Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
|The Book, The Library and the Lobby—Part I
‘By way of intimidation, thou shalt do war’— the slogan of The Lobby’s thought police
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter's wand!—itself a nothing!—
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!—Take away the sword—
States can be saved without it!
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, 1839
Canadian Arab News
March 11, 2008
When I approached the Vancouver Public Library last fall about presenting my book The Host and the Parasite—How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America, program director Barbara Edwards suggested that, given its controversial nature, I wait until February to take advantage of “Freedom to Read Week.” I agreed, but still warned her that the library would likely come under great pressure and harassment from The Lobby to cancel it, since Israel’s mouthpieces don’t believe that freedom of speech applies to critics of Israel.
By early February everything was still going smoothly, and the library had expressed no misgivings about my talk. Edwards even asked for pictures of me and the book cover, as well as a description of the book, so that a promotional flyer could be created. She said it would go out to all library branches and community centres. She even asked me to drop off five copies of my book to the library for purchase.
I happened to be in the library one afternoon later that week and looked for my flyer in the display cases. Didn’t see it. I came back a couple of days later—still nothing. I got a call from Edwards on Feb. 12 alerting me that the Vancouver Sun had an op/ed piece on my talk, though how this sloppy, defamatory rant by zionist hatchet-man Terry Glavin could qualify as legitimate opinion is hard to understand.
I’ll deal with Glavin later, but for now I’d like to show how the events of the subsequent two weeks should serve as an object lesson to anyone who labours under the delusion that we live in a free society, or denies the essential gangsterism of The Lobby.
About a week after the aforementioned smear appeared, I got a call from City Librarian Paul Whitney asking for a meeting. At the meeting, he had the air of a chastened man who had been roundly reprimanded, which was understandable. He said he had been visited by the Canadian Jewish Congress, and had received almost 100 hostile e-mails, mostly from Jews, demanding that not only my presentation, but the entire “Freedom to Read” program, be axed.
The Lobby went into defamation overdrive not because of me or what I would say, but where I was going to say it. If I had booked a private room somewhere, I doubt that anyone would have noticed. But the library—ah, that’s a public venue that carries prestige and confers official recognition on me and my book! That is something that scares hell out of The Lobby. In fact, no fewer than three of its agencies—The CJC, the Canada-Israel Committee and the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver—co-ordinated the smear campaign against me.
Despite the pressure, Whitney told me that the library’s commitment to the “Freedom to Read” program was absolute and that my talk would go ahead. Nothing the CJC or anyone else said was going to change that. Yet the zionist hate campaign did have a conspicuous effect—everyone associated with my talk rushed to distance themselves from me and withdraw all overt signs of support. My flyer was removed from all city libraries out of fear of vandalism, said Whitney, but I somehow doubt that was the real reason; the library didn’t even put one up outside the room where I was speaking.
The big concerns for the library were my personal security and that I not say or do anything that could wind up in front of a human rights tribunal. Of course, even a cursory read of my book would have disabused them of any such concern. By the evening of my talk, I had no name. I was the anonymous speaker. The library, which agreed to host my talk months ago without a peep of concern now barely acknowledged my existence.
What happened to me was not unique. Many outspoken scholars far more noteworthy than I have been subjected to a zionist swarming. For example:
• Dr. Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul University after an effective defamation campaign spearheaded by plagiarist Alan Dershowitz; and
• Drs. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have had speaking engagements cancelled, and their book The Israel Lobby maligned and misrepresented as shoddy scholarship.
|In Esteemed Company…
|The defamation campaign against me attests to the accuracy of my work and to the Lobby’s chronic cowardice in the face of honest debate. The eight eminent Jewish writers pictured with me have been also been vilified, denigrated and harassed by The Lobby for writing about the criminality of Israel and The Lobby.
Clockwise from top left:
Professor Neve Gordon—Torture, Human Rights, Medical Ethics and the case of Israel
Professor Tanya Reinhart—Israel/Palestine: How To End the War of 1948
Professor Ilan Pappé—The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Professor Joel Kovel—Overcoming Zionism
Professor David Noble—Tail that Wags the Dog (Suggestions for Further Research), a memorandum exposing the pro–Israel connections of individual directors of the York University Foundation
Professor Tony Judt—“Israel The Alternative,” essay in the New York Review of Books calling for the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state
Ha’aretz Reporter Amira Hass: Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute, 2000; Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award, 2002; UNESCO/ Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, 2003, inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund, 2004.
Me, The Host and The Parasite—How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America
The Lobby knows that it cannot risk rational debate with those who oppose Israel’s domination of U.S. foreign policy and its systematic genocide of Palestine. It also knows that the official fictions of Israel being a democracy and a Western ally now invite derision and informed counterattacks. Thus, the only tactics available are intimidation, coercion and character assassination to discredit legitimate dissent and denigrate honest scholars.
To give an idea of how open debate terrifies The Lobby, here is what the CJC wrote to members of Vancouver’s Jewish community about my talk:
“Public protest will only provide him with more legitimacy and a larger platform from which to spread his message,” CJC wrote in its letter to the community. “There is no advantage to engaging Mr. Felton in a debate, as there is no debating what he has to say. To do so would only legitimize his views and opinions.” (Canadian Jewish News, March 5, 2008). I could not have asked for a better endorsement. Pre-emptive surrender is always appreciated.
Inasmuch as I was (ssshh!) the invited speaker, Whitney was virtually put on trial for having dared allow someone to challenge The Lobby’s orthodoxy. One such person, Robert Jago, epitomized the pettiness and cognitive dissonance that afflicted numerous aggrieved true believers in the audience. From his blog:
ME: “Mr. Felton, I don’t really care about ZOG [Zionist Occupied Government] so I won’t need you. But Mr. Whitney, I do need you. You’re a public servant. I live in this city, I’m a taxpayer and I pay a very small portion of your salary so I think I deserve an answer to this—Mr. Whitney, what have you accomplished here?”
FELTON: “An open debate…
ME: “I wasn’t talking to you.”
WHITNEY: “Yes, ‘an open debate’...”
(Don’t you just love self-important prats who think they own public employees just because they pay taxes?)
The sheer inanity of Jago’s question underscores both the need for the library to host credible, controversial speakers on the Middle East, as well as the need for research into the brain damage caused by zionist true belief.
In the end, I won. In the name of open debate, I did an end run around the zionist media filters to speak directly to people. I explained how The Lobby is chiefly responsible for turning the U.S. into a police state. Enough people came to buy copies of my book to make the event worthwhile. My talk is on YouTube and Google Video; I am planning more speaking events; and The Lobby can’t do thing one about it.
For all of its bluster, bullshit and bile, The Lobby is but a gang of bullies afraid of a fair fight. If we stop being afraid, The Lobby will become powerless, for the bully has only as much power as his victim is willing to surrender.
The Lobby mobilized a hate campaign against me and lost because the library and I refused to surrender, but what about the next speaker? When the media is corrupt and dissent is attacked, the library is our only refuge. Its commitment to intellectual freedom must be unequivocal.