Posted Sunday, was a story about the Sacramento Bee’s op-ed, George Bisharat, Law professor of Palestinian decent wrote an op-ed describing how the Pro Israel lobby is silencing debate. He primary target was CAMERA, the organization which zealously guards against the misinformation reported in the media. Somehow Mr. Bisharat found a way to blame Camera for just about everything bad in the world.
He even tries blame CAMERA and that “Jewish Lobby” fort the cancellation of his father’s art show over twenty-five years ago. Bisharat tries to give us the impression that his dad was a budding Picasso whose brilliant career was blunted by those terrible Jews. That’s natural, I always felt that my dad was a brilliant painter.
Apparently the Sacramento Bee, had a fact checker see if Bisharat was spewing Bis-bull Crap. They were told that the professor’s dad was an amateur and the gallery never did amateur shows. They were also told that the subject of shows were planned months in advance but were kept secret until just before the opening–there was no way anyone could put pressure on the gallery to stop the show. What did the responsible journalists at the Sacramento Bee do? They published it anyway.
The following letter was sent to the Sacramento Bee by Hillel Salomon, a partner in the Himovitz/Salomon Gallery:
I read the article written by George Bisharat, on line this past Sunday, after receiving a call from one of your local subscribers. I was taken aback by the comments regarding Michael Himovitz and the Sacramento Jewish community. I was contacted by the Sacramento Bee several weeks ago to, “check facts” on an article prior to publication. Michael Himovitz and I were very close friends and eventually became business partners in the Himovitz/Salomon Gallery. I was asked if I was familiar with the name Maurice Bisharat. I remembered the name from the letters he had written to the Bee’s editorial page as well as from the gallery. I remembered him because I was surprised at what a pleasant and mild mannered man Dr. Bisharat was, after having read his caustic letters to the Bee. I was asked if I was aware of Michael Himovitz offering a show to Dr. Besharat and then having to withdraw the invitation as the result of threats that Jewish community would boycott his gallery if he showed Bisharat’s work. My response was that it never happened. Why bother to “check facts” if you are going to ignore the response? It is the height of irresponsible journalism to ignore what you don’t want to hear when checking the veracity of an article, much less publishing an opinion piece without labeling it as such. I can’t speak to the facts of a conversation between two people that are deceased but I am sure that Michael Himovitz was never approached by members of the Jewish community threatening a boycott. The list of whose work was being shown and when, was not public knowledge. Show dates were generally set 12 to 18 months in advance. I worked with Michael on the selection process for shows long before he and I became business partners. Dr. Bisharat was an amateur landscape painter. As I told The Bee, I have no recollection of the Michael Himovitz Gallery or the Himovitz/Salomon Gallery ever showing work by amateur artists other that an occasional short show for a local school art class or fundraiser. In fact, the galleries showed very few landscapes even by professional artists. Most of the work shown was by emerging figurative artists. As a result of irresponsible journalism The Bee helps perpetuate the canard that an American or worldwide Jewish conspiracy exists. Hillel Salomon
If I was an advertiser or a reader of the Bee, I would wonder what other articles and business practices of the paper were dishonest.