The current War on Terror “has its roots in our refusal to be an equal part of the world community” and results from “our having taken a fragment of life and turned it into the only way of life decreed by God, Capital, or Phallus.” Such, at any rate, is the assessment of Lester Edwin J. Ruiz, secretary of the misnamed Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA).
Currently based in San Francisco, the PJSA is the product of the 2001 merger of two previous "peace studies" organizations: the Consortium On Peace Research Education and Development (COPRED) and the Peace Studies Association (PSA). According to the mission statement posted on their homepage, www.peacejusticestudies.org, PJSA aims "to create a just and peaceful world" through "peace studies" programs in kindergarten up to graduate school, through "the forging of alliances among educators, students, activists, and other peace practitioners [sic.]" and through the "creation and nurturing of alternatives" to injustice, violence, and inequality. The impression one gets from PJSA's homepage, which is chock full of such airy vacuities, is that it is a fairly benign leftist group.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Thus, according to the summer 2003 issue of the Peace and Justice Studies Association's Peace Chronicle newsletter, the launching of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 to liberate Kuwait from Saddam's aggression and occupation was "a day of infamy, the war of aggression, no different from all the wars and attacks against the US that our leaders called infamous.” To Ruiz and his comrades, Pearl Harbor was only a day that "our leaders" call infamous. The liberation of Kuwait from Saddam's imperialist forces actually was one.
The leader of the PJSA is the vehemently anti-Israel activist Simona Sharoni. A native of Israel and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor from Romania, Sharoni is a founding member of the "Women In Black,” a group of Israeli women who sided with the Palestinian terrorists during the first Intifada. “Women in Black” were nicknamed "the black witches" by Israeli soldiers for their disruption of counter-terrorism activities and for their harassment of Israeli security personnel at roadblocks and checkpoints.
Simona Sharoni has devoted her adult life to anti-Israel and anti-American activism. After leaving Israel in the 1990s, Sharoni taught at the American University in Washington, D.C., and is now a visiting professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where COPRED-PSA/PJSA was based before moving to San Francisco. (Evergreen is also where Rachel Corrie was recruited to die helping to obstruct Israeli Defense Forces in their war against Palestinian terrorists.)
Georgetown University's campus newspaper, Sharoni denounced her Israeli Jewish parents and said she was "overwhelmed by the ease of the racist comments in the home I grew up in.” She also compared Palestinian suicide bombers to anorexic girls and "gay teens who have to commit suicide because of rampant homophobia." (The Palestinians must appreciate both comparisons.) Professor Sharoni believes that suicide bombings are not a crime against humanity but merely the manifestations of a psychological disorder brought about by the actions of the Israeli government.
In an interview with
Professor Sharoni has even gone so far as to prevent her four-year-old daughter from learning Hebrew in order to "deprive her of her connection to a culture which has been problematic." In the same interview, Sharoni railed against the "dehumanized" American Jews and their refusal to call the security fence in Judea and Samaria an "apartheid wall." In a fashion typical of anti-Israeli activists, she compared the residents of Palestinian refugee camps (who were put there and have been left there by their fellow Arabs) to inmates of Nazi death camps, quipping, "people who lived in concentration camps should be able to understand what it is like to live in a refugee camp.”
Beyond the roster of anti-American and anti-Israeli activists, the PJSA includes peaceniks who dwell in a transparently delusional world. A perfect example of the latter is Howard Richards, a professor in the Peace and Global Justice Studies department at Earlham College. Page through his 12-point manifesto, "Twelve Things We Can Do Every Day for World Peace and Justice,” published in the summer 2003 issue of the PJSA's Peace Chronicle, and you come upon the following advice:
"Reduce, reuse, and recycle";
"Cultivate an organic garden";
"Use less fossil fuel"; and
"Process inner anger by following a spiritual path or getting some form of therapy."
Plant flowers, see a psychotherapist—this, according to Richards, is the way to defeat al-Qaeda and Zarqawi's butchers in Iraq.
In the same issue, PJSA-member and Georgetown philosophy professor Mark Lance (former co-chair of COPRED's board of directors) contributed an article called "Transfer By Siege," which provides a typically distorted analysis of the Security Fence in Judea and Samaria, comparing it to the Berlin Wall, as though it was democratic Israel that was the totalitarian presence in the Middle East rather than the forces seeking to destroy it. Lance describes the wall as a destructive barrier that divides Palestinian villages, destroys their inhabitants' livelihood, and makes it nearly impossible for sick Palestinians to get to the hospital. To Mark Lance and the PJSA, the Security Fence is built not to protect innocent Israelis from murderous rampages of suicide bombers and terrorist gangs; rather, it is an attempt at "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians, an "apartheid wall." In his conclusion, Lance calls for a "massive international campaign to force Israel to end all aspects of the occupation." In other words, peace demands the disarming of the victims of terror and rendering them defenseless against their attackers.
Other articles in the PJSA's Peace Chronicle consist of long and disjointed diatribes against the actions of the United States. Even in the wake of the September 11th atrocities, Lance warned that the "military police action" against the terrorist-sheltering Taliban is an "attack on an already devastated populace" that will bring about "massive death from starvation and malnutrition" of many Afghans. In a column in the Fall/Winter 2001 issue of Peace Chronicle, written mere months after the Twin Towers fell and while the search for victims' remains continued around the clock, Lance proclaimed, "Both on the domestic and on the international fronts, the ‘war’ on terror promises to be a major step forward for the forces of totalitarianism and imperialism." Not a single PJSA spokesman ever calls for equivalent measures to be taken against occupiers like Syria and Morocco. Nor do any of the peace activists condemn suicide bombings or shooting attacks on Americans or Israelis.
The PJSA deploys its members—many of whom are teachers and professors—to recruit students for the Hate America-Destroy Israel Left. Matt Meyer, PJSA's co-chair, organized demonstrations outside Chuck Schumer's Brooklyn residence after the senator supported the overthrow of Saddam's regime; Meyer works for the NYC Department of Education. The other co-chair, Nancy Hanawi, is a professor at UC-Berkeley, while Lester Ruiz teaches at New York Theological Seminary. Most of the other PJSA board members are also educators who teach at colleges and schools in America and Britain.
While the PJSA might be seen as an obscure leftist group with insane or repugnant views, the sobering reality is that most PJSA is an association of educators who have authority over hundreds if not thousands of young Americans yearly. American parents should be aware that the teachers of their children could be PJSA-supporting pedagogues. Far from being a peace organizaton the Peace and Justice Studies Association is a division in the fifth column army that is at war with America and the West.