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Doing the Holocaust “Schtick” By: Hillel Stavis
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, May 16, 2008

  • “Some U.S. citizens travel with an unconscious attitude of superiority”
  • “Being openly gay or lesbian is outside the cultural norms of Palestinian life…”
  • “It is best that you not raise the issue of being gay or lesbian with Palestinians..”
  • “It’s best not to practice your Hebrew with Palestinians even if someone uses it with you.”
  • “It is better not to wear a kippah or yarmulke in Palestinian communities.  Again, while our hosts are glad to meet Israelis and Jews, there are many eyes and ears watching for collaborators.”
  • “Israeli settlers and soldiers disguise themselves (as tourists or Palestinians) and also enter Palestinian areas boldly without disguise.”
  • “If a host gives you a kuffiya (traditional Palestinian headdress for men) or other clothes to wear, it is a good idea to put them on.  It will help you blend in with the community, which may be important for local security.  It communicates that you belong.”

The above “travel tips” were used in orientation sessions1 for The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts Peace Commission as part of their official mission to Bethlehem last winter.  Working closely with the “Cambridge to Bethlehem People to People Committee”, The Peace Commission’s solidarity mission was given a rousing sendoff by the Cambridge City Council last November.   

Not every municipality in this country is fortunate enough to have a Peace Commission, but, thanks to the foresight of the ever-Progressive archons of correctness, Cambridge crafted their agency more than 25 years ago to defend its citizens from the ravages of nuclear war.  And so, while the rest of us wrong-thinking retrogrades are becoming toast on Massachusetts Avenue after the Big One drops, the enlightened citizens of Cambridge will survive to bond with revolutionaries from Nicaragua to Gaza.

The Peace Commission routinely hosts Arab and Muslim speakers who have extolled the “golden era” in Iraq under the communist period (1957-1963) and who attribute honor killings of Iraqi women to the U.S. occupation!  

They have never hosted an event to benefit the victims of genocide in Darfur, whose victims of Arab aggression now number in the hundreds of thousands.    The killings and rapes in that region, arguably, the greatest crime against humanity perpetrated in the last decade, it would seem, hold little interest for the high-minded Peace Commissioners.  Repeated attempts to contact Cathy Hoffman, the commission’s director,in order to host an event for the victims, went unanswered.  Finally, a director of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur was told that his suggestions for an event would be passed on to the new director.  Don’t hold your breath. 

For the past few months, Freedom of Information Act requests for material from the Peace Commission have produced a wealth of embarrassing minutes, memos and emails from the peace folks.  For example, in spite of their constant protestations that the mission to Bethlehem was merely a “people to people” trip with absolutely no political motives, we found the following directive from their orientation session:

“It carries great weight to be able to say, “I’ve seen with my own eyes the suffering that the Israeli occupation causes.  Our government’s support for it compounds it.”2

A bit further on, we find:

“With care and permission, photos of the effects of the occupation are good; a family standing in front of its bulldozed house; people who have been hurt, etc.”3

No politics here.

Needless to say, Sderot or hospital visits to Jewish victims of terror were not on the itinerary.

In spite of the distance that Cathy Hoffman attempted to put between the mission and her agency (Ms. Hoffman was on the city payroll during the mission), documents proved that she provided city hall facilities, spearheaded fundraising and provided leadership for the trip.  Nearly all meetings of the mission were held at City Hall with Ms. Hoffman and a number of agency commissioners present. 

During one such meeting (which, by Massachusetts statute, can be freely attended by any member of the public), commission members demanded that the public be ejected.   It would seem that the watchdogs of public access are allergic to sunlight when it involves their own deliberations.  A complaint over such violations is currently pending before the Massachusetts District Attorney’s office.  Predictably, one of the members demanding that the public be barred was one John Roberts, past director of the Massachusetts ACLU.

Another member of the Cambridge to Bethlehem group, Eva S. Moseley, retired Harvard archivist, routinely excoriates Israel for oppressing Palestinians.  Ms. Moseley gets trotted out by the Peace Commission when they need a “Holocaust survivor” to lambaste Israel.   When asked what involvement, if any, she had with the Jewish community in Boston, she replied that she had none.  Ms. (Steiner) Moseley left Vienna in 1939.  Thankfully, most of her family survived.   In a shockingly unguarded moment, during the planning of the Bethlehem trip, she wrote the following email to her comrades at the Peace Commission:

“I can do my "I escaped from Nazi Vienna and am unhappy with what Israel does" schtick, if you think that would help.”4

The “help”, of course, meant any and all means of demonizing her “fellow” Jews in Israel.

Further research revealed the showcased “Holocaust survivor” to be an avid supporter of Hezbollah flack and crackpot,  Norman Finkelstein5, and to have celebrated her granddaughter, Katelin Mason’s conversion to Islam6 (who, in turn, celebrated her Jewish heritage by working for the notorious anti-Israel organization, The Council on American Islamic Relations – CAIR, many members of which have been convicted of  terrorist activities).

Katelin, the descendant of Viennese Jews, is planning further Islamic study in Iran.

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