Freedom of Press – Very dangerous to practice

The Coastal Post, a small monthly newspaper in West Marin county, was nearly closed down after 32 years of publication in 2008 for its policy of upholding the “freedom of press” including the criticism of Israel and Zionism. Some of its readers, both Jews and non-Jews, have not liked paper’s equating Zionism with Judaism for good reason as both have nothing in common. The Coastal Post became the target of a smear campaign lead by the powerful Jewish lobby group, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for publishing Carter and the Swarm in May 2008 issue. The article was written by Israeli-Russian Jew writer Israel Shamir. The publisher of the paper Don Deane labeled an ‘anti-Semite’ and the paper’s advertisers were intimidated. Don published an apology in February 2009 in case his paper hurt the feelings of the Jewish community. A defiant Israel Shamir wrote a response to ADL’s whining about his article.

On April 1, 2010 – Edward W. Miller MD, writing under the heading Bitten By Our Zionist Parasite tried to explain how difficult is it to practice “freedom of press” in the so-called “world’s greatest democracy”.

Because of Don Deane’s devotion to a free press, an occasional article or letter critical of Israel’s Zionist expansionism has appeared in the PAPER. As a result, in recent months, Don has found himself under fire from a small number of local Jews who, driven by their attachment to Israel, have been trying desperately to shut down Don’s paper.

The COASTAL POST serves subscribers (@ $ 30/ year), is on the web (coastalpost.com) and as a “freebie” may be picked up in dozens of stores and buildings and along streets in Marin. The theft of 300 copies of the paper from the Civic Center, as well as smaller bundles from Fairfax stores and from containers along Fourth Street, was the first overt act of these enemies of a free press, and signaled to Don that the Coastal Post might be in trouble. The police and sheriff’s department were contacted but were unable to spot the thieves.

The first clue as to who might be involved came from Mayor Boro’s office in San Rafael July 7th, 2008 when Boro noted the City Council had received a letter from Dr. Michael J. Franzblau and had invited him to speak. At that Council meeting, Dr. Franzblau, of Terra Linda, requested: “that the COASTAL POST papers be prohibited from being distributed at the City Hall, as its editorial policy was anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist.” Mayor Boro had City Attorney Epstein bring an opinion to the City Council. Epstein, who values our Constitution and believes in freedom of speech, denied Franzblau’s request and the City Council agreed.

Theft of papers persisted, and Don Deane then began losing advertisers, some of whom had used his paper as their main source of public advertising for years. Questions revealed that a San Francisco businessman, Gerardo Joffe, had been mailing letters to COASTAL POST advertisers, denouncing the paper thus: “So why would you wish to continue distributing a paper whose main purpose seems to be the defamation of Jews and of the State of Israel.” Joffe demanded advertisers cease their support. Incidentally, Joffe also publishes FLAME, a full-page ad appearing in magazines that grossly distorts Mideast News in Israel’s favor. Most magazines have cancelled the ad.

Both Joffe and Franzblau are performing like agents of the ADL (Anti -Defamation League) a Jewish organization, which for half a century has defamed non-Jewish critics of Israel with an “anti-Semitic” brush and Jewish critics of Israel as “Self-Hating Jews”.

This is not the first time we Marinites have observed this Anti-democratic behavior from God’s Chosen People. A January 29, 2004 headline in the Marin Independent Journal read: SESSION WITH TERRORIST STIRS OUTRAGE.

The story deals with a group of 9 students from San Francisco Theological Seminary, on an educational tour of Mideast countries lead by Seminary chaplain Dr. Charles Marks, while visiting a deserted Israeli detention center in southern Lebanon at El Khiam, on June 1, 2004, watched a 20-minute documentary on the liberation of prisoners in 2000, after which a former detainee described the methods of torture visited upon them by the Israelis. The Seminar group was also addressed by Sheik Nabil Qaouk, Hezbollah’s commander in Southern Lebanon. A bru-ha-ha erupted after Syria’s newspaper The Daily Star, reported the meeting and quoted Chaplain Marks as saying: “I am certain that my positive image of Hezbollah is different from that pictured in the West. I am happy to meet Hezbollah officials and listen to what they have to say.” (Daily Star June 2, 2004).

San Francisco’s Jewish Community Relations Council got wind of the student meeting and Yitzhak Santis, Director of Middle East Affairs for the Council, sought out Seminary President Phillip Butin. Santis (who refused to talk with me) was “troubled by the group’s failure to condemn Hezbollah.”

The Seminary’s Chaplain Marks, of course, was right on target. Hezbollah is largely a social service organization and political party with, at that time, 12 seats in Lebanon’s parliament. Its military wing in 2000 kicked the Israeli army out of Lebanon after their 22 years of occupation and over 900 Israeli soldiers killed, and is, of course, designated as “Terrorist” by Washington’s favorite terrorist, Israel who terrorized the Lebanese for almost a quarter of a century.

In March 2002 a network of Jewish organizations formed the Israel On Campus Coalition (ICC). McCarthyism then made its appearance on the Web as “Campus Watch,” organized by a Zionist, right-wing columnist, and sometime professor, Daniel Pipes. Student members of Hillel, the popular on-campus Jewish fraternity, were indoctrinated as “thought police” to report back to Pipe’s headquarters in Washington any professors who made disparaging remarks about either Israel, the Zionist movement, or appeared to intimidate Jewish students in discussions relating to Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jewish organizations then pressured their Representatives from districts targeted, warning university administrators that support from wealthy alumni as well as federal funding might be removed unless the accused professor was either chastised, or dismissed.

We Americans can’t say we haven’t been warned. President George Washington, in his final address to the nation on 19th September 1796 said: “A passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification…”

Our second warning came in 1946. It followed the adoption of fascist policies by Israel’s Freedom Party, headed by Menachem Begin, ex-terrorist and then Prime Minister which policies stimulated Professor Albert Einstein and other prominent, liberal American Jews to publish that full-page warning letter in the NY Times in 1948; I quote from the Einstein letter: “Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our time is the emergence in the newly created State of Israel, of the Freedom Party… a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi… This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism and misrepresentation are the means, and a ‘Leader State’ is the goal. “

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