September 13, 2004
When It's "Unreasonable" to Talk About Palestinian Rights
Kerry/Edwards Website Censors Discussion of Israel/Palestine Issues
By MIKE BURKE
The administrators at Kerry's website have shut down all discussion of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and told everyone to be good boys and girls and go along. This was just after a number of Pro-Israel posters complained of un-civility and insensitivity, anti-Semitism, etc etc. It is worth noting that virtually no one critical of Israel was calling for the board to be silenced. The old posts are in the archives, here're some links to those..... check posters like heart, redcake, teacher731,mbig,Dr. Strangelove, dan wingfoot....,all of whom seem to think that the fact they were hugely outnumbered was part of some "far left" plot, and who become un-hinged when anyone suggests that maybe it reflects how people actually feel.
I have posted links to CounterPunch, the Nation, Guardian UK and have been rather viciously attacked for doing so. I often posted responses to the Kerry website official I/P policy (see below), with links to Kerrys love letter to the lobby, the recent Forward policy statement, and his wonderful "what I did in Israel" trip report, which seemed to annoy. Posting links to "a clean break...", were also less than enthusiastically received. Even links I posted from "the Forward" critical of the occupation incurred the wrath of my fellow Democrats (or whatever). One poster kept using palestinefacts.org as his source, and when I posted a reply showing the WHOIS information of that site belonged to "Mogen David systems", which I thought showed they might have a slight bias, the mods yanked the post right away, claiming it was against the rules to post WHOIS info, despite the fact it is public information. Anyway silence on this subject is a victory for the AIPAC fan club. Now the Foreign Policy forum is joke, you can talk about anything relating to the conflict, its so absurd.
Here's the message they sent when they slammed the door shut......
Thank you for sharing your opinions with our community at the Kerry-Edwards Online Forum!
We have no desire to suppress civil and reasoned debate, but due to the continued lack of civility, insensitivity toward race or religion and use of offensive language, this forum will no longer host the debate about Israeli-Palestinian issues. This action has the approval of both the Arab and Jewish constituency outreach desks at campaign HQ in Washington, DC. This forum is about the election of John Kerry and John Edwards to our Nation's highest political offices and we sincerely believe that is time for all of our supporters to embrace the positive vision of our candidates and start working toward a more peaceful and prosperous America and world. If you are interested in learning more about John Kerry's views on these matters, they are posted below. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Restoring American Leadership In The Middle East
John Kerry and John Edwards believe that bringing security and stability to the Middle East is vital to American national security, to the security of Israel and other countries in the region, and to the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a viable Palestinian state. In a Kerry-Edwards administration, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be an afterthought, but a priority that will always get the consistent, high-level attention it deserves.
John Kerry and John Edwards are fundamentally committed to the security of our ally Israel and the creation of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors. John Kerry and John Edwards support the creation of a democratic Palestinian state dedicated to living in peace and security side by side with the Jewish state of Israel. John Kerry and John Edwards believe that history, our own best interests and our shared values of freedom and democracy demand that the United States always maintain its special relationship with and steady policy of friendship and support for Israel. For the past two decades, John Kerry has built a record of support for Israel in the US Senate that is second to none. The commitment he and John Edwards have made to Israel's safety, security and existence as a Jewish state has never wavered, and it never will.
From his many trips to the region, John Kerry knows a majority of Israelis and Palestinians share a desire for peace and a better tomorrow -- a day when a viable Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state of Israel. From his own trip to Israel in 2001, John Edwards shares this view, and a conviction to restoring American leadership in the Middle East. John Kerry and John Edwards will bring determined leadership to ending the violence and developing a new Palestinian leadership - one that is committed in word and deed to fighting terror and meeting the needs of its people.
John Kerry and John Edwards will work tirelessly to achieve a stable, lasting peace with security in the Middle East and ensure that American leadership is a source of hope in the region.
Mike Burke can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org