The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
The repeated cries of wolf by people like Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson (it was Emerson who blamed both the Oklahoma city bombing and the TWA crash on Muslims) are beginning to ring false to the American people. The images don’t match the commentary. Attempts to paint the Israeli occupiers as one-sided victims of violence are beginning to be seen as transparent propaganda (even when writers like Pipes/Emerson mention only one side of the statistical equation). Journalist Alison Weir has described it well: “It’s like watching a foreign movie badly dubbed into English.”
What are thinking people of good will to make of their op-ed piece entitled “Rolling Back the Forces of Terror,” published in The Wall Street Journal on August 13, 2001? The occasion of the bombing of a pizza parlor in Jerusalem that “pushed the total of Israeli deaths by Palestinian terrorists since September 1993 to more than 450” was launch pad for a call to “give Israel the green light to protect its citizens.” Protect its citizens how? By accelerating the Israeli’s provocative state terrorism against the Palestinians until it reaches the level of “final solution” proportions? The Israelis have already killed at least three times as many Palestinians as Palestinians have killed Israelis in the period cited. Will a ration of 10:1 satisfy Pipes’ and Emerson’s thirst or must it go to millions to one?
The article in question, however, is not only a foreign policy recommendation to the United States to turn a blind eye on the brutality by which the apartheid Israeli state maintains its continuing illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (The three month-old Palestinian girl with the Israeli mortar hole in her belly gets no mention by Pipes and Emerson.) Their aim is also to persuade the American people to submit themselves to a frenzy of fear and hatred aimed at enabling the persecution of Muslims in America who engage in no terrorism whatsoever. Pipes and Emerson associate certain groups with other groups identified with the killing of civilians, although the FBI, which has investigated these groups, has never found grounds to charge any of them. With a carefully scripted McCarthyite strategy they end their list with a man whose only crime is to criticize and expose Israeli apartheid and terrorism, Dr. Sami Al-Arian.
Pipes and Emerson call for a crackdown on Al-Arian, and by implication on all who dare to speak out against Israel’s continuing ethnic cleansing policy. They want him fired from the University of South Florida. They ignore the fact that, prompted by earlier such smear campaigns, the University administration had already sponsored an investigation of Prof. Al-Arian’s organization, WISE and concluded that it was a benign institution.
Pipes and Emerson explicitly call for the use of a “1996 law” against the groups they seek to target. This law is of course the highly controversial Counter-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act that includes the unconstitutional “secret evidence” provisions under which over two dozen Muslims were held without charge and they and their attorneys were deprived of seeing the evidence against them. Among the victims of this Israeli style legislation was Prof. Al-Arian’s brother-in-law, Mazen Al-Najjar, who was held for three years and seven months on secret evidence and without any charge against him until his release last December. This month the government dropped its appeal of his release.
This technique is losing its efficacy. All of the more than two-dozen Muslims incarcerated under the secret evidence provisions of the Counter-terrorism act of 1996 have been released. Judges who wearied of the vague unsubstantiated “national security threats” under which persons accused of no crime were being held in American prisons for years on end began to demand summaries of the secret evidence. They were horrified to learn that in some cases the secret evidence was no more substantial (nor secret) than newspaper accounts of the ilk of the piece by Pipes and Emerson.
Bit by bit cracks are opening up in the veil of ignorance that has protected Israeli policy from American scrutiny for so many decades. This was the month that the story of the Israeli bombing of the U.S.S. Liberty finally made it on national television. It’s true that the story was on the History Channel and not one of the big four broadcast networks, but there it was. The Zionist lobby has no need to be ashamed of its skill. Suppression of the story for 34 years was quite an accomplishment. However, I think Abe Lincoln will be proven right in the end: “You can’t fool all the people all the time.”
Imad A. Ahmad, Ph.D., President