Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Attacks on President Carter

No surer proof of the strength of the Israeli lobby in the US can be found than the scope of the relentless attacks on former President Carter. His most recent book, "Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid" is not a diatribe against Jewish people, but a simple telling of the truth about life in occupied Palestine. He goes so far as to overlook the gross racism directed at Palestinians in Israel itself to concentrate on the West Bank and Gaza.

But none of this is enough for the fanatics, both right wing Christians and Jews. Even the "NY Times" attempts to make Carter appear anti-Semitic by reporting that he is critical of "American Jewish" power. He is, of course, critical of the Israeli lobby and not of American Jewish power.

Amazon.com does a similar trashing of Carter's reputation. In a space used for a short publisher's description of a book, one finds a highly critical screed against the former president that is twenty paragraphs long. It is written by an Israeli citizen, a former Israeli Defense Force guard for Palestinian prisoners. All this isn't about selling books. It's about the might of the Israeli lobby in this country.

Many Israelis worry about the Fascist tendencies of their government, as many Americans fear their own highly militaristic, right wing administration. Whatever our race or religion, we must oppose the violence and slaughter that both these governments have wrought in the Middle East.

Dear President Carter:

Please do not think you are alone in your stand for peace and justice in occupied Palestine. All across this country, groups like the one I belong to (Middle East Crisis Response: www.mideastcrisis.org) are being formed to bring an awareness of Palestinian suffering to the American People.

The 14 members of the Carter Center's advisory board who resigned are only for human rights when it is comfortable and familiar. Applied universally, and especially to Israel, their solemn commitment to human rights evaporates.

Your book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" does more than expose the mistreatment of the Palestinians. It holds to light an ugly side of an American political system that is bought and sold by the Israeli lobby. People like Alan Dershowitz function as its intellectual brown shirts.

I commend you, President Carter. You are an honest and brave man who has honored the presidency when so many have disgraced it.

Rhinebeck, NY

Propaganda Not News

The problem with our media is that is promotes the idea of civil discourse as a excuse for providing only one side of almost every important issue confronting Americans.

"Let's not be shrill and divisive" our media warns. Yet, in the preparation for the war on Iraq, almost no one in the media confronted the obvious lies being foisted on the American public. Perhaps if our media could have been a little more "divisive," this calamitous war would not have happened.

When is the last time you saw an article in a major media publication that questioned our giving 500 billion a year to the Pentagon? This is a highly militarized state and we spend more on making war than the rest of the world combined. Yet our media would never debate that. Too shrill.

And how about stories of corporate irresponsibility? It takes a meltdown the size on Enron to expose the obscene machinations of the corporate controlled ruling class. Too divisive.

Spend some time reading the media in many other countries. The Israeli press debates racism directed at the Palestinians. Not here. The Guardian in the UK runs detailed reports of how the Bush administration lied about WMD's. Not here. I spent a month in Amsterdam and learned about freedom of the press. For the first time in my life, I read mainstream media that discussed Cuba. Now, I can read about Cuba here, but it will be stories created in the Pentagon. We get propaganda from our media, not news.