Greta Berlin, Free Gaza And Racism

I have been away and missed the outburst of anti-Jewish racism from the Free Gaza movement via Greta Berlin.

Jeffrey Goldberg explains it:

“This last theory of his was largely forgotten until last week, when Greta Berlin, a co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement, published a message on the group’s Twitter feed: “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews.” It contained a link to a video of Mullins delivering his message.

The Free Gaza group, the leading edge of the international campaign to delegitimize Israel and bring about its end as the national home of the Jewish people, has always argued that it isn’t anti-Semitic, and is merely trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The group came to public attention in May 2010, when it organized a flotilla of ships to attempt to break the blockade. Israeli commandos boarded the ships and were set upon by passengers wielding pipes and knives. In a terrible overreaction, they responded by opening fire, killing nine. The incident has nearly destroyed Turkish-Israeli relations, and helped make the flotilla cause popular across the Middle East and Europe.

Then Berlin’s Twitter message was discovered last week. Berlin said she posted the video without watching it, and that the message was meant for a private Facebook group. Her critics pointed out that the private sharing of Nazi propaganda doesn’t fall into a different moral category than the public sharing of Nazi propaganda, and so she then argued the message was meant to be part of a broader discussion about the nature of hateful propaganda. Free Gaza has officially disowned the post and taken it down.
But this isn’t Berlin’s first dalliance with purveyors of anti-Semitism. She has also endorsed the work of an ex-Israeli Holocaust revisionist (yes, such a person exists) named Gilad Atzmon, author of “The Wandering Who?” Atzmon has argued, among other things, that it was the Jews who persecuted Hitler, and that Jews who commemorate the Holocaust are followers of the “the most sinister religion known to man.”

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Rev. Sizer, Please, Please Don’t Play The Victim

I suppose that I should be gratified that Rev. Sizer has linked to one of my previous posts, but I am not.

If you read the words of his post what you will see is obfuscation, rhetorical tricks and a desire to play the victim.

What he should have written was a simple apology for his linking, once more, to a racist website.

Rev. Sizer has made a habit of doing this: Palestine Telegraph: July 2011, Ugly Truth: 4 October 2011 Veterans Today: 1 March 2012, and more recently, WindowintoPalestine: 1 June 2012.

Now I can understand the desire to support the Palestinians, it is a most worthy cause, but it is not helped when its Western supporters link to anti-Jewish racism, for the fourth time.

It gives the impression that such Western supporters are more motivated by their animus towards Jews instead of a genuine concern for the welfare of Palestinians.

I am sure this is not the case with Rev. Sizer, however, his inability to distinguish between nonracist material and vile antisemitic garbage suggests that his judgement is faulty in these matters.

And, before he and his supporters drag out the most predictable, I should make it clear that I do not think that he is an antisemite, rather he strikes me as someone of poor judgement who swims in the effluent of modern “anti-Zionism” but can’t see an antisemitic turd when it steams towards him.

So please, Rev. Sizer, for the sake of your own conscience, make a habit of apologising when you are wrong, as in this case and please do not play the victim, it is unbecoming.

Rev. Sizer, Best Take Michelle Obama’s Advice

After reading one of his recent posts I thought this quote equally applied to Rev. Sizer:

“Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we’ve developed a thick skin along the way. When you’re out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory.”

I had hoped not to have to return to this topic, but it seems that Rev. Sizer and his supporters are keen to humiliate the Council of Christians and Jews and make them apologise.

I have argued elsewhere that this is silly and counter-productive, but my impression is that Rev. Sizer and his fan club are not particularly good listeners or interested in the views of others.

Pity, the speed of his actions and those of his supporters tend to cast doubt on the sincerity of Rev. Sizers’ apology.

In his latest post, Rev. Sizer makes much of the fact that he removed the offending link to the Ugly Truth web site. However, Rev. Sizer only removed it after the racist nature of the site was pointed out to him, several times.

Astonishingly, before it was pointed out to him, Rev. Sizer didn’t investigate the antisemitic content of Ugly Truth as the CCJ points out:

“We are conscious that The Revd Stephen Sizer’s contributions have caused widespread disquiet and hurt in both communities and led to confusion and polarization of views. We have paid particular attention to a link posted by Mr Sizer on his Facebook page to ‘The Ugly Truth’, an antisemitic website.

We consider this to be wholly unacceptable.

We cannot accept it was an accident, because Mr Sizer was alerted to the antisemitic nature of the website in November and again in December, but only removed the link in January when contacted by the Jewish Chronicle.

[My emphasis.]

If, this unfortunate episode had been a one off, then Rev. Sizer would have had a stronger case, but he has made this same mistake at least three times, by my reckoning.

That is a lot for a highly intelligent man, an academic and community leader. Surprisingly, I can not find any apology from Rev. Sizer on his previous poor choice of material and certainly no embarrassment.

Still, as he reminds us about his “Jewish friends” I can’t help thinking that they might not have known of the extent of Rev. Sizer’s blunders?

Whilst I seriously doubt that Rev. Sizer or his supporters harbour any antisemitic feeling, there is not much evidence of them understanding the issues, or the need for a certain sensitivity.

It all speaks of a very poor sense of judgement in these matters.

Overall, what I see in these instances from Rev. Sizer and his supporters is a lack of insight, a desire to hit back and above all wounded pride.

It might be time, as Michelle Obama recommends, for Rev. Sizer to develop a thicker skin. Or for him not to link to racist material in the first place?