Founder and Executive Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance
Barbara Lubin is the founder and Executive Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), a "children's advocacy organization" based in Berkeley, California that raises funds for organizations based in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Iraq that refuse to recognize Israel's existence. Her organization is modeled after the Holy Land Foundation that was shut down after 9/11 for also funding "charities" where some of the money indirectly went to terrorist groups. In 1991, Lubin was abducted by armed guerillas from the terrorist group Hizbullah, in Lebanon. She struck up a conversation with her captors and stated afterwards, "Hizbullah… They're just ordinary schleps like the rest of us." She is also quoted as saying, "If Slobodan Milosevic is tried by the international courts, then Henry Kissinger, (former President) George Bush and Ariel Sharon should be in there with him…They butchered Arabs." In late 2001, Lubin was a participant in the largely anti-Semitic World Conference Against Racism that took place in Durban, South Africa. In August 2004, on the Berkeley-based Flashpoints radio program, Lubin stated that she wants the United States "to cut all aid to Israel.". Lubin's background is as a communist. During the height of the Battle of Fallujah has US soldiers were dying, Lubin, with her compatriot, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, sent $500,000 worth of "aid" to the other side.
MECA collects and launders money for every ISM chapter all over the United States and should be shut down like the Holy Land Foundation. It is more of a political movement than a legitimate charity that stages events all the time calling for the dismantling of Israel. On television in Santa Cruz, a show called "Voices, " Barbara Lubin made clear she does not want a two state peace solution but nothing less than the end of the Jewish state. The following article should shed some light on Middle East Children's Alliance:
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) continues its destructive agenda of aiding Palestinian terror against Israel. Prosecuting its agenda by recruiting international volunteers, mostly radical students from the United States, Canada, and Europe, it dispatches them to Israel under the guise of "nonviolent peace activists." Posing as agents of charitable goodwill, these radicals then interfere with the Israeli army’s anti-terrorist operations.
The ISM purposely masks this extremist agenda. It does so by creating multi-layers of anti-Israel groups all over the United States. The reason behind this stratified organizational arrangement is twofold. First, the ISM aims to create the impression of a mass movement. Second, the group hopes to make it impossible for the government to pin down any centralized organization or leadership that could be held up to scrutiny.
Thus, when one organization comes under scrutiny for its extremist activities, the others can simply claim in their defense that it does not speak for them. Yet there is a clear connection between all the groups under the ISM’s umbrella: All share a "solidarity" in their communal commitment to the idea of dismantling the state of Israel "by any means necessary."
Since the onset of the war in Iraq, the ISM’s anti-Israel mission has undergone an expansion. No longer committed merely to ending the Israeli "occupation" of the Palestinian territories, ISM and its affiliates now hope to terminate the "US occupation of Iraq." In a sense, this is unsurprising: The Ba’ath Party in Iraq, along with the Syrian Ba’athists, have always been the PLO’s staunchest allies. But the ISM is not content to declare its support for the enemies of the United States. Many of its organizational layers actively aid American enemies by raising funds to be sent overseas. These funds may well end up in the hands of terrorist organizations or individual terrorists who pose threats to both Israeli and American security.
Just as it has sought to camouflage its radical mission, the ISM has labored to conceal the funds it raises to implement it. The chief method of disguising this fundraising has been claiming that it is for charitable purposes. This is the same tactic used by radical charities raising funds for terrorism. Typical was the case of the SAAR Trust Group, which contained several distinct charities. Located in the same building in Virginia, they were all charitable fronts created, mostly with the backing of Saudi money, to collect funds for terrorism. Among them were the Holy Land Foundation and World Assembly of Muslim Youth. All of these charities enjoyed U.S. tax-exempt status before finally being shuttered by U.S. authorities. The U.S. government has cracked down on similar fundraising schemes set up by al-Qaeda to raise money in the Untied States for the purpose of promoting worldwide jihad.
Yet with respect to the ISM, the government has failed to detect that the same tactic is being used. For instance, a study of the various non-profits in the United States representing the ISM reveals gross violations of U.S. tax laws regarding fundraising and activities. In order to make fundraising by numerous ISM groups easier for donors, they utilize the tax-exempt status of certain organizations within the ISM conglomerate of groups to funnel the money. The tax laws currently allow an organization to request that checks be made out to an ISM tax-exempt organization, which then disperses the money to the local group or abroad where it can fall into the hands of terrorists (since donations and money are fungible assets, exactly where the money goes is questionable). ISM-affiliated groups and clubs all over the United States, many operating out of American college campuses, all do fundraising and recruiting on an enormous scale.
Tax-exempt status for charitable groups is based on strict IRS codes of conduct for the privilege of accepting donations at no expense to the donors. In the 1994 case of the Nationalist Movement v. Commissioner, U.S. tax court upheld it impermissible in cases that were "organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary or educational purposes…no part of net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation…and which does not participate in, or interview in…any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office (see 501 (c) )." Yet, as we shall see, these IRS codes of conduct have been consistently violated by the ISM.
Group #1: The Middle East Children’s Alliance
One tax-exempt organization that is part of the ISM and has even identified itself as the financial arm of the ISM is the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) located in Berkeley, California, and run by far-Left Berkleyite Barbara Lubin. ISM groups that are not legal entities, but skeleton groups designed to attract new members or fundraise, have frequently made checks out to MECA.
MECA has been violating U.S. tax laws regarding requirements for being a tax-exempt foundation for years. For instance, on its tax forms, Lubin’s organization insists that it is a charity for children in the Middle East. What it does not say in its tax return—but what is clearly stated on its website—is that it functions as the financial arm of the ISM, an organization that maintains it is "Palestinian-led." U.S. law requires that organizations that function for overseas governments must be registered as foreign agents, something MECA has never done.
In addition, MECA appears to be in violation of U.S. tax laws as they apply to nonprofit organizations, since these statutes specify that funding cannot be used for propaganda or for political purposes. The laws also bar collecting and funneling tax-free donations to an entity (the ISM) that engages in criminal activity: This organization neglected to tell the IRS that it is raising funds for an organization (the ISM) that is involved in criminal activities in Israel. The ISM’s website states:
Donations may also be sent to:
ISM - USA
PO BOX 5073
BERKELEY CA 94705-0073
Please make checks out to: "MECA (ISM-USA Fund)".
The Middle East Children’s Alliance is the fiscal sponsor for ISM-USA. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Their tax exemption number is: 94-3074600.
The same ISM website that MECA uses to proclaim itself the fiscal sponsor for the ISM all over the United States also shows that the ISM is openly involved with criminal interference (euphemistically called "direct-action methods") against Israeli security procedures against terrorism.
The following appears on the ISM national website:
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.
Direct Action - challenging crippling checkpoints and curfew, confronting tanks and demolition equipment, removing roadblocks, participating in nonviolent demonstrations, accompanying farmers to their fields and protecting families whose homes are threatened with demolition.
"Challenging checkpoints and curfews," "confronting tanks," and "removing roadblocks" are all criminal interference with another democratic allied country's anti-terror security procedures and, according to the first webpage, the Middle East Children's Alliance is the fiscal sponsor of these activities. Homes threatened with demolition are homes that were used as bomb-making factories or to house terrorist cells.
The ISM national website originally encouraged lying to Israeli Border Police but was recently revamped after being exposed by Stop the ISM. The changed information from one portion of their website was taken down during the revamping but it is still available for viewing here:
There are three ways to come to Palestine -- via the Ben Gurion airport - Tel Aviv, via Amman, Jordan or via Egypt. Many people are afraid to come via Tel Aviv because Palestinian sympathizers are being denied entry into the country. We believe that it's less suspicious if you come through Israel but you have to have a really good story about why you are coming, and must not mention anything about ISM or knowing, liking or planning to visit Palestinians. You must play it as though your visit is for other, Israel-based reasons, like tourism, religion, visiting an Israeli friend, etc. So do a little bit of research and put together a story that you'll be able to answer questions about. For example, if you say you are visiting a friend in Jerusalem, you should have the name and phone number of a real Israeli person. If you are coming for religious purposes, have a book or two on religion and travel in Israel; have an itinerary, etc. (Emphasis added.)
Furthermore, the ISM website continues to turn a blind eye to members’ deception:
Visitors coming in solidarity with the Palestinian people and/or to support Palestinian non-violent resistance therefore face a difficult situation. If they admit the goals of their visit to Israeli border staff, and admit any association with ISM, they will most likely be denied entry. If they state other reasons for their visit, they can also be accused of lying to Israeli authorities and denied entry for this reason.
Faced with this dilemma, some activists choose not to talk about their activist goals and instead explain other reasons for their visit, such as visiting the Holy Land, visiting an Israeli friend, tourism, etc. These activists generally articulate a clear plan for their visit, including places they will stay within Israel and the names, addresses and phone numbers of people they will be visiting (not mentioning visits to Palestinians).
Carrying ISM material with you will most likely cause the authorities to refuse you entry. It is likely that your luggage will be searched when you arrive at the airport or border.
Related to this, David Bedein, a news correspondent at Israel Behind the News, reports that the ISM commits espionage in Israel and provides safe houses to terrorists:
Last month, Israeli security forces raided ISM offices in Beit Sahour, and the foreign affairs ministry issued a statement that said: ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent actions against Israel Defense Force [IDF] soldiers. At times, their activity in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip is under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations. Bedein, who has interviewed several ISM activists in the region, said the group's North American operations ought to be investigated by local law enforcement, since ISM spokespeople openly call for the overthrow of Israel, a country with which Canada and the United States have friendly relations. "Group members have also reported Israeli troop movements to armed Palestinian units," Bedein said, and they intervene at checkpoints to facilitate the transit of Palestinians who may be terrorists.
Below is the information that MECA reported to the IRS on its Form 990 for July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003 (the most recent available from Guidestar.org). While the group may indeed be delivering food, medicine, toys, and books to the children of the Middle East (their stated purpose), it has conspicuously neglected to tell the IRS about its more legally dubious activities.
Here is what they reported on their Form 990:
In addition, MECA lied on its tax return in answering the question (exposed above) "During the year, has the organization attempted to influence national, state or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum?" MECA answered "no." In fact, however, it does precisely this by actively supporting divestment from Israel, a campaign that, if done in cooperation with a foreign government, may be contrary to federal law. Additionally, in 2004, MECA was a signatory to a letter opposing Senate Resolution 408. The letter, sent to members of the U.S. Senate, exhorting them to vote "No" on Resolution 408. That Resolution took the position that the anti-terrorist security fence that Israel was building in the West Bank was legal and justified.
Here is what MECA actually does:
- Calls for antiwar activism and condemns U.S. foreign policy:
o Support Cindy Sheehan
o "Bring the troops home now, stop the war in Iraq"
o "Support the Palestinian people's right of return"
o "Military recruiters out of our schools"
o "U.S. out of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Afghanistan"
- Promotes an academic boycott of Israel.
- Is a coalition member of ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice.
- Describes the U.S. "occupation" of Iraq as "illegal" and genocidal:
o It also accuses the U.S. of "purposefully" targeting civilian areas
o "The Human Cost of War in Iraq" also makes this accusation: "In March 2003, the US, backed by the UK and Spain, launched an illegal 'pre-emptive' attack on Iraq. Since then the US and UK have illegally occupied the nation…."
- Hosts a photo gallery of partisan anti-U.S. and anti-Israel protests. One photo thanks Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, by name.
Significantly, MECA boasts a "political education coordinator" named Uda Walker—an odd title for a charity supposedly does nothing more than raise funds to help children. After all, why does an organization whose mission is "to distribute food, toys clothing, and medicine to children in the Middle East," and which reports to the IRS that it "does not attempt to influence legislation or public opinion on legislative matters" need a political education coordinator? Uda Walker is paid by MECA to stage presentations against Israel and U.S. soldiers in Iraq and has even toured high school campuses with the "Voices in the Wilderness" Tour during school hours. The program is composed of anti-Israel and pro-Ba’ath Party activists, some of whom have done time for their "peaceful" activities. Walker has even taken her political propaganda campaign abroad to the UK. Meanwhile, Barabra Lubin, MECA executive director, has also appeared at numerous rallies showing support for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the sole vote against the U.S. going to war against al-Qaeda after 9/11.
Clearly, then, the Middle East Children’s Alliance spends the majority of its time on political propagandizing, while being exempted from the normal tax burden associated with a political organization.
MECA also supports the Ibaada Center in the West Bank. On the surface, the Ibaada Center might seem to be a place for Palestinian children to derive some education and culture. It is, according to The Jerusalem Post, a place of incitement against Israel’s existence and an indoctrination center for Arab children to support terrorism. The walls are festooned with scenes of terrorist "resistance," and its pupils are taught they will one day conquer Israel by violence.
If you’re wondering what any of this has to do with supporting children in the Middle East, and why MECA lays claim to tax-exempt status when it does not even provide support for all Middle East children (services or support for Israeli children maimed in suicide bombing attacks are not included), you are not alone. A part of the "Palestinian-led" MECA is the fundraising and propaganda arm of the PLO, albeit run locally by American radicals and anarchists. Furthermore, MECA’s own website clearly states:
The ISM is not an organization, but rather a movement which all organizations, groups and/or individuals who agree with our principles can join. The ISM is based in Palestine and is led by Palestinians on the ground. Many ISM support groups around the world assist the ISM by disseminating information, recruiting and training individuals to join us. (Emphasis added.)
MECA operates under the auspices and lobbying control of the Palestinian Authority, an activity which by federal law demands that it be registered as an agent for a foreign power by the U.S. Justice Department. This is something that has not been done. The group has also seems to have lied on it tax returns about engaging in political activities, which should result in the IRS at minimum pulling its nonprofit status. Its money is fungible -- and once it gets to the Palestine Authority or Iraq -- there’s no way to know how much of it makes its way to terrorist groups. Barbara Lubin once spent time in the company of the terrorist group Hezbollah, the same group that killed 241 U.S. military personnel in 1983 in a terrorist attack. She considers them "normal shleps." It hardly strains credulity to suppose that her group sympathizes with Hezbollah’s aims. Consider, too, that MECA’s offices in Berkeley eagerly display Palestinian propaganda that attacks Israel: From the MECA website:
But MECA’s solidarity with terror goes beyond mere agitprop. MECA has promoted a clinic in Gaza, the Union of Health Work Committees, whose previous manager was a member of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist group listed with the U.S. State Department. (This despite the fact that the U.S. State department last year required that non-governmental charities in the Palestinian Authority sign agreements that any USAID funding they receive specifically not be channeled to aid terrorists or terrorism.) The clinic is now run by Mona al-Farra. The MECA website openly sought donations for Dr. Mona al-Farra’s clinic, specifically naming her even after Mona al-Farra refused to sign the State Department’s agreement. Her reason? She claimed that all her patients are terrorists.
MECA may provide money for some noble services to Palestinian children, but it also funds incitement and helps to roil the Israel/Palestinian conflict. Everytime MECA receives donations from supporters, the American taxpayer makes up the loss of income tax revenue. American taxpayers already subsidize the Palestinian Authority with billions of dollars in foreign aid, much of which has already been pilfered by a corrupt Palestinian leadership. It is in their interest, then, that the Middle East Children’s Alliance North American operations should come under close IRS scrutiny.
This year's MECA tax returns reveal MECA has taken in upwards of $5 million dollars.
Ghannam, even back in his undergraduate days at UC Berkeley, fancied himself a Palestinian revolutionary. Born in the U.S. to a Christian Arab family from the West Bank that left for the United States, he has always railed against Israel, despite anti-Christian persecution by the Muslim majority in the Arab world. Today he is a professor of psychiatry at UC-San Francisco’s medical school. He is also an inveterate liar when it comes to political issues about Israel and the United States, frequently recounting Israeli atrocities that have never occurred. Today, Ghannam is the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The ADC is active in the training and organizing of activists in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who go to the West Bank and purposely interfere with anti-terrorist operations of the Israeli army. At an ISM orientation for ISM trainees to go to the west Bank given by Ghannam, he blatantly lied trying to claim Israel was an apartheid state like South Africa and even claimed Israel has "Jew-only" hotels where Arabs cannot rent rooms akin to the Jim Crow years in the southern United States. Both accusations are patently untrue. Ghannam also frequently flies to the Middle East to work with hospitals in Gaza, although most Gazan hospitals are under the auspices of the terrorist group Hamas. Ghannam also recently organized an intifada celebratory event at a middle school in San Francisco where a spokesman for the Abu Sayyef was the honored guest. Abu Sayyef is a terrorist group allied with al-Qaeda.
For more on Ghannum see:
Probably one of the most disgusting members of the ISM is Paul LaRudee, who once boasted that he slept in the bed of a suicide bomber. LaRudee is very active in Norcal ISM in the San Francsico Bay Area::
Paul LaRudee, the Northern California head of the ISM, in a recent interview with an al-Jazeera interviewer on public radio was in classic form using ISM doublespeak—affirming a commitment to non-violence while cutting a loophole for terrorism. Explained LaRudee:
We believe in the application of international law. Although we are totally dedicated to nonviolence, we recognize not everyone in the Palestinian community is dedicated to nonviolence and under international law we recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.
International law, of course, proscribes blowing up women and children on buses or in subway trains in Jerusalem and London. The fact that LaRudee is a piano tuner by trade and not an international attorney does not allow him to plead ignorance. It was LaRudee, after all, who once boasted of sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber. Then, too, it is LaRudee who recruits ISM “volunteers” to go to the Middle East and provide cover for terrorists. (This writer has attended ISM training sessions where ISM volunteers are trained to provide cover for stone throwers of the PLO.)
LaRudee served as a human shield for Hizballah during the recent war in Lebanon. He is also involved in the planning of the ISM flotilla to open the sea border with Gaza and facilitate the smuggling of weapons to Hamas.
The raving beauty above is Jamie Spector of Norcal ISM. Jamie is more than just an ISM leader, she is a "trainer" of ISM activists to go to the West Bank and provide cover for PLO terrorists. Two years ago, Stop the ISM attended one of her training sessions and as a result she and ten of her acolytes were captured by Israeli authorities and deported. Jamie, who is of Jewish descent, fits the ISM personality profile of a person who cannot tolerate any kind of authority as she herself explained during the training session she gave. Some communist attorneys in Israel tried to stop Jamie's deportation on the grounds that she is of Jewish descent, but even the lefties in Israel's Supreme Court would not buy that one. They kicked her out. What is scary is that Spector is a social worker for the city of San Francisco who deals with children.
For more on Jamie Spector and other Bay Area ISM actiivsts see:
Homeless, (unless he can find some woman to house him), ignorant and vicious, this coward and Berkeley denizen especially likes to threaten women and people who support Israel. He especially hates Jews. He once boasted about having a homeless advocate removed from her job at a homeless advocacy newspaper because of her support of Israel. Below is a quote from Joseph Anderson on Indymedia that we believe says it all about this disgusting individual and his hatred for Jews and support for terrorism. The ISM refuses to condemn or disassociate themselves from him. And, after all, why should they? He really espouses what they all feel. The fact that he is more stupid than the others in not using doublespeak does not change a thing:
Quoted from Joseph Anderson:
Personally, I *EXULT* everytime I see an Israeli Jew bite the dust. And the same goes for their American cousins! EVERY SINGLE JEW EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD is a just and appropriate target for anti-colonialist liberation! We need to start targeting *EVERY* synagogue, *EVERY* Jew community center, school and everywhere else that you racist devils preach and propogate your agenda.
BOUT TO MEET YO MAKER, JEWBOY? HA, HA HA!!!!!!!!!!
The following incoherent tirade was sent by Jospeh Anderson to other anti-Israel activists in the Berkeley area after an appearance for well-known anti-Semite Norman Finklestein who was denied tenure at De Paul University for faulty scholarship. Even though Finklestein hates Israel and Jews (he recently endorsed Hizballah), Joseph Anderson found even Finklestein even too "pro-Zionist" for his taste and created a scene upsetting all the other anti-Semites:
Dear Norman and other friends,
[Please, in advance, forgive the long email.]
At the outset, I again apologize to Barbara Lubin for my resulting outburst at yesterday's, 2/13, Finkelstein event.
Newspaper writing says that you put the most important or highest priority writing first. So, let me say, first, that I believe that Norman Finkelstein's *UNPRINCIPLED* RIDICULE -- as well as his *DEMAGOGUERY* (which I, afterwards, politely told Norman that I thought was beneath him) -- of certain -- like my -- questions (including his dodgey mischaracterization of the separate two of them, as "a conflation of many issues"), as well as my other principled disagreements with him, *contributed* to the self-assumed abusive license of the microphone monitor -- whom I don't even know and don't even know why he has a chronic bug up his butt against me (because he's not man enough to tell me) -- to *again* abuse me in a provocative and hostile manner. This, as well as others to carrying on and *INDEFINITELY EXTENDING* his abuse -- LONG AFTER I WAS READY AND QUITE WILLING TO SIT DOWN -- AS I COMMITTED MYSELF TO DOING SO -- WHEN THE MONITOR FINALLY GOT OUT OF MY FACE.
Indeed, the only person who seemed to know how to respectfully defuse and de-escalate the situation, in a way respecting my dignity, was Beverly -- whom I'm also sure used her, even direct *physical*, interposition and status as a white woman to keep me from being arrested by 2 'trigger/truncheon happy' cops -- BPD's cocaine-stealing 'finest'. (And I'm sure that Barbara Lubin, for whom I am also quite appreciative, kept me from being arrested too -- even though I rhetorically challenged them to arrest me.) And I thank Aaron Aarons, of Berkeley, for challenging Norman's intellectual abuse of my question and anyone else who had a different progressive moral or political perspective from him (Norman).
Finkelstein's intellectual behavior, last night, was a long way from the very first time I asked Finkelstein a question a number of years ago at Boalt Law School, at UC Berkeley, when Finkelstein opened the Q&A, after his lecture, by saying, "First, I want anyone who *disagrees* with me to ask me a question" -- *unprecedented*, I'd bet, in the history of American lecture icons. I was truly impressed.
(A *JEWISH FRIEND, IF THAT COUNTS FOR ANYTHING EXTRA, NOTED THAT THE MONITOR, IN THE FIRST ROW, WAS ACTING WEIRD FROM THE TIME WE SAT DOWN IN THE SECOND ROW, BY HAPPENSTANCE BEHIND HIM.)
Now if the monitor did that in the 'hood or in downtown Oakland, the monitor would just get 'a cap' in his ass or a quick beat down -- and that would probably end it faster than all the white folks trying to verbally pile onto me one by one, drawing the altercation out, doing much more harm than good, instead of the organizers just getting him outta my face and letting me be!: prior knowledge and experience of my usual politeness (when not wrongfully provoked), consideration, thoughtfulness and intelligence obviously count for *nothing*. But, as Thomas Kochman wrote in his book, "Black and White Styles in Conflict", white people usually respond to the *reaction*, especially when the 'victim' is Black, more that the *instigation* -- and especially to maintain 'decorum'.
And I'll bet that leftist organizers of East Bay events, even by yesterday's sponsor(s), will let the monitor work again, with not even reprimand, at their events. So, I've been putting everyone on notice: Joseph Anderson has stopped being 'the good negro' and stopped taking sh*t anymore -- homie don't play that no mo'. Or, maybe I'll just start coming to these events with a couple of tall Black friends of mine from tha 'hood (not that they'd be interested: they know what most of what white progressive gala events amount to -- or even Black progressive gala events -- as they know it's all mostly entertainment).
But I bet if some white girl told some Black guy to get out of her face, the white assumption of guilt would have gone straight to the Black guy -- not to *her* for violating decorum. The Black guy would have been questioned, by organizers and everyone white, for his instigating behavior and possible abuse.
I wasn't going to attend Norman's award event, Wed, Feb 13, because I knew that I disagreed with his latest interview (written by someone else) in Counterpunch --indeed, I thought that he had backslid, as well as slid into namby-pamby liberalism (indeed, a 'liberal Zionism', somewhat back to the Chomsky line -- that 'Great White Hope' for Palestinian people -- of a functional Zionist) in the latest interview article on Finkelstein in Counterpunch. I think Norman deserves high respect for his past work, but I *didn't* even think, based on that Counterpunch *interview* article, and subsequently based on his lecture last night, and particularly the Q&A, that he even morally or intellectually deserved such an award -- although I think he deserved the event per se.
But, I wanted to add to the numbers in attendance that honored Norman; to add to the numbers in attendance who, in effect, were protesting his tenure denial; and I wanted to contribute my financial contribution share (whenever possible) to MECA, especially when it has a benefit event. And I knew that everybody would be asking me, "Where *were* you?: I didn't see you at the Finkelstein event."
(Btw, I prominently signed the online petition for his tenure. I think I was 1376, although I have the exact entry number in my records.)
And while $15 certainly wasn't a strain on my budget, and not as much as other iconic events often are ($20/$25), I've discovered that the more one pays, the less intellectually worthwhile the event is: the more one pays, the more the event becomes, slightly more or less, mere leftist entertainment. So, I almost never go to events over $15. I realize that for more than about $15 -- what then inevitably amounts to leftist entertainment events -- and the more one pays -- the more the organizers want to tightly control everything and keep all the questions lite and intellectually unchallenging, let alone intellectually unthreatening.
The organizers of major events usually want a strictly question and unchallenged *oracle* answer format -- the questioner is to immediately move away from the mic and sit down -- and the oracle can throw out, unchallenged, any ole answer they feel like --even for the most evasive, let alone unprincipled, answer. Decorum -- i.e., nothing intellectually challenging to the oracle -- becomes more important than true discourse. To really protect the oracle -- if there is even a Q&A at all -- tiny index cards are used so that difficult questions can be censored and only the simplest, one or two sentence, questions asked. For the more expensive events, it all just becomes a gala social event. The left's equivalent of some Hollywood/entertainment celebrity event -- to see and be seen at.
After going out to the same restaurant Norman ended up at (but not at the same table), I was up late at home reviewing Finkelstein's lecture and his answer to me with my often-alluded-to *brilliant* attorney housemate. She almost never attends such events --whoever the icon is-- because she says that if they didn't say it in their book/s (if they've penned any), or if they didn't say it on the radio (if they get regular opportunities), then they probably have nothing to add at an in-person lecture -- and she can just read their book (in the comfort and convenience of her own home and time) if she's interested.
Furthermore, she believes that if someone normally, intellectually incisive like me is going to bring something up that the icon has not covered in their books, articles and radio/TV interviews, they probably haven't ever thought about, let alone considered, what someone incisive has to say anyway, and would either pointedly not answered the question -- BECOME EVASIVE -- or ridicule the question and/or questioner, or even lash out at the questioner (especially someone who wasn't intellectually shaken).
Indeed, she also thought it was remarkable that Norman didn't seem to care *what* the victims, the Palestinians, think! -- who he *professes* to care about! So, Finkelstein has become another 'Great White Hope' for the Palestinian people. She called Finkelstein "arrogant" (as well as "absolutely delusional" about int'l rulings, in the face of U.S. vetoes) -- not only for that, but also for his *RIDICULE* and *DEMAGOGUERY* of me, and/or my question, as well as others with similar perspectives. (And he and I are supposed to be casual *friends* -- at least kindred spirit friends.)
A couple of women once paid $50 to attend a private reception for Norman --obviously supporters of his if they were willing to pay that much -- and they told me right afterwards (and after he left) that they were quite disappointed because they were told in advance not to ask him any potentially difficult, critical questions: they rhetorically asked me [approx. quote], "What did we pay $50 for? -- if we can't ask him deeper questions, have a true dialogue, and find out what he thinks in response: maybe contribute to the development of thought on the issue, and maybe learn something new."
Appreciatively, several people came up to me afterwards -- and, amazingly, given my outburst -- highly complimented me on my two questions to Finkelstein.
I guess Finkelstein, who once -- out of the sheer blue -- called Michael Eric Dyson "a minstrel show" -- without even asking me what *I* thought -- and said that Blankfort "wasn't worth reading" (which in major part is why I intellectually --and quite independently -- took Norman apart in my Dissident Voice article, without even telling Jeff why, for a long, long time), is becoming as morally slimey, squiggly and equivocal as his good friend and *mentor* Noam Chomsky (not a very good mentor).
My time permitting, I hope to write another (DV?) article again intellectually tearing Norman to shreds based on his lecture or (for less work and a shorter article) his answer (which encapsulated the major points of his lecture) to me.
But, we need to get those 'liberal Zionists', functional Zionists, latent Zionists, de facto Zionists, beaten down "anti-Zionists", and other liberal white-supremacists out of the Palestinian human rights movement. As an African American friend of mine once said --and I'll always remember -- there's a *reason* the Israeli "peace" movement calls itself "Peace Now", but not "*Justice* Now".
Thank you very much for your forebearance in this email if you got the end.
All Together in The Struggle,
Wendy Campbell, Neo-Nazi (below)
If you want to be a filmmaker, but have no brains or talent like Wendy Campbell, you make a niche for yourself by filming anti-Semitic films for the Arabs who have the money to promote you. This way you have a built-in market of Jew haters to buy your crappy amateur films. This is Wendy Campbell.
Campbell considers herself clever. She spouts brilliant dialog like “Go to IsraeHell!” She also is an "expert" on Judaism, which is interesting since she’s not Jewish and writes for Nazi websites. It seems Wendy has determined that the 2,000 year old Jewish yearning to return to Zion said every Passover is not true Judaism. That’s right, Wendy, Diaspora Jews seeking to return to a Jewish nation where the rest of the world can’t herd them into cattle cars is definitely not Jewish. And she knows this for sure because the Syrians agree with her!!!
Wendy visited Syria and came back crowing about what a wonderful country the Allawite dictatorship is. It only murdered 30,000 of its own population besides hosting the world's major terrorist groups in the world. She even said that the few Jews who live there are virtual hostages in fact and run the economy of the country! She crowed about how those Syrians who house terrorist groups like the PFLP and Islamic Jihad really understand true Judaism as opposed to Zionism. Even some of the radical Jewish anti-Semites over at Indymedia find her objectionable.
This woman, a virtual simpleton, has found her fortune not just with radical anti-Semites, but with neo-Nazis like David Duke whose website she writes for then claims she is not anti-Semitic or against the Jewish people. Her website features a photo of a bypass road in Israel under construction with the false information that Arabs cannot use it, only Jews. It's a great business for Wendy, the wannabe filmmaker, to attack the Jews.
In one sense, one has to give credit to Wendy for her honesty. She is openly anti-Semitic because she is stupid, and not as clever as her other compatriots in the ISM who try to claim they have nothing against the Jewish people then support murdering or dispossessing them in the Middle East for Arab terrorist regimes as “Zionists.”
It really takes a sick woman to change her name from Susan Benjamin to Medea after the Greek mythological virago who murdered her own children.
Founder of Global Exchange
Has said that living in Castro’s Cuba made her feel “like [she] died and went to heaven.”
Organizer of Iraq Occupation Watch (support for killers of US troops)
Sent $600,000 to Iraqi resistance as they fought US marines in Fallujah.
Anti-war activist Medea Benjamin was born in 1952 (with the name Susie Benjamin) and was raised as a self-described "nice Jewish girl from Long Island," New York. During her freshman year at Tufts University, she renamed herself after the Greek mythological character Medea. After one year at Tufts, she dropped out of school and spent some time hitchhiking across Europe and Africa, supporting herself by teaching English, working in African refugee camps, and doing a variety of other odd jobs. She thereafter returned to New York, passed some undergraduate equivalency tests, and went on to receive master’s degrees in public health (from Columbia University) and economics (from the New School for Social Research).
Ms. Benjamin then lived for some time in Fidel Castro’s Communist Cuba with her first husband, who was the coach of that country's national basketball team. (Reflecting later on her years in Cuba, she said she had felt "like I died and went to heaven.") Cuban authorities deported Ms. Benjamin, however, after she wrote an anti-government article in the government-run newspaper for which she worked.
Benjamin moved to San Francisco in 1983 to work for Food First / The Institute for Food and Development Policy.
In 1988 she co-founded (with Kevin Danaher) the activist organization Global Exchange, which devotes its resources and manpower to a variety of leftist causes -- most notably an anti-war, anti-capitalist agenda.
Benjamin was one of the principal architects of the 1999 protests in Seattle where rampaging anti-globalization activists burned cars, smashed windows and generally sowed disorder in a failed bid to shut down a conference of the World Trade Organization. Benjamin hailed the riots, which caused millions of dollars in property damage, as “a battle cry.”
In Benjamin's view, America's declared war on terror is itself a form of terrorism. She asserts that President Bush "has responded to the violent attack of 9/11 with the notion of perpetual war ..."
Late in 2002, Benjamin led a group of Americans, each of whom had lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks, to Afghanistan to meet people whose relatives had perished in the U.S. bombing campaign there. "We must insist that governments stop taking innocent lives in the name of seeking justice for the loss of other innocent lives," she said.
In November 2002, Benjamin co-founded -- along with Jodie Evans, Diane Wilson, and a radical Wiccan activist calling herself Starhawk -- the anti-war group Code Pink for Peace.
Also in 2002, Ms. Benjamin exhorted Americans to examine "the root causes of resentment against the United States in the Arab world -- from our dependence on Middle Eastern oil to our biased policy towards Israel." "We [she and her fellow activists] are ... determined," she said, "to stop the U.S. government from unilaterally dictating to other people -- be they Palestinian, Iraqi or Venezuelan -- who their leaders should be. This is for the people themselves to decide."
In 2003 Benjamin was a signatory to the widely publicized Not in Our Name (NION) anti-war statement, which asserted that the U.S. war on terror posed "grave dangers to the people of the world" in the form of "[w]ar and repression" that "has been loosed on the world by the Bush Administration ... [in] a spirit of revenge."
In April 2003, Benjamin wrote that "military spending robs our schools, hospitals and housing programs," and she stressed the importance of "making common cause with immigrant and ethnic groups that have found themselves under attack in the wake of September 11 ... [and countering] the erosion of our civil liberties."
In 2004 Benjamin co-founded -- along with Leslie Cagan, the longtime pro-Castro communist who established United for Peace and Justice -- the organization Iraq Occupation Watch, whose express mission is to encourage widespread desertion by "conscientious objectors" in the U.S. military.
During the last week of December 2004, Benjamin announced that Global Exchange, Code Pink, and Families for Peace would be donating a combined $600,000 in medical supplies and cash to the families of the terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Fallujah, Iraq.