More About Librarians Against Israel

Posted: 2/28/2006 11:11:00 PM
Author: N. Leonard Tolkan

More About Librarians Against Israel

By: N. Leonard Tolkan
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

My article about the American Library Association`s long history of unfairly singling out Israel for vicious condemnation, which appeared in the Dec. 27 issue of The Jewish Press, has resulted in my being the object of verbal attacks from some ALA leaders.

My article about the American Library Association`s long history of unfairly singling out Israel for vicious condemnation, which appeared in the Dec. 27 issue of The Jewish Press, has resulted in my being the object of verbal attacks from some ALA leaders.

I have been called an ``ALA basher`` by Library Juice, a leftist online publication edited by ALA-SRRT (Social Responsibilities Round Table) coordinator Rory Litwin. That label is one I wear proudly, considering the sordid campaign the American Library Association has been waging against the Jewish state -- a campaign that has included support for Palestinian terrorists.

The ALA`s president, Maurice J. ``Mitch`` Freedman, himself a member of the anti-Israel SRRT, replied to those writing protest letters that I had confused the separate June 2002 ALA-SRRT and ALA-Council anti-Israel resolutions. Nothing could be further from the truth -- and I had even made the point that the latest Council condemnation was implicit (although more frequently the ALA-Council`s canards against the Jewish State have been explicit).

Even the aforementioned Rory Litwin, in an open letter to Freedman published in the Library Juice of Jan. 2, has this to say regarding my accuracy: ``You stated that the author of the article in The Jewish Press confused the SRRT resolution and the ALA resolution...I could find nothing in the article that I could identify as indicating an actual confusion...``

Litwin also, with surprising candor, admitted that people within the ALA-SRRT were simply motivated by ``...their opposition to Zionism.`` In other words, the problem they have is not with what Israel purportedly does or does not do. The problem they have is with the very existence of the Jewish state.

In an apparent attempt to defend that which cannot be ethically defended, the ALA president also attempted to cast doubt on the truthfulness of what I wrote by simply dismissing my points as ``a rash of allegations.``

But they are not mere allegations. They remain the truth. Indeed, one ALA official, thoroughly sickened by the organization`s long anti-Israel obsession, relayed thanks to me and described my article as ``factual.`` (For the sake of that individual`s safety and job security, his or her name will not be revealed.)

Need more proof of the ALA`s leftist proclivities? Consider the films Freedman has selected for free viewing as part of the Video Nightcap ``entertainment`` at the Midwinter American Library Association Convention. Librarians in the audience will be treated to the ``The Trials of Henry Kissinger`` and ``Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times.`` Both films attack U.S. foreign policy, blaming it for much of the world`s ills, including terrorism, and the Chomsky travesty has the expected verbal barrage against Israel.

Naturally, no films in support of the American and Israeli struggles against terrorism are planned for this conclave, which is partially paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Judging by Freedman`s announced choice of a major speaker, he appears to have even further stacked the forthcoming ALA conference against Israel. Addressing the librarians will be Amy Goodman, a writer with a markedly pro-Palestinian flair who hosts a leftist radio program on the Pacifica Network, which the media watchdog group CAMERA has described as "repeatedly provid[ing] a forum for racists, anti-Semites and virulent critics of Israel."

Other revelations are coming to light. For example, did you know that Israel is the only nation on earth to have had the dubious distinction of being included in the name of a condemning ALA subgroup? It`s true. The Committee on Israeli Censorship was indirectly underwritten by unwitting U.S. taxpayers. For a time it was coordinated by former ALA-SRRT member David L. Williams, a rabidly anti-Israel Chicago-based public librarian who managed to get his purportedly objective bibliography, ``The Palestinian/Israeli Conflict,`` published by and housed in the Chicago Public Library`s Social Sciences and History Division.

In a 1993 Jewish Press article, Andrea Levin, director of the aforementioned CAMERA, described the Williams compilation as follows: ``An appallingly one-sided inventory of pro-Arab, pro-Palestinian books and periodicals, the bibliography mocks the responsibility of librarians to offer wide-ranging and complete information.``

Moreover, the ALA gave Williams plenty of space to rant against the Jewish state in the Fall 1990, Winter 1991, Spring 1991, and Summer 1991 issues of International Leads, one of its official publications. To add to the diatribes against Israel, the Israel-bashing venom of yet another librarian, Zoia Horn, were published in a prominently headlined and indexed article written for the January 1992 issue of American Libraries, the main ALA journal.

And I have just confirmed that several Jewish attendees at the June 2002 ALA Convention, held in Atlanta, were forcibly ejected by security guards under the pretext that they were ``outsiders`` -- despite the fact that past ALA conventions had welcomed interested non-members as guests, including, as I reported in my first article, a PFLP terrorist.

The actual ``crime`` of the expelled Jewish observers was that they were peacefully distributing literature with the objective of heading off yet another ALA Council condemnation of the Jewish State.

A plethora of anti-Israel propaganda is considered fine for ALA publications and for distribution at American Library Association conventions. Pro-Israel material, on the other hand, is apparently verboten.

As if all this were not troubling enough, there is every indication that the ALA has even more anti-Israel mischief in mind.

On June 25, just days after both the ALA-SRRT and ALA Council passed their most recent vitriolic, anti-Israel resolutions, SRRT member Al Kagan, a longtime supporter of the ALA`s anti-Israel campaigns, wrote about the Council`s condemnation in Library Juice. Concerned that the condemnation was ``weak,`` he asserted that ``...we may need to come back with a further resolution for the next meeting.``

Kagan, a professor of library administration at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois, has been active in the movement to get that institution to divest from investing funds in the Israel, as well as with firms that do business with the Jewish state. He has also promoted the anti-Israel propaganda campaign of University of Illinois graduate Ahmed Bensouda, who had been studying there on a student visa. Last spring, Federal authorities arrested Bensouda as a possible threat to the security of the United States. Bensouda was released on bail several weeks later, pending further government investigation.

Like a spreading virus, SRRTs are being organized in local library groups. Library associations in Oregon, New York, and the State of Washington now have them, for example. Anyone concerned about the survival of Israel has real cause for concern.

Finally, it may be helpful to review some of what I have recently written, plus several new revelations:

* Did both the SRRT and the ALA Council pass resolutions in support of Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) terrorist-murderer Omar al-Safi in 1992 and refer to him as ``our colleague``? The answer is yes.

* Did both the SRRT and the ALA Council condemn Israel in 1992 for the ``deportation of Omar al-Safi,`` despite the fact that he was never deported? The answer is yes.

* Were the above resolutions ever rescinded? The answer is no.

* Does the DFLP target children for murder? The answer is yes. The DFLP committed the infamous Ma`alot massacre of Israeli schoolchildren and just recently took ``credit`` for the murder of a Jewish child.

* Was Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Khader Hamide an invited guest speaker at an ALA Israel-bashing session in 1992? (The PFLP has a long history of hijacking commercial jetliners and committing massacres in airports, among its many other atrocities.) The answer is yes.

* Was the above-named Khader Hamide ordered deported by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 because of his terrorist activities? The answer is yes.

* Did the ALA Council pass anti-Israel resolutions in 1984, 1992, and 2002? The answer is yes.

* Did the SRRT also try to get the ALA Council to pass a condemnation of Israel in 1998? The answer is yes.

* Has any nation other than Israel been condemned and vilified by the ALA Council? The answer is no.

* Is the ALA a tax-exempt organization whose conventions are, in part, underwritten by taxpayer money? The answer is yes.

* Has the ALA Council voted in favor of a new policy which will cut in half the quorum needed to pass resolutions, thereby making it easier for it to churn out new anti-Israel resolutions in the future? The answer is yes.

* Have those within the ALA who`ve been pushing condemnation of Israel for so many years also been sending the anti-Israel resolutions to the PLO, the UN, the U.S. State Department, foreign governments, and other national and international entities, expressly to maximize the damage to the Jewish state? The answer is yes.

* Does the ALA website link to a multitude of articles calling for the obliteration of the Jewish state? The answer is yes.

* Could I find any pro-Israel literature linked to the ALA website? Despite my long and repeated search attempts, none could be found.

* In June of 2002, was an effort made by members of the SRRT to get the ALA Council to establish a policy of getting librarians to give priority to the acquisition of materials that emphasize the causes of terrorism (i.e. a policy that would blame the victims of terrorists)? The answer is yes.

* In June of 2002, did the ALA Council vote to send an ``investigative`` group to the territories, and might that group endanger innocent Israeli lives? The answer is yes.

* Has the ALA totally ignored the pervasive presence of materials that promote Holocaust denial, blood libels, glorification of Hitler -- and which advocate murder, ethnic cleansing, jihad, and genocide against Jews (and sometimes Christians) -- in the libraries and ``cultural`` centers controlled by Arafat`s thugs? The answer is yes.

* Has Doctors Opposed to Child Sacrifice (DOCS), an organization of hundreds of pediatricians, condemned the literature that prevails in areas ruled by Arafat`s dictatorship as a form of ``societal child abuse``? The answer is yes.

* Has Mothers Against Teaching Children to Kill and Hate (M.A.T.C.K.H.) also condemned those same materials? The answer is yes.

* Do both the June 2002 ALA Council and ALA-SRRT anti-Israel resolutions say that the ALA considers the same hate-inspiring material condemned by DOCS and M.A.T.C.K.H. to be ``...of great value to the world``? The answer is yes.

* Does the tax-exempt and partially tax-supported American Library Association actively participate in international politics? The answer is yes.

* Have the Anti-Defamation League, the Israel Association of Libraries and Information Centers (ASMI), the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and Americans for a Safe Israel all condemned the American Library Association`s anti-Israel activities? The answer is yes.

* Will personal attacks against N. Leonard Tolkan deter him from further exposing the ALA`s anti-Israel bias? Will those attacks succeed in getting impartial people to ignore the above facts? The answer to both questions is no.

N. Leonard Tolkan is the pseudonym of a veteran librarian who, for obvious reasons, chooses to remain anonymous.

Readers wishing to contact the ALA may do so by calling its toll-free number: 1-800-545-2433. (Ask for the executive offices.) The president of the ALA is Maurice (Mitch) Freedman ( and the president-elect is Carla D. Hayden (