Monthly Archives: February 2011

Pete Seeger supports BDS, denounces the Jewish National Fund pogromists

Those of you who are active in exposing and fighting the Jewish National Fund’s efforts to ethnically cleanse the Negev — you are making a difference. The JNF has released an absurd statement attempting to deflect responsibility for the pogroms against Al Arakib (which I will take apart later). And Pete Seeger has informed the JNF: This land is not your land!

I just received this from Adalah NYC:

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Money Talks, Desecration Walks: Nakba Porn Kingpin Michael Lucas Bullies LGBT Center Against Anti-Apartheid Party

Wealthy gay porn producer Michael Lucas has successfully pressured New York City’s LGBT Center to renege on its agreement to host a “Party to End Apartheid” on Israeli Apartheid Week. Lucas threatened to boycott the center and pressure its donors to pull their money out. He called the event an “anti-Semitic” affair held by a “hate group.” It seems that money talks, because I doubt that a progressive institution like the LGBT Center would have otherwise responded to an open bigot like Lucas who has used ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages as sets for sex scenes.

Israeli gay porn actor Jonathan Agassi describes his sex scene inside an ethnically cleansed Palestinian village in Michael Lucas’s “Men of Israel”

Lucas, who leads gay tours to Israel to promote the country’s supposedly tolerant gay culture, has celebrated fellow porn producer Charles Merrill’s public burning of a Qu’ran, calling it an act of “artistic bravery.” Last year, he joined the Islamophobic bandwagon in calling the Cordoba Initiative’s plan to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero part of a covert plot to install Shariah law in the United States — he described the proposed center as a “monument to Muslim terrorism.” A laundry list of racist statements by Lucas would be so long it is impossible to compile (“I hate Muslims, absolutely,” he once said); it is enough to note that his political views are defined by crude resentment of Muslims, the fetishization of an Israel that does not exist, and little else.

What is more remarkable about Lucas is the way in which he has fused extreme Zionism with homoeroticism in his films. His most widely promoted film, “Men of Israel,” contains a sex scene inside a Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias in 1947-48. Lucas describes the scene here (do not click the link if you do not want photos of nude men to suddenly appear on your screen), deceptively stating that the village was “deserted centuries ago:”

…we went to an abandoned village just north of Jerusalem. It was a beautiful ancient township that had been deserted centuries ago…however, that did not stop our guys from mounting each other and trying to repopulate it. Biology may not be the lesson of the day but these men shot their seeds all over the village.

But again to get to the point of pleasure we had no easy task to tackle. We had to break down carefully replace the metal barrier guarding us from entering the village and hike up the treacherous mountain that was lined with barbed wire and dense torn bushes.

Never to miss a beat, the Israeli media was there to document and run a broadcast profile on our filming. Channel 1 Israel, the oldest and longest running public television station in the country, interviewed the cast and embraced our excursion Inside Israel!

Lucas does not name the village where the scene was shot, but my guess is it was Lifta, which was attacked by Zionist militias in December 1947 (five months before any Arab armies entered Palestine), bombed, and ethnically cleansed. Today, the ruins of the village are well preserved — so well that the Jerusalem municipality plans to transform it into a Jews-only luxury development.

It is not hard to imagine what would happen to an Arab porn director if he went to a site of Jewish genocide like a destroyed shtetl from the Pale of Settlement or a concentration camp, and filmed actors as they “shot their seeds” on it. Yet Lucas profits from desecration porn, and maintains enough cachet to bully a major gay institution in New York City.

Tell the Jewish National Fund to stop the pogrom against Al Arakib. Call them now.

Israeli riot police fire teargas at women from Al Arakib during the 18th attack on the village

Israeli riot police fire teargas at women from Al Arakib during the 18th attack on the village

Yesterday morning, the Bedouin village of Al Arakib withstood the 18th pogrom against it by the Jewish National Fund and Israeli riot police. I mentioned in my last post that I would begin promoting actions to hold the Jewish National Fund accountable for violently ethnic cleansing Al Arakib in order to build the GOD TV Forest of Hate. Now here is something everyone who reads this blog (minus the professional hasbara trolls) can and should do: Join the Jewish Voice for Peace call in campaign to demand that the JNF cease demolishing villages like Al Arakib. Tell your local JNF office to stop the pogroms against the indigenous population of the Negev. To be sure, this is a minor action that will probably yield only dismissive responses from JNF representatives, but it is important to apply pressure and get them on the record.

I also recommend registering your opinions on the JNF’s Facebook page.

Here are the contact details courtesy of JVP:

JNF National Office (international callers add 001 to beginning of US Phone numbers): (212) 879-9300

Jerusalem Office (from US)  011-972-2-563-5638

Regional Offices:

Florida

West Coast, Central, and Northern Florida: (727) 536-5263 or (813) 960-5263

Tampa: (407) 804-5568

South Florida (561) 447-9733

Miami/Dade (800) 211-1502 or (561) 447-9733

Greater New York (212) 879-9300

Greater Los Angeles (323) 964-1400

MidAtlantic

Baltimore/ Delaware: (410) 486-3317

Washington, DC (301) 589-8565

Midwest

Chicagoland (847) 656-8880

Michigan (248) 324-3080

Midwest States (Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) (888) 563-0099

Northern Ohio (216) 464-3888

Southern Ohio (513) 794-1300 or (888) 563-0099

Western Pennsylvania (412) 521-3200

Wisconsin (414) 963-8733

New England (617) 423-0999

Northeast

Eastern Pennsylvania (215) 832-0690

New Jersey (973) 593-0095

West

Arizona (602) 277-4800

Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming & Utah (303) 573-7095

Northern California and Pacific Northwest (415) 677-9600 or (888) JNF-0099

Orange County, CA (949)-260-0400

San Diego (858) 824-9178

Palm Springs (760)864-6208

Las Vegas (702) 434-6505

South (404) 236-8990

The Jewish National Fund and GOD TV’s Pogrom Against Al Arakib Continues

Above is a shocking video depicting the 17th(!) pogrom against the Bedouin village of Al-Arakib by the criminal syndicate known as the Jewish National Fund and the End Timers at GOD TV. Apparently Israeli riot police fired bean bag rounds and tear gas to disperse the villagers, wounding children while violently arresting their parents.

I encourage everyone reading this to repost this and Richard Silverstein’s latest at the Facebook pages of the Jewish National Fund and GOD TV. In the coming weeks and months, I will be promoting new efforts to hold the pogromists at the JNF accountable for what they are doing in the Negev.

For now, here is a report from Yaaela Raanan of the Negev Bedouin support group (cross posted from Richard’s blog)

It seemed that there were “red lines” even for the police brutality against the Bedouins of the Israeli Negev – while destroying homes that had no possibility for acquiring building permits, arresting people on their village lands in order to make room for JNF trees, beating activists who dared request to see the official papers allowing the brutality – all seemed to be “ok”. but until today – even for the police – the cemetery and the people waiting in the cemetery for the police to leave – were off limits. no more.

After destroying the tents of the village – yet again, the JNF (yes!) bulldozer approached the gate of the cemetery attempting to run it down and destroy it. this was too much for the village people, who are sitting in their community’s cemetery, watching as their village is once more destroyed. As the bulldozer approached the gate, the people went to stop it with their bare hands. Several are injured, including children. They are being evacuated at this moment by ambulances.

The bulldozer has backed away from the gate, and the police and bulldozers are now a few yards away from the cemetery, re-thinking their next move.
Do all you can to stop this horrible escalation of the treatment of the Arab citizens of Israel!!!

To understand how cozy GOD TV’s relationship with the government of Israel is, watch this video.

Portrait of a Hasbara Troll

Etan Schwartz, hasbara troll

Etan Schwartz appears to be "E," the most annoying hasbara troll to visit my blog

In the immediate aftermath of the Israeli Navy’s massacre of 9 activists on the Mavi Marmara, I began a journalistic process of discrediting wild and fabricated claims by the Israeli Army Spokesman’s Unit about the incident. Around this time, when my blog began receiving unprecedented traffic, several hasbara trolls suddenly occupied my comments section. They have maintained a constant presence ever since, dragging the discussion into the gutter with propagandistic arguments and absurd personal attacks on me and other commenters — there isn’t much else to do when you are defending a country that behaves like Israel does. While I enjoy receiving legitimate criticism, I can no longer allow trolls to treat my blog like Moshe Katsav treated his female staffers. So I have decided to ban them all and institute a new “no trolling” policy.

I have also taken successful steps to unmask one of the shrillest, most annoying, and consequently, most pathetic, hasbara trolls; an obsessive character who writes under the handle of “E,” and who has also trolled at 972mag.com as “F.” “E” and “F” appear to be Etan J Schwartz of Englewood, New Jersey — all the evidence I have compiled points to him. Indeed, “E” has registered to comment on my blog through the email address ejs255@nyu.edu, which matches his initials and alma mater. And his IP address, 174.252.125.242, indicates that he is in or around Livingston, New Jersey, which is basically down the road from Englewood. So I am 99.99 percent certain that Etan J. Schwartz is “E.”

Schwartz has carried out a long campaign of harassment and demonization against me and others through his personal Facebook page and with letters to my editors written under his real name. In both his Facebook rants and in what appear to be his anonymous diatribes in my comments section, his rhetoric is distinguished by resentful remarks against Ashkenazi Jews. Schwartz’s anti-Ashkenazi tendencies are strange considering that he labors as a chai walla for the Ashkenazi country club known as the neoconservative movement and that he appears devoted to promoting the cause of a country controlled by an Ashkenazi elite that has historically exploited and oppressed Mizrahim. But who ever said that hasbara trolls were not conflicted, deeply damaged people?

A typical comment by "E", who appears to be Etan Schwartz, is filled with insults and innuendo

A typical comment by "E", who appears to be Etan Schwartz, is filled with insults and innuendo

A graduate of New York University who has pursued his master’s degree in International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School, Schwartz has set his sights on a career as an errand boy for the Israel lobby and neocon groups. Given all the career opportunities that are seemingly available to this young man, I find it remarkable that he seems to spend so much of his energy scrutinizing my work and polluting the comments section of my blog. Is he really that much of a loser? Doesn’t he have anything better to do? Or is he paid by the Israeli Foreign Ministry or a pro-Israel oufit to troll? (Professional hasbara trolls are some our society’s biggest losers, so both scenarios are possible and equally tragic).

According to his bio, Schwartz was a researcher for WINEP, which is AIPAC’s de facto policy arm. He also did some work for the Islamophobic huckster Steve Emerson at the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Vincent Cannistrano, a former CIA counter-terrorism operative, has alleged that Emerson’s closest allies are “Israeli funded.” Now Schwartz claims to now be a staff assistant for the Kurdistan Regional Government, an entity that neocon Cliff May recently hailed as, “The Other Israel” (May appeared to have some sort of arrangement with the KRG to produce favorable publicity).

Is someone paying Etan Schwartz to troll, or is he just a sociopathic loser?

Is someone paying Etan Schwartz to troll, or is he just a sociopathic loser?

The question is, given Schwartz’s connections to the neocon cabal, do his employers know about his apparent ongoing campaign of harassment against me and possibly other bloggers? Perhaps trolling is part of Schwartz’s job description and his obsession with me and everything I write is rooted in some rational motivation. Or perhaps he is a pure sociopath who presents a clear hazard to anyone who hires him and everyone who works in his vicinity. In this case, Schwartz’s employers should know his about his apparent hobby.

Though trolls will never be heard from at my blog again, I will continue my efforts to unmask those who have frequented this site for the sole purpose of trolling.

Etan, may the Schwartz be with you!