Fight Back Against ABC 7′s Reportage of Anti-Semitic Occupy Chicago and Occupy Wall Street:

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Dear friends and supporters:

We are calling on folks to take a few minutes to respond to ABC 7 reporter Chuck Goudie’s inaccurate and irresponsible reportage on Occupy Chicago, Occupy Wall Street in general, and the Palestine support movement, as well as his continued attacks on Hatem Abudayyeh, Palestinian community organizer.

The direct link to Goudie’s October 26 2011 report is http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8407349

Take action!

Below is a letter you can send to Goudie and others on the ABC 7 news team or you are welcome to draft your own letter.  Please BCC defend.dissent@gmail.com so we can get an accurate estimate of the movement’s response to this alert.

Email Chuck Goudie at chuckgoudie@gmail.com

Email Carleen Mosbach, assignment editor at carleen.r.mosbach@abc.com

Email Jeff Marchese, night-side assignment editor, jeff.a.marchese@abc.com

Email Assignment Desk, wls.desk@abc.com

Email Jennifer Graves, news director, via news desk, wls.desk@abc.com

Telephone: General assignment, 312-750-7381

Call WLS TV / ABC 7 Chicago Assistant News Director Joyce Fisher on Friday, October 28th, 2011 9 AM to 7 PM at 312.750.7380

Fax: General news assignment, 312-899-8019

See the letter below and demand that she pull the piece off the web and apologize for the inaccurate statements and borderline libel against the Occupy Wall Street and Palestine support movements.

Thank you,

Shirien Damra (Coalition for Palestinian Rights)*Joe Iosbaker (Committee Against Political Repression)Maureen Murphy (Palestine Solidarity Group) Rocky Pyskoty (OccupyChicago)Shira Tevah (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network)

* organizations listed for identification purposes only

 

Copy, paste and email the letter below to the list above, including a BCC to defend.dissent@gmail.com

 

WLS-TV / ABC 7 Chicago

190 North State Street

Chicago, Illinois 60601

 

To Whom It May Concern:

On October 26, 2011, you broadcast an irresponsible and uninformed report by Chuck Goudie (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8407349).

Goudie asserted that the Occupy Wall Street movement has a “vein of anti-Semitism flowing through [it],” and used the presence of Palestine solidarity activists in the movement to “prove” his argument. The Occupy Wall Street movement has the support of tens of thousands of Americans in cities across the country, and is growing rapidly, because Americans are suffering from an economic crisis brought about by Wall Street and big banks. As the Occupy Wall Street movement describes it, the “99%” experience extreme economic inequality, where millions are unemployed without meaningful help, while bankers in trouble are bailed out.”

While there have been unfortunate anti-Semitic statements made by individual protesters at Occupy Wall Street actions that should and have been challenged as dangerous and divisive, the vast majority of the movement does not espouse these opinions. Media reports, including Goudie’s, have inflated these unrepresentative views for the purpose of discrediting two movements—Occupy Wall Street and Palestine solidarity. Instead of substantiating his false claim that anti-Semitism is a pervasive problem in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Goudie uses the presence and involvement of Palestinians and Palestine solidarity activists at Occupy Chicago and elsewhere to “prove” the movement anti-Semitic.

By smearing the Occupy Wall Street movement and Palestinian community and solidarity activists, Goudie blatantly avoids discussing the real issues that are bringing tens of thousands of Americans to the streets in cities and towns across the country.

For example, some Occupy Wall Street protestors, including American Jews, have brought to the protests Palestinian flags and signs condemning US military aid to Israel. The US gives $3 billion a year in aid to Israel, which is used to carry out its policies of military occupation, inequality and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.

And in an ad hominem attack, Goudie also falsely accused Palestinian-American community organizer Hatem Abudayyeh of advocating for the destruction of Israel because he spoke in support of Palestinian freedom and self-determination at a Chicago anti-war rally earlier this month.

Holding a Palestinian flag and advocating for Palestinian human rights, civil rights and equality should never be equated with anti-Semitism. By doing so, Goudie attempts to smear a just movement and evade discussing the real issues: unequal economic policies in the US and unrestricted military and diplomatic support to the human rights-abusing state of Israel.

Finally, Goudie also claimed last night that Occupy Chicago did not provide a response to his emailed questions, but as an example of how disingenuous and unprincipled his whole process behind this piece has been, the questions were not sent to Occupy Chicago’s spokespeople until after 8 PM, less than 2 hours before the broadcast. Occupy Chicago did eventually respond, and WLS-TV posted the statement on the page linked above.

We call on Goudie and WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago to immediately apologize for the story’s false statements about Hatem Abudayyeh and mis-characterization of the Palestinian flag and struggle for freedom as symbols of anti-Semitism.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[City, State]

 

Comments

ABC Reporting Anti-Semitism, Cheeky

whywait's picture

I think it's kind of ironic that ABC is shaming anti-semitism when its parent company, Walt Disney, has a rich history of bigotry against Jewish and African Americans.

The 99% contains all walks of life. We've been conquered through the encouragement of racial and cultural prejudice handed down by the 1%. We will not turn away bigots from our cause, we will take them in and let them discover their own misguidance. We will educate, we will heal, and we will win. We are the 99%

I will start by saying I

I will start by saying I generally agree with the OccupyWS protests and their goals, however the first day I went to the protest location at Jackson and LaSalle within the first 5 minutes I did hear some vaguely anti Jewish and anti-Israeli comments being thrown around.   Being Jewish myself, this did not sit well.   Especially cuz if there WERE some "Jewish Comspiracy" - I haven't seen even a DIME of that!  ;-)

Keep fightiing the good fight.  Don't let a few annoying voices within your ranks either detract from your message or allow the media to spin the protests even further away from their root cause.

Why is this letter being promoted?

I have been  a supporter of the OWS movement from the beginning, and a supporter of Occupy Chicago.   I have heard comments made by many individuals at Occupy Chicago about others that are racist in the sense that they describe and classify a group by a characteristic, their race, religion, or sexual orientation are the ones I have most often heard, and I have also heard this on some occasions rise to the other part of the description of that term and be derogatory in nature.  My thought is that there are members of the 99% who have those feelings, but as long as we all come together and begin to see what we agree on, the economics of it all, as we grow to see that income disparity and governmental abuse of power effects us all, we will begin to find that the other is just a tool that is used by the government, politicians, and media, to keep us fighting and not focused on the real similarties that exist and effect our lives.

The endorcement of this letter is very disturbing to me.  I would pose the question, would a flag for the KKK or the American Nazi Party, as an examples, be as defended?  I ask because my Constitutional belief, although I am Jewish, is that all people have the right to freedom of speech.  

And I firmly believe that I must fight hard for the Constutional rights of those I oppose to ensure that I keep mine. 

But this letter is not that.  This letter is in defense of certain people, and in defense of a movement, not of the right of freedom of speech.  This letter directly discusses aid to Israel only, not the question of aid as a part of American foreign policy.  It defends a certain group, and is written in way to promote the cause of that group.  This goes way beyond any question of anti-semitism in Occupy Chicago, it is asking the people of OWS to add their voices and signatures to the "Palestine" cause.  

It shows either a lack of understanding of the issues in the region, or a support for Hamas, the organization voted in by the Palestinian people.  The question for many is not what should happen, but rather, is the fact that Hamas is a recognized terrorist group whose charter is direct in stating that it is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, a legitimate concern of the people who support peace, but do not think that peace should come through the annihilation of Israel and the the Jewish population.  There is a huge difference between supporting the struggle of all people to live in freedom, suppprting an end to war, and defending and supporting a political group, in power, who are intent on destroying another.  Not containing, not curtailing violence against their own people, but simply ending an existence.  I, like may others, support the rights of all people, but do not see Hamas as someone to negotiate that with, a group that states it is not willing to recognize those with whom it is supposed to be negotiating with, and be clear, while some argue the same is true of Israel to "Palestine", it is the same to Hamas,  Israel is not attempting to negoiate a final goal that is to annihilate all those who claim Palestine, but rather to defend herself against those who would destroy her.  There are many people there who want peace, and not the killing of all Israelis, these people are caught in this, just as many in support of Israel are caught in this.

If Occupy Chicago can made the distinction, support of the people, not the support of the Hamas government, that would be understandable.  But this letter is not that at all. 

I am so saddened to see the conversation of "filthy rich Jews" on the rise among individuals I speak with at Occupy Chicago.  Maybe they do not know that history of the oppression of the Jews, not simply before and during the war, but afterwards.  The discrimination that existed and exists to this day.  And I am saddened that one of the tools of the government thoughout the struggle for rights in this country, to divide people, and the Jews are so often held out as an antagonist, is now, again, being used, and so many are willing to acquiesce, go along with this, not just in regards to the Jews, but many groups.

My hope was that Occupy Chicago would take the stand to stand with all people, all the 99%, the people, not the people any government wants supported, not, as an example, a group like Hamas, which is funded by some of the biggest money.  My hope was that Occupy Chicago would get past the tricks and usual tactics that keep the people divided for the purpose of greed and governments all over the globe.

I wish all occupiers safety, and I hope that as time goes on, there will be a real movement that is about the rights of the people, the 99% of this country.  I hope that  there will not be selective support, that Occupy Chicago will not tolerate or support exclusionary actions or words of any kind, not endorce that in any group.  It is not necessary or realistic to suggest that differences will simplly fade away.  The experiences of many groups has, and will continue to create concerns within populations that are of a specific nature.  I hope that the experiences of any and all groups will not be ignored or diminshed,  but that we will all come to acknowledge and embrace these differences and foster a climate of respect, support all the attempts to better life for all in this country, to make the system equitable and therefore result in the best for all. 

I hope that  things that concern all the people of this country about this country is where things start and what remains the focus, and that the attempts to co-opt this movement are immediately recognized and rejected.    

A More Nuanced View

The following article may help nikkiforshort to a greater understanding of Hamas.  It is so easy to accept the position of our elite leadership (aka 1%) that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that there can be no negotiating with them since they call for the destruction of Israel.  It is similar to the alleged statement made by Iranian President  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he would "wipe Israel off the map". 

What Ahmadinejad said was quite different, quoting Khomeini "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.  This statement is very wise."   Calling for the end to a Zionist political government that denies Palestinian rights is quite a bit different than calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.  Yet, our political leaders and Israel's continue to mouth the company line that Ahmadinejad calls for the destruction of Israel.  He would like to see "regime change" in Israel.  The very same thing we have brought about across the world in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  Of couse let us not forget our CIA sponsored and supported regime changes against democratically elected governments (miliray coups) that did succeed:

Cuba 1952

Iran 1953

Guatemala 1954

Zaire (1961, 1965)

Dominican Republic (1963

Brazil (1964)

Indonesia (1965)

Greece (1967)

Laos (1967-73

Ecauador (1961, 1963 and unsuccesful 2010)

Chile (1973)

Nicaragua (1979-1990)

Haiti (1991, 2004)

Venezuela (2002 unsuccesful)

Honduras (2009) 

The difference being that the US acts on its threats of regime change and Iran merely calls for it. 

Now the piece on what Hamas is actually calling for

Extra! July 2010

Hamas and ‘Israel’s Destruction’

By Alex Kane

This article was originally published as a sidebar with "Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel's Eyes."

"In the aftermath of the deadly Israeli assault on the international flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the establishment press has repeatedly distorted the political positions of Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Gaza.

The New York Times’ Ethan Bronner (6/5/10) reported that Hamas “rejects Israel’s existence.” USA Today’s Oren Dorell (6/7/10) wrote that “Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and European Union and seeks the destruction of Israel.” A New York Daily News editorial (6/5/10) referred to Hamas as “an internationally branded terror group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.”

But the truth about Hamas is much more nuanced than what corporate media repeat. While it is true that the 1988 founding charter of Hamas includes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and calls for the establishment of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, Hamas’ leadership has largely abandoned that rhetoric. In the run-up to the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Hamas dropped its call for the destruction of Israel from its manifesto (Guardian, 1/12/06).

In recent years, leaders of the Islamist movement have stated that Hamas is ready to make peace with Israel as long as a settlement is based on full sovereignty in the 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and the right of return for Palestinian refugees—positions that have their basis in international law and United Nations resolutions. Israeli daily Ha’aretz (11/9/08) reported that “the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said…his government was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.” And Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political wing, recently said (Charlie Rose Show, 5/28/10) that “Hamas accepts a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 with its capital Jerusalem and with the right of return.”

Since Palestinians went to the polls and gave Hamas an electoral victory, the U.S. corporate media have followed Israel’s official line on Hamas, painting it as a monolithic and violent entity in order to reduce international pressure on Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians (Extra!, 9-10/06).

The double standard of the U.S. press can be seen in the treatment of Israel’s stance toward a Palestinian state. The party platform of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party states: “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state.” But how often do you see Likud described as “rejecting the existence of Palestine”?"

This article is available online at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

A Matter of Justice

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  Martin Luther King

This is why Occupy Chicago should take a stand supporting the Palestinian people who were evicted from their land at gunpoint so that the state of Israel could be formed.  This injustice allowed the Western capitalist countries to kill two birds with one stone.  It took care of the Jewish resettlement problem without having to create a Jewish state in Europe and the state of Israel would become the U.S. and British Empire's colonial ally in the Mideast as oil extaction became more and more important. 

To think that peace can ever be accomplished without justice for the people torn from their homes in 1948 Palestine is unrealistic.  This is not about anti Semitism.  It is about justice.  I would venture to say that the vast majority of Jewish people, in Israel and across the world, stand for justice.  Unfortunately the Israeli government supported by the military might of the United States does not.

 

@Nick Egnatz

Thank you for the article.  My view of things comes mostly from the family I have living in Israel, and those who have lived there in the past.   And it takes into account the memory of two cousins and a close friend whose lives were lost in that country, as well as considers the conditions families of friends live in who are residents of Gaza and other parts of the region. 

As I said, I am for peace.  And I am not a huge supporter of BN.

But I am also a realist.  I know the land.  If you look at a map, tell me, should Israel feel secure in simply throwing out any concerns?  I am well aware of much of the history you have provided me with.  But the idea that Israel, the Jews, should once again simply believe all that they are told, that they should go quietly and take what the rest of the world sees as what they deserve, will this end well this time? 

The tone and words of your second post suggest that within this there may also be a desire for punishment, retribution.  But for and against whom?  Those who first arrived, should they have simply floated?  Nobody wanted them, nobody would give them a place to be.  They could not enter where they headed, and could not return to where they came from.  Was this an ideal situation?  Was this what they would have wanted?  What were their resources to do otherwise? 

You suggest that what happened in 1948 is something of a debt, a wrong that must be made right,  that must be addressed in order for there to be peace.  Do you believe that the debt owed to the Native Americans must first be settled,  do you suggest that the debt to the Japanese Americans must be paid in full, do you suggest that the treatment of the people brought here to serve as slaves, the lives lost and the indignties that followed, that overwhelming debt must be settled before we can move forward?  These and so many more,  how do you propose to make all of that right for the people of your own country? 

What about the mockery of land agreements, do you advocate then that children today should pay for all of the wrongs this country has committed against citizens of this country?  And what should be returned to whom?   What about the denial of full rights of citizenship to Native Americans,  Blacks, members of the LBGT community,  women, people with disabilities, people who are HIV/AIDS positive?  What about the people who have and do suffer from acts of religious and political persecution in this country?   

Whether this is your stand or not, that is not really the question.  The question is why Occupy Chicago should take this up, should support this.  Why even give the appearance that this is a movement formed for, or by, or that has been co-opted by, any group with any agenda other than the future of the 99% in this country.  It is possible to welcome all, but not fight all the battles.  Find what, as citizens of this country, we share as concerns for this country, and support those.  

Aren't there enough issues in this country, enough people hungry and without homes and being brutilized at the hands of this government for Occupy Chicago to stand for, why should Occupy Chicago go looking for those in need of support when there are plenty here who are in desperate need. 

Lady Liberty need not look out in the waters, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breath free are here, are the 99%, and I would suggest that it is the struggle of the people of this country that Occupy Chicago should stand for.  

More than once, this country has not lived up to those words,  not been a beacon for those who sought our comfort.  Occupy Chicago, I hope, represents and stands with all of the 99% as we demand our rights, demand that our politicians and government and all people of this country live up to the contract that this country has with its citizens to guaranty to all the rights and freedoms and protections of the Constitution.  Support yelling that we will not be made to search out or accept another false beacon of light in this darkness so many face.  Support hollering that we will we not  be pushed underground or relocated or warehoused.  Support screaming that we will no longer jump for the crumbs we are thrown in an attempt to pacify, or do their bidding and argue with each other about who should or did get the larger share of the illusions they have trickled down on us.  Support and lead the voices of the 99% of this country.

And we should not have the arrogance to tell others how to settle their differences when we live in a country so bitterly divided, a country that has yet to truly come to terms with our own history.  This is not only arrogant, but dismissive of the struggles of those who are living with so many of the same forms of oppression daily, who are being forced out of their homes, who are living in poverty, who are starving, who have no medical attention, who have no heat, who have no running water, who are being imprisoned, who are being subjected to laws which are unjust and unConstitutional, who are living with violence and gunshots,  who have nothing in this country of extreme abundance and wealth.

What justifies the inclusion of people in other countries when so many here have yet to feel the arms of this movement? 

 It is the actions of our own government, our own courts and politicians against the people of this country, against our Constitution,  that Occupy Chicago will hopefully be demanding an end to.  We are living in a house of disorder. The rebuilding of this country, this time through the construction of a real foundation, one built by and for the support of all people, that I would hope Occupy Chicago supports and stands for. 

So many are so quick to tell others how to live, yet here in our own country, in our own backyards and neighborhoods, we have not yet learned how to apply our own history.  We do accept our differences, embrace them,  or learn from them.  Until we, as a country,  at the very least, give all of our neighbors, our fellow citizens,  the simple diginity that comes with respect of who each of us are, we need to focus on this.  This should be our challenge. 

You suggest that Israel should address the grievances from 1948, suggest that the answers should come from people in a country that since 1776 has yet to achieve what we suggest others should.  You suggest the issues in another country should be a focus of the 99% of a country that since 1776 has committed so many, no, countless, known and unknown attrocites against the citizens of its own country, most of which have not been answered for.  I would suggest that we, the 99%, are being crushed and swallowed by this hole in the soul of this country, the piling on of it all, one after another,  and that is what we need to find solutions for.  We need to find a way for every single one of our own people to live in the peace that comes with the security of knowing that you are safe.  My point is that until we fully understand who we are as a people, as a country, until we have achieved a real peace, we cannot claim to know who others truly are and what their answers should be.  

For the 99% It's a matter of Not In My Name!

trotsky1905's picture

Hello, I'm happy to see how articulate and well informed the comments are from Nick Egnatz and nikkiforshort. I have been following the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the 1970's. The garbage report from ABC 7's Chuck Goudie is typical smear tactics meant for misinformed general public consumption. Anyone who know's anything about this conflict can read right through these smear tactics. Unfortunately they are effective in the public relations battle and therefore must be defended against. The examples given by Nick Egnatz in pointing out the crimes our government has committed, in our name, are very important and must not be allowed to fall down the memory hole. Nikkiforshort, you also remind us of very important events, particularly involving the Native Americans, which must never be forgotten. The crimes against the Native Americans are particularly heinous, grievous and unforgivable. Nikkiforshort, you say you are a realist. Over the years my position has slowly crept from outright revolutionary to realist. It has been a slow and painful process. However, it comes down to this, Not In My Name! I don't want my tax money going to support Israel for the same reasons I don't want my tax money going to support all the horrifying things both of you have pointed out and all of it done in the name of the 99%. I say No More! Not In The Name Of The 99%! No more of our tax money going to support any of these things, U.S. policy in the region has always been the problem. Once we change our policy the status quo will change. The best thing that can happen for Israel and the Palestinians is the implementation of U.N. resolution 242. We must focus on our country and our policies. As nikkiforshort points out, we have many issues right here at home to resolve. By resolving our own issues, long standing problems around the world will also be resolved.

Reply

Thank you Nikiforshort for responding in a balanced and civil manner.  I don't think this has ever happened to me at least when discussing Israel and Palestine.  I think Trotsky1905 said much of what I was going to say and i thank him for that.  I will be brief.

The overiding probem is and always has been U.S. capitalism and U.S. imperialism.  Of course I would like us to set things right with the decendents of African slaves, the survivors of the genocide against the First Americans, the decendents of the Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII and the Chicano people (legal and so call illegal) that were conquered in our imperial Mexican War.  I do not advocate basically forcing the better part of 300 million Americans out of the country to do this, but I do advocate that substantial reparations are made.  The very important first step is that we as a people admit to the crimes of the past.  A very good next step would be to withdraw our $3 billion/year support for the Israeli state until they can reach a compromise (1967 borders?) that it seems like the majority of Palestinians and the international community would welcome. 

Our economic inequality at home is not an island in itself.  I believe that four funadmental areas need to be addressed and that they are interrelated.  They all must be addressed. 

1.  Bottom Up Participatory Democracy, instead of Top Down Corporate Democracy

2.  Racial Justice, Social Justice, Economic Justice for All

3.  End U.S. Imperialism and Wars

4.  Create an Enrvironmentally Sustainable World

Ali Abunimah's piece below sheds some light on the subject of Israel and Palestine.

http://electronicintifada.net/blog/ali-abunimah/answering-judge-goldston...

 

Fundamental Agreement

I have a fundamental agreement with you on most points.  And with Trotsky as well. 

My point here is simply to ask the question...how does a focus on this, taking a stand on this particular point at this time, serve Occupy Chicago? 

At a time when powers are desperately trying to get this movement to define itself as that is how politicians and media operate, they need a definition to get to work on their own agendas, why make this a defintion of this movement?  Why make this an issue that can be dissected and assigned and used to create all kinds of discussion? 

Why give that appearance that there may be outside influences dictating anything?  

Why not stick to what is happening to the people of this country and the people of this city?

That is not to suggest that from this movement,  many things, many discussions and actions cannot or should not take place, that would be the best of all worlds, address our country and then address the world.  And I am not in anyway suggesting that that is not all connected.  But I am suggesting that there is a time, and this is it, to get the people of this country involved, for them to find a voice.

No movement will be in total agreement with all on everything, but there are many things that 99% of this country can agree on.  I am simply suggesting that those should be the focus.  I want the inclusion to start here, I think that is how the people become a force. 

The reality is that you must start with what is personal, what people know, answer the question, "what's in it for me?"  Once people see it on the first level, the rest follows.  It is not some kind of trick to be played on others, or some kind of tactic.  It is understanding that we are oppressed, we have little, we are struggling, and until we agree on that, that it is all of us in this, until each person sees that it is their struggle that all are standing and fighting,  there will still be fights among too many.  Once we come together, we find our common struggles, then  we can move forward.  Right now in this country, there are so many who are so buried, they do not know who to blame, they cannot see much past the pain ot this day, they are willing to blame the people next door, or a particular group of people, that is what we do. 

The fear of those who look to overpower OC is that this will change, that people will start to wake up and assign the blame where it belongs, that the tools of division and distraction will no longer work. 

So I am simply suggesting that this be the place to start.  That calls for change, or to demand that things stop, should be first focused at ending the great harm being done to the people of this country.      

Duty Bound to Speak Out

1,400 innocent Palestinians in Gaza died in Israel's last war Dec 2008-Jan 2009.  Gaza remains under seige and blockade.  I can't be silent about this just because there is a very real  war on the poor and working class taking place in the U.S. 

Personally I only became an activist in 2002 when the war drums for Iraq began beating.  Even when we went into Iraq I believed the WMD lies, I just didn't think that was an excuse to attack.  I mean we do have 8-10,000 nuclear weapons ourselves.  What I am getting at is that it wasn't until a year or two later that I started to become better informed about the treatment of the Palestinian people.  Until then I had bought the company line; Israel was in the right and the Palestinians were just a bunch of terrorist types.  I would venture to say that most Americans are stuck where I was almost 10 years ago in their knowledge of the situation.  I feel duty bound to enlarge their understanding.

I will be at the march to City Hall today.  We will have the large Veterans For Peace flag and I will have a VFP shirt and most likely a bullhorn.  Please stop and say hi if you can.

 

 

Final thoughts and response...

Sorry I couldn't stop by to say hello.  Despite what some politicians would have everyone believe, and what many do believe, the medical care that those who cannot get insurance and have few funds is not really luxurious.  Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the County, and the docs there are great, but it is not like a private office where you can just call to reschedule or figure to get anywhere at 1:00 if your appointment is at 10;00.

First, let me be clear that I do not suggest in any way that any person should be quiet about anything.  People should speak up.  And if anyone who has looked at all the history on this topic comes to the conclusion that they do not support the people of Israel, all I can do is respect that. 

I was not present at any of the GAs where this stand was discussed or voted on, so I do not know what information it was based on.  I do know that too often it is simply put out that the people of Israel are terrorists, that they abuse and oppress this loving and peaceful population with no reason.  That they are cold-blooded killers who have waged war in the name of the US only.  That the people who orginally settled in Israel went there and stole this land, that they made this choice above others.  The acceptance of this is no different, in my eyes, than people who take the factless rhetoric FOX spews as the only side that needs to be heard to draw a conclusion.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for acts of terror against Israel.  I suppose that some feel that they are  justified.  But to make that claim, that innocent people are being victimized without taking all the victims of all in to consideration creates less than a convincing argument, or at least, one that appears less than sincere.  And unlike many other places, when talking about Israel, people are talking about Jews.  So to accuse Israel, with no other lanuage attached,  is to accuse all Jews.(Although the letter does note that they seem to feel there are some American Jews that should be given a pass.)  Just as Hamas does not speak for all, so do other governments not speak for all.  And just as the election of one official reflects the opinion of many, so do the elections of others.  I would submit that the claiming of responsibility of terrorist acts would be enough to allow the people of Israel concerns.  The way in which people are threatened, the way in which they are terrorized, the number of people killed, are these really topics where are comparative applies?  Have you ever spoken to anyone who lives or has lived in Israel, this is rarely offered along side the stories of others.  This is not just about one population, and the decisions here have ramifications for the people, not just the governments, of more than one population.

But I would ask, did the same flag lead the march today?  Was this flag taken to the office of this city official?  If not, why not.  Was this flag taken to the Mayor's office because of his religion?  He is Jewish, he has a right to have an opinion on the situation in Israel, and others have the right to challenge or disagree with that, but did that have a part in the discussion of a permit for OC?  Is that suggestion that his stand on Israel, or his religion have anything to do with this?  Maybe just more perpetuation of the filthy-rich, greedy, power hungry, oppressive Jew?

When people speak of "Israel," when they speak of "the Jews," this is racism at its most basic, the classifying of a people by their religion.  Speaking of an entire population as though the fact of where they live or their religion is what defines them, makes them all one, not individuals, not a people of many opinions, not a people who are also humans, who are also trapped in this as many others are, it implies that they are all guilty of whatever is being accused on that day, and is no different than people who would say that Hamas represents all of another population.

Finally, how does this letter really address the title of this thread...

Fight Back Against ABC 7′s Reportage of Anti-Semitic Occupy Chicago and Occupy Wall Street:

If people want to do that, that is why I came to this article, to do just that.  Prior to reading all this, I felt that OC stood for so much of what I believe in, and I do not want anyone to misrepresent or co-opt OC.  But when I read this, I had to ask, how does asking people to support stopping funding to Israel do what the title suggests?  From the letter,   "We call on Goudie and WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago to immediately apologize for the story’s false statements about Hatem Abudayyeh and mis-characterization of the Palestinian flag and struggle for freedom as symbols of anti-Semitism."  I thought this was about reporting about OC and OWS.  Couldn't OC simply have said that they represent the 99% and there are many people within that with their own opinions and agendas and that while all are free to express this it should not be taken as an endorcement  of any specific political stand? 

If people come with KKK signs, or Nazi signs, will they defend themselves against those claims of racism by defending those groups as well?  The point is that they could have disassociated themselves from the group without becoming becoming defenders and gatherers of signatures.  No doubt there will be many other attempts to tie OC to many things, wouldn't this have been an opportunity to establish a precedent, to make the way that they respond to all of it just that simple and just that similiar, a standard response that is equal and direct about any suggested association.

I came to this thread to sign and support OC because I thought is stood for me.  I am saddened by what I see here, that it has chosen to condemn a specific policy and use this kind of language, "The US gives $3 billion a year in aid to Israel, which is used to carry out its policies of military occupation, inequality and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people."  There is legislation that is directly addressing the economic situation of peope in this country, some might be good, some might be bad, some might be more BS,  that is not given so much as a thought, yet this is?  I still wish all involved the best, but it appears that one of the few stands that OC has taken is one that excludes me.  This is rather ironic, the idea seemed to be to state that OC is not racist, is not exclusive of any, about income disparity and money in our election system and reforming the entire economic system.  I guess it stands for all of that if you are someone who believes there is only one side in the struggle this thread and letter address.

        

Palestinians are Semites too

trotsky1905's picture

Both Israelis and Palestinians are Semites. If you have any doubt look it up. Being a Semite is based on the language you speak. Arabic is a Semitic language. Being pro-Palestinian does not mean you are being anti-Semitic. The Palestinian flag does not represent anti-Semitism. Hamas is a bunch of Semites, they can't be anti-Semitic. And being Jewish does not make you a Semite either. Judaism is a religion. People convert to Judaism just as they do to any other religion. This term has become a tactic used to smear an issue, person, movement, in some negative way. Sadly, because of it's misuse it is becoming just another cry of "wolf". I certainly do not tolerate racism or any kind of negative stereotyping of any kind toward anyone and will speak up against it. I agree that this is an important issue but it is a small part in the larger context of the Occupy movement. We must not get bogged down with the thousands of issues that are all legitimate and have a place. In my opinion, the main focus of the Occupy movement is economic issues. It's our economic system that has broken down because the status quo has failed to address these thousands of issues. Some play a larger part than others. By examining what has gone wrong and demanding that the status quo is changed all these issues will be addressed too. We can no longer accept the status quo. Things must change. In my opinion, free-market capitalism has ruined the system and we must move back to a more balanced Keynesian run economy. If we can't do that then it's time to evolve to Socialism. Occupy is about economics and that should be our focus.

(SMILE)

That was my point...the flag of economic change is the one that is the most important, the one that unites us all and the stand we can all stand for.  Every group can have their own agenda, their own focus, their own specific concerns.....but that is  the one we all have in common and should support each other in, that is the one that education is needed for.

thanks for the conversation...it is always good to hear other points of  view on any and everything, communication is essential to learning and understanding...peace to you.

The media in general

Since Occupy Chicago is already downtown, and this may already be planned, why aren't we occupying the major corporate-owned TV stations: CBS, NBC, ABC.  I've suggested that for every pre-Occupy Chicago protest I've been to.  If there's no coverage, the event essentially doesn't occur. What happened last night?  I couldn't be there, but how many came, was there press and media coverage.  I saw nothing in the NYT about the thousands that were supposed to be there and I don't get the Chicago papers.  I truly believe that along with the crimes of the banks, and the Supreme Court, and the Kochs, and Karl Rove and Murdoch, and most of the 1%, the media, owned and sponsored by major corporations with their self-iterest, is destroying this country.  They determine the message.  People are basically talking about the so-called and never-ending Republican debates while the country is falling apart.