I'd never seen Anna Baltzer in action though I'd read about her. At the Sabeel Conference at St. John the Workers Church in Berkeley Ms. Baltzer gave a presentation in the main hall.
Baltzer is drop dead gorgeous and looks like a movie star, but she is also proof that beauty is only skin deep. Her presentation on behalf of the International Women's Peace Service was so dishonest and deliberately manipulative of an audience that it reveals an ugliness below the surface appearance of this woman. Innuendos, half-truths, manipulated photos and constant misrepresentations were the order of the day for her presentation, and most annoying was her voicing "I am a Jewish-American" to lend credence to her pro-PLO propaganda spiel; here was a Jewish woman content to lie by omitting facts and giving credence to hearsay to aid in the dispossession of and encourage attacks on Jews in Israel.
First, let me say the International Women's Peace Service is a communist organization that grew out of the communist-inspired International Women's League for Peace and Freedom in the 1920s and 30's. Back here in California, the IWPS tours schools, damning Israel in the eyes of schoolchildren just like Baltzer does and is led by another Jewess-communist named Kate Raphael. It's not particularly Jewish to be a communist whack job, but if one is, then it's useful to cite one's ancestry of Judaism that was long abandoned for the god of Marxism to attack the Jews in Israel and those who support them. Israel was founded and built by more than one Marxist who grew up during the Cold War, and the Soviet Union once supported the creation of the Jewish state because of the socialist nature of so many Zionist groups. The Torah teaches that every Jew is responsible for every other Jew, a form of socialism that has a beneficial group-think on the Jewish community.
But what frequently happens is it gets perverted among secular Jews who decide that Marxism is the way to go. They become about as Jewish as a ham sandwich, but nevertheless use their Jewish ancestry to lend credibility to attacking Jewish interests like Israel as they fall into the communist party platform that is anti-Israel. As the Soviet Union later aligned with the Arabs, Marxist groups like the IWPS became increasingly "anti-Zionist" (anti-Jew). Writer Paul Bogdaner has posited that "Martin Luther’s program of terrorizing Jews originated with a Jewish convert, Johannes Pfefferkorn; and that the myth of the Jewish world-conspiracy, which culminated in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was assiduously promoted by a Russian Jewish author, Jacob Brafmann. We suspected that as the Pfefferkorns and the Brafmanns departed from the stage, the Finkelsteins and the Chomskys made their entrance."
As for the "peace" theme of the IWPS, Writer Bruce Bawer has explained that "use of the word 'peace' to legitimize totalitarianism is an old Communist tradition. In August 1939, when the Nazis and Soviets signed their nonaggression pact, the same Western Stalinists who had been calling for war against Germany did an about-face and began to praise peace. (After Hitler invaded Russia, the Stalinists reversed themselves again, demanding that the West help Stalin crush the Third Reich.) The peace talk, in short, was really about sympathizing with Communism, not peace. And it continued after the war, when Stalin’s Western supporters whitewashed his monstrous regime and denounced anti-Communists as warmongering crypto-fascists. 'Peace conferences' and 'friendship committees' drew hordes of liberal dupes, who didn’t grasp that their new 'friends' were not ordinary Russians but the jailers of ordinary Russians—and that the committees were about not 'friendship' but deception, exploitation, and espionage."
I'll write more about IWPS later and particularly Hannah Mermelstein, a member who for some reason the Israeli security services just can't stop from entering Israel to try and destroy it.
But back to Anna Baltzer's presentation.
Baltzer immediately claimed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not about religion, but land. In other words, the Arabs, particularly the Muslims, have nothing against Jews per se, but their land is being stolen by them. This was the first lie. The settlements that Baltzer showed photos of were built on public Jordanian land after 1967. It's one of the deceptive lies of the ISM (as a front for the PLO) to claim that Jews just marched in and grabbed private Palestinian homes and property.
It's always fascinated me how in America we accept the right of anyone who can legally purchase his own property to live where he pleases. This was the basis of our Civil Rights Movement. But when the Arabs claim that land is only for Arabs or Muslims, the radical left rushes in to agree with them.
In any event, Baltzer pointed to a settlement and said "Only Jews can live there." This was the second lie of her presentation and it was deliberate, a variation on the Blood Libel stories (which Baltzer improved on later as we shall see).
What Baltzer should have said was only Israeli citizens can live there. Christians, Druze, Muslims with Israeli citizenship can live in those communities. Were the Palestinian Authority to arrest terrorists and stop killing Israelis, mainly Jews,
those communities might then become open to all Palestinian citizens in a viable Palestinian state. But for now, they are under the control of Israel for security reasons, and rightly so.
Baltzer commented about the land around the settlement in the photo and claimed it belonged to Palestinians. This was the third lie. The land belonged to the settlement. But to these ISM creeps, all land, trees, produce (olives) and just about anything a Palestinian tells them is theirs and not the Jews'; it all belongs to Palestinians.
Baltzer accurately explained the difference between economic settlers and the religious ones. Economic settlers moved to the West Bank for affordable housing whereas the religious came to resettle the Biblical land of Israel. But in true
radical socialist propagandistic form, Baltzer suggested that the economic settlers were only the oppressed in Israel,that is, the poor, the black Jews from Ethiopia, etc. In fact, Israel is so tiny that this is not true. Many people elect to live in the West Bank or east Jerusalem who are not impoverished but want a nicer home. Efrat is like Mission Viejo in California and only a 30 minute drive from Jerusalem (if you don't get shot by Arab terrorists on the way).
Baltzer then discussed the Security Fence (that the ISM loves to call the "Apartheid Wall"). Of course she doesn't mention the Fence became necessary because the Palestinian Authority refused to arrest or prosecute terrorists who murder Jews
(and still never has) despite their agreement to do so in the Oslo Accords. There hasn't been a bus bombing in Israel for two years since the Fence went up. The answer is simple; stop killing Israelis and the Fence will come down, it's mostly portable anyway. Baltzer relied on lying by omission throughout the presentation.
By the way, Baltzer kept reciting the trope of "occupation." Would she object to a Security Fence if it was on the 1949 Green Line? Probably so, because she wanted people to think she considers only the West Bank and Gaza "occupied" when in fact she means all of Israel.
I had to laugh when Baltzer showed a photograph of two cars with different colored license plates. She explained that somehow this reflected an apartheid situation
because the different colored plates for Israeli nationals (not just Jews) and Palestinian Arabs were "visible from far away to the checkpoints." In fact, it was the PA that demanded the different colored license plates, not the Israeli government, because it was demanded as a matter of sovereignty. But her audience would never know this.
Baltzer showed a staged photograph of a "bypass road" with another highway excavation site in the foreground. The manipulation of images was obvious.
She was honest at one point admitting Palestinians who are not Israelis can use the bypass roads after completing a security background check; the roads were created to stop Jews from being murdered on the highways. Somehow this was a terrible thing to her.
But Baltzer's theatrics really shone in discussing the checkpoints. I've been to Israel and checkpoints rarely take more than ten minutes unless a terrorist attack is being thwarted. Baltzer showed a line of Palestinian workers waiting to enter Israel. You can see such lines at our own airports. She implied this was part of the great suffering of the Palestinians due to those nasty Israelis having checkpoints to stop terrorists who kill Jew and Arab alike.
She got the audience of Christian anti-Semites, dried up 60's Berkeley radicals and the uninformed to emit a gasp when she told them a tale of a pregnant Palestinian woman who was taken by ambulance to one of the checkpoints that are normally open to traffic from 7 am to 7 pm. According to Baltzer, they arrived at the checkpoint before 7 am and the Israeli soldiers told the woman's family that despite her giving birth they could not let her through until 7 am. "They kept saying, 'We are just following orders. Just following orders,'" she announced, in a deliberate reference to Nazi army apologists over the Holocaust.
She went on to say the woman gave birth to twins in the ambulance, and after more waiting for hours, finally allowed to proceed at 7 am but both preemies died before she reached the hospital.
After her speech, I approached Baltzer. "Can you give me the name, the checkpoint,
the date and tell me what the IDF investigation of the incident showed?" I asked her.
"I didn't know the IDF investigates such things," she replied. "It's hard to imagine nobody complained, and the Arabs would never miss a sound bite like Israeli soldiers letting two babies die in the press, so there would have been an investigation," I told her.
Pressing on, I asked Baltzer for the woman's name. "Lamis," she said. But she could not give me a last name. "The village?" I pressed on. "Deir Balut," she said, but she could not provide a date. "It's in my book," she said, conveniently on sale in the church's vestibule. She grabbed a copy of Witness in Palestine, her "book" chronicling Israeli abuses and "apartheid." "I can't find the date, but I think it was the day before the date of this chapter," she said, being specific. "Were you there when this happened? Did you interview any of the soldiers?" I asked.
"No" she replied.
"So in other words somebody whose last name you don't know or remember told you this happened and it's listed as fact in your book?"
She drifted away into the crowd.
I should point out the last photo in her manipulated scenes at this event. Baltzer displayed a photo of a Palestinian teenager on a hill throwing a rock at some Israeli police officers at the bottom of the hill who were peacefully standing next to their vehicles. "I don't want to seem to be promoting violence," she said. "But this boy is in his village on his land and the Israeli police have no right to be there." She continued, "If someone broke into your home and invaded it, wouldn't you pick up a lamp and throw it at them to protect your home?" In other scenes where she claimed they showed Palestinians "nonviolently" protesting the "occupation," the Hamas flag was clearly visible in the rear. Hamas in its charter openly advocates the annihilation of Israel's Jews.
So much for the theme of nonviolence at this Sabeel event. Baltzer's remarks were little more than an excuse, a justification, for terrorism while trying to lie about phony Israeli atrocities. It was manipulated tripe, but the audience still gave her a standing ovation.
It was sick to see and hear in a House of Worship, of all places.