Not only do the Sanders publish anti-Israel and anti-Jewish material on their own site, they link to other sites that express outright hatred for Israel and the Jewish people. This is important because by linking to a site one gives it promotion and thus bears some responsibility. For example, www.peacewithrealism.org does not link to sites that call for a Greater Israel, and has refused requests for such links.
The Sanders do include the following disclaimer when presenting their links:
We have found these webpages interesting and informative, but they do not necessarily reflect our views, those of our supporting congregations, or our partners in Palestine. Nor are they by any means exhaustive.(31)
This disclaimer is disingenuous. It is belied by two things: first, the sites to which the Sanders link are overwhelmingly anti-Israel, some of them extremely so, to the point of distorting facts and even crossing the border into anti-Semitism. Second, the Sanders include descriptive blurbs for many of these sites encouraging people to visit them, thus indicating at least their general sympathy. I doubt the Sanders or anyone else would have much respect for this site - nor should they - if it linked to sites that are openly racist, even with a disclaimer, and especially if it included brief laudatory descriptions of some of those sites.
When we link to a site we promote it in some small way: we give it exposure and help improve its ranking in search engines. We therefore bear some responsibility. It is bad faith to promote a questionable site and then excuse it with a disclaimer. The sites to which the Sanders link do not represent a broad spectrum of opinion. They present a consistent picture and their selection is clearly meant to advance a political position. I will give only a few examples; there are several more where these came from.
In spite of the disclaimer, the Sanders are sympathetic to this movement and openly endorse it:
International Solidarity Movement is a growing movement of Palestinian and international activists working to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. They utilize "non-violent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies."(32)
How does your faith prompt you to act? How is God calling you to respond through action? Perhaps you have the courage and faith to go into areas of violence and oppression and send a message of peace and justice as part of a Christian Peacemaker Team or with the International Solidarity Movement.(33)
This positive description certainly sounds like an endorsement. Unfortunately it misrepresents the purpose and tactics of the International Solidarity Movement, which is not pro-peace but intensely anti-Israel and which openly defends the use of violence by those who choose to use it. While its members do not themselves engage in violent acts, the International Solidarity Movement does aid and support terrorist organizations. This has all been documented. By endorsing this group and by promoting its deceptions the Sanders are taking a partisan position, indeed one that wittingly or not supports terrorism, and cannot claim to be fair and objective workers for peace.
Here is the Sanders' introduction, again very positive:
Miftah is an institution committed to fostering democracy and effective dialogue based on the free and candid exchange of information and ideas. Established in January 1999, Miftah's underlying premise is the integration of several processes: Palestinian nation-building and empowerment on the basis of the principles of democracy, human rights, rule of law, and participatory governance; international reconciliation and cooperation; the gathering and dissemination of information and the active participation in the global dialogue as an equal partner.(34)
The Miftah site presents a hysterically one-sided view of the conflict. According to Miftah, Israel is responsible for all the violence, as if Palestinian terrorism hardly existed. Israel has an "ideal plan" to "lock all the Palestinians up and throw away the key!" and furthers this plan by "instigating violence"(35). Calling Israel the "instigator" is very similar to the Sanders' blaming Israel for any violence inflicted on its civilians, ignoring the Palestinians' calculated use of violence to disrupt every significant movement towards peace. Miftah also hypocritically calls Israel a "racist state"(36), conveniently ignoring the status of non-Muslim minorities in Arab countries.
In searching for a moral justification for Palestinian violence Miftah calls such violence "resistance" and treats real acts of terrorism as if they were only occasional aberrations by a few isolated individuals, rather than an orchestrated campaign of violence by several highly organized terrorist groups.(37) The same article falsely states that "Negotiations with Israel have given us nothing but promises of autonomy." Under Oslo Palestinians were actually given autonomy in graduated stages, which they misused to consolidate an infrastructure for terrorism. Misleading statements about Oslo and the peace process are very common on the Miftah site.
Miftah also claims that Palestinian textbooks promote peaceful coexistence and denies that they teach prejudice: "The curricula problems: stereotyping, racism, bigotry and alike do not exist."(38) This statement is completely false and has been exposed by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, which examined the Palestinian textbooks in great detail.
The Sanders call special attention to this site as well:
New, independent web-based organization that monitors mainstream media and offers forum for voices outside the mainstream.(39)
"Outside the mainstream" is an understatement. Media Monitors is a viciously anti-Semitic and hate-filled web site. It features articles by Israel Shamir and other anti-Semitic writers (who were not even born Jewish!) I will mention just two of these writers, Edna Yaghi and Mohamed Khodr.
In her article "Deus Le Volt" Yaghi calls "Zionist Israel" "the monster that the American Frankenstein created."(40) In another piece, "How Many Palestinians Have You Hung?" she denies any legitimate Jewish connection to Israel and even, incredibly, denies the existence of anti-Semitism: "There is no threat to Jews in any part of the world."(41) In an article entitled "From Ramadan to Christmas" she accuses Israel of perpetrating a "Holocaust" while dismissing the reality of the real Holocaust against the European Jews, calling the latter "mythical."(42)
I could have selected from several of Mohamed Khodr's many hate-inspired articles, but only one need be cited to demonstrate beyond any doubt the depth of the anti-Semitism this web site promotes.
In his article entitled "Israel: America's Shame and Humanity's Stain"(43) Khodr speaks of "Jewish power," an age-old favorite of anti-Semites. The Jews supposedly control the government, the media, Hollywood, everything, and they intimidate everyone else into silence. And so he states the following (all emphasis is in the original):
...terrific control the Jews have over the news media...
The Israeli embassy is practically dictating to the congress.
Why are the American people... so naive to the destructive influence of Israel's "Jewish Power" upon their domestic and foreign policies?
There is ZERO TOLERANCE in America's Media for any criticism of Israel.
The American Government, Media, Wall Street, Hollywood, and "experts" on television are ensuring through daily bombardment of intimidating sound bytes that the American TAXPAYER, who is the ultimate VICTIM in this charade of 55 years of Israel's democracy and "special relationship" with the United States, will never know the truth about Israel's grip on this nation or if he/she does, that they will never have the courage to ever speak out publicly.
THE ANSWER MY FRIEND AS TO WHY MUSLIMS ARE DYING EVERYDAY AND WHY AMERICANS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY ISRAEL... IS BLOWING IN THE WINDS OF "JEWISH POWER."
ALL of the Hollywood Studios were founded by European Jews while most of America's MEDIA Conglomerates are either owned, controlled, directed, or have a majority of Jewish editors, journalists, or columnists, compared to any other ethnic group.
If you pay close attention to the "experts" on Israel or Islam on Television you'll find that they're almost always American Jews, Israeli's, or Pro-Israel Christian Zionists."
ONE IMPORTANT PROOF THAT IN AMERICA "JEWS" ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHER AMERICANS IS THE ILLEGAL AND OUTRAGEOUS PUBLIC FUNDING OF THE "NATIONAL" HOLOCAUST MUSEUM.
Is our America "the land of the brave and home of the free" or is it Israel's America "the land of the silenced cowards, the land of Israel's hostages."
Khodr even accuses Israel of complicity in the World Trade Center bombing, an anti-Jewish lie popular among Arab extremists. His article concludes with a resounding refrain of hatred:
There is a reason why no media outlet is independently investigating this issue. There is a reason why our government quickly and quietly kicked out 120 Israeli "spies" out of the country soon after 9/11, some were caught on videotape filming the crash into the WTC towers and dancing on rooftops.... Much more incriminating information on Israel's prior knowledge of the attack has been reported abroad but not here. Why did Israel not inform the United States?... The reason is Israel and the answer as to WHY there is new found HATE between the U.S. and the Muslim world is simple:
Why do THEY hate US?
ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL
Why do WE Hate Them?
ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL, ISRAEL(33)
All of that is from one single article, and there is lots more where that came from.
By the way, the Media Monitors site also contains a disclaimer.
This is what it says:
MMN is NOT just "another" news web-site or magazine but a non-profit, non-biased and non-political platform which helps to convey truth and generally facilitate answers to any disputed, controversial topic being broadcast, web cast, published, distributed or telecast in the world media....
MMN greatly respects the taste, feelings, patriotism, religion, thoughts and/or individuality of each and every human being.
I guess disclaimers just aren't what they used to be.
This is another partisan site the Sanders recommend in spite of their disclaimer (by now we know what disclaimers are worth):
Sabeel Ecumenical Theological Center is an ecumenical center for Palestinian Liberation Theology which seeks to make the Gospel contextually relevant. In Arabic, Sabeel means 'The Way' and also a 'Spring of Water'. Sabeel strives to develop a spirituality based on justice, peace, non-violence, liberation and reconciliation for the different national and faith communities. Sabeel also works to promote a more accurate international awareness regarding the identity, presence, and witness of Palestinian Christians.(44)
Sabeel is rabidly anti-Israel and exemplifies the use of liberation theology as a rationale for anti-Western hatred. While the Sanders present Sabeel as promoting spirituality, justice, and peace, its peacemaking veneer is deceptive and is actually a weapon in the propaganda war against Israel.
Sabeel blames Israel for all of the violence, even Palestinian terrorism. The Middle East that Sabeel portrays exists only in Arab fantasy. In this fantasy Israel is the predator and the Arabs helpless victims, peaceloving and docile until the "war of 1967," after which they tried unsuccessfully to throw off the yoke of Israeli oppression. Even the first intifida was "largely nonviolent." Sabeel conveniently neglects to mention the Arab terrorism that occurred prior to the 1967 war, and the many Jewish casualties of that "nonviolent" intifada.(45)
This is how far Sabeel goes in distorting and rewriting history. From the same article that calls the intifada "largely nonviolent":
From a Palestinian perspective, therefore, the real sequence of the cycle of resistance has been this: Israeli occupation, Palestinian resistance, greater Israeli oppressive measures, and greater attempts on the Palestinian side to increase the resistance, and the vicious circle goes on.(46)
The author, Naim Ateek, a Palestinian liberation theologian, writes as if there were no history before 1967. However, the "Israeli occupation" was the result of a war the Arabs instigated. Arab terrorism and attacks on the Jewish community date from long before the "occupation," going back at least to the 1920's. And while the author claims to espouse nonviolence, he still can't help calling terrorism, including deliberate attacks on civilians, "resistance."
The article claims to condemn suicide bombing, yet insists it is important to "understand the phenomenon." Even though the author disavows the practice, he still finds many good reasons why Palestinians might want to kill themselves if they can kill Israelis too. His concerns to "understand the phenomenon" are belied by his caricature of Israel as a heartless conquering monster (one recalls Palestinian cartoons of Sharon gleefully drinking Arab blood): he writes as if there were no reasons why Israeli countermeasures might also be "understandable."
According to this article the Palestinians have no responsibility for their own actions. Israel is held accountable for all the violence on both sides, and indeed, for manufacturing terrorism itself: "It was in the crucible of the occupation that [the suicide bombers] were shaped and formed. And if Israel labels them as terrorists, they are, after all the product of its own making." The article claims that "All they wanted was the end of the occupation and the establishment of their own state along side the state of Israel." Apparently the author has read neither the Palestine National Covenant nor the Hamas Charter, nor heard of the Palestinian rejection of offers for a viable and contiguous state, nor listened to sermons on Palestinian radio and TV, nor read Palestinian textbooks, nor heard of the use of terrorism to influence every recent Israeli election to choose the most hard-line candidate possible.
The article paints a very sympathetic picture of Abdel Baset Odeh, the suicide bomber of the "Passover Massacre" who killed 28 and injured over 100 at a Passover celebration in Netanya's Park Hotel in March 2002. "He was 25 years old, ready to get married, start a family, settle in Jordan, and enjoy life," but his life was being disrupted by Israeli efforts to detain him. What the article does not mention is that Odeh was a member of Hamas and a wanted terrorist.(47)
The following statement, in the classic spirit of liberation theology, reveals this theology's moral bankruptcy:
In the midst of the injustice, suffering, and death inflicted on us, we believe that God in Christ is there with us. Christ is not in the tanks and jet fighters, fighting on the side of the oppressors (although many Jewish and Christian Zionists believe that), God is in the city of Gaza, in the Jenin camp and in the old city of Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem suffering with the oppressed.
One assumes, then, that God is not with the Jewish families murdered on Passover, nor with other Jewish victims of terror in shopping malls, pizza parlors, buses, and birthday celebrations. These after all are the "oppressors." No, God is busy in Gaza, in Jenin, in Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. This has been the problem of liberation theology from its beginnings. It is a "God is on our side, not on yours" theology that is false to the spirit of Jesus, who preached love and tolerance for all, the poor and the rich, the peasant, the tax collector, and the Roman soldier. The only side God is on is the side of the truth. And Sabeel has no qualms about taking liberties with the truth.
A more recent article by Sabeel calling for the destruction of Israel's security fence shows that while Sabeel may not endorse violence openly, it sympathizes with those who commit it:
Although Israel contends that the building of the wall is necessary for security, no walls are high enough to prevent oppressed people from struggling for freedom and liberty.(48)
So the terrorists and suicide bombers trying to cross the fence are "struggling for freedom and liberty"! In this new editorial Sabeel gives the lie to its praise and ostensible promotion of nonviolence. Sabeel is like the International Solidarity Movement, whose members may not engage in violence themselves but who support those who do.
My own position on the security fence is that it must be constructed to contain the maximum number of Israelis inside it, the maximum number of Palestinians outside it, with minimum disruption of Palestinians' lives. I confess to not having the expertise to determine exactly where this route should be. If it does not entirely coincide with the Green Line, that is the price the Arabs must pay for having started the war that led to the occupation, and for the use of suicide terrorism in place of negotiation.
The fence can still be constructed in a way that allows for a viable, contiguous, Palestinian state. On June 30, 2004 the Israeli Supreme Court ordered that a portion of the fence be rerouted to make it less of a burden on Palestinians, and the Israeli government has complied.(49) This is a delicate issue, and Israeli security needs as well as Palestinian quality of life must be taken into account. But the needs of Jews to be protected from suicide murderers are totally disregarded when the fence's critics insist on calling it an "apartheid wall" and glorify the terrorists who keep trying to defeat it.
The Sanders' disclaimer cannot meaningfully apply to the Sabeel site, nor to the other sites mentioned here. In their own material the Sanders propagate the same myths and lies: that the intifada was nonviolent resistance, that Oslo was an Israeli plot to increase Israel's domination of the Palestinians, that Israel is responsible for all of the violence.(50) If this venomous hatred of Israel to the point of disregarding key facts and manufacturing history does not come from anti-Semitism, from where, then, does it originate?
This relatively recent addition to the sites that the Sanders promote is an anti-Israel hate site that urges an economic and cultural boycott of Israel. It goes even further than the infamous Arab Boycott by urging a boycott not only of Israel goods but also Israeli academics and research. This boycott is total, and makes no distinction between goods originating in the occupied territories or in Israel proper. By promoting this site, the Sanders are endorsing the economic war against Israel.
This is yet another site that denies Israel's longstanding problem with Arab terrorism and lays the entire blame for the conflict on Israel. By promoting this site the Sanders are in harmony with their church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), which also has resolved to initiate a boycott of Israel.
From everything the Sanders write, as well as the sites they publicize, they clearly indicate their opposition to any Jewish self-determination in the Middle East. They support groups working for Israel's destruction. And as we have seen, they are themselves opposed to Israel's existence, calling for Israel's replacement by a binational state. Since its inevitable result would be subjecting Israel's Jewish population to persecution within yet another autocratic Arab state, such a position can only be described as anti-Semitic. The Sanders' consistent and often strident one-sided presentation of the conflict gives further weight to the charge of anti-Semitism.
Peace with Realism