Letters: May 21 – May 27

Gabriel Martinez/Special to the Daily Cal
Gabriel Martinez/Special to the Daily Cal

Anti-Israel ad breaks trust, propagates lies

Seeing dangerous lies in a paid display ad (The Daily Californian, Monday, May 21) breaks the trust of the reader in the newspaper’s judgment as a whole. In this case, an especial red flag should have gone up in taking money from anti-Israel activists.  Alison Weir, whose organization If Americans Knew is mentioned in the ad, is a full-time hater of Israel, a task of constant malice.

For example, the ad states flatly that “In 1967 Israel attacked and gained control over the final remnants of Palestine.” Folks, in 1967, everyone, in the older generation at least, knows that Israel was attacked by all its neighbors. It emerged triumphant only through a miracle. There was not, and never has been, a state of Palestine. The so-called “West Bank” of Israel was controlled by Jordan before 1967. The rest of the  delusionary “history” given, for the purpose of destroying America’s support for Israel, is just as malicious and ludicrous.

Think about how many you know who have been manipulated by this destructive venom. Yet compare Israel to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, where death sentences are executed upon those who sell land to Jews. The proposed state of Palestine is supposed to be “judenrein,” or Jew-free, as Gaza, which Israel gave up in 2005, virtually is today. We have heard this rhetoric before.

When you want to kill me/us, it’s not just about tolerating a difference of opinion. Iran declares regularly it wants to wipe Israel off the map. Iran is funding the bombs from Gaza. It is time for the media to tell the real story, not what the Israel-haters want you to believe.

— Thyme S. Siegel
City of Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission

Ad illustrates essence of anti-Semitism, lies

The ad by Justice First Foundation “Palestinian Land Stolen,” in your May 21 edition, has clearly illustrated the essence of anti-Semitism. It is a lie, a fabrication, an intentional misrepresentation of the facts. The ad claims that “In 1967, Israel attacked and gained control over the final remnants of Palestine.” So far, even most ardent enemies of Israel have not dared to name the Jewish state as the aggressor in the Six-Day War. And immediately after the war ended, Israel suggested returning the conquered territories in exchange for peace. In response they received the infamous Three NO’s from the Arab side: NO negotiations with Israel, NO recognition of Israel, NO peace with Israel. These are the facts. But they don’t fit the anti-Semitic agenda.

— Vladimir Kaplan
San Mateo

Gay rights is future of Civil Rights Movement

This year, we are officially celebrating Harvey Milk Day in California. Harvey Milk is truly a gay icon and a political trailblazer. Equally important in my eyes was his commitment to labor issues, racial equality,
seniors, women and fighting poverty. He was a consummate coalition builder who challenged the status quo by empowering community organizing on issues large and small.

As we celebrate Harvey Milk, I cannot help but think of all the history he should have been here to see. I am bursting with pride that we have a president who not only ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but also has evolved to support marriage equality. Civil rights have frequently been won through protest, advocacy and in the courts. Usually, public opinion and politicians come along later. To have our highest elected official, President Barack Obama, affirm our equality gives me hope. He was affected by knowing openly LGBT people who worked for him and by “out” parents of kids in school with his children. Harvey Milk pushed us to come out, and, as we do, we are really touching the hearts of those we know.

As an African American, I am even more deeply touched that the venerable “oldest and boldest” civil rights organization, the NAACP, has validated that marriage equality is indeed a civil right as well. I have always known that fact in my own mind and in my own heart. But just as the NAACP helped win legal and public acceptance of black Americans, today they are helping win acceptance of another part of who I am. It seems to me like a natural evolution for a group of freedom fighters who keep continuing on and know that marriage equality is indeed a civil right as well.

Harvey Milk did not die in vain. As an African American myself, and as a woman, as a baby boomer and a lesbian, I know Harvey Milk stood up for people like me. It is a beautiful testament to the evolution of our
society that California now celebrates a day for Harvey Milk. I look forward to the day when America accepts marriage equality and celebrates Harvey Milk Day. In the meantime, let us all give ourselves and
our friends encouragement to be the Harvey Milks of our generation and support the upcoming Harvey Milks of this exciting time.

— Brendalynn Goodall
East Bay Stonewall Dems President

A previous version the letter “Anti-Israel ad breaks trust, propagates lies” stated that Alison Weir’s organization, If Americans Knew, paid for the advertisement. In fact, Weir’s organization did not.

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  • Doremus

    And… nearly four months later Siegal and Kaplan’s misinformed (I’m being generous) letters are at the =top= of the Letters section. Your editorial bias is not only showing, it’s making it’s own video marketed on late night television

  • Jon Jackson

    So summer student editors Jonathan Kuperberg and editor-in-chief Stephanie Baer weren’t able to stop the Daily Cal from fulfilling its contract to run Rod Driver’s ad illustrating the history of successive Israeli governments’ theft of Palestinan land. They did the next best (in their reasoning I suppose) thing by publishing the letters above by “Vladimer” and “Thyme” attacking the ad as antisemitic and lies. I’ll give them some slack for being =student= journalists, but they embarrass themselves with their transparent bias. Is this what we’re in for in The Daily Cal?

    Why don’t Kuperberg and Baer simply write an above the fold op-ed spelling out that =no= criticism of the state of Israel whatsoever is permitted in the Daily Cal pages?
    That would be the honest, principled approach.

  • Bigboy5309

    It is a fact that Israel attacked first in 1967. They launched what they selectively term a “defensive preemptive attack”. This does not exist. They attacked Egypt while their planes were all on the ground. Israel has done a masterful job at rewriting this history. It is no crime to tell the truth and no one should be admonished for doing so.

  • roberthstiver

    Thanks to Don Bustany and “Guest” for providing a bit of context here.  Siegel’s and Kaplan’s letters allied comments below are really contemptible.  How can one be brief in exposing Siegel?  I’ll try: 
    –the DC didn’t take money from Alison Weir; the ad was placed by a completely separate organization;
    –As Mr. Bustany points out, read terrorist-PM Begin’s words:  “In June 1967, (Begin) said, Israel ‘had a choice.’ Egyptian Army concentrations did
    not prove that Nasser was about to attack. ‘We must be honest with ourselves. We
    decided to attack him.’ ”
    –Israel didn’t “give up” Gaza in 2005.  Sharon executed a shrewd tactic, pulling illegal Jewish settlers out of Gaza (so that he could relocate them to the illegally Occupied West Bank); but Israel to this day illegally occupies Gaza–its airspace, its seaspace, and, via invasions at will, its groundspace.
    –Iran (Ahmedinejad; before him Khomeini) haven’t threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.”  That distorted translation has been refuted thoroughly.  Iran believes that the very weight of Israel’s iniquity will result one day in its “disappearing from the pages of time.”
    –“…bombs from Gaza”???  This deliberately incendiary rhetoric is a bald lie:  in pallid reaction to Israel’s dropping of bombs (yes, real bombs), missiles et al from US-supplied aircraft, tank artillery fire, rifle fire, etc., Gazan militants resisting Israel’s depredations set off low-power, directionless rockets (firecrackers) toward Israeli territory.  In 12 years or so, some 30 Israelis have, by bad luck, been killed by such rocket fire; in the same span, exponentially higher numbers of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli weapons of war.  I’ll guess 7,000 (as compared to about 1,000 Israelis killed overall in the conflict during the same time span).  Check out my figures; anyone will find that I’m very close to the mark.

    These are the “real story” facts that Ms. Siegel is avid to avoid.

  • Don Bustany, KPFK Radio, LA

    Ladies and Gentlemen of The Daily Cal:

         I just heard about the ongoing rhubarb between your fine paper and Alison Weir. And I just read the first two letters-to-the-editor posted above. What is  conspicuously apparent is that Ms. Siegel and Mr. Kaplan are mistaken about Israel’s history. They are repeating the Zionist Catechism developed after the Six Day War.
    But you mustn’t take my word for it. Please check the many volumes of accurate text by Jewish, Zionist, Israeli historians who clearly and categorically report that the war of June ’67 began with Israel’s sneak air attack on Egypt’s air force before a single plane had time to become airborne. And your researcher should have no trouble finding Menachem Begin’s declaration that, for Israel, it was a war of choice.

         Is it the intention of the Daily Cal editors to allow such inexcusable misinformation to appear on its pages?

    Don Bustany
    Producer/Host, Middle East in Focus
    KPFK, Pacifica Radio, Los Angeles
    [email protected]  


  • Dan Spitzer

    Just how anti-Semitic is Alison Weir? She permitted a piece she wrote excoriating Russian Jews to be reprinted as a whole in David Duke’s primary publication.Moreover, she has raised the old canard of Jewish blood libel by stating that Israelis collect and sell Palestinian body parts. 

    Weir  is a true hater of Jews and has been recognized as such by the Anti-Defamation League. It is repulsive to see the Daily Cal accept money from Weir to publisht such an advertisement, particularly when one considers the source. I doubt if the Daily Cal would have printed an ad from the likes of her colleague, David Duke.

    • Bigboy5309

      The fact of the matter is that there is a burgeoning organ trafficking business in Israel.  A small bit of research will corroborate this. It is not bigotry nor a hate crime or anything of the sort to make a note of  this crime.
      One need not worry what the ADL labels them. ADL is simply a propaganda arm set in place to rationalize the crimes of Israel. They call anything from meteorites to hedgehogs “antisemitic” if they don’t fit their agenda.

  • Guest

    Contrary to what that letter would have one believe, I find much of the media discourse to lean heavily in favor of the state of Israel. I was therefore pleased to find the pro-Palestine excerpt in that particular issue of the newspaper–for bringing to light a narrative that is often intentionally smothered by Zionist concern that the majority of the American population continue to remain unaware about the injustices inflicted upon Palestinians–about the infringements of basic human rights overseen by the policies of the state of Israel. Kudos to the Daily Cal for allowing the publication of the ad. 

    • student

      You were pleased to find blatant lies? You don’t value accuracy in journalism? Wow, pathetic.

      • Anon

        Ads are not journalism.

    • I_h8_disqus

      Guest and Anon seem to miss the whole point that the Daily Cal should not put falsehoods in the paper especially if it is paid to put them there.  Some things Cal should stand for are truth, intelligence and reason, and the student paper should reflect reflect all three.  The last thing we want is the paper selling out the truth for money.

      I applaud the paper for putting in these two letters to show that the ad was not accurate, but I wish they would have not taken the money in the first place.

      • reztips

        Exactly. Do you think the Daily Cal would publish ads from anti-black or anti-Hispanic groups? Of course not. But Jews these days are considered “fair game” and when it comes to the anti-Semitic Ms. Weir’s litany of lies, the DC has not problem accepting her money and printing her excrement…