Today in the Sacramento Bee, George Bisharat, Law professor of Palestinian decent wrote an op-ed saying that the Pro Israel lobby (which was painted last week) is silencing debate. He primary target was CAMERA, the organization which zealously guards against the misinformation reported in the media. Somehow Mr. Bisharat blames Camera for just about everything bad in the world. He even tries to make a subtle connection of between CAMERA and the cancellation of his father’s art show over twenty-five years ago. Bisharat tries to make a distinction between the Pro-Israel Lobby and Jews (thankfully he doesn’t use the “some of my best friends….”). And at the same time blaming Israel for a not so covert campaign to get the US to invade Iran.
Bisharat tries to write as he is an objective observer who is just trying to protect the American people…funny how he forgot to mention some things. Like he is a big believer in the ONE state solution.This is how the professor is described by discoverthenetworks.org
He presents a wholly one-sided, simplistic view of the conflict, despite his academic pedigree. He recycles Arab propaganda and arguments that date from the 1930s, though he cloaks them in modern human rights jargon. And he calmly reiterates extreme Palestinian positions –powerful Zionists “stole Palestine” from helpless Palestinians; the Palestinian “right of return” is enshrined in law and morality; a one-state solution is the just and moral resolution to the conflict.
Bisharat’s main focus is on the right of return.[Sammy note: the right of return is a popular Palestinian recommendation of how to de-Jewish Israel] He rejects any peace plan that does not include it. He even objected to the liberal, failed, Geneva Accords because they did not call for a right of return. Bisharat’s unique contribution to the Palestinian argument fits his deceptively conciliatory tone. He argues that Israel should apologize to the Palestinians and frequently entitles his talks “The Power of Apology and the Palestinian Right of Return,” arguing that “A sincere Israeli apology would be a milestone toward reconciliation that no Palestinian could ignore.”
In a 1994 article Bisharat decried how a two state solution would not address the needs of the 700 thousand people “kicked out” of the country in 1948, or the concerns of 1.2 million Palestinians living in Israel as second-class citizens.
Bisharet also forgets to mention the fact that CAMERA has long been an thorn in his lying side correcting many of his previous fictional Op-eds
|JUNE 26, 2006||License to Err on SF Chronicle Opinion Pages|
|JANUARY 31, 2006||Hastings’ Mideast Expert Wrong on U.S. Aid|
|MAY 21, 2004||CAMERA Column: The LA Times Swerves Off the ‘High Road’|
|FEBRUARY 2, 2004||UPDATED: CAMERA prompts correction of George Bisharat Error|
It seems the UC Hastings professor ([email protected]) is simply venting steam at CAMERA an organization that has caught and corrected some of his lies. Its also sad that his lies are being funded by a public institution like the Government of the State of California.
George Bisharat’s latest fiction
Pro-Israeli lobby is silencing dissent
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, February 25, 2007
One day in 1981, my late father, Maurice Hanna Bisharat, returned from a long day at his Sacramento medical office with an extra bounce in his step, his eyes dancing with excitement. His friend, Michael Himovitz, the young owner of a local art gallery, had called, offering to hold a one-person show of my father’s paintings — mostly California landscapes. My father had taken up painting after immigrating to this country from Palestine in the late 1940s, and although an amateur, had won a national art award after two years. But the demands of medical practice, raising a large family and other avocations took their toll. It had been many years since my father’s art had been publicly exhibited, and he was tickled.My father was not a politician, but like any Palestinian living in the United States, he felt obligated to relate his people’s experience to American friends. Educated and articulate, he spoke publicly in defense of Palestinian rights, and was a frequent commentator on Middle East events in the local media. Michael, a Jew, was perfectly aware of this side of my father’s life. It did nothing to diminish his appreciation of my father’s art, or to inhibit their friendship.Some weeks later I saw my father sitting, stony faced. He turned to me and whispered: “I just got a call from Michael. My show has been canceled.” Michael had been visited by a group from the Sacramento Jewish community, my father said. Their message: “If you show Bisharat’s art, we will boycott your gallery and close you down.” Michael may have been as crushed as my father, apologizing: “I just can’t risk it — it’s my livelihood.” The indirect message to my father, of course, was: “If you speak critically of Israel, you will suffer.” Fortunately, art was not my father’s livelihood, and he survived this incident. But a deep sense of outrage never left him.So when former New York Mayor Edward Koch and Rafael Medoff asked incredulously in a recent commentary critical of President Jimmy Carter’s recent book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid” “Are Jews suppressing speech?” — or when 14 Carter Center advisory board members resigned in protests of the president’s positions — the answer, for me, is not so straightforward.The fact is that “Jews” are not suppressing speech. Michael Himovitz certainly didn’t suppress my father’s attempts to explain the Palestinian perspective to his fellow citizens. Many American Jews hold views not dissimilar to my father’s — supporting peace, reconciliation and equal rights for Palestinians and Jews.Yet a minority of Jews, backed by some non-Jewish supporters, stridently protests any unflattering portrayal of Israel, often with unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism. Indeed, insinuations of anti-Jewish bias are now being unfairly raised against Carter. And some supporters of Israel, apparently, are willing to exploit economic clout to punish those who, like my father, buck the trend and defend Palestinian rights.Nor is the example of my father isolated. Countless variations are recounted in former Illinois Republican congressman Paul Findley’s book, “They Dare to Speak Out.” More chilling, these efforts at intimidation are not always the spontaneous responses of individuals, as in my father’s case, or likely in the resignations of the Carter Center advisory board members.On the contrary, the pro-Israel lobby, joined by the Israeli government, sustains a systematic campaign to shape American public opinion. For example, the Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, known as CAMERA, harangues journalists over alleged “mistakes.” In 2002, CAMERA attacked National Public Radio, claiming anti-Israel bias, including failure to report Israeli deaths. Two Boston area businessmen associated with CAMERA organized a boycott of local NPR affiliate WBUR. Meanwhile, a study of NPR’s coverage by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, or FAIR, showed that NPR had disproportionately reported Israeli deaths.HonestReporting is a media organization that mobilizes 140,000 subscribers worldwide. Its Web site once touted “major editorial changes at CNN which greatly shifted public perception of the Arab-Israel conflict.” The impetus, according to the Jerusalem Post, was “up to 6,000 e-mails per day to CNN executives, effectively paralyzing their internal e-mail system.”The Israeli government also applied pressure to CNN, according to verbatim notes of a conference call in 2000 obtained by advocate/researcher Phyllis Bennis. In the call, Israeli government spokesman Nachman Shai, outlined Israel’s media strategy with 30 to 60 U.S. Jewish leaders, focusing concern on CNN, and especially two Palestinian reporters. “We are putting real pressure on the heads of CNN to have them replaced with more objective pro-Israel reporters that are willing to tell our side of the story.”Monitoring media to ensure accuracy is a public service. Yet as besieged journalists have concluded, the goal of this campaign is not truth, but pro-Israeli advocacy and silencing dissent. WBUR’s general manager Jane Christo described CAMERA’s message as: “Report our point of view, or we’ll shut you down.” Dissenting American Jews are not spared. Jilian Redford, head of the Hillel Jewish student group at the University of Richmond was dismissed in 2004 after protesting the Israeli embassy’s repeated e-mail propaganda directives. Redford saw Hillel’s mission as facilitating Jewish religious life on campus, not doing “hasbara” (Hebrew for “explanation,” or “propaganda” as Israel’s critics call it) for the Israeli government.To reiterate: This is not a “Jewish” campaign. “Hasbara,” coordinated with, if not directed by right-wing Israeli governments, is unrepresentative of largely liberal American Jews. Many would no doubt be horrified by the actions of these self-appointed guardians of thought. Nor does the Israel lobby “control” the media, as publication of Carter’s book and this article attest.But the price of our still mostly one-sided exposure to Middle East affairs is high, and it is much greater than the hurt inflicted on my father and others like him. Americans are shielded from diverse perspectives about a pivotal conflict, and are thus hampered in critically evaluating U.S. policies. Our unconditional support for Israel is a principal cause of global anger against us.Last summer our government ran diplomatic cover for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, prolonging the attack for weeks. Israel killed more than a thousand Lebanese, mostly civilians, heavily damaged the country’s civilian infrastructure and displaced a quarter of the population. The consequence: National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, delivering the annual U.S. threat estimate recently, said the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which has not targeted Americans for decades, poses a significant threat. Meanwhile, UPI editor Arnaud de Borchgrave reports that former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other prominent Israelis are urging a public relations blitz to instigate a U.S. strike on Iran.It is one thing to match ideas with ideas, information with information, perspective with perspective. It is entirely different to threaten, bully, discredit and harass opponents of one’s views — whether they are writers, artists, Jewish dissidents, former presidents or anyone else.And in this case, our resulting ignorance is not bliss. It is downright dangerous.