Peace in our Time?

January 26, 2007

My letter of rebuttal to The Jerusalem Post as to Amazon.com petition

Filed under: Blogroll, Palestine, Uncategorized — angelajerusalem @ 10:48 pm

JPost.com » Opinion » Letters » Article

January 23:

For a viable Palestine

Sir, – “Israeli NGO vows Amazon boycott over Carter review” (January 19) revealed a huge gap between fact and fiction. ICAHD, far from being a one-man NGO, had nothing to do with the petition. As a private citizen, I certainly signed it, as did 12,000 within three days. Nor, by the way, does Prof. Halper support a one-state solution. We warn, with [Jimmy] Carter, that a two-state solution is dead due to wanton settlement expansion, for a viable Palestine cannot be attained. This leaves the Palestinians and Israel to work seriously for a serious alternative to bring peace and security to all.

Regional confederation, perhaps? Jerusalem as a neutral Vatican, perhaps? We do not presume to tell Palestinians what sort of state they should advocate for. But Israeli infrastructure reveals Israeli policy. And it undermines peace, and promotes apartheid.

ANGELA GODFREY-GOLDSTEIN
Action Advocacy Officer, ICAHD

[They didn’t print the full submission, leaving out the final part: “Pity Johnny Paul didn’t address the actual message in Carter’s book, and instead favoured lies, destructive ambiguity and distraction. We all deserve better than that.”]

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Israeli NGO vows Amazon boycott over Carter review



LONDON – The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has opened a campaign to censor on-line retailer Amazon.com following the posting of a critical review of former US president Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.The group said the article, written by a customer, was “hostile” to Carter’s viewpoint and had been placed in the wrong section of the Web page on the book.

In an e-mail, ICAHD said it was “deeply disturbed” by the treatment of Carter’s “important new book” and had issued an ultimatum demanding Amazon move the negative review and “restore a semblance of balance” by giving “comparable space and prominence to a more positive evaluation” of the book.

The group is asking people to write to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, and to boycott the company. The e-mail says: “You insist on running the complete, 20-paragraph, 1,636-word text of a review unabashedly hostile to Carter’s viewpoint.

“You have refused to add information shoppers should have in evaluating this review: the fact that the reviewer, Jeffrey Goldberg, is a citizen of Israel as well as the US, and that he volunteered to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, for which he worked as a guard at a prison for Palestinian detainees.

“And you have refused to balance his negative review by giving comparable space to a favorable assessment of the book, even though positive reviews by qualified experts have appeared in many reputable publications.”

The ICAHD said it was “not interested in supporting a corporation that uses its power in the marketplace in such a biased and unconstructive way on such an important issue.”

An ultimatum is then delivered: “If you do not, by January 22, remove the Goldberg review, move it to the more appropriate ‘See all Editorial Reviews’ page, or restore a semblance of balance by giving comparable space and prominence to a more positive evaluation of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, we… pledge to stop shopping at Amazon… and encourage our friends, family and associates to do likewise.”

In a March 2005 brief, NGO Monitor, part of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, described the Committee against House Demolitions as “a well-funded, blatantly political and ideological one-man NGO, which couches its radical anti-Israel agenda and demonization in the rhetoric of human rights.”

The brief continues: ICAHD coordinator Jeff “Halper routinely uses terms such as ‘apartheid’ and ‘war crimes’ to refer to Israeli policy against Palestinian terror, supports a ‘one state solution,’ and advocates sanctions and boycotts.”

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