New York City activist

November 13, 2007

Wiesenthal Center slanders 9/11 Truth movement. We must avoid bigoted response.

Very scary: Simon Wiesenthal Center presents 9/11 sites alongside radical Jihadist sites to House Hearing on “Terrorism and the Internet”, as reported on 911blogger, referring to an earlier post CSPAN Hearing coverage conflates 9/11 Truth sites with Jihadist sites.

To accuse us of being associated with “radical Jihadists” is the worst possible slander, given current laws.

As Reprehensor says:

Here at 911blogger we are opposed to any and all terrorist activities, including STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM. Don’t really care who the state is either. It’s all bad.


Furthermore, as should be evident to anyone who has ever attended meetings of any 9/11 Truth group, only a tiny minority are even Muslim, and, among the rare Muslims among us, I have yet to encounter any “Islamists,” let alone “radical Jihadists.”

Here in New York, as far as I can tell, many Muslims do believe that 9/11 was an inside job, but are afraid to say so publicly, let alone get involved in the 9/11 Truth movement, lest they get shipped off to Guantanamo.

On 911blogger, some discussion ensued about Israel, Zionism, and Jews. I posted the following comment which has not appeared yet:

It is true that militant Zionists are among our most fervent opponents (with rare exceptions, such as Jared Israel, who is both a Zionist and a leading early 9/11 Truth researcher). But we absolutely MUST resist ANY temptation to blame Jews in general. By blaming Jews in general, we would be playing into the Zionists’ hands, helping to scare Jews into the belief that they “need Israel.”

There do exist plenty of non-Zionist and even anti-Zionist Jews. (See, for example, the long list in Jewish Criticism of Zionism by Edward C. Corrigan, Middle East Policy Council Journal, Winter 1990-91, Number 35.) There also exist plenty of moderate “Haaretz Jews” who support Israel’s right to exist but oppose the hawkish, expansionist faction and who want Israel to reach some sort of real accommodation with the Palestinians. Furthermore, many of the most hawkish Zionists here in the United States are not even Jews, but are pre-millenialist Christian religious right wingers, whose support for Israel (and for the most hawkish faction in Israel) frankly weirds out a lot of Jews, even while many also welcome it.

Not only should we NOT blame Jews in general, but, in my opinion, we in the 9/11 Truth movement (or at least those of us who live in places where there are lots of Jews, such as New York City) should make a point of trying to reach out to moderate Jews.

For some examples of how some Zionist Jews are weirded out by Christian Zionists, see Jews and the Christian right: Is the honeymoon over? by Michelle Goldberg, Salon.com, Nov 29, 2005.

On a related note, I posted the following in the Truth Action forum today:

And I think all of us should be making an effort to reach out to Jews, spedifically. It is quite understandable that the 9/11 Truth movement would terrify many Jews. After all, if it does turn out that people within Israeli government were involved in the 9/11 attacks, and if this ever becomes common knowledge, then there is, alas, reason to fear a Nazi-like backlash. Furthermore, any growth of Jew-hating ideology plays into the ultra-Zionists’ hands, by scaring Jews into believing that they “need” an expansionist, apartheid Israel. Hence, in my opinion, it is also vitally important that we take responsibility for not just disclaiming anti-Jew bigotry but also refuting Jew-hating ideologies.

Anyhow, my efforts to oppose Jew-hating ideologies and other religion-based bigotry have been noted at Screw Loose Change, where Pat Curley has written: “We have hammered the 9-11 Troofers for their continued association with Holocaust Deniers and other disreputable characters. So it is only fair to note when somebody makes an effort to clean house.” Pat quoted my recent post on Taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry in our midst and also linked to another post here, Truth Action forum discussion about “bankers,” anti-Illuminism, and the religious right wing.

P.S.: I should clarify that I don’t currently take a position on whether there was any Israeli involvement in the attacks of 9/11. I have not yet investigated the alleged evidence on this issue. However, I think a lot of people’s fear of the 9/11 Truth movement revolves around fear of the possibility of Israeli involvement, or at least fear of the possible consequences of people believing in same. To allay the latter fear, it is not enough to disclaim Jew-hating. We need to show that we care, by taking responsibility for counteracting bigotry. In my opinion, those of us who do believe that Israel was involved in the 9/11 attacks have an extra responsibility to counteract, not just disclaim, what would otherwise be the likely bigoted fallout of their position.

Further P.S.: For some history and background on U.S. imperialism, quite apart from Israel or Zionism, see the 9-part Indymedia U.K. series on Empire as a Way of Life. (Thanks to Chris C for calling this to our attention in the Truth Action forum.) Also, Nicholas has written a good post in the Truth Action forum critiquing some people’s over-emphasis on “Zionism” as the alleged root of various evils.

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5 Comments »

  1. The below letter and response from Mr. Weitzman was posted at 9/11 Blogger.

    http://911blogger.com/node/12505#comment-169328

    ******************************************************

    Dear Mr. Weitzman

    I just saw your testimony at the “Terrorism and the Internet” hearing.
    You equated the 9/11 truth movement to violent terrorist organizations.
    Millions of patriotic Americans [80% in one poll] don’t believe the government or the media are telling us the truth about 9/11.
    We are asking for an independent investigation into 9/11.
    There is nothing violent about that.
    To infer that we are violent terrorists or anarchists is wrong, repugnant and a slap in the face to free speech.
    The truth is spreading and you can only discredit your organization by slandering a non-violent AMERICAN grass roots movement.

    I invite you to go to wtc7.net and look at the videos of the implosion of WTC 7.
    Those videos are the reason i am part of the truth movement.
    Please consider these facts.

    FEMA 5-30
    If the collapse initiated at these transfer trusses, this would explain why the building imploded

    NIST L-33
    The debris of WTC 7 was mostly contained within the original footprint of the building.

    Every high rise building that has ever imploded was a controlled demolition.
    It is a fine art and cannot happen by chance.

    Shalom

    Chris Sarns

    *******************************************************

    Dear Mr.Sarns,

    Over the past few days I have received a number of emails regarding my testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security. Much of those emails appear to have been based on misapprehensions of my testimony. My testimony was about “the Internet as a tool for violent radicalization”, and not about 9/11. My reference to 9/11 consisted of 1 sentence out of 6 pages of testimony, and in that sentence (with 2 out of 38 accompanying PowerPoint slides) I referenced “how 9/11 is viewed in some eyes, including those who applauded it as well as some conspiracy sites.” I then continue by illustrating the types of conspiracy theories often found online, such as those based upon of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the infamous antisemitic text, or that generally blame the US government in a pernicious manner (i.e. for intentionally spreading the AIDS virus), or that have the “entire Western World engaged in a conspiracy against Islam” Nowhere in there is there any mention of 9/11! In this regard our only concern with 9/11 is when the inquiries slide into incubators for hate (i.e. “This fake Hamas soldier wearing a “Star of David” is as much a Zionist as the 9-11 terrorists Chertoff covers for. Chertoff is the son of a terrorist himself. Don’t let him off the hook!”).

    Finally, in my recommendations, I never urged any type of censorship. In fact, I specifically state that (#5) that any steps taken in regard to the Internet must be done legally, and over the course of a decade in dealing with this issue I have consistently stressed that the First Amendment must be maintained in the virtual as well as the real world. I have even argued that in conferences in Europe when attempts were being made to impose international controls on the Internet, saying, as I did last year in Berlin that we should “avoid getting bogged down in a useless debate on the First Amendment” because we (in the US) are not going to erase it, nor should we.

    Please feel free to share this with any interested parties.

    Sincerely,

    Mark Weitzman

    Comment by dwightvw — November 18, 2007 @ 4:40 am | Reply

  2. Here’s my oblique response, comparing the response to Croatian clerical-fascism of Emperor’s Clothes to the more tepid response of the Wiesenthal Center.

    http://ningens-blog.blogspot.com/2007/11/911-conspiracy-website-outdoes.html

    Comment by dwightvw — November 18, 2007 @ 4:45 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for the info.

    I’m a bit puzzled by Weitzman’s response, though. Wasn’t there a specific mention of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth in Weitzman’s original statement? Or did the person who reported on it get that wrong?

    Your second comment is a bit confusing. It appears, at first glance, to be accusing Emperor’s Clothes of “clerical fascism,” but, upon reading the page you linked, I can see that that’s not really what you meant.

    Comment by Diane — November 18, 2007 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  4. I’d have to see the Power Point presentation but it’s my understanding he had a slide that included AE911T. It wouldn’t surprise me if Weitzman was spinning his response — that’s his business.

    Sorry for the misplaced modifier. Emperor’s Clothes strongly opposes Croatian clerical-fascism. Wiesenthal also opposes it, less strongly because, I think, Croatian fascism has long been condoned by NATO governments. Serbia is the favored enemy. Even now, after the ICJ found Serbia not guilty of genocide, and after Milosevic died with no conviction at the ICTY, we hear far more about the evil Serbs, and much less about the Ustashe resurgence which was a crucial part of the dynamic leading to civil war.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 19, 2007 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  5. Some further follow-up has been posted on the Truth Action board, in threads titled 9/11 sites alongside radical Jihadist sites in House Hearing, started by Arabesque, and My correspondence with Mark Weitzman of The Simon Weisenthal, started by Abel Ashes.

    Comment by Diane — November 20, 2007 @ 10:19 pm | Reply


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