Templer’s letter is at http://pwgd.org/gs/2006/04/29/the-last-taboo/
reply by G.S. <email@example.com>
this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-04-30.htm
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 19:05:49 -0500
Dear Bill Templer,
Yesterday Nancy and I went up to the small Zapotec mountain town
of Guelatao de Juarez in the northern Sierra of Oaxaca, where a two-day
festival was in progress to celebrate the 4-year anniversary of a
communal radio station. Radio Estereo Comunal broadcasts, in Spanish,
at 300 watts (i.e. with a 0.3 KW-signal strength — that’s the power
used by 3 100-watt bulbs) that reaches about 40 kilometers (about 24
miles). It’s an unlicensed station, called a “pirate radio station” by
the true pirates who make up the government-capitalist class of Mexico
(and most nation-states). Like in the U.S., the Mexican ruling class
is aware of the “danger” that open communication among ordinary people
might present to the dominant power structure, and just passed a new
law to make non-commercial broadcasting even more marginal. At the same
time, the government has begun to close down some “illegal” stations by
confiscating their transmitters. Same story in the U.S. of course.
So, Bill, you’re wondering why I’m writing this as an “answer” to your e-mail to me yesterday. In brief, because I don’t want to be diverted from these real On the Ground struggles by what I’m coming to regard as your obsession with the fear that discussions of the role of The Israel Lobby (Mearsheimer and Walt’s term) are stirring anti-Semitism. This morning I read, first the Robert Fisk article, for which you did not supply an adequate URL, and then as much as I could stomach of the two articles you recommended and gave links to, as follows:
1. “London-based Sociologist David Hirsh critiques Fisk in an article “Slipping Standards” that is worth reading:
2. “http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=391.” The link that Hirsh gives is to The Independent, which only allows access to the full article for paid subscribers or those who purchase it (not for cheapskates like me).
For the rest of us, it’s titled: Breaking the Last Taboo — The United States of Israel?, by Robert Fisk, available on ZNet at
Bill, speaking of the “website he [Hirsh] has organized over the past year ENGAGE http://www.engageonline.org.uk", you wrote that it “brings together much thoughtful commentary about the dangers of this discourse” and, a bit later referring to the eye-catching illustration that The Guardian used, you said “There [at the link below] you can also see the consciously offensive ‘stars and stripes’ cover of the Independent for April 27 that many Jews will find anti-Semitic in the classic sense. Of course there is more than one reading of the image:http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/article.php?id=391. What’s yours?”
You say, “of course”, a semantic usage you found objectionable in Jeffrey Blankfort’s polemic, but here you preface what to me seems a false assertion with “Jeff’s” ‘of course’. And then you challenge me with the question, What’s my interpretation? There’s only one interpretation I see, namely replacing the 5-pointed stars in the otherwise accurate U.S. flag with the 6-pointed stars of David says, “Buy today’s Guardian and read how the Jews are running the U.S.”
Have you, or sociologist David Hirsh confirmed that Robert Fisk is responsible for that choice of graphic? Hirsh, who is clearly “over the top” says in his article, “As if the Independent hadn’t noticed that the “Lobby” paper had been widely rejected as a profoundly flawed piece of work, it commissioned Robert Fisk to write a four-page piece about how wonderful it is and how brave Mearsheimer and Walt are.
“There is no doubt what the image used by the Independent of the Jewish Stars and Stripes says. It says that Jews control America. ...”
Hirsh’s notion that The Independent commissioned Robert Fisk to write a particular article seems to me absurd. So far as I know, Fisk is not “commissioned” to write anything. He’s a truly independent person, as well as I can judge, and I would bet he wrote the article of his own volition. To my knowledge he is a regular employee of The Independent, and doesn’t rely on doing work for commissions. Am I wrong? And if so, how much was he paid to write that article? Moreover, I didn’t find it objectionable, at least from a first reading. It seemed quite reasonable to me.
Incidentally, your ‘Of course’ statement also is in contradiction with the second paragraph of Hirsh’s statement that I quoted above. At this point, Bill, I’ve lost interest in refuting your earlier posting, article 15. Untouchables?, in The Jewish-Israeli Lobby category of the weblog. I began to mark my copy a week or so ago, but there’s no way I can deal with all the undertones of your polemics without giving up work that is more important to me, my efforts at local organizing. I’ll insert here an earlier letter about some of that work, for whatever interest it might have for you.
Sincerely and with all good wishes,
Subject: Guelatao, 29 abril 2006, diecisiete fotos de la fiesta del Radio Estereo Comunal
From: George Salzman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 15:32:14 -0500
To: Kendy Hernández Luna <email@example.com>,
Juan José <comin @laneta.apc.org>,
Jaime Luna <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Aldo Gonzales <email@example.com>,
Nancy Davies <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BCC: (46 BCCs)
Oaxaca, domingo el 30 de abril 2006
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