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ZOA: Anatomy of a Smear

Cecilie Surasky and I contacted JTA warning them that they’d allowed themselves to be “had” by the ZOA, which claimed in a press release that a Haaretz article from 2002 included a quotation from Tutu saying: “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid.” Though the press release JTA quoted from doesn’t appear to be at the ZOA site, another press release from April, 2002 repeats this charge:

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz (April 29, 2002), reporting Tutu’s remarks at a recent conference in Boston, quoted him as saying: “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid”…

As far as I can tell, the Haaretz article is not available online. UPDATE: Joachim Martillo has discovered an online source for the Haaretz article at the Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA) site. IMRA is a Debka-like pro-Israel media propaganda site. IMRA has attached its own (illiterate) sub-title to the article which probably provides the source from which Mort Klein manufactured his fake quotation: “Archbishop Tutu: Americans scared of very Power Jewish lobby, compares Israel to Hitler.”

But the original Tutu speech IS available and he says no such thing. As I wrote last night, not even close.

I think it’s rather pathetic that all JTA could muster by way of explanation was this:

A news release from the Zionist Organization of America, which condemned Tutu’s remarks, cited a report from Ha’aretz that quoted Tutu as saying that “Israel is like Hitler and apartheid.” A transcript of the speech available online does not include the Hitler quote.

First, it’s simply not possible that Haaretz could’ve “quoted” Tutu saying that because he didn’t say it. Second, this is not a “Hitler quote” since it is not a quote and doesn’t exist except in the perfervid mind of the Jewish right-wing propaganda machine. So let’s call this for what it is: a fraud. An entirely made-up smear of Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Why JTA couldn’t have spoken more forthrightly is a mystery. Doesn’t it owe Tutu an apology?

And where did this fraud emanate from? The ZOA first manufactured the quotation for an April, 2002 press release. David Horowitz (of course) repeated it in Frontpagemagazine in February, 2003. Charles Jacob of the David Project repeated it here in August, 2007. The popular rightist Powerline blog also repeated it here in November, 2006. The National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel repeated it here. This smear is like a deadly virus. Not deadly in the sense that it destroys one’s body or property. But deadly nevertheless in that it attempts to destroy a reputation and credibility of a political opponent. Mort Klein manufactured the virus in his hate lab. But all those who spread the virus deserve a share of blame and their credibility must also be questioned.

I have no problem with those who disagree with Archbishop Tutu and argue with his views or ideas which he actually says. But I have a great problem with ideologues so desperate to nail their victim that they’d resort to trickery like this. I lay this at Mort Klein’s doorstep. How JTA or any other Jewish media outlet can take anything he says for truth is beyond me. Caveat emptor!

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Joachim Martillo October 5, 2007, 10:49 AM

    Here is the url for the April 29, 2002 Tutu article: http://www.kokhavivpublications.com/2002/israel/04/0204290916.html .

    Please read it. You will be amused.

  • Joachim Martillo October 5, 2007, 11:02 AM

    BTW, I believe that Tutu was implicitly comparing the powerful of the Apartheid government with that of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin.

    He was trying to argue that in the end the power of the Jewish lobby would not make much difference. He brought up the Apartheid government specifically because it was not appropriate to compare the Jewish lobby directly with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, or Idi Amin.

    Tutu’s approach to the comparison was correct, for the Jewish (or Israel) lobby is most appropriately compared and contrasted with the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Joachim Martillo October 6, 2007, 1:50 AM

    I am impressed by how long IMRA (2002), the ZOA (2002), FPM (2003), the NCLCI (2004), Powerline Blog (2006), and the DP (2007) worked to move the slur from the ethnic and sectarian blogosphere to main stream news sources.

    I have seen the phenomenon of citation rings or chains to turn factoids into facts, but how was this slur kept alive? Was the ZOA regularly circulating talking points about Tutu?

    Every few months I receive a letter from the International Hillel society, and it contains the same set of lies about Huwaida Arraf, Mahdi Bray and Hatem Bazian.

    Such letters seem to be meant to indoctrinate American Jews so that they would respond reflexively to a query like the one from the University of St. Thomas.

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