The New York Times doing “damage control” for the Israeli Government
This e-mail to my list, like the last one, is posted here temporarily, until the blog is working better, along with reader’s comments and more letters. For now, this is at
Subject: More on an immediate effort to prevent supression of truth
From: George Salzman <>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 00:00:52 -0600
To: undisclosed-recipients

Oaxaca, Tuesday, March 7, 2006


1.    I've had a number of responses to my Sunday night e-mail about the last-minute cancellation of the Rachel Corrie play in New York. They will all be posted on my blog, at, hopefully very soon. Please post further comments directly on the blog after that e-mail is posted. If you have any problem registering (no charge) and/or logging in and posting your comments, Benjamin Melançon <> can help you.

2.    There was a factual mistake in my referring to Rachel Corrie as “an American Jewish woman”, which Karen Spence <> kindly corrected. Rachel was not Jewish.

3.    Some comments were very strong.

      My good friend Joe Bageant <>, who’s right there with gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson, wrote yesterday morning,

Perfect example of media control. First we saw the very successful US/-Israeli campaign to keep the news of her death from getting too much coverage, then painting her as a nutjob who got in front of a dozer....

Now we see how they manipulate the knee-jerk Jews in NY as easily as they do we redneck Christians down here. They simply use the clergy, who are all too happy to cooperate, since they themselves have to bow to the blind American support for Israel they have helped create over the years...

Since when the fucking hell do we ask “the clergy,” whether it be apocalyptic redneck Baptist preacher, Zionist fake liberal Rabbi, or oppressive worldwide religious corporation called the Catholic church, for permission to make art? What's the difference between that and letting the mullahs govern artistic practice? Then you add their happy cooperation with our emerging corpo-military religious state,  and....well.... the time to set up barricades in the streets was long ago, was it not?

In which case the citizenry would gleefully watch the Homeland Security forces “suppress” the “troublemakers” and “extremists” on television.

Meanwhile, no big-time media celebrities are going to go against the source of their wealth by reading Rachel Corrie aloud to the public. It would be the kiss of death to their careers. (I hope the hell I am wrong in this prediction.)

EHK <> wrote late Sunday night,

      Thanks so much for this. I knew about it because of Amy Goodman. That is the only place I heard any media coverage. If people had any doubts about the Zionist lobby, formally and informally organized, this should put doubts to rest. As someone born Jewish I am so disgusted by this kind of behavior. I only wish more Jewish people would denounce and work against this kind of Stalinist intolerance. Thanks for helping spread the story to folks who may not have heard it on DM [Democracy Now is the excellent Pacifica Network program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, available at:]. -EHK

4.    Adam Sacks < > wrote early Monday to call my attention to an article in the New York Times on March 6, at
]. It “does a job” on the play, My Name is Rachel Corrie. My criticism of the article follows:

      Thanks Adam for sending me the NY Times piece by Rothstein. Coming six days after the Times' first report, it looks to me like a sordid effort at damage control, damage that the Times figures would be caused by further revelation of some truths about the Israeli conquest of the Palestinians. Of course Rothstein speaks, in his first paragraph, of the “postponement”, the announcement’s euphemism on Feb 27, 23 days before March 22, that the scheduled opening on the 22nd was cancelled.

      Rothstein devotes paragraph 2 to an orgy of his imagined possible terrifying (to the Theatre Workshop) consequences had they presented the play —  consequences he promotes by suggesting them: loss of donors, accusations of “feeding the propagandistic maw of Hamas” and, in his mocking contempt, “glorifying the mock-heroics of a naif who tried to block efforts to cut off terrorist weapon smuggling.” So he is feeding the propagandistic maw of Israel, as the New York Times plays its customary role. Doffing its New York Times hat with its proclaimed adherence to “All the News that’s Fit to Print”, it switches to its Jew York Times hat, in which it adheres to “Print Whatever serves Israel Über Alles” in order to protect Israel against the terroristic Palestinians whose tanks are patrolling the streets of Tel Aviv, whose helicopters are carrying out “targetted assassinations” of Israeli military officers, whose prisons hold thousands of Israelis in indefinite detention in humiliating conditions, whose military check points and curfews are strangling the economic life of Israel, whose snipers on the rooftops of occupied Israeli territories kill even children on curfew-closed streets, whose giant bulldozers are destroying Jewish homes in reprisal for the terrorist killings of innocent Palestinian civilians by Jewish descendents of the Stern Gang, the Palmach and the Haganah.

      The great critic then turns his analytical abilities to attack the Theatre Workshop. How could they have not known, he ponders. From the theatre's suggestion “that the postponement (no question in Rothstein's mind) was just that — not a cancellation — and that it was in response to sensitivities expressed by Jewish leaders and to the rawness of these issues given the electoral victory of Hamas”, he pontificates that “by declining for now [emphasizing that it is just temporary] to offend with the play, the theater violated the most sacred principles of our artistic temples. Those principles are: Thou shalt offend, thou shalt test limits, thou shalt cause controversy.” By its “heretical” violation of this “orthodoxy”, the theatre brought the house down on itself. How can this be understood?, asks Rothstein.

      Allegedly in an effort to help us unfathom this great mystery, Rothstein then turns to an attack on Rachel Corrie herself and on Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner, who created the play from what we might call “Rachel Corrie's Diary”, though much of it was in e-mails, a technology not available to Anne Frank in her time. He begins, “At first, it must have seemed [to the Theatre Workshop] a safe choice: safe with its aura of leftist frisson, and safe too in that its championing of a pro-Palestinian activist had become so mainstream that the London press hardly recognized anything was at issue.” For those who are not members of the oh-so-sophisticated New York Brie-and-Chablis set, sitting like Rothstein safe, several thousand miles away from Gaza with your steaming cappucino, frisson is a French word, bien sur, that means a shudder or shivering. Leftist, to Rothstein, is of course a derogatory adjective. And in London they just didn’t understand that the play touched on any political questions, so they didn’t “recognize” that “anything was at issue.” Unlike those London dullards, this clever analyst in the pay of the Jew York Times — he understands all the subtleties.

      After that blatant bullshit, the next three paragraphs are entertaining fluff about Rachel Corrie that make light fun of some of her candid remarks and of her “Utopian yearning to end human suffering”, a yearning Rothstein apparently regards as childish.

      Disingenuously, Rothstein then says, about the play, in the next paragraph, “But there is something disingenuous here. In an apparent effort to camouflage Corrie’s radicalism and broaden the play’s appeal, its creators elided phrases that suggested her more contentious view of things — cutting, for example, her reference to the “chronic, insidious genocide” she says she is witnessing, or her justification of the “somewhat violent means” used by Palestinians.” I simply don't believe London audiences are so uninformed (after all, they can read Robert Fisk in the Independent and have far more ready access to honest reporting than is so in the U.S.) that the London production could have misrepresented who Rachel Corrie was, and have gotten away with it. Rothstein seems to believe that a maturing or mature woman is more appealing if she is not obviously radical, and that Corrie’s radicalism was camoulflaged for commercial gain. He ought to read what George Bernard Shaw said of Peter Kropotkin, a well-known and beloved Russian anarchist.

      Obviously it is not possible, in a single play, to present a full contextual background of the conflict in which Rachel Corrie perished. Mr. Rothstein moans about the lack of “nuance”, by which he means of course, the Israeli government’s version of why they are, although they deny it, in fact destroying the Palestinians. But New York audiences, as well as London audiences, have been bathed for decades in Israeli propaganda justifying its conquest. I’:m reminded of an occasion when, in my Science for Humane Survival course at the University of Massachusetts in Boston in 1973 Cesar Chaves came as a guest speaker. At that time he was leading the Grape Boycott campaign by the United Farm Workers in California. One reactionary faculty member criticized my class because “only one side was presented.” It was true. I hadn’t tried to get an owner of grape orchards to explain the “nuances” of why it was necessary to exploit the poor, mostly Latino farmworkers. The liberal notion that there are always two sides to a dispute can be truthfully answered in most cases of rich against poor, Yes, there’s a right side and a wrong side. Rothstein has chosen, perhaps for monetary reasons, to be on the wrong side.

5.    If you live in or near Seattle this might interest you. I received the following info this evening in an e-mail:

Bread and Puppet Theater brings DAUGHTER COURAGE to Seattle

Internationally acclaimed performance group Bread and Puppet Theatre performs Daughter Courage, an oratorio about the courageous opposition of Rachel Corrie who died in the attempt to save a Palestinian home from an Israeli bulldozer.  Bread and Puppet Theater performs March 8 - 11 at 8PM. Consolidated Works is located at 500 Boren Avenue North at the corner of Boren and Republican in the South Lake Union Neighborhood of Seattle.  Tickets are $15 advance, $18 at the door, and $9-12 for ConWorks members.  For tickets, call Brown Paper tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or purchase online at  For more information,

Daughter Courage
The Bread and Puppet Theater
March 8-11
Consolidated Works
500 Boren Avenue North
Corner of Boren and Republican in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle

Wednesday, March 8 at 8PM
Thursday, March 9 at 8PM
Friday, March 10 at 8PM
Saturday, March 11 at 8PM

Bread and Puppet Theater has been a flagship grassroots political theater company for decades, and now they have turned their attention to the Middle East with a performance about Rachel Corrie, who was killed on March 16 three years ago.  We'll be hosting post-show discussions on each of the four performance nights, plus Rachel’s parents Craig and Cindy Corrie will be in Seattle on Saturday March 11 at 3:00 pm for a special presentation about their recent trip to Israel/Palestine, where they witnessed some of the ongoing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli military occupation.

Consolidated Works  (ConWorks) is hosting the show, and they are also hosting an art exhibit by Peter Schumann, artistic director of Bread and Puppet Theater.  The exhibit is titled The U.S. Senate Reads an E-mail by the Late Rachel Corrie to Her Parents, and will be in the front gallery at ConWorks through March 12.

Bread and Puppet Theater hasn't brought a full-scale performance to Seattle in over twenty years.  Don't miss it.

All comments and criticisms are welcome.    <>

If you want me to add or remove your name from my e-mail
distribution list, please let me know.

Reader’s comments and more letters

Subject: rachel
From: Bill Templer <>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 22:32:29 -0800 (PST)

Hi George,

important to speak out on this. If you don’t have this already, an important site for Rachel and her cause and memory is There is a piece there by Peter Bohmer, an activist prof at Evergreen State College, where Rachel was a student, that I find very moving. Evergreen is one of the most unusual public universities in North America, and it is worth recalling that Rachel represents the best of the spirit of that unique campus and its rage for justice. We need a thousand Evergreens, a 100,000 Rachels.

Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya
Maifad village, Sikao district
Trang province 92150 Thailand

Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 07:23:03 -0600

Hi Bill,
      Yes, it’s indeed a very moving piece. The fucking New York Times ought to print it as an Op-Ed after that shitty piece by Edward Rothstein in the March 6 paper. Thanks much for sending me the link. I’ve been in touch with several people since my first e-mail midnight Sunday-Monday, and knew about the website, but just haven’t been able to read very much yet.
All the best,

[Wrote to Peter Bohmer via the Evergreen website at 7:30CentralTime:]
Just received the following note in response to my last (or last two) mailing(s) about the New York Theatre Workshop.
[inserted note from Bill and my response]
      I would like to add your name to my e-mail distribution list, Peter.
Sincerely, with all best wishes,
Subject: Rachel Corrie
From: Dan Hughes <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 07:50:53 +0100
To: salzman1 <>, rodstack <>, y-martin <>

Below is what the New York Theatre Workshop has to say about all this. I still don't know what's going on however, nor whom to believe.


New York Theatre Workshop did not cancel or censor “My Name is Rachel Corrie” and we are saddened by these charges. With a schedule largely driven by director Alan Rickman’s pre-existing film commitments, we had less than two months to consider mounting the production. In even attempting this unusually short timeline, this theatre distinguished itself from most others.

When we found that there was a very strong possibility that a number of factions, on all sides of a political conflict, would use the play as a platform to promote their own agendas, we asked a rather routine question, or so we thought, to our London colleagues about altering the time frame. Our intent in asking for the postponement was to allow us enough time to contextualize the work so Rachel Corrie’s powerful voice could best be heard above the din of others shouting for their own purposes.

We were never for a second concerned about the response from people who actually sat in the theater and experienced the work. Our commitment to “My Name is Rachel Corrie” has never wavered.

To have our request for more time blown into a screed about censorship is quite stunning.

James Nicola
Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop

From: Dan Hughes <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 16:17:50 +0100

I write this to the New York theatre people. I wonder if they will answer.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 8:43 AM
Subject: Rachel Corrie

This is the only email address I can find on your site, and I trust that it’s relevant. I am only curious about some simple things in your Rachel Corrie statement: what does this mean; “we asked a rather routine question, or so we thought, to our London colleagues about altering the time frame. Our intent in asking for the postponement was to allow us enough time to contextualize the work”?

What exactly was the question? And what in the world does ‘contextualize’ mean here? The context of the work seems clear to me — is this a euphemism for trying to sort out the people opposed to (or maybe in favour of) presenting the play, and/or deciding how to cope with them?

I shall be very grateful to learn more — this whole business has even arrived here in Italy, where it is largely seen as a result of actions of an Israeli Lobby in America.

Daniel Hughes

Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 10:52:51 -0600
To: Dan Hughes <>, Martin Davis <>

Dan, That’s terrific. Keep me posted of any subsequent correspondence with them. I personally believe you are correct in seeing the decision as a result of what you call the Israel Lobby, though I suspect it’s more like a large diffuse network of groups and individuals who are “Israel Supporters” rather than a tightly knit lobby. But whatever, the result is the same.

Subject: NYT Distortion on Cancellation of Rachel Corrie’s Play
From: <>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 02:42:59 -0800
CC: recipient list not shown

Please READ and WRITE!!

In his March 6, 2005 New York Times article “Too Hot to Handle, Too Hot Not to Handle” (see below or New York Times cultural critic Edward Rothstein comments on the New York Theatre Workshop’s “postponement” of the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, about American activist Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while attempting to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003.


Write to the New York Times at and to the Times’ Public Editor Byron Calame at Suggestions when writing to them

1) You appreciate that The New York Times is following the important story of the postponement of the play "My Name is Rachel Corrie" in New York City. However, the New York Times needs to get central facts right.

2) Contrary to Edward Rothstein’s innuendo, Rachel Corrie was killed while defending the home of a Palestinian family that had no relationship to arms smuggling or terrorism.

3) Despite Rothstein’s attempt to defend the Israeli government’s policy of large-scale home demolition in Rafah, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Israeli organization B'Tselem have all documented that Israel’s large-scale home demolition in Rafah violated international law and could not be justified as a defense against arms smuggling.

4) Rothstein attempts to discredit Rachel Corrie as “naïve” and “radical.” Rachel was killed while using nonviolence to stand against a clear injustice and widely recognized violation of international law. If using nonviolence to support international law made Rachel “radical” and “naïve”, then the world needs more naïve, radical people.

5) Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006 should not be twisted to serve as a rationale for “postponing” a play about an American activist killed in Rafah in 2003.


Edward Rothstein hints that the New York Theater Workshop was naïve in not understanding that the play was politically charged, an obvious, but valid point.

Oddly, however, Rothstein then seems to turn around and blame the playwrites Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner, suggesting that they disguised the political content of the play. Rothstein suggests that the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” is “disingenuous1p and that the playwrites “elided phrases” “to camouflage Corrie’s radicalism and broaden the play’s appeal”. But here Rothstein himself is guilty of camouflaging the truth, or at least of naiveté. The primary example Rothstein cites of the play's supposed “disingenuousness” is Rothstein’s assertion that in the play “there is no hint about why such demolitions” of Palestinian homes in Rafah were taking place. Rothstein then explains that “dozens of tunnels leading from Egypt under the border into homes in Gaza were being used to smuggle guns, rocket launchers and explosives to wield against Israel.”

Thus, Rothstein leaves open the possibility that Rachel Corrie herself may have been killed while preventing the demolition of a home hiding an arms smuggling tunnel, and that the Israeli military's wholesale demolition of thousands of homes in Rafah was aimed only at destroying arms smuggling tunnels and preventing terrorism.

Rothstein is wrong on both these crucial points. Rachel Corrie died defending the home of a Palestinian family who she knew well - Palestinian pharmacist, Khaled, Nasrallah, his wife and children.

There was no tunnel in the Nasrallah home, and the Israeli army never asserted that there was a tunnel in the Nasrallah home. Nonetheless, the Nasrallah home, like thousands of others, was eventually demolished by the Israeli army. The international organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International


and the respected Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem ( have all documented that homes in Rafah were bulldozed as part of an Israeli government policy of systematically demolishing entire Palestinian neighborhoods, irregardless of any relationship to arms smuggling, in clear violation of international law.

In their October 2004 report Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip (, Human Rights Watch noted that:

“Sixteen thousand people - more than ten percent of Rafah’s population - have lost their homes, most of them refugees, many of whom were dispossessed for a second or third time...”

The pattern of destruction strongly suggests that Israeli forces demolished homes wholesale, regardless of whether they posed a specific threat, in violation of international law. In most of the cases Human Rights Watch found the destruction was carried out in the absence of military necessity...

Under international law, the IDF has the right to close smuggling tunnels, to respond to attacks on its forces, and to take preventive measures to avoid further attacks. But such measures are strictly regulated by the provisions of international humanitarian law, which balance the interests of the Occupying Power against those of the civilian population. In the case of Rafah, it is difficult to reconcile the IDF’s stated rationales with the widespread destruction that has taken place. On the contrary, the manner and pattern of destruction appears to be consistent with the plan to clear Palestinians from the border area, irrespective of specific threats....

The IDF has failed to explain why non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels employed in places like the Mexico-United States border and the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) cannot be used along the Rafah border. Moreover, it has at times dealt with tunnels in a puzzlingly ineffective manner that is inconsistent with the supposed gravity of this longstanding threat...

Rothstein attempts to discredit Rachel and the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” by mentioning her “radicalism”, Rachel’s “more contentious view”, and her views that seem “naïve”. He further confuses the issue by directly comparing the conflict over staging the play in New York City to the conflicts over “Andres Serrano’s photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine to the Danish cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad.” Thus Rachel and the play, already “disingenuous” and “radical” are made sacrilegious and even obscene to some readers. Despite all Rothstein’s efforts at distraction, the simple truth is that Rachel was an idealistic woman who used nonviolence to support international law.

Finally, Rothstein implies that Hamas’ recent victory in the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council somehow should have some bearing on whether or not the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” should be staged in New York City (“and when the election of Hamas provided proof that all was not simple, perhaps that was when the play became more clearly understood”). It is a significant stretch to understand how the election victory of Hamas in 2006 should influence the cancellation of a play in the US about an American woman who was run over by an Israeli bulldozer almost three years earlier. Indeed, if anything the random, brutal deaths of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians, and a few foreigners like Rachel Corrie, at the hands of the Israeli military from 2000 - 2006, help to explain the dissatisfaction and anger that contributed to Hamas’ election victory in 2006.
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Subject: MMS Notification
From: "MMS Notifier" <>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 01:12:35 -0500
To: George Salzman <>

Your message contained inappropriate language which is unacceptable at the U.S. Department of Energy. Please make the appropriate changes and resubmit your message.

Thank you.

03/08/06, 01:12:35
More on An immediate effort to prevent supression of truth
[A search on my mailing list showed only one address with, that of Daniel Adkins.]

Subject: [Fwd: MMS Notification]
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 08:08:46 -0600

Hi Dan,
      Were you aware that your mail is censored? Perhaps, if a bit of everyday profanity doesn’t cause you to blanche, you might think of obtaining an uncensored e-mail address.
[I forwarded the previous message to Dan.]

Subject: question
From: Adkins, Daniel <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 10:02:56 -0500

      I am not concerned that there may be some overlooking of my e-mail for a few reasons.
1) I have worked with my IT folks in my immediate agency and they would alert me,
2) we have a good union and I have paid dues on several levels and am sure they would support me,
3) I have a good relationship management (other than political appointees) and coworkers (many of us have known each other for decades),
4) I am getting very good performance reviews, and I am not suggesting anything too controversial
5) I will be retiring in the next few years,
6) I believe there is a tolerance for work outside the agency. One good friends retired and is a Virginia leader in the Sierra Club. His activities were not limited while he worked in EIA (Energy Information Administration). One of the DC civil rights activists was a physicist for the Navy during the 60s and 70s.
7) security is tight here but I have seen only one political firing (in the 80s). We all have escape masks to get out of a building on fire and our guards are well trained.
      Maybe the question is does having someone on the list with a .gov make the members feel inhibited? You can call me at 703 524-6151
      my home phone or at
Daniel C. Adkins
US DoEnergy EI-45

From: Adam Sacks <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 04:55:03 -0800 (PST)

Hi George --
You made some great comments about the NY Times article on the Corrie play so I wanted to post to your blog, but I found it *very* confusing to use and finally gave up - and I'm a computer pro. I would urge you to look for some other blog hosting site. I suspect that the #1 rule for a successful interactive blog is that it has to be *easy* to figure out and use.
781 674-2339

Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 08:15:55 -0600
To: Benjamin Melançon <>

[I forwarded the previous message from Adam Sacks to Ben.]

From: Barrington Daltrey <>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 09:16:43 -0800

Hi George,

Xymphora has posted an interesting comment that compares treatment of the diary of Anne Frank with treatment of the diary of Rachel Corrie.

I would say this: Regardless of whether Rachel should have been or should not have been standing in front of the bulldozer (I would prefer my own daughter not do such a thing), civilized people do not drive bulldozers over helpless individuals. Or perhaps I should say, mentally balanced people do not drive bulldozers over helpless people, only sociopaths do such things. How difficult would it have been to find two large Israelis to physically pick Rachel up and move her out of the way?

Viewed through a macabre lens, killing her was an intentional and public statement of moral depravity that must have been >intended< to be heard by a worldwide audience. Shooting 10 year old Palestinians who are throwing rocks should be viewed in the same way, a society subconsciously crying out, “Look, we are pathologically sick, please help us!”

So, preventing the message from being heard is a lot like keeping one’s crazy aunt in the closet in the hope others will not find out she is crazy. Instead of “protecting” the aunt, the family keeps her from receiving the treatment she desperately needs — and probably makes her illness worse.

One might even ask whether her relatives are not the >cause< of her illness.


From: Allan Gomez <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 09:32:51 -0800 (PST)

Hi George - My name is Allan Gomez. I kinda doubt you remmeber me but we met years ago on a trip to Oaxaca, coordinated by the MSN. By years i guess i only mean like 5 or so.

      In any case, I wanted to draw attention to something you mention in the posting about Rothstein’s piece in the NYT. You stated that the whole issue of one-sidedness came up when you presented Cesar Chavez at a class. Well, I disagree. The argument that the radical left or even something as less threatening as a play about a radical only goes to present one side is annoying at best and dangerous/damaging at worst. It should not even be considered. It enters us into the dialogue (stuctured by the oppressors) that we have to see with reason why the oppressors do what they do. And we must make sure to use the myth of “objectivity” when we present the truth because otherwise the glorious public will only hear one side of the arguement - our never ending orwellian propaganda machine churns onward. What a load of horseshit is what i think when i hear that — as if the “propoganda of truth” that I put out (or anyone opposed to oppression) was the only side being presented. Quite the contrary it is but a drop of water in an ocean of neverceasing propaganda from the other side, an ocean that makes us all forget what is right and wrong, or that human suffering exists, or what is a just society supposed to look like. If they don’t say it then racism, oppression, unjust wars, exploitation don&"8217;t exist. At least that is what they want us to believe. From the commercials that make us girate our lives around consumerist trends to the drumbeat of “just wars” and excusable collateral damage.

      I think the Grape Boycott surely had to start from scratch. And the propaganda of truth that Chavez put forward helped to erode the disconnect that people had with where the grapes from and who puts them on their plates. The propaganda of lies that never (truly nowadays) never never takes a break goes to maintain a campaign of disinformation, attacks and maybe most insiduously to deny people the opportunity to break that disconnect from the rest of the world around them and tap into what is reality.

      Ultimatley, I think that the smear campaigns serve a dual function. Destroy the legitamcy of the propaganda of truth and in the process deny the existence of a propaganda from their side. We can’t let them put us on our heels by validating that argument.

      Sadly, I may have picked this up from a movie somewhere, but I think it rings true in regards to capitalism and propaganda from the right. “The best trick the devil ever played was to make people think he didn't exist” or something to that extent.

Allan Gomez

From: lurban kohler <>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 17:35:01 -0800 (PST)

Rothstein, perhaps disingenuously, took the wrong side. (does disingenuous imply intention?)

Unlike George Salzman, I think many sincere Jews have a blind spot about Israel and its tactics. I assume Rothstein is Jewish, and this would make me believe he is not intentionally disingenuous, unless intention can be culturally induced. Maybe I should say it wouldn’t surprise me if his “disingenuousity” is unconscious - a product of his heritage and life-long indoctrination.

The enormously successful campaign to keep all jews uniformly supportive of Israel or at least intimidated into silence and tacit complicity makes the George Salzmans and Rachel Corries of the world all the more heroic and surprising to me.

I have tried three times to write to George about his stand recently when he very angrily criticized Israeli policies. It is very telling, I believe, that I found his criticisms so surprising, and that I have such difficulty supporting him for having the courage. I have been slapped down so often in so many ways for being sincerely candid on this subject, that I’m totally intimidated. That’s a lot of power.

From: Maurice Bazin
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 11:49:35 -0300

Beautiful, George!
You are doing true journalism here, by citing fully these other people. This is a truly North American piece of work.
I am glad to see that there are quite a few “of us” that have a very clear and informed view of things, and can communicate too.
Only problem: how can we get that type of information and analysis into the ears of the “not so silent majority”?

I am daily into something else: the cultural (re)emergence of indian peoples’ culture through their writing about their own problems in their own tongues. Just ‘trained’ 75 baniwa future teachers during a month and a half.

Love, ever,

Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 11:27:19 -0600
CC: Alberto M. Giordano <>, Joe Bageant <>, Nancy Davies <>

Ah Maurice,
      Thank you very much for all your encouragement (over the years). You're a true soulmate. Another really wonderful, staunch ally is Joe Bageant. I think he’s a model of how to try to reach the “not so silent majority”, namely by calling things what they are and doing it in common everyday language (like Al Giordano does, too). With plenty of unconscious coaching from Joe I finally got up the nerve to call the New York Times (when it relates to Arabs and Jews, those two distinct species) by what it really is. I bet his first book, Drink, Pray, Fight, Fuck: Dispatches From America's Class Wars, solicited by an editor (a “nice Jewish woman” from Brooklyn, by the way) of the Crown Division of Random House, will make a big splash, in part because it will cause the readers to experience frisson, which I don’t need to explain to you, bien sur. Nancy says to whoever we meet, when I mix up an Italian word with a Spanish word, There are six languages George can’t speak: German, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian. Actually there are only five, but she’s not too good with numbers and has a tendency to exaggerate. From time to time, however, she tells the truth, like when she said to me, “You're the biggest fucking cheapskate I ever met.” I really capitalized on that insight when I tried to do fundraising to save Al Giordano’s NarcoNews website authentic journalism project with my piece

A way with words, and Al Giordano
October 22, 2003

this page is at

soliciting support for his work. As far as I know, in addition to myself, only two other people answered the appeal with $1,000 contributions — Al’s mother (who’s not Jewish, by the way), and you. And I know a ton of people to whom giving a thousand, whether tax-exempt or not, would not cause a ripple in their lives. Anyway, that’s where I think the major efforts ought to go, to building a global grassroots authentic news infrastructure, if we’re to have any hope of turning so-called “civilization” away from even more imminent massive destruction. If there were a way to get a worldwide warning pledge of an embargo on oil sales to the U.S. and Israel to counter the looming bombing of Iran, that would be great. How to do it? Take care Maurice, and stick with the indigenous. You’re doing important work.
Un grand abrazo,
From: Joe Bageant <>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 13:28:34 -0500

I finally found time and health enough to read lots of Al Giordano. The man is an absolute giant among contemporary journalists. I mean, there it is right before my very eyes! Real journalism “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable!”

Do me a favor. Buy that man a drink on my behalf (common ya cheap ole fart!), and tell him he has this worthless old gringo’s undying respect.

I tell ya my friend, it’s getting pretty bleak up here these days...the nights are the worst, causing good men to drink and brood and the bravest among them to begin to plot. Knowing Al Giordino is out there showing us poking holes in the media shroud that keeps us so in-the-dark, so blind up here is the greatest possible gift of such times.

Your cranky hillbilly brother,

From: George Salzman <>
Sent: 09 March 2006 00:36
Subject: Re: e-mail distribution list

Dear Antonio [Fernandes-Vidal],
      I'm glad to add your name to my e-mail distribution list. Thanks for asking.
-----------[in response to]-----------
Dear Prof. George Salzman:
I would be very thankful if you could accept my subscription to your e-mail list.
Dr. Antonio Fernandes-Vidal

Subject: e-mail distribution list
From: Dr.A.Fernandes-Vidal <>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 11:53:28 -0000

Dear George,

We have here, in the UK, an e-mail distribution called Shalom Group which has as the main objective to inform against any war, injustice and so on. It may seem a bit utopic but there are a lot of people who do not know what’s going on all over the world. So shalomgroup tries to send as much info as possible about many things, sometimes even humoristic ones.

I took the liberty to ask the editors to send you today’s publishing. If, for whatever reason, you do not want to continue receiving it, please just let me know. The name for the e-mail group, shalom, happened for the reason that some of the founders are of Jewish ascent and it started because of the Israel / Palestine problem.

I take the opportunity to thank you for accepting me on your list and to send you the best wishes from the United Kingdom.


From: Thomas-Paz Hartman <>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 13:55:03 +0100

Some random thoughts.

Well there is a struggle about the truth.

Reporting on “suppression” is defensive. I think America is unsympathetic to “defensive,” that is a problem the left is having. America likes a winner.

Also, to sympathize with the “losers” here means you have to be convinced that the Israelis are wrong, whereas most of the people who tried to shut down the play probably think this is a situation of “moral ambiguity” where nobody is completely right. This is a very effective tactic — I mean, the tactic of marketing something that is actually basically just bad, as sort of more ambiguous. That is what the “losers” are up against here.

Could you write about how to compete and win, against this “slippery” tactic?
That would be really interesting.

Other than that, just watch out for preaching to the choir.

Other than that, good job.


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