Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What Happened at the Berkeley Sabeel Conference

The Presbyterian Church's Synod this year rescinded a resolution to divest from Israel that had run for two years after a small band of radicals managed to get control of the Synod's board and pushed through the divestment scheme. Even though the last Synod meeting voted to end the divestment by the Church, those from the pro-divestment clique on the board were still trying to tell people that it had not been
revoked when it had. The Church's leadership was doubly outraged when they learned this clique had spent $4 million dollars of the Church's money on anti-Israel literature.

Attacking Israel through the US Church system has become part of the modus operandi of the Internatioanl Soldiarity Movement. The colleges proved to be a good workable plan to try and get American youth to hate Israel, a pluralistic democracy, and support a Palestinian state in its place. Of course, the Palestinian state will be just another Arab-Muslim dictatorship, a government with a lifestyle that will be anathema to these same youths if they only understood the implications. Now, the Churches are next.

The ISM tactic of trying to equate Israel with apartheid South Africa is just a scam on the American psyche and is part of this scam. When Arabs run around screaming they want to kill Jews for Allah, the American public is turned off. Hence, the tactic, encouraged by American communists and anarchists, allied with the Arabs and Muslims, of trying to appeal to an American audience, and primarily a young naive one at that, is to elicit false sympathy by claiming the Palestinians are suffering worse than the blacks did in South Africa. This appeals to some well-meaning people who do not understand the revolutionary "code speak" used by the ISM (terrorism=legitimate resistance, security fence=apartheid wall)who might think they are supporting a humanist campaign. They are in fact, supporting a totalitarian campaign of anti-Semitism.

The rest of this church-oriented movement is driven by replacement theology, the notion that the Christian church is replacing the Jews in the Holy Land contrary to what the Bible says. Arab Christian leaders try to claim Jesus was not a Jew but a Palestinian (Arafat did so too). The foundation for this thinking is grounded in anti-Semitism pure and simple.

Not all of the Presbyterian Church was willing to abandon this anti-Israel platform or give up on divestment. St. John the Worker's Church in Berkeley has become a regular meeting place for the ISM and its comunist and anarchist acolytes to rail against Israel's existence in a subtle way: they can claim they are seeking a nonviolent end to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis because that sells to mainstream audiences; but they are, in fact, making war on the Jews instead
by advocating starving them financially to weaken the Jewish state and allow its takeover in phases. Sabeel is organized as an arm of the ISM in particular for this purpose. Little known in Jerusalem or Israel proper, Sabeel, led by Palestinian Christian reverend Naim Ateek, promotes anti-Israel activity and trying to get American churches to oppose Israel as an oppressor, a violator of human rights.

It should be noted that the PFLP, the second largest group in the umbrella of the PLO is made up of Christian communist Arabs who are more interested in Arab nationalism than Islamic dominion over the world. The PFLP is a Marxist group so has held appeal and alliance with European and American communists also.

It is within this framework that the Sabeel conference was held in Berkeley last weekend. About 200 people showed up for the event, the majority it seemd over 70 years of age. The theme was nonviolence but was again code speak; this was jsut a more subtle form of violence, the violence of the Big Lie and demonizing
the Jew once again.

Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of the ISM, was present as a keynote speaker. Ms. Arraf had admitted the ISM cooperates with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP and has characterized any nonviolence in the Palestinian struggle as being only to serve the purposes of the violent jihad and revolution against Israelis. Her presence alone should have been telling enough about the event.

I'll go into some of the other speakers at the event a little later, but three speakers especially stand out: Craig and Cindi Corrie and Anna Baltzer.

The Corries are the parents of Rachel Corrie, the girl killed by the Israeli D-9 bulldozer in Rafah on the Gaza-Egypt border. The ISM has taken her death and tried
to present this girl as a peace activist brutally murdered by the IDF. She was, in fact, a self-avowed anarchist from Evergreen College in Washington State where she also was a friend to ISM activist Joseph Smith who later changed his name to Joseph Carr. Carr stated about Rachel that "her death was more than worth the price of the revolution." In other words, her dying for the anarchists in the ISM had immeasurable value. Carr faked photos through windowhop of Rachel's demise and even got Reuters to run them, then later retract them.

First, let me emphasize I sympathize with the Corrie's loss. Losing a child must be horrible. But in this case their child worked to kill other children in Israel, not make peace. I have the IDF army video footage of when she was killed and she was not protecting a house. She was in a trench. That footage will be posted soon with an explanation. Rachel sent an email home to her mom two weeks before she died in whcih she explained how she had helped bring the dead body of a terrorist out of a weapons smuggling tunnel.The fact that she was in such a tunnel at all suggests she was working with the Palestinians who smuggle weapons through these tunnels. Joseph Carr, on radio, claimed he was running alongside the D-9 telling the driver to stop when Rachel was killed, yet he is nowhere visible on the video.

I asked one of the organziers of the Conference if I could interview Craig and Rachel Corrie about this. They declined allegedly saying that I had written "hurtful things" about them in the past.

I merely told the truth about them and here I go again: There is somethinig repulsive about the Corries as parents. Instead of telling other parents not to let their college-aged and young adult children to go off and be fodder for terrorists like Rachel was, they embraced the ISM that she died because of. Was it for money from the PLO? Was it to find justification or meaning in her death? We'll never know.

But the Corries epitomize the idea of the "useful idiot" if they indeed believe all the information about their anarchist daughter. Cindy Corrie told the auidience how Rachel told her she was a human shield for Palestinian waterworkers "digging wells."
Supposedly the IDF was shooting at these civil employees for no reason at all and the ISM had to stand in front of them to protect them. Gaza gets its water from Israel. Had these diggers been "municipal water wrokers" their activities would have been coordinated with the Ministry of the Interior. The IDF would not shoot at them unless they were fired upon.

What else does one dig into the ground besides "water wells"? One digs tunnels. And why does one dig tunnels in Gaza? To smuggle weapons and rockets to kill Jews and other Israelis. Rachel already admitted going into such tunnels to help terrorists.
Thoes "muncipal water workers" were, in fact, Palestinian terrorists digging tunnels to smuggle more weapons. These are the facts.

I'm not surprised the Corries did not want to be interviewed. It might have upset the sinecure they now have resulting from the death of their own child. If I sound harsh, it's for good reason. Children in Sderot have been killed by weapons smuggled through those tunnels and the Corries, who should have insisted their daughter playing revolution come home, only encouraged her and now they are encouraging the children of others, in a church no less. Shame on them...

I'll discuss Anna Baltzer's representation tomorrow. It will say a lot about the ISM and how it operates...


Becky Johnson said...

BECKY: Here is another account of what happened inside of the Sabeel Conference:

found at: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Firstly, let me say that I am ever so glad I do not look Jewish. In any way. And that there should be brocha for that.

I spent all day Saturday at the Sabeel conference at Saint John's Presbyterian Church over in Berkeley. I'm Goyish enough that I can do that.

Secondly, I wish to also clarify that the gap between the Dutch Reformed and the Presbyterians is not just doctrinal. Presbyterians are, from the point of view of Shtrenge Dutch Calvinism, a bunch of wussies and quislings. They've never had to fight for the life of their creed against a superpower. For them, being sneeringly disapproving is a luxury they take for granted.


This is an organization that claims that it is " an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land who seek a just peace based on two states-Palestine and Israel-as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions". Which means that they seek the destruction of Israel by appealing to the cotton wool between the ears of many ignorant Christians.

The conference I attended, advertised as "Breaking Down The Wall Of Silence: Voices We Need To Hear - a Sabeel Conference to inform and stimulate thoughtful action toward a just resolution to the Palestine-Israel conflict", was organized by Friends of Sabeel.

It turned out to be a rather unsubtle attempt at brainwashing. And, in the case of many of those sweet little old Presbies, it probably succeeded.


Self-praising pro-Pal speeches by several people, including one by a smirking Roman Catholic priest from San Francisco.

[I mentioned to a priggish female sitting next to me that my ancestors had fled Brabant five centuries ago to get away from Catholics and their violent self-righteousness, and here I was actually listening to one of those people pontificate! She looked daggers at me, moved several seats away, and avoided me for the rest of the day. And I feel good about that.]

High-minded jibber-jabber. Chris Brown draws several comparisons with Apartheid - like many South Africans, he acts like he owns the word. The Apartheid theme will be repeated ad-nauseum throughout the day, by every speaker, in every possible way. He fought apartheid, now he's fighting Jewheid. We're supposed to feel admiring yet sorry for him, or something.

Huwaida Arraf talks about going back to her parents land, and how her people are suffering. Emotions, emotions.... are we supposed to feel sorry again?

[I think this was the woman who at previous hate-fests wailed that she couldn't go back to the town where she was born, until someone pointed out that she was from Cleveland....]

Nearly an hour of horrific images, including a short film of a demonstration being teargassed, with weeping children and wailing women, and charges by riot police in an orchard. Heavily edited, and without background information. Precisely calculated to draw gasps and condemnation form the audience. Who now feel indignant, and sorry.

This is followed by a passionate rant by Anna Baltzer, in which she states that settlements are colonies of the evil occupying population, whose inhabitants are impoverished Israelis, paid to reside illegally on land stolen from the Arabs. Subtle hint that the other Israelis don't want those poor folks too close, and in any case real people prefer to live in Tel Aviv. Asserts that the overwhelming majority of the settlers moved to the West-Bank for financial reasons (having been paid to do so), and that a lot of the settlements were founded as outposts on seized Palestinian land by violence-prone extremists.

Quotes: "Civilian settlers carrying around these HUGE weapons - a weird power dynamic". -- "Palestinians (forced to) abandon their ancestral homeland". -- "A very violent settler attack".

She also discourses about Zionists pillaging Palestinian villages and committing mayhem. The term she uses, if i remember correctly, is 'massacre'.

The gist is that settlers are violent Jewish brutes who outnumber and bully poor sensitive Palestinians.

She assures us that she is a good Jew, not like the others.


All of the themes above were raised again during the keynote speech after lunch, by Phyllis Bennis, who, almost obscenely relishing the accusation, spoke about the "massacre in Jenin", asserting that the refugee camp was wiped off the map. She also accused Israel of trying to create a pure ethnically Jewish state - framing it in such a way as to draw a subconscious link with another such attempt at ethnic purity.


Nearly every speaker tried to convince us that they had nothing against Jews, many of their friends were Jewish, they loved Jews oh boy did they ever and what a pity that some of them refused to see the how right the Palestinians were and how wrong the Zionists but what else can you really expect from those people and in any case they themselves only speak to the sympathetic apologetic pro-Pally Jews nowadays, which is the Zionist Jews' fault, they started it and they are heartless, cruel, and calculating.

Subtle suggestions of Jewish plots, and too much Jewish influence in the halls of power, and in Christian churches. The Jewish establishment. The Jewish lobby. The Jewish censorship.

Subtle, in this case, means fairly blatant.

No mention, of course, of the Sefardic / Mizrahi exodus from the Muslim world. No mention of the barrage of Qassams. No mention of the unceasing attempts to kill Jews. No mention of anything that would provide context or perspective. Just an unceasing flow of anti-Israel rhetoric, from eight-thirty in the morning till lunch-time, and then for another hour afterwards, before the workshops on practical anti-Semitism and how to propagate hate...... oops, I mean the workshops on 'Why Divestment Is the Best Method to End the Occupation' (by Fahad Abu-Akel, room 2005, from 2:15 PM to 3:15), and 'Christian Zionism in Mainstream Churches' (by Rosemary Radford Reuther, room 200, from 3:30 to 4:30).

There were many other workshops. It was a veritable smorgasbord of love.


A singular bright spot was seeing the Oakland Women In Black silently protesting in front, as people were entering the grounds. At some point, a livid troll ran past screaming that he needed a felt-tip pen, he was going to make a sign warning people about the Oakland Women In Black, because they weren't REAL Women in Black (correct, some of them had beards), they..... were..... EVIL ZIONISTS!!!

He never did get his warning-sign made. I wonder what he would've put on it. Perhaps "warning, may cause awareness of reality".


I may have made a few intolerant Protestantish noises during the various breaks. It depends upon your point of view - if you were a Lutheran, I probably offended you. Not sorry. And if you were the Anglican, you are probably still sick to the pit of your stomach. Again, not sorry. I didn't notice any Baptists or Eastern Orthodox, so I'm not sorry there either. And as for the Methodists, not sorry, I'm sure you've got a sense of humor. How on earth could y'all still be Methodists otherwise? Well?

Once again, not sorry.

Y'all can be as sorry a bunch as y'wanna be. Not me.

During one of the breaks, as I was grabbing all the free literature that I could get my hands on off one of the tables, I made a snarky reference to that famous line by Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel......
"The world is founded upon FREE things.....".


Despite many of the attendees being clearly trusting and uncritical subjects for indoctrination (who, after all, really wants to believe that the passionate and friendly speaker is utterly evil?), there were some who were not pleased at the one-sided Israel bashing. A number of them left early. Perhaps the rough treatment they received from Palestinians dressed as IDF border guards acting out the checkpoints on the lunch-queue also got to them.

There were also enough pro-Palestinian activists floating around that critical comments were quickly and firmly dealt with. Enough true-believers that skeptics knew how unwelcome a realistic point of view would be. Room for only two kinds of attendees - the already convinced, and the going-to-be-convinced.

Much of the conference was a lot of hot-air about non-violent resistance, with an implied (and at least twice plainly stated) justification of the use of violence, because, after all, it's also a valid form of resistance. Non-violence is better public relations than an exploded bus. But let us please not mention the bus. Or the pizza parlor.

I left at five o'clock, foregoing the last hour of indoctrination. I had been spotted by too many known elements of the other side at that point, and nearly ten hours of being the black man at a KKK convention was starting to wear a bit. Lets just say I needed to lift the sheet and get some fresh air. Plus, not having partaken of the lunch that was included in the admission fee, I had a screaming head-ache and a horrible attitude.

Well actually, I had the horrible attitude from the moment I got to Berkeley. Who am I kidding?


Oh, I nearly forgot! Cindy and Craig Corrie spoke tear-jerkingly about their daughter. What agony, what heartbreak, oh sniff. Who can forget the outrage generated by Rachel's unfortunate filmed accident? Just like that little fella hit in the crossfire that the French press showed the entire world, Rachel Corrie's demise has been the one story that more than any other (and there are always SO many others) proves conclusively how evil the Jews are and how virtuous the concerned pro-Pally side. As, I'm sure, they have already told you many times. Such selfless martyrs.

Dusty said...

There are some disturbing reports from the Boston sabeel conference as well:


Joel Pollak has a must-read: The cult of Israel-hatred

Worth getting on the record:

...I sat down in a pew near the front and opened the folder of conference materials. The back page of the official program was entitled “Apartheid?” and was filled with quotes and maps aimed at proving the Israel-apartheid analogy. They had a line from Jimmy Carter, a line from Archbishop Desmond Tutu (the conference’s keynote speaker), and a line from—no, wait, really?—Nelson Mandela:

“Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.”

Sounds rather damning, doesn’t it? And who could disagree with Nelson Mandela? There’s only one problem: Nelson Mandela never said, wrote or endorsed those words. They are the creation of an Arab journalist named Arjan El Fassed. When I exposed El Fassed's fraud earlier this year, he claimed: “There is no possible basis for Pollak to say I intended people to believe the memo was written by anyone other than myself.”

In spite of El Fassed’s admission, the Israel-haters continue to use his Mandela quote to promote their views. But El Fassed’s “Mandela Memo” is a fraud—just as much a lie as the Israel-apartheid equation itself. The entire evening was built on such lies.

That lie, if I remember correctly, comes up later at the rally, so it's worth bearing in mind. Money:

...Fraudulent accusations against the Jewish state, based on fabricated evidence. Religious endorsement of hatred, couched in the rhetoric of social justice. False caricatures and stereotypes of an entire people. The parading of token Jews to verify everything said from the stage. Sound familiar? They used to have a word for that. But you can’t use “antisemitism” anymore. So I’ll just call it a disgrace.

Yad Mordechai said...

Sabeel is coming to Pasadena this February. We are not happy campers. Please see our coverage and concerns at From the Exile - We've cross linked to this post and we'd like your comments and perspective.