What is it about the mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation that can’t stay away from anti-Semites and kooks? Today’s blog post is entitled “‘My Name Is Rachel Corrie’: Reaction evidence that global discourse is shifting?” (The answer is, “no.” The play My Name is Rachel Corrie is a combination of nonsense and propaganda, and appeals solely to far-left Israel haters.) It consists of an excerpt from and link to an Australian site called 911oz.com. The site is, as you might have guessed, a bulletin board for 9/11 Truth loonies.
The article itself is called “a report on the play and the panel discussion that followed.” Evidently a bunch of Israel-haters got together in Melbourne and after viewing the play held a discussion afterward in which they told themselves that there was simply no other perspective possible other than the one they all held. Why USCEIO thinks this worth highlighting I don’t know, but the writer of the article proved interesting.
Her name is Sonja Karkar, and she’s co-convenor of Australians for Palestine. She’s written a host of anti-Israel screeds for such far left and anti-Israel outlets as Counterpunch and Electronic Intifada. She’s claimed that recognizing Israel’s right to exist constitutes “dispossession” of the Palestinians, and refers to Israel’s desire to be recognized as a Jewish state as “racist.”
What I found most interesting about Karkar is that she is a member of the board of advisors of an organization called Deir Yassin Remembered. She’s got some unusual company, between the advisors and the directors:
•Advisor Rachelle Marshall, a Bay area activist and free-lance writer whose credit include the Holocaust denial periodical Journal of Historical Review (volume 16, #6);
•Advisor Ilan Pappe, the Israeli academic who claims that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing despite the increases in both Israeli and Palestinian Arab populations;
•Director Kristoffer Larsson is a Swedish theology student who has spread the blood libel about Israel being involved in organ theft;
•Director Paul Eisen has written about “Jewish power,” in which he readily compares Zionism to Nazism and repudiates the Zionism/Judaism distinction that typically allows anti-Israel haters to claim they aren’t anti-Semitic:
[E]ven if Zionism can still be disentangled from Judaism, can it be distinguished from a broader Jewish identity or Jewishness? So often Zionism is proclaimed to be a modern add-on to Jewish identity, another, albeit anachronistic, settler-colonial ideology simply adopted by Jews in response to their predicament. But, could it be that our need to avoid the accusation of anti-Semitism and our own conflicted perceptions and feelings, our insistence that Zionism and Jewishness are separate, has led us seriously to misunderstand the situation? Has our refusal to look squarely at the very Jewishness of Zionism and its crimes caused us to fail to understand exactly what we are up against? (Italics in original.)
•Most tellingly, the executive director of Deir Yassin Remembered is retired economics professor Daniel McGowan, who has defended Holocaust revisionism and neo-Nazi Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, visiting him in prison and writing sympathetically about his views.
So to sum up: once again, the mainline church–supported USCEIO is getting material from a kook web site, and giving a link and publicity to a person whose activities point to someone who is not merely a critic of Israel or supporter of Palestinians, but a fringe character whose association with anti-Semites ought to put her beyond the pale. Sadly, for the USCEIO there doesn’t seem to be any pale to be beyond.