Zionism, she is interested in assembling and publishing an anthology entitled: From Zionism to Humanism: Personal Stories of Jews Who Dare to Speak Out...If you know of Jews who might be interested in contributing to her anthology, please encourage them to submit their story to Marcy at Winogradcoach@aol.com.
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

Though I identify with persecuted Jews, I grow up longing to be part of the dominant culture. I hang little red and green lights on plastic Christmas trees and rarely visit temple except to hava nagila at the boys' bar mitzvahs or to pray on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when we never atone for the sin of theft, slaughter, or occupation.
In response, Isseroff wrote, in part (from Zionism-Israel Web Log: "A Jew who dares to speak out about Zionism")
It is no secret that I am what is usually called a "leftist." I cofounded a dialogue group of Jews and Arabs and I am director of an NGO that promotes peace education and dialogue. I am committed to rights for the Arabs of Palestine, as I am committed to rights for the Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Israel.

I am a leftist from a family of leftists. My great uncle Noteh (Nathan) was a Bolshevik. He fled Russia in 1905 for the safety of Poland. I am told that he was known as "The angel of the Warsaw Ghetto." Being a citizen of the world, he was killed along with all the other Jewish citizens of the world, who happened to be in the way of the Nazis, and discovered that "the world" would not grant passports to anybody. Had he stayed in Russia and survived, there is no doubt that along with many other "citizens of the world" of the Yevsektsia, the Jewish Communists, he would have found himself in Lyubjanka prison or Siberia. That's what the progressive forces did to Jews who were not afraid to speak out. My great uncle was not afraid to speak out, you see.

I noticed that there were several segments of public opinion that were actively working against peace and dialogue, and in favor of genocide and denial of the right of self determination to one side or another in the conflict. There are the extremists of the Kahana Hai movement, who call themselves Zionists, and there are also extremists on the other side. There are those who blacken and distort Islam and Arabs, and there are those who blacken and distort Judaism and Zionism.

Understandably, there are groups like Stormfront who have no use for "Zionists" because they are Nazis. We all know what Nazis are, don't we? We all know that not long ago, American fascist white supremacist racists coined the acronym ZOG - Zionist Occupied government for example. The typical fascist argument features the Jew as a sly, greedy and evil creature out to control the world through the International Jewish Conspiracy. Until recently, this was the property of a tiny, benighted, reactionary minority, spurned by all decent folks.

But about three or four years ago, I became painfully aware of a new phenomenon. The racist arguments of the fascists against Jews were now being used against "Zionists" and the "Israel Lobby" and were indistinguishable from the old fascist claims. Searching the Web, I found hundreds of sites telling the world about Zionist plots, all about Zionism and its pernicious influence, explaining that the Zionists started World War II, the Zionists started World War I, and even that the "Zionists" were responsible for the French revolution. The Zionists are also responsible, according to them, for the Holocaust Myth, created for the financial and political benefit of Israel. And on Yom Kippur, the "Zionists" do not ask forgiveness for the French Revolution. Indeed, as Ziopedia notes, the "Zionists" say the Kol Nidre prayer on Yom Kippur. According to the progressive and peace-loving citizens of the world edit Ziopedia, Kol Nidre is the sneaky "Zionist" way of getting out of their obligations to non-Jews.

More bizarrely, it seems that a great number of Jews have joined in this campaign. Many of them call themselves "Jews for Peace" and similar names. They do not realize apparently, that when people say that "the Jews" are responsible for the war in Iraq, the accusers mean them,
I don't know if Marcy Winograd has read Ami Isseroffs' reply to her request for the testimony of Jews who promote human rights. I'm pretty sure that she won't publish it.
If you happen to see her demonstrating against Holocaust education outside the Wiesnthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, maybe you can read it to her.
A couple of notes on Winograd's organizations views of Israel

  • Winograd's Progressive Democrats of L.A. website accuses AIPAC of interfering with a resolution against the Iraq War which was under consideration by the California Democratic Party (read here under the headline "Anti-War Resolution Passes California Democratic Party Convention"), alleging "severe pressures to water down or derail the resolution by more hawkish Democrats, including delegates associated with the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)." They offer no evidence of this purported AIPAC intrusion into the agenda of the state Democratic party, and no basis for the purported connection to Israel at all. Did someone say "conspiracy theory"?

  • Winograd's L.A. Jews for Peace website includes their endorsement of a fire-breathing anti-Israel screed by Scott Ritter reposted from the paleoconservative isolationist website Antiwar.com. (The Jews for Peace website links to a politically neutral website to avoid the taint of association with the paleo-conservatives, read here.) Here's a taste of Ritter's writing:
Israel's current policies, rooted in ethnic and religious hatred, are the antithesis of tolerance. Israel at present can have no friends, because Israel does not know how to be a friend. Driven by xenophobic paranoia and historical grievances, Israel is embarked on a path that can only lead to death and destruction...Israel has been drunk on arrogance and power.

More to follow on this...

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