J Street and pro-Israel blogger apologist Adam Holland have savagely attacked me for my criticism of Jesse Jackson’s Jerusalem Post op-ed, in which he ignorantly claimed Palestinians refused to adopt non-violence in their campaign for statehood. Jackson and five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus also joined an Aipac junket along with fully one-fifth of the House of Representatives.
If J Street and Holland were the only sources you read, and you hadn’t actually read what I wrote (as Jeremy Ben Ami certainly has not), you might agree that my criticism was “disgusting, racist and crazy.”
But along comes Israeli Palestinian MK and deputy Knessest speaker, Ahmed Tibi, writing in Salon, virtually echoing everything I’ve written. I dare Jeremy Ben Ami to call Ahmed Tibi “disgusting, crazy and racist.” I double dare him. Here is what Tibi had to say about the perfidy of Jesse Jackson Jr. in abandoning the values of human rights held dear by his father and Martin Luther King:
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a leader in the anti-apartheid movement, certainly would not have taken a propaganda junket to legitimize whites-only neighborhoods.
Yet his son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has visited here, where ethnic-religious discrimination is written into law. I dare say, Jackson heard very little about the more than 35 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel. I doubt Israeli officials volunteered information about the new legislation passed by the Knesset that subjects anyone who calls for a boycott of companies colonizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem to financial damages.
As a member of Israel’s large Palestinian national minority, I find Jackson’s participation, along with five other members of the Black Caucus especially disappointing.
I…expect Jackson and the other members of the caucus (other than Rep. Allen West, advocate of torturing Arabs) to reject colonization and racial discrimination. Their complacency in the face of modern-day colonization and their adoption of hard-line AIPAC positions stand in stark contrast to the beliefs of many Americans I have met who believe wholeheartedly that it is wrong for Israel to discriminate against Palestinians.
I pointedly asked in my earlier post, how many Israeli Palestinians Jackson and the other members of the Aipac delegation would be meeting. Tibi read my mind:
The visitors will be meeting with opposition parties in the Jewish state, but none of them — not a single one — is scheduled to meet with Palestinian members of the Knesset even though our existence is often highlighted when Israel’s defenders seek to refute charges that Israel is an apartheid state.
Gee, why would Aipac not want U.S. Congress members, including members of the CBC, to meet with their Israeli Palestinian counterparts? And why wouldn’t Jackson and his fellow CBC members have asked for such a meeting?
This is what Ahmed Tibi humbly asks of future visiting delegations, words that almost could’ve come right out of the post I wrote, so savagely attacked by those liberal champions of civil rights at J Street:
…At this point all I ask [is] if congressional representatives are going to visit my country they should strive to get a full view and not simply disregard the rampant discrimination Israel practices against its Palestinian minority and against the Palestinians of the occupied territories. They should visit Jerusalem on those days when Palestinian men under 50 are prohibited from praying at the al-Aqsa mosque. I could take them personally to my hometown and the neighboring Jewish community where they will see the discriminatory infrastructure gap that saddles Palestinian children with disadvantages that nearby Jewish children never face.
What we need from the members of Congress, and especially the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are public statements from our American visitors expressing grave reservations about Israel’s oppressive treatment of Palestinians in the territories and Israel.
I’ve been advised such words would be political suicide. If true, if speaking for equality and non-discrimination is now political suicide, then America’s problems are even bigger than the recent debt debacle fomented by many of the Republican representatives now visiting Israel.
In fact, I’d like to know if J Street junkets (yes, the lib Zionsts have their own junkets which may be why they didn’t like me criticizing Aipac’s) visit with MK Tibi or any of the other Israeli Palestinian MKs.
Oh and by the way, I wrote an e mail directly to Jeremy last night demanding to know how such schlock could appear on J Street’s twitter feed. No answer. Funny thing is that a local J Street organizer swore to me that if a J Street staffer published that tweet they should be “disciplined.” Guess who’s not being disciplined? How does that local J Street organizer justify involvement with such an organization?
By the way, J Street has its own lib fat cats supporting its waffling, pro-Israel agenda to the tune of millions of dollars. It would be nice if my readers would do the same to support the stands I take on behalf of reason, sanity and justice. Hit that Paypal button, please.
delia ruhe says
I cannot figure out J-Street. They seem to be having some kind of an identity crisis. Sometimes they seem very principled; at other times they behave like they’re the Ladies’ Auxiliary to AIPAC. Schizoid . . .
“Ladies auxiliary.” NICE. Exactly. Pretty hats, nice dresses, but not a word out of place. AND why? FUNDING.
BUT ALSO: “liberal” USA’s new “style” of top-down protest movements where the soldiers never get to send listened-to messages up to the officers. J-Street does as its maximo jefe wises, whether for his own ideological reasons or those of his funders.
Scott Shepard says
If Richard had been making fun of former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney instead of young Jesse Jackson, do you seriously think that white Zionists would be lining up to scold him for racial insensitivity?
This is how the game works: if you support the Zionist state, anything goes. You get your money and you get defended against all attacks, no matter what you do or how stupid you are.
If you criticize the Zionist state (and any kind of support for Palestinians equals criticism) you are bad, you are a target, and they will take you down.
It is a scandal, an embarrassment, for any member of the Congressional Black Caucus to go to Israel and praise any aspect of that apartheid state. It is astonishing that some of these politicians, wrapping themselves in the mantle of MLK’s non violence, criticize the Palestinian resistance at the same time they ignore Israeli state violence against the Palestinians on a continuous basis.
Sure, the Zionist lackeys will take down anyone supporting anything connected with the well-being of Palestinians. Obama is taking up Bibi’s work because he can’t face the consequences if he does not, not because he thinks the Zionists are right. Bit. wouldn’t it be better for America if Obama openly defied AIPAC at the very last minute? Certainly his political life would be at an end, but the body blow to AIPAC would resonant for a very long time and draw a lot of interest and attention. It would change the game. Just one of my daydreams.
Funny, the MK who was part of an Arabic MK delegation who traveled to Libya to kiss the ass of the world champion of human rights, Qaddafi, is passing criticism over congress members visit to Israel.
Those who live in a house of glass, located in Libya, should go and sit shamed in the corner.
Richard Silverstein says
As opposed to Bibi kissing the asses of the leaders of Bulgaria & Romania in return for a no vote in the UN? Shall we compare how many dictators’ asses Bibi’s kissed compared to Tibi?? Shall we?
The delegation was not “Arabic” but “Arab.” In English, Arabic is a language.
Richard this is hasbarah 101. When ever Israel is accused of something you are quick to point out that the pro Israel crowd will pull a switch rather than answer the point. Here you are doing the same thing. Saying that Bib has kissed up to a bunch of dictators doesn’t make Tibi’s ass kissing of Gehdaffi any better.
Richard Silverstein says
Why is it when a relatively powerless Israeli Palestinian leader does something Israeli Jews don’t like his sins are egregious. But when an infinitely more powerful Israeli Jewish leader commits sins scores of times worse the sin is less troubling?
When Israel as a state respects its Israeli Palestinian citizens, fully empowers them & grants them equal rights to Israeli Jews then I’ll get into high dudgeon when an Ahmad Tibi goes to Tripoli. Till then, I’d rather focus on the power ball played by Israeli Jewish powerbrokers, the ones who have the real power.