Sunday, January 31, 2010

Response to a reckless attack

A Seattle blogger named Richard Silverstein who publishes a blog he calls "Tikun Olam" (rough translation: 'repair the world') has published a reckless attack on me, one filled with name-calling, and baseless charges of bigotry and McCarthyism. You can get a sense of its tone by the tag he gives the post: Adam Holland Holocaust Obsessed | Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place and by its title: "THE BEAT GOES ON: DERSHOWITZ SLANDERS ME IN JERUSALEM POST TOO, GHOULS REJOICE."

By way of background: on January 19, Silverstein published an attack on Israel's provision of aid to Haitian earthquake victims (read here). On January 26, I published a column detailing a number of articles and videos condemning Israel's aid, including Silverstein's blog post (read here). Silverstein's was the mildest of the attacks I discussed. I started with his and went in roughly ascending order to al-Manar's charge that Israel was illegally harvesting human organs in Haiti. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote about Silverstein:

In a strongly worded column he calls "The Zionization of Disaster Relief" ... Silverstein writes that sending portable toilets, rather than doctors, medical equipment and rescue teams, would have been more useful to the Haitians. Silverstein condemns Israel's decision to send doctors instead of toilets as being based on public relations considerations. He also claims without providing a source that a Haitian woman who gave birth in the Israeli field hospital was pressured by the Israelis to name her child "Israel". He captions a photo of the mother and child posted on his blog "A baby named Israel...who, if he reaches adulthood, would never be welcome in Israel". (On the contrary, that child would be very welcome there, but if he does visit, Silverstein will condemn it as Zionist PR.)

In response to this, Silverstein has accused me of being both a "Muslim hater" and a "McCarthyite". Senator Joseph McCarthy infamously waved around an empty page at a senate hearing claiming that it was a list of communists working for the State Department. I challenge Silverstein to publish his list of my anti-Muslim statements. If he can't do this (and he can't), readers can judge for themselves who's the McCarthyite. I believe that the list he claims to have is an empty page.

Strangely, after charging me with practicing McCarthyism, Silverstein writes the following of my column:

The attack is also coordinated along with internet activists recruited by the Foreign Ministry. Dershowitz and buddies of his like Weissman and Holland also play a useful role. I call it the vast right-wing hasbara conspiracy-crusade.

This allegation that I am part of a "vast right-wing hasbara conspiracy-crusade" originating in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, a charge for which Silverstein offers no evidence whatsoever, is false (of course) and verges on paranoia. It's a good indication of how unreliable his reporting is. It also further clarifies which of us is practicing McCarthyism. (Vast conspiracy indeed.)

Silverstein writes:

I’m not even going to get into how badly Holland mischaracterizes my views in the Haiti post I wrote. More interesting to me is the McCarthyite guilt by association rhetorical style of demagogue-goons like Holland (and Weissman, Horowitz, Pipes and others):

Silverstein’s column has traversed the left-right wormhole and has been published by the neo-Nazi blogger (and David Irving associate) Michael Santomauro at his Reporters Notebook website (read here). Alan Dershowitz read this reposted version of Silverstein’s column and blasted it in a column of his own…Silverstein’s column has also been reposted on Russia’s Pravda English language forum and the Arab website Uruknet.

Considering that Silverstein claims that his rant was elicited by the purported inaccuracies in my criticism of his column, it seems odd that he chooses not to address them at all. Not one word detailing my purported errors! Not one word of correction! For some reason he doesn't really want to write about the content of my criticism, focusing instead on raising a dust storm of counter-attacks. (Readers can judge for themselves why that might be so.) Silverstein instead accuses me of practicing guilt by association, then practices it himself, linking me to right wing hawks David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes by saying we share the "rhetorical style of demagogue-goons".   As best I can see it, this is based exclusively on support for Israel.  My liberal politics have little in common with Pipes' and Horowitz' conservatism.

Contrary to what Silverstein asserts, I do not hold him responsible for who reposts his writing without his permission be they neo-Nazi, Russian nationalist, anti-Israel, or advocating any other ideology. It happens all the time, as I well know. I mentioned that his column was reposted by the neo-Nazi Michael Santomauro both to provide the factual background of Dershowitz' column about it (Dershowitz read Santomauro's repost of Silverstein's column) and to indicate who liked it well enough to publish it. These reposts are noteworthy because they show who agrees with Silverstein's views on Isreal's Haiti relief, not because he supports those who repost his writing. As he well knows, I don't believe that he supports neo-Nazis and never claimed that he does. It's a red herring -- a way to raise the guilt-by-association trip and to avoid discussing the content of my criticism of his column.

As is the case with Silverstein, my writing has been reposted by a variety of far-right websites which I would prefer not do so. I've been reposted by Stormfront, David Duke, the Ron Paul Forum and by a number of others less well known. Those websites publish my writing as examples of what they oppose, not what they support. It comes down to this: Silverstein isn't guilty of anything by dint of who republished his column without his permission; the only thing he's guilty of is publishing something that is wrong. Who chooses to republish it reflects just how wrong it is.

Silverstein correctly points out that I focus on writing about anti-Semitism, anti-Israel bias, and about the Holocaust, although I'm unsure why he condemns this. Those subjects interest me, and I hope to contribute something to the debate about them. I write about a number of other subjects and in support of a liberal Democratic agenda (roughly speaking). I write in support of Israel both as a Zionist and as a supporter of liberal democracy -- not because I feel Israel can do no wrong, but because I feel not to support a friend under attack would be wrong.

I have never before been called a demagogue, a goon, a ghoul, a McCarthyite or anti-Muslim. I'm not used to hearing such things. I try not to indulge in name-calling or baseless accusations of bigotry. I try my best not to let my emotions get the better of me, even when I am under a harsh and baseless attack. Among other things I do here, I attempt to write with a minimum of rancor and maximum of accuracy. If I sometimes argue ad hominem, I do so to make a point about the reliability of a source. If I sometimes attach an ideological label to whomever I write about, I do so to accurately reflect their views and not to tar them with a broad brush. On the other hand, in response to even relatively mild criticism, Silverstein immediately resorts to smears and name-calling as a simulacrum of argument. He distorts the views of his adversaries. He also practices guilt by association on a routine basis, equating his adversary of the moment with ideological villains -- it's his stock in trade. It seems that, the more outrageous and far-fetched the accusation he makes, the stronger he thinks his argument. In this piece, he calls me a "ghoul", a "big, fat, sweaty hack heavyweight" (?), a "demagogue-goon", "of little brain", and "McCarthyite". Tikun Olam indeed! Physician, heal thyself.

Now, let's see how he backs up his outrageous and false charge that I am anti-Muslim. He should provide evidence of this or apologize.

UPDATE (Feb. 1, 2000):
Friends have told me that Richard Silverstein a) is not worth taking seriously and b) seems to equate being "anti-jihadi" with being a hater of all Muslims. On the first point, Silverstein's attack, as silly as its name-calling was, made the very specific false charge that I am a hater of Muslims. I want him to either back that up or retract that statement. If he doesn't do either, the lack of merit in his charges will be clarified in the minds of anyone with any doubts. On the second point, I don't know what Richard Silverstein thinks about being anti-jihadi, or why he singles me out as one. Of course I am anti-jihadi. Does he disagree with this point? Does he, favor peace at any cost? I feel that liberal, democratic values are worth defending. I feel Israel is worth defending.

Mostly, I found the tone of his column so foul and so disproportionate a response to what I had written, that I felt compelled to answer. I have seen this before in writers of various beliefs: the tendency to wrap themselves in the mantle of their belief in a cause they believe just and treat others in an uncivil, irrational manner. I doubt that the blogger who was capable of writing this particular foul attack is capable of seeing that, but I wanted to make it clear to anyone who cares.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hutton Gibson on Ford SuperQuiz

When he wasn't denying the Holocaust or "defending the faith", Mel Gibson's father had a career as a quiz show contestant. He's posted the following to his YouTube page.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gilad Atzmon supports anti-Semitism

"History teaches us that the most universally inspiring Jews, I mean, those who contributed something to humanity rather than merely to their own people or even just themselves, were motivated by some form of self hate." -- Gilad Atzmon

It's not exactly news that jazz musician and blogger Gilad Atzmon advocates anti-Semitism by both Jews and non-Jews -- he's been playing that tune for several years. But his advocacy has become both more blatant and more pathetic recently, as evidenced by his promotion of the Israeli organ theft libel. The products of his fervid imagination on that subject have now been broadcast around the world, along with the twisted fantasies of Israel Shamir, T. West, al-Manar, and Alison Weir (read here and here and here), and thanks to those like Baroness Jenny Tonge who take those fantasies to be reliable information.

Bigots are said to use their targets as scapegoats for shortcomings they fear having themselves, projecting their sins onto those they hate. But the self-hater has a special problem which calls for extraordinary measures. When he looks in the mirror, his scapegoat stares back. The self-hater feels a need to continually prove that he is different from -- better than -- the others of his group. For Atzmon, this need to differentiate compels increasingly extreme demonizing of the Jewish community; and as his critique becomes stronger, it verges on overt opposition to Jewish existence.

Atzmon recently wrote a review of the film "Defamation" which is noteworthy for both for its anti-Semitic opposition to Jewish participation in public life and its attempt to blame Jews for European anti-Muslim sentiment. (Read here.) That review includes the following defense of anti-Semitism:

"Unlike Uri Avnery and Norman Finkelstein who appear in the film and argue that anti-Semitism is exaggerated, I actually believe that resentment towards Jewish politics is rising rapidly and constantly. However, I do differentiate between the Judeo-centric notion of anti-Semitism and political resentment towards Jewish ideology. I do not regard anti-Jewish activity as a form of anti-Semitism or racial hatred because Jews are neither Semites nor do they form a racial continuum whatsoever. The rise of hatred towards any form of Jewish politics and Jewish lobbies is a reaction towards a tribal, chauvinist and supremacist ideology."

Atzmon first admits that he sees that anti-Semitism is on the rise, then that he supports it, although he would prefer that it not be called anti-Semitism. Atzmon writes that he supports opposition to "Jewish ideology", a vague term which can mean virtually any manifestation of Jewish existence in public life. This is an extraordinary limitation to which no ethnic or religious group should be subjected. Opposition to "Jewish ideology" comes very close to opposing Jewish existence itself. Atzmon goes on to deride the term "anti-Semitism" as a "Judeo-centric notion", as if opposition to this particular brand of bigotry (his brand) is itself a form of bigotry.

Atzmon justifies this form of discrimination by saying that he merely wants to protect the rest of the world from the "tribal, chauvinist and supremacist" Jews. What could possibly be wrong with that?

The musician, jazz writer and blogger David Adler wrote about Atzmon in Jazz Times in October 2005. (Read it in pdf here.) David wrote in that article that, in spite of Atzmon promotion of Holocaust denial literature and other manifestations of extremism on his part, music writers tended to portray Atzmon's activism in polite terms, such as, amazingly, "a plea for understanding". David has emailed to tell me that the journalist John Pilger has written recently in support of Atzmon, citing him outrageously as "being at the heart of a battle for a better world"! Adler provided me with a link to Oliver Kamm's column on this. (Read here.) Kamm writes of Atzmon that
(h)e wrote (in a passage on his website that he later partially sanitised):

"American Jewry makes any debate on whether the 'Protocols of the elder of Zion' are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews (in fact Zionists) do control the world.. So far they are doing pretty well for themselves at least."

The least objectionable aspect of this remark is that Atzmon regards it as an open question whether the Protocols, a notorious Czarist antisemitic forgery, are an authentic document. And the whole sentiment is quite moderate when you compare it with the rest of Atzmon's output. Consider his belief that Hitler has been unfairly maligned:

"To regard Hitler as the ultimate evil is nothing but surrendering to the Zio-centric discourse. To regard Hitler as the wickedest man and the Third Reich as the embodiment of evilness is to let Israel off the hook."

That says it all, doesn't it? According to Atzmon, Jewish discussions of the worst forms of anti-Semitism are part of a "Zio-centric" plot to expunge their own, far worse, crimes. That is pathetic.

UPDATE: David Adler writes about this on his blog here.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Israel's Haiti relief elicits both praise and condemnation

Israel's efforts to assist Haitians at their time of need have, for the most part, been praised. At a time when virtually all Haitians were deprived of health care, Israel was the first to set up a fully operational field hospital, before the U.S., France, the U.N., Red Cross, etc.. They also sent rescue teams to find and extract people trapped in collapsed buildings -- an effort which saved many lives. Predictably, those who are predisposed to do so have found grounds for condemnation in what most observers would call noble efforts and achievements. Here's a sampling:

Richard Silverstein, a Seattle resident who blogs at Tikkun Olam (rough translation: "repair the world"), has found Israel's Haitian relief to be the sort of world-repairing the world could do without. In a strongly worded column he calls "The Zionization of Disaster Relief" (read here), Silverstein writes that sending portable toilets, rather than doctors, medical equipment and rescue teams, would have been more useful to the Haitians. Silverstein condemns Israel's decision to send doctors instead of toilets as being based on public relations considerations. He also claims without providing a source that a Haitian woman who gave birth in the Israeli field hospital was pressured by the Israelis to name her child "Israel". He captions a photo of the mother and child posted on his blog "A baby named Israel...who, if he reaches adulthood, would never be welcome in Israel". (On the contrary, that child would be very welcome there, but if he does visit, Silverstein will condemn it as Zionist PR.)

Here's video with an interview of the physician who delivered the child along with some other footage both before and after the birth. You can watch it and judge for yourself as to the relative merits of portable toilets and field hospitals. Maybe you will agree with Richard Silverstein who singled out this birth as problematic.

Silverstein's column has traversed the left-right wormhole and has been published by the neo-Nazi blogger (and David Irving associate) Michael Santomauro at his Reporters Notebook website (read here). Alan Dershowitz read this reposted version of Silverstein's column and blasted it in a column of his own in the Jerusalem Post called "Double Standard Watch: For Bigots, Israel can do no right" (read here). Santomauro, in turn, replied in a barely coherent post alleging that many other nations had set up comparable facilities in Haiti, but that that information was suppressed by CNN because the Jews control the media. Proof? The reporter covering the story was Jewish (read here). Silverstein's column has also been reposted on Russia's Pravda English language forum and the Arab website Uruknet. As has been reported elsewhere (here for example), a Seattle video blogger named T. West has charged Israel with setting up their Haitian field hospital as a means to illegally harvest human organs for transplantation (picking up on last summer's organ theft libel which alleged that the Israeli military hunts and kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs). This video, although amateurish, has been viewed by 57,000 people on YouTube, and untold thousands elsewhere. A copy of the video is viewable below. Starting at 1:14, West presents some of the CNN reporting showing Israel's contribution to the relief effort. At about 3:09, he takes a different tack:
"People have to be aware of personalities (sic) who are out for money. The IDF has participated in the past in stealing organ transplants (sic) of Palestinians and others. There is little monitoring in such a tragedy as this, so the Haitian people must watch out for their citizens as these international groups come in... Be aware and be cautious of certain groups and certain individuals within those groups who are out for money, and to earn money off of your tragedy."
In his comments posted to the YouTube video, T. West reiterates that the IDF organ theft libel is true and further contends that the ADL and news media are involved in a cover-up. The comments made by his supporters must be read to be believed. (Read here.) As regular readers of this blog know, one of the main promoters of the IDF organ theft libel in the U.S. has been Alison Weir, who wrote a widely re-posted column (originally published in Counterpunch) alleging that the Israeli military hunted Palestinians in order to harvest organs for transplantation. Weir literally claimed that Jews historically sacrificed gentile children to use their blood in secret ceremonies -- a charge known as the "blood libel" -- and that the purported organ theft campaign is rooted in this religious sanctioning of ritual murder. (Read more about that here and here.) It appears that T. West's baseless allegations derive at least in part from Weir's column. Now, in a blog post, Alison Weir writes the following concerning the T. West video (read here):
"A number of people have been emailing me to ask my opinion about a youtube video and articles raising the question of Israeli organ harvesting in Haiti, given that I had researched Israeli organ trafficking and theft and had discovered how extremely significant it has been. Regarding Haiti, however, 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... However, I think it's good that T.West raised the issue of possible exploitation. Whenever there is chaos, desperation, and money to be made, it is not rare for nefarious activities to take place. It's good for people in such conditions to be vigilant, and for the international community to be alert to the possibility of victims of a tragic natural disaster being victimized still further by human agency."
Iran's English language television station, PressTV, is now also promoting the charges and insinuations of Weir and West to their viewers. (Read here.) Their website now features a page bearing a banner headline reading "Israel harvesting organs in Haiti?" illustrated with a photograph of an unconscious patient on a gurney. UPDATE: Chicago blogger Stephen Lendman, who works with the Centre for Research on Globalisation (he's frequently published on their website and cohosts their radio program here), has taken the ball from Weir and West and run with it. In an article grossly illustrated with photographs of autopsied corpses and people with bleeding wounds, Lendman writes (here) that
"(Israel's)medical teams apparently are doing it (i.e. stealing organs) in Haiti, exploiting fresh corpses and the living. The Manar TV cited You Tube said (sic) "there are people operating in Haiti who do not have a conscience and are members of the search and rescue teams, including the Israeli occupation forces," far from home harvesting Haitian organs, and the pickings are plentiful. "Apparently, the publicity about providing humanitarian aid is cover for this illicit operation, another crime against humanity among Israel's growing list, matched and exceeded by its Washington benefactor with generations more practice."
The Turkish Islamist website İslâmi Davet tells that same tale in a story with the headline "Zionist forces steal organs in Haiti". That story is illustrated with the following: Hezbollah's al-Manar TV has their version of the story here: "After Stealing Palestinian Organs, Now It’s Haiti’s Turn". UPDATE 2 (Jan. 31, 2001): Blogger Richard Silverstein has issued a response to this post. Read about that here.

Polish Bishop: Jews Use Holocaust As Propaganda

from Little Green Footballs

Catholic bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, a close friend of former pope John Paul II, is in the Jerusalem Post today (Jan. 25) for his statements about the Holocaust: Pieronek: Jews use tragedy of Holocaust as propaganda.

The Holocaust only receives media coverage because of affluent Jews’ financial backing, military might and lobbying fronts, presenting a skewed version of events to the world, a high-ranking Polish bishop told a Catholic news portal on Monday.

Polish bishop and professor Tadeusz Pieronek told the Web site Pontifex.roma that while the Holocaust was not exclusively Jewish, Jews had monopolized it in lieu of encouraging “serious historical debate, free from prejudice and victimization.”

Pieronek alleged that Jews today use the Holocaust as “a weapon of propaganda, used to obtain benefits which are often unjustified,” citing as an example the unconditional support for Israel by the US. “This promotes a certain arrogance that I find unbearable,” he said, explaining that Israel was using its position of power and exploiting historical tragedies to treat the Palestinians “like animals.”

The bishop stated that American support for the Jews had not always been so readily given. “What did the Jewish-American and allied forces do in [World War II] to avoid these tragedies? Little or nothing,” he said.

Pieronek stressed that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians did not compare to “the shame of the concentration camps and the aberrations of Nazism,” but was still a cause for concern ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which occurs on January 27.

“The Holocaust as such is a Jewish invention … a day of remembrance must also be set for the many victims of Communism, persecuted Catholics and Christians and so on,” he told the Web site. Tragedy, he stressed, must not be turned into propaganda.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Relieve Haiti's Crushing Debt!

American Jewish World Service: Email - Beyond Emergency Relief: Relieving Haiti's Crushing Debt

With unprecedented devastation and the death toll rising each day, many Americans are searching for actions that they can take to support the Haitian people and help them to build a better future. But for recovery efforts to be successful, the people of Haiti must be relieved of a fiscal burden that predates the earthquake and has kept the country in poverty for decades. Despite achieving significant debt relief last summer, Haiti still owes over $800M to international creditors.

Given this predicament, we were shocked to learn that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged $100M for Haitian relief as a loan, a decision which is up for debate at next week’s IMF board meeting. Additionally, Haiti also owes $447M to the Inter-American Development Bank and no commitments have been made to ease the Haitian government of this enormous burden.

United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sits on the Executive Board of both institutions and commands the largest share of the votes. Before the IMF meets next week to reconsider its loan as well as the $165M Haiti currently owes, we must let him know that the American people demand debt relief.
Take action on this issue. Tell Secretary Geithner that more debt for Haiti is not the right approach. Click here.
Cross-posted from Point of No Return:

Ezekiel's shrine has suffered 'irreversible damage'

This photo taken in 2003 shows that the lower part of this Hebrew panel was covered in whitewash during the Saddam regime. Now the upper inscriptions have been painted over (photo: Tim Judah)

Eyewitnesses have now confirmed Israeli press reports that irreversible damage has been done to the Jewish character of the ancient shrine of the biblical Prophet Ezekiel at al-Kifl south of Baghdad. Workmen have painted over age-old Hebrew inscriptions.

Professor Shmuel Moreh, chairman of the Association of Academics from Iraq in Israel, who raised the alarm, received the following message from a friend:

" The tomb is safe. However, the Hebrew inscriptions were removed not by intention, but as a result of building and reconstruction in the tomb itself. The unskilled workers are unaware of the significance of these inscriptions, so they cover them with paint or build upon them. In such case the damage and our loss is great and irreversible."

Following articles on Ur News, Point of No Return here and here, in the blogosphere, in The Jerusalem Post and Ynet News, Iraqi TV News showed (old) footage of undamaged upper inscriptions and blamed Saddam's Ba'ath regime for whitewashing the lower part of the Hebrew inscriptions. However, it seems that the upper inscriptions have also now been covered over.

Professor Shmuel Moreh is trying, besides raising a worldwide media campaign, to find a way to reach the Iraqi authorities. He wishes to ask them to investigate the damage and urge that the reconstruction of the tomb be entrusted to UNESCO in order to stop further damage. " The world can't stay indifferent towards the destruction of one of the oldest and most sacred and important shrines in the world," he says. To contact the Director General of UNESCO, Mrs Irina Bokova, please write to her at 1, rue Mollis, Paris 75732, France or fill in the contact form at her personal website

When Iraq still had a Jewish community, the shrine of Ezekiel was one of the most important Jewish sites in Iraq. Some 5,000 Jewish pilgrims used to visit the prophet's tomb at Passover. They would stay in accommodation adjoining the shrine. Thousands of Jews lived and owned land in the town of al-Kifl.

On a visit to the tomb in 1910, David Solomon Sassoon wrote in his diary: "the lovely building over the grave is extremely old, built from very big stones said to be the work of King Jehoachim. Above the doorway was a plaque dated 1809/10, which has inscribed on it – ‘this is the tomb of our master Yehezkel the prophet, the son of Buzi the Kohen, may his merit shield us and all Israel. Amen."

"The room with the grave is very high and has flowers painted on the walls and the names of important visitors to the grave. It is mentioned that my grandfather David Sassoon repaired the building in 1859. The grave is very large: 12 feet 9 inches long, 5 feet 3 inches wide and 5 feet 1 inch high. It is covered with a decorated Parochet, which was sent by David Sassoon from Bombay. It is also written on the walls of the visit of Menahem Saleh Daniel to the grave in 1897/8 and his donation to redecorate the grave. Nearby, another room has five tombs of Geonim (Sages)."

It is feared that unless action is taken at once, UNESCO may feel that damage to the shrine may become too extensive to declare it a World Heritage site. This happened in Babylon, not far away from al-Kifl, where Saddam erased priceless traces of the ancient site when he built his modern palace.

This photo taken in 1910 shows the original medieval floral designs on the walls where the tomb is housed. All are believed to have been painted over.

Haaretz: Iraqi workmen erase Hebrew from Prophet Ezekiel's tomb

"Iraq maintains that the damage was done unintentionally by untrained workers. Professor Morre, however, is skeptical. "I urge UNESCO to supervise the renovations and to have them carried out by professionals and not simple workers," Morre told Army Radio.

"Every year, scores of Babylonian Jews ascended the tomb. It's the holiest site for the Jews of Babylon," Morre said.

According to Army Radio, the Iraqi government dispelled claims the damage was done on purpose, and asserted that it sees the Jewish sites as assets important for tourism. It maintains that the incident isn't only damaging to Jewish history, but is also harmful to the interests of the Iraqi government."

Read article in full

This picture shows the walls of Ezekiel's tomb stripped down to the bare brickwork. The Hebrew inscription has now been plastered over (AFP/Getty Images)

The Muqata blog: Israel Army Radio report


UPDATE: Iraq will 'entrust shrine to international authorities'

The Iraqi Government has ordered the Ministry of Antiquities to entrust the reconstruction of Ezekiel's shrine at al-Kifl in Iraq to 'specialised International Authorities'.

The surprise statement follows a storm of publicity raised by Professor Shmuel Moreh, Chairman of the Academics from Iraq in Israel. The news, spread by the blogosphere (including Point of No Return) and Israel Army Radio, that workmen had done 'irreversible damage' to the shrine, plastering over ancient Hebrew inscriptions, seems to have embarrassed the Iraqi government into a damage-limitation exercise of their own.

On Saturday, Iraqi TV and al-Arabiyya TV broadcast a film to show that the tomb itself was not damaged. The Iraqis are hoping that "there will be no more exaggeration about this issue."

Professor Moreh wants the Iraqi authorities to transfer control over the restoration and reconstruction of Ezekiel's shrine to UNESCO. It is not clear when this transfer will happen.

The Iraqis may feel that they have deflected international attention for the moment. Unless the world remains vigilant and holds the Iraqi authorities to their word, and international pressure is kept up, the Iraqis may just quietly continue destroying the original features of the shrine.

Please write to Mrs Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, urging her organisation to take immediate control of Ezekiel's shrine. (UNESCO website) (Mrs Bokova's personal website)

Jewish Artists for Haiti Relief Concert

from Rokhl at גלות ײד: Jewish Artists for Haiti- Haitian Relief Concert January 28

On January 28th there will be a Haitian Relief Concert - Jewish Artists for Haiti at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 7 pm. [Location:Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (30 West 68th Street @ CPW)] Sponsored by the New Yiddish Rep and the Workmen's Circle. In cooperation with the The Forward Association (pending), Golden Land Connections, and The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

The line-up (so far):

Frank London (music director) and the Klezmer Brass All-Stars
Judith Sloan
Jennifer Miller
Veretski Pass (Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Siegelstein)
Joshua Lockwood
Basya Schechter
Avi Fox-Rosen
Benji Fox Rosen
Art Bailey
Alicia Svigals
Matt Darriau
Adrienne Cooper
Dan Rosengard
Eve Sicular
Cantor Dan Singer

Price of admission is a minimum $10 donation (checks or cash) to a Haitian Relief Fund.

The Workmen's Circle (Arbeter Ring) website has added Neshama Carlebach and The Green Pastures Baptist Choir and Soulfarm to the bill. Facebook also has Isle of Klezbos and Zalmen Mlotek performing. A flyer for the event is available in pdf here. The Facebook page for the event is here. TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED HERE or at the door. Call the Workmen’s Circle (212) 889-6800 x212 for more info.

(I've heard both Alicia Svigals and Frank London in concert and both are true virtuosos. It's bound to be a great show.)

You can donate directly to AJWS Haiti relief here.

Concert co-sponsors:
Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, The Forward Association, National Yiddish Theater/Folksbiene, Security USA, Golden Land Concerts and Connections and 2nd Ave Deli

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An attack on free speech.

This is a guest post by Seismic Shock.

As some people have noticed, I’ve been rather quiet in blogging about the Reverend Stephen Sizer’s activities of late.

After all, what more can be said of a man forwards emails from Holocaust deniers, shares platforms with Holocaust deniers, and shamelessly flaunts his anti-Zionist theology before Iran’s apocalyptic Holocaust-denying regime? As Iranian pastors are arrested and house churches closed down, why is the Khomeinist regime translating Sizer’s book on Christian Zionism into Farsi? How many more times can I point all this out?

Yet there’s another reason why I’ve been quiet, and whilst I’ve held my tongue and my pen for a while, now is the time to speak.

At 10am on Sunday 29th November 2009, I received a visit from two policemen regarding my activities in running the Seismic Shock blog. (Does exposing a vicar’s associations with extremists make me a criminal?, I wondered initially). A sergeant from the Horsforth Police related to me that he had received complaints via Surrey Police from Rev Sizer and from Dr Anthony McRoy - a lecturer at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology - who both objected to being associated with terrorists and Holocaust deniers.

(Context: Sizer has associated with some very nasty terrorists and Holocaust deniers; McRoy has delivered a paper at a Khomeinist theological conference in Iran comparing Hezbollah’s struggle against Israel via suicide bombing with the Christian’s struggle against sin via the atoning death of Jesus, and describes the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier as an “intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming” man who “gives quick, extensive and intelligent answers to any question, mixed with genial humour”).

The sergeant made clear that this was merely an informal chat, in which I agreed to delete my original blog ( but maintain my current one ( The policeman related to me that his police force had been in contact with the ICT department my previous place of study, and had looked through my files, and that the head of ICT at my university would like to remind me that I should not be using university property in order to associate individuals with terrorists and Holocaust deniers (I am sure other people use university property to make political comments, but nevermind).

With my research on Reverend Sizer’s associations with terrorists and Holocaust deniers making its way into a publication of the Society of Biblical Literature, I was quite content to hold my peace. However, now that Reverend Sizer is now misrepresenting what has happened in my case in order to intimidate others, now is the time to speak up.

A Christian blogger - “Vee” of LivingJourney, who is based in Australia - linked to my blog as a resource for Christians to learn about anti-Semitism in the Church, including “lots of info on Stephen Sizer and Sabeel”.

Rev Sizer left her this comment:

Dear Vee,

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.


Sure, Stephen Sizer managed to somehow arrange a police visit to me from within the UK, but does Sizer genuinely think he can use police on the other side of the world to this effect?

Why is Reverend Sizer claiming that I received a police caution, when the police stressed I did not receive a caution? Is Sizer deliberately misrepresenting the same police force that he originally used to his advantage?

Who is Reverend Sizer reporting to, and why does Reverend Sizer genuinely feel he has the power to close down debate by threatening police action? Why call the cops rather than answer his critics?

Political and theological disagreements should never be accompanied with threats of litigation or police action, but instead with logic and open debate.

More here: Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect |ModernityBlog

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An apology: Chavez apparently did not say that a US weapon test caused the Haiti earthquake

A story to the effect that Hugo Chavez said that a US weapon test caused the Haiti earthquake was apparently disinformation. There are indications that this story was fabricated by a Spanish television network. I apologize to readers of this blog for reporting this as true.

[h/t Harry's Place]

Ron Paul lets his freak flag fly: says CIA coup has occurred.

from Raw Story: Ron Paul: After ‘CIA coup,’ agency ‘runs everything, runs the military'

US House Rep. Ron Paul says the CIA has in effect carried out a "coup" against the US government, and the intelligence agency needs to be "taken out."

Speaking to an audience of like-minded libertarians at a Campaign for Liberty regional conference in Atlanta this past weekend, the Texas Republican said:

There's been a coup, have you heard? It's the CIA coup. The CIA runs everything, they run the military. They're the ones who are over there lobbing missiles and bombs on countries. ... And of course the CIA is every bit as secretive as the Federal Reserve. ... And yet think of the harm they have done since they were established [after] World War II. They are a government unto themselves. They're in businesses, in drug businesses, they take out dictators ... We need to take out the CIA.

Paul's comments, made last weekend, were met with a loud round of applause, but they didn't gather attention until bloggers noticed a clip of the event at YouTube.


The following video was uploaded to the Web by user TNSONSOFLIBERTY, Jan, 15, 2010.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Limbaugh's view of Jews

Here's what Rush Limbaugh had to say yesterday on his program (read here)

LIMBAUGH: Scott Brown had a lot of success with independents, and that's -- that's what Jewish liberals like to call themselves when they're asked. They call themselves independents before they'll refer to themselves as -- as liberals. So if Jewish people who voted 78 percent for Obama -- which is far higher than any other group except African-Americans -- if Jewish people gave Obama 78 percent of their vote, what if they're experiencing buyer's remorse like all these people in Massachusetts did? Do you realize how important this could be? I don't think there's buyer's remorse yet in the black community -- that's still pretty strong.


LIMBAUGH: To some people, "banker" is code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's -- if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there?

By "some people", Limbaugh apparently means himself.

UPDATE: A friend asked me to translate this from Limbaugh to English. He's saying that Jews a) conceal their liberalism by calling themselves independents and b) are bankers. The first of those gems he pulled out of his butt and the second is a classic anti-Semitic stereotype.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Conservative group attacks TSA nominee as anti-Christian based on his warning about the Christian Identity movement

Errol Southers, President Obama's nominee to head the TSA, has come under attack from a conservative organization for being anti-Christian based on a 2008 interview in which Southers warned of the terrorist threat posed by "Christian Identity" groups. CNS News, which was founded by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III, has published an article which deliberately conflates Southers' very specific warning about the extremist Christian Identity movement as indicating a bias against anyone with a "Christian identity". (Read here: - Obama’s TSA Nominee Characterized Groups That Were Domestic Security Threats as ‘Anti-Abortion’ and Having ‘Christian Identity’.)

The Christian Identity movement is a violent, racist and anti-Semitic movement with connections to groups such as Aryan Nations. Adherents of that movement have been responsible for numerous terrorist acts including bombings and murders. Although the CNS article provides the following quote which makes the nature of Southers' concern quite clear, the CNS article deliberately distorts the meaning of the statement. Here's how CNS quotes Southers:

In the interview, Southers was asked whether there were “groups inside the United States that pose a danger to our security?”

“Domestically speaking, a large part, most of the groups we have here in the United States, are white supremacists groups, World Church of the Creator, National Alliance, Aryan Nations. There are some black separatist groups,” said Southers. “What’s interesting about those groups is you find that they are usually either Christian identity groups and/or groups that really have a foothold in our correctional or prison systems in the way of radicalization and recruiting.”

Southers was then asked: “Which home-grown terrorist groups pose the greatest danger to the U.S.?”

“Most of the domestic groups that we have to pay attention to here are white supremacist groups. They're anti-government and in most cases anti-abortion,” he said. “They are usually survivalist-type in nature, identity orientated. If you recall, Buford Furrow came to Los Angeles in, I believe, it was 1999. When he went to three different Jewish institutions, museums, and then wound up shooting people at a children's community center, then shooting a Filipino postal worker later on. Matthew Hale, who's the Pontifex Maximus of the World Church of the Creator out of Illinois, and Ben Smith, who went on a shooting spree in three different cities where he killed a number of African Americans and Jews and Asians that day. Those groups are groups that claim to be extremely anti-government and Christian-identity oriented.”

That statement by Southers is clear. The lede of that CNS article distorts that interview as follows:

Erroll Southers, who President Barack Obama has nominated to head the Transportation Security Administration, described groups that were a domestic security threat as being "anti-abortion" and “Christian-identity oriented."

And then there's that little matter of the headline, which deceptively changes Southers' statement about the Christian Identity movement into one about every person who identifies as a Christian. CNS seems to think that by doing this, and by spelling the word "identity" with a lower-case "i", they can deceive their readers about the nature of Southers' statement. They must think that their readership is very stupid. (Judging by the comments the article has attracted, they may be right.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Harold Ford backed anti-union, anti-gay, anti-Jewish congressional candidacy of Nikki Tinker


Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis (TN -- 9th CD) has defeated challenger Nikki Tinker to win the Democratic primary and will run for reelection in the November general election. The primary campaign subjected Cohen, a liberal who distinguished himself as extremely able in his first term, to unusually harsh and sometimes overtly anti-Semitic attacks. Tinker's campaign also featured overt homophobia . Final results: Cohen 79% - Tinker 19%.

Tinker's Campaign Included Anti-Semitic Ads

Supporters of Cohen's opponent, Nikki Tinker, started off the campaign with a bang, producing and distributing the below-pictured pamphlet with the headline "Steve Cohen and the JEWS HATE Jesus".

Rev. George Brooks of Murfreesboro, TN, the author of the leaflet, actually lives outside the 9th CD. According to a local blogger (grain of salt alert), Brooks' relatives within the district disavowed his bigotry and endorsed Cohen (read here). Tinker refused to comment on the leaflet for over 2 days until being cornered by an AP reporter and disavowing it. By that time, news of it was all over Memphis.

Days before the primary, Tinker issued a not very subtle appeal to Christian anti-Semitism with an ad, since deleted from Tinker's website. Here's a description from the politics blog of the Nashville Post (read here):

In the ad, a child’s voice is heard praying while the narrator, clearly meant to be a black woman but not Tinker, wonders who “the real Steve Cohen is anyway” while questioning one of Cohen votes on school prayer while in the state Senate.

While he’s is OUR churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet, he was the only Senator who thought OUR kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school.

TPM Election Central has some great background on the longstanding Jew-baiting strategy of Nikki Tinker (read here). Money quote:

A Washington Dem source told Election Central that the roots of Tinker's strategy were apparent as far back as a 2006 fundraiser. "I was at this event where she said that she didn't think this other guy Steve Cohen was gonna win because the constituents weren't gonna support somebody who doesn't accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior," the source said. "Everyone's jaw kind of dropped, and certainly we didn't write her a check."

(More about the ad is available here. Former Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey, speaking for the Tinker campaign, defended the ad here.)

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama condemned Tinker, saying

"These incendiary and personal attacks have no place in our politics, and will do nothing to help the good people of Tennessee. It's time to turn the page on a politics driven by negativity and division so that we can come together to lift up our communities and our country."

Tinker Was Backed by Harold Ford

Nikki Tinker, is a protege of Democratic Leadership Council chair Harold Ford, Jr., who represented the district from 1996 - 2006, (he took the seat over from his father, who represented the area from 1974 - 1996). In the 2008 Demorcratic primary, Harold Ford, Jr. provided behind-the-scenes logistical support to Nikki Tinker's campaign, and, through his wife Emily Threlkeld Ford, gave Tinker the legally allowed maximum campaign donation (read here and here). Donations by politicians are sometimes funneled through a spouse to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. (For more on the Ford - Tinker connection read here.)

Cohen first ran for Congress against Ford in the 1996 Democratic primary -- a race which Ford won. In the course of that campaign, Cohen accused Ford, then a law student, of being unqualified. When Ford decided to run for Senate in the 2006 election, he relinquished his House seat and Cohen won the Democratic nomination to succeed him. Ford's brother Jake then decided to run for the vacant seat as an independent -- and lost by a wide margin to the Democrat Cohen (read here). In that campaign, Jake Ford explicitly stated that he was running because the district needed to be represented by an African-American. Harold Ford, Jr. disavowed that comment when asked about it on the senatorial campaign trail-- he was trying to appeal to Tennessee's largely conservative white electorate .

Harold Ford Jr. had a relatively conservative, pro-corporate record in his five terms in Congress (read here), in contrast to the liberal, pro-labor record of Rep. Cohen (read here).

Anti-gay and Anti-Union -- and working for Ford

In addition to the anti-Semitic aspects of the Tinker campaign discussed above, her campaign also included an unhealthy dose of homophobia, as detailed by local blogger Thaddeus Matthews here. A Christian group backing Tinker mass-mailed a letter accusing Cohen of attempting to promote homosexuality based on his support of hate crimes legislation.

In addition to her campaign's anti-gay positions, Nikki Tinker's strong anti-unionism made her an odd choice to be backed by a Democratic senatorial candidate. By profession, she's a corporate labor lawyer who literally specializes in union busting. Her former firm, Ford & Harrison (read here), represents only management and describes their labor law practice as follows:

Collective bargaining, union organizing drives and decertification of existing organized bargaining units can be handled successfully if management teams are given the knowledge and insight necessary to deal with these issues. Ford & Harrison labor lawyers represent and advise employers in all phases of labor relations matters as they arise under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act.

For union-free employers we:

  • develop effective, lawful strategies to prevent unions from organizing, including advice on handling pre-petition activities;
  • advise on proper handling of concerted activities and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and National Mediation Board (NMB) representation proceedings;
  • handle investigations and, if necessary, trials and appeals of unfair labor practice charges; and
  • conduct union avoidance training for all levels of management.

For unionized employers we:

  • counsel on collective bargaining and contract administration strategies;
  • represent clients in negotiations, grievance and arbitration cases, unfair labor practice charges, strikes, injunctions, and other litigation; and
  • assist in developing an atmosphere which makes unions unnecessary which may lead to NLRB decertification proceedings.

Tinker currently serves as Vice President for Labor Relations and General Counsel at Pinnacle Airlines. Her bio on the Pinnacle Airlines website still lists her as "Campaign Strategist" for Harold Ford. (Read here.) For several years, Pinnacle refused to negotiate with their pilots to resolve outstanding issues such as the lack of pay raises since 2004. In March of this year, Pinnacle's labor practices with respect to its pilots was ruled to be in violation of federal labor laws (Read here and here.)

[While spending their time fighting their workers, Pinnacle management may have been letting their business go down the tubes. In June, it was revealed that the company lost its contract to fly "feeder routes" for Delta. Delta also announcing its intention to acquire Northwest, Pinnacle's largest contract, and eliminate the outsourcing of Northwest's "feeder routes". (
Read here.)]

Tinker's campaign received an unusually high amount of donations from Washington lobbyists, garnering about twice as much money from Washington (in purely geographic terms) as the incumbent. She also got backing from corporate attorneys and, of course, from Pinnacle Airlines. (Read here.) She was also backed by the Emily's List PAC, which provided the Tinker campaign with its largest single donation. Emily's List, which had been criticized for supporting Tinker, has since condemned Tinker and issued a mea culpa. Of course, their money had already been used to produce the offensive ad.

By the way, Cohen's contributions came largely from labor unions. (Read here.)

[NOTE: This article was written after the Democratic primary in 2008, but I decided not to publish it at the time because the issues seemed like yesterday's news after Cohen's victory and Ford's defeat. Now that Ford is running for the Senate from New York, I think he owes New York's voters an explanation. How could he have backed a homophobic, anti-Semitic congressional campaign by a professional union-buster? How could he have employed her as an advisor? Just what was his role in the Tinker campaign? The answers to these questions will say a lot about who Harold Ford, Jr. really is.]

Miep Gies, who helped hide the Frank family and who found Anne Frank's diary, dies

read here: Miep Gies :: en

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hutton Gibson: John Paul II was Soviet agent, Vatican and world governments are controlled by the Antichrist

Mel Gibson's father Hutton Gibson has given an interview on the white supremacist radio program "Political Cesspool" in which he accused Pope John Paul II of being a Soviet agent, and charged that the Catholic Church is under the control of a conspiracy led by the Antichrist. He went on to state that the same conspiracy had taken over
"every legitimate government in the world from the top. It's the same plot. Why would they vary the method? It seems to work."

When asked to assess the current pope, Benedict XVI, Gibson said:

The whole bunch at the top, if they're not queer, they're supportive of it.

With respect to the current political situation in the United States, Gibson charged that the Obama administration
"does not have the country's welfare at heart -- or any part of it. They're out to destroy it, the same as the people in Rome are out to destroy the church."
Gibson went on to express support for Ron Paul, saying that he was the "only (candidate) worth voting for" in the 2008 presidential election.

When asked what the average American can do to prevent the Obama administration from destroying the country, Gibson said that there isn't much they can do, stating:

"It gets harder and harder all the time. One thing they shouldn't do is give up their guns."

He went on to advocate that citizens create "alarm systems" to notify the public in the event of a federal government crackdown on gun ownership.

The Political Cesspool program is devoted to racist, anti-Semitic and far right propaganda, and is said to be the most popular white supremacist radio show in the United States. The hourlong interview with Gibson took place on Saturday, January 9 and was broadcast on a network of local stations and via the internet.

An archived version of the interview is available here (click on the 1/9/2010, hour two link): Liberty News Radio - Show Archives; direct link to mp3 here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Michael Scheuer: terrorists should focus on Israel, not the U.S.

In an interview televised on C-SPAN on January 4, former CIA bin Laden Unit Chief Michael Scheuer advocated that the United States should "dissuade" terrorists from focusing their anger on the U.S. by "persuad(ing) them to focus their anger on what they themselves perceive as their enemy: the governments that ... oppress them and Israel". His comment is viewable at 10:30 of the below-linked video:

C-SPAN Video Player - Michael Scheuer, Former CIA Bin Laden Unit Chief (1996-99)

Following this modest proposal to throw Israel to the wolves, Scheuer received the following grossly anti-Semitic question from a caller called John from Franklin, NY who identified himself as a political independent (viewable at 15:00 of the above-linked video). Question and answer are presented below in their entirety. Scheuer's response is instructive:

John from Franklin: I for one am sick and tired of all these Jews coming on C-SPAN and other stations and pushing us to go to war against our Muslim friends. They're willing to spend the last drop of American blood and treasure to get their way in the world. They have way too much power in this country. People like Wolfowitz and Feith and the other neo-cons -- they jewed us into Iraq -- and now we're going to spend the next 60 years rehabilitating our soldiers -- I'm sick and tired of it.

C-SPAN host: Any comment on that?

Scheuer: Yeah. I think that American foreign policy is ultimately up to the American people. One of the big things we have not been able to discuss for the past 30 years is the Israelis. Whether we want to be involved in fighting Israel's wars in the future is something that Americans should be able to talk about. They may vote yes. They may want to see their kids killed in Iraq or somewhere else to defend Israel. But the question is: we need to talk about it. Ultimately Israel is a country that is of no particular worth the United States.

C-SPAN host: You mean strategically?

Scheuer: Strategically. They have no resources we need. Their manpower is minimal. Their association with us is a negative for the United States. Now that's a fact. What you want to do about that fact is entirely different. But for anyone to stand up in the United States and day that support for Israel doesn't hurt us in the Muslim world is to just defy reality.

After that statement of agreement with a grossly bigoted phone caller, Scheuer went on to state an opinion so bizarre that, under ordinary circumstances, would stand out; in this context, however, its illogic seems minor by comparison. Scheuer said that he opposes trying accused terrorists in U.S. courts, arguing that, because Muslims consider these defendants innocent of any crime, when they're convicted, it makes our courts seem biased against Muslims. For that reason, Scheuer supports holding accused terrorists without trial. By his thinking, the Muslim world would approve of the U.S. holding accused terrorists prisoner indefinitely without trial more than they would support the accused terrorists getting trials. (At 20:00 of the video.)

Who supports Scheuer's peculiar views? One indication is who publishes his work on their websites. Scheuer's next call came from a supporter identified as Tim from Crawford, Virgina. Tim has published Scheuer's writings on his several anti-Semitic websites, at least one of which is largely devoted to promoting disinformation blaming Jews for carrying out 9/11.

Tim from Crawford: Mr. Scheuer, I met you in Los Angeles and you were so brave being on the Bill Maher Show talking about how we're fighting these wars for Israel and I told you about my website and You were absolutely spot on, sir. When are we going to shred the Israeli yoke and get on with defending America like George Washington wanted us to?

Scheuer didn't really address those rhetorical questions in his response, so that is something we must look forward to in a later interview. But the question does give some insight into his base of support.

From a psychological perspective, it's instructive to take a look at how Scheuer's paranoid view of Israeli influence has created situations which seem to him to confirm that paranoia. He charges that AIPAC (which he pronounces "eye-pack") and other unnamed Zionists got him fired from his position as a Senior Fellow and columnist for the Jamestown Foundation, an anti-terrorism think-tank, based on a single comment he made. He says (at 39:20 in the video) that he
"said sort of flippantly at one of their conferences that Obama was doing the 'Tel-Aviv Two Step' during the presidential campaign -- getting closer to the Israel Lobby. And that was enough to have the donors to that foundation indicate that I should be terminated...

"You know you always talk about the Israel Lobby and its power, and to see it up close and personal aimed right at me, was very educational. In fact, it was worth the experience of losing a job."

Scheuer believes that his extreme views, no matter how much they diverge from those of the Jamestown Foundation, should be promoted by that group; and if the Jamestown Foundation chooses not to do so, it must be the result of a Zionist conspiracy. I don't have any inside information concerning why the leadership of the Jamestown Foundation fired Scheuer, but the idea that it was the single comment he cites as the reason strains credulity. Scheuer has a record of extreme -- even paranoid -- opinions on this subject of Israel -- a record which is getting longer by the day. His explanation of his firing is perfectly consistent with that paranoid worldview.

That firing might have been motivated by Scheuer's bizarre statement that "the U.S. government was marching to the drummer of al Qaeda" (at 0:50 0f the below-embedded video). He doesn't explain how the U.S. can be controlled by both the Israel Lobby and al Qaeda.

Getting back to his C-SPAN interview, Scheuer wrapped it up by talking himself through the following logical wormhole:

Scheuer: Would I have opposed Truman's decision to recognize Israel? I certainly would have! Because it (was) obvious where it was going to lead.

That being said, let me say that no country has a right to exist. The United States doesn't have a right to exist. Britain doesn't have a right to exist. Bolivia doesn't have a right to exist! Countries exist if they can get along with their neighbors, if they have a thriving economy and a social system which is equitable. If countries have a right to exist, we would be resurrecting the Soviet Union, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and every other country that has gone down the tubes. Every contry has a right to defend itself, including Israel, but no country has a right to exist.

Elsewhere in this interview, Scheuer argues that whether or not a foreign nation is democratic is of no importance to the United States. He argues that the only factor meriting consideration in determining United States foreign policy is a narrowly defined view of what is in the our immediate national interest. To him, a dictatorship is as good as a democracy, so long as we come out ahead. What he doesn't understand is that the world he advocates is not one in which the United States in particular and democracy in general would be welcome. Maybe that is why the Jamestown Foundation fired him.


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