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Readers Forum
Uri Avnery, AKA Helmut Osterman

                 Uri Avnery, AKA Helmut Osterman, is an
example for Israel\'s neo-Fascism. He  established "Gush Shalom" which is a
radical, militant, Marxist organization  that incites Israeli and Arabs in the
name of "free speech." He publishes  his many articles in English around the
world but frequently in  "Counterpunch" a radical left journal which is critical
of Israel through the  editor Alexander Cockburn whose fame is his violent
anti-Israel rant that verges  on anti-Semitism. Avnery appears as a Jewish Israeli
which gives  him his legitimacy. An example is his article on Beit Hanoun
dead  which he calls "massacre." Let us decide what massacre  is: 1. If two
people are killed is it a massacre? What about 8 dead? what about  20 dead? What
about 100 dead? 2. Was the killing planned, deliberate, merciless?  3. Who is
guilty? the soldier, the commander, the factory that produced the  equipment?
4. Equivalency, how does the event compare to other  events?                   
                                                                             
                    The number of killed in a "massacre" is usually in the
hundreds if not in the  thousands. In Serbenica in Serbia, Babi Yar in Ukraine,
el-Hama in  Syria the massacre involved thousands killed by shooting them in
the head,  one by one. This did not happen in Beit Hanoun. The killed were not
ordered to  stand against the wall to be killed by soldiers. Interestingly,
the  Holocaust was never classified as "massacre."  All the massacres,  the true
ones, were planned, organized and ordered by higher  military authority.
Avnery himself does not accuse Israel of planning  to fire on these civilians but
he suggests indirectly this possibility.  Malfunctio'n of equipment is called
by him an "excuse," any explanation of the  killing is for him an "excuse." In
the course of military operation  there is always a sequence of equipment,
soldier, petty commander, higher  commander and so on. Errors can happen in any
war, stock market, media etc.  Sometimes soldiers are killed by friendly fire.
Yes, humanum errare est,  "mistakes are of the human nature." Simple. The
major issue is  equivalency: are homicide bombings a "massacre"? After all,
Israeli civilians  were deliberately killed in pizza parlors, busses discotheques.
Mothers with  their babies, children and elderly. Not 19 but 20, 30, 40 at a
time. Israeli  civilians were killed by deliberate missile launching by
Hizbullah on them.  Avnery the prolific writer who has an opinion about anything and 
everything never wrote an article in which he called Homicide bombing, 
Hizbullah bombing a massacre. He had many "excuses" for them. He did not stand  with
MK Tibi to read in the Knesset the names of Israeli children and babies who 
were deliberately killed because they are Jewish. There were 20-30 Homicide 
bombings in Israel and Uri Avnery NEVER called them "massacre." Yes, he 
apologized indirectly, blaming, of course, Israel.  Do other killings  happen in
this world? Daily 30, 40, 100 people are killed in Iraq.  They  are deliberate
executions with shots to the head. What about Darfur,  Somalia, Uganda where
thousands are killed daily? Avnery does not care.  He does not care about the
hundreds of Palestinians that are killed by  Palestinians, executed without trial
for being dissidents in the same way that  he himself is. Avnery has a theory
which is shared by the radical left: If 50  Palestinians are killed by Israel
and 20 by Hamas than Israel is guilty no  matter what. Qassam missiles killed
8 Israeli not one as Avnery  suggests including two children (2 and 4 years
old) on 29 September  2004 and maimed 40. Uri Avnery is loose with his
statistics since he does  not mention Hamas/Hizbullah soldiers who were killed while
fighting Israel.  For him all were "civilians." There is a shower of unprovoked
missile launching  by Hamas for the last years. For Uri Avnery it is nothing.
He makes racist  comments saying that "Sderot, most of whose inhabitants are
of Moroccan  origin...In Ashkelon there lives also an elitist population of
European  descent." This is why Israel is so concerned about Ashkelon. The truth
is that  this is a city of about 120.000 citizens has a power station and a
major  pipe line. The city was established in 1950 by Moroccan, Syrian and 
Tunisian refugees and two of the first Mayors were of Moroccan origin.  Who 
would like a flourishing city like Ashkelon to be bombarded daily by  "crude"
missiles? Uri Avnery is wrong about Beit Hanoun as much as he is wrong  about the
menace of Qassam missiles. Uri Avnery does not allow criticism of  his views.
He publishes in foreign media that does not accept criticism,  letters to the
editor and alike. He is doing his subversive activity in the  darkness. No
discussion allowed, typical to fascist behavior. His articles are unfair,
unbalance and inaccurate. He is in a state of  denial, nothing that the Palestinians
do could be  wrong.                                                           
                               Free speech. We all cherish "free speech." But
when the Danish cartoons  were followed by massive demonstration we all
should have learned a lesson:  free speech carries the burden of responsibility and
accountability. As  much as one cannot offend the Prophet Muhammad, Avnery
cannot and  should not feel that he can offend the people of Israel. Audience
have  also rights. Incitement or defaming the core of ones existence as the
cartoons  did to many Muslims clearly violated their rights. Telling people to do
criminal  activity, stealing, murdering or persuading them to do harm is not
free  speech. Unfortunately Uri avnery is not acting alone: there is a cadre of
hard core professors that exercise neo-Fascism in our universities. They 
extensively publish in foreign media ugly anti-Israel propaganda and made their 
classes nurseries of anarchists and neo-Fascists. Their teachings are not
meant  to create professionals but to indoctrinate is their own personal image 
using university time, place and money. Parents would be shocked to see what 
their children are learning. Presidents, professors, teachers have the duty  to
convey the difference between free speech and speech designed  to harm. They
should serve as role models. Ilan Pappe of Haifa  University, Nave Gordon in
University of Beer Sheva or Tanya Reinhart of  Tel-Aviv University should not
be teaching. Moreover, those who demand free  speech should apply the same
concept to the way in which they behave  and not abuse this privilege. Neo Fascism
is not a form of fair and important  criticism. It is a method to gain
dominance in an undemocratic way, through use  of foreign media, university
positions to undermining Israel\'s legal government  and institutions. Uri Avnery is
only a sample of neo fascist attitudes in  Israel. His continued state of denial
can only match the same in some  Israeli professors who want to see the
destruction Israel in order to "save"  her.  Dr. I. Barr, Michigan, USA.
driheart@aol.com

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