LfF's Opening Response Directed to Librarians and Archivists to Palestine

Posted: 7/4/2013 10:50:00 PM
Author: LfF Research Committee
Source: This is the first time the salvo has been published.

LfF's Opening Response Directed to Librarians and Archivists to Palestine
by LfF Research Committee

A delegation of librarians and archivists travelled to Israel and Judea-Samaria on June 22nd. The delegates are due to return to their respective countries on July 5th. They vaunt themselves as great humanitarians. We deem them not to be so.

Librarians for Fairness has some immediate, preliminary questions for this group, which has close ties with the American Library Association's so-called Social Responsibilties Roundtable, which, in turn, has a long history of Israel-bashing.

1. Do you accept Israel's right to exist as a state with a Jewish majority (it now includes some 1.2 million Arab citizens, plus other minorities)?
2. You have voiced complete support for the BDS Movement, which even leftwing Professor Norman Finkelstein has condemned as a "cult" and as a group that seeks to bring about a non-starter: the annhilation of Israel. Do you agree with that genocidal BDS goal?
3. Are you really objective observers, or have the members of your delegation expressed hostility to Israel, even before you began your visit?
4. Why have you uncritically accepted the statements made by Palestinian and anti-Israel Israeli sources that you met on your trip? Did you do any research to check on the veracity of their statements?
5. Even before your trip began, you accused Israel of practicing apartheid. But isn't it really true that while Israel is NOT an apartheid state, some Arab League states do practice gender, religious, and racial apartheid? What is it like to be a Black person in some Arab nations? In Arab states, a Black person is often referred to as Abd, which means slave. And since the death of Qadaffi, Black Libyans have been butchered in huge numbers by the Arab majority. Slavery still exists in the Arab League states of Mauritania and the Sudan. How can you call Israel an apartheid state when an Arab judge sits on Israel's Supreme Court, Arabs serve in the Knesset (Israel's legislature), an Arab physician heads the Department of Emergency Medicine of Hadassah Hospital, Arabs (including Arab women) have full voting rights, there are Israeli affirmative action programs that favor Arabs for judicial appointments and university seats, an Arab judge had no fear about sentencing former Israeli President Moshe Katsav to seven years in prison for the crime of rape, a Druze has already served as the interim President of Israel, Arabs sit next to Jews on Israeli buses and in Israeli restaurants, and Arabs and Druze even serve in the IDF, some of them attaining high officer rank? Is Israel really an apartheid state, or is that charge, which you have uncritically accepted, just total nonsense? We feel that writer, Dr. Phyllis Chesler, was completely correct when she referred to it as "Israel's nonexistent apartheid." And Dr. Chesler knows what real apartheid is. She lived in a Muslim country, for some years.
6. Why have you not once condemned Palestinian terrorism against innocent Israeli men, women children and even babies?
7. Have some of your actions and statements encouraged violence against Jews? Will innocent people die because of them?
8. Why have you not issued any statements that encourage peace between Arabs and Israelis?
9. Why have you not condemned the blatant hate literature, such as the spurious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which are so prominent in Arab libraries, and are widely read by the Arab populace? Arabic translations of Hitler's Mein Kampf are also widely read by Palestinians.
10. Why have you not condemned damage done to Israeli libraries and archives by Palestinian terrorists? This includes the murder of five Israeli students in a Yeshivah library and the partial destruction of a Haifa-based Arab newspaper, Al-Ittihad's historical archive by Hezbollah rockets. Dr. Ahmed Saad, the editor said: "When I heard that our historical building was hit, I felt a lot of anger. This is a place [where] we all grew up, which contains real treasures." Isn't the very existence of that newspaper archive a refutation of your false charge that no Palestinian archives exist in Israel?
11. Why has your group not condemned the destruction of priceless Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount, which is currently being done by the Muslim Waqf?
12. Why has at least one extremist Aryan white power group (please google Aryan Update + Josh MacPhee) sold anarchist-archivist Josh MacPhee's book? Mr. MacPhee is a member of your delegation. Is there collaboration between him and any extreme rightist groups?
13. What is the connection between your group and the terrorist-supporting International Solidarity Movement? We note that you use identical, emotional terminology to that used by the ISM ("bear witness" is but one example of this). We also note that a very prominent ISM member has voiced strong support for you. And we do know that your leader, Hannah Mermelstein, is a member in good standing of the ISM?
14. Isn't it a fact that the Israelis allowed you to do your thing, completely unhindered? Is that not a testament to the tolerance of Israel?
15. Why are you so concerned about so-called "Palestinian refugees" (deliberately kept as "refugees" for the last sixty five years, by their fellow Arabs), when you don't say a word about the plight of the 850,000 Jewish refugees who have been forced to flee from Arab lands, and in the process had their property sequestered? This is a much larger figure than the 560,000 Arab refugees, who in 1948, left Israel at the urging of their Arab brethren, in the five attacking Arab states. Indeed, a report of the Haifa-based British High Police Commissioner, mentioned that the Jewish leaders were making every effort to get the Arabs to remain in Israel.
16. Why Is Israel the only nation in the Middle East with a growing Christian population?
17. If a group, just like yours, was pro-Israeli and travelled through any Arab nation, how long do you think it would be allowed to continue its activities? How long would its members stay alive?

We hereby give permission to websites, blogs and publications to reprint the above, but please credit Librarians for Fairness.

LfF would like to thank Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (http://spme.org ), a wonderful organization of thousands of academics that seek peace, without throwing Israel under the bus. SPME was the first organization to link to this response, via its Facebook page.