On 8/7/11, Mitchel Cohen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Do you have a URL for this, please.
> We're also discussing BDS at the Park Slope Food
> Coop. The Local Station Boards at Pacifica can
> certainly make their views felt on any issue they
> like, if they so choose. It falls under ensuring
> that programing reflects the interests of
> listening communities -- a very broad "mandate"
> to include those generally left out of the
> mainstream media (which at least in New York and
> Washington D.C. supports Israel's policies and
> U.S. economic and military aid with barely a word allowed in opposition).
> In my view, while BDS can apply to commercial
> enterprises, it is more difficult when discussing
> information, via radio stations. The KPFT
> resolution is quite circumspect about this. The
> important excerpt is the following:
> a. There will be no form of restriction on the work of individual
> Israeli media workers, or on conducting interviews and debates with
> people from any institution, but we will not turn over program
> production, or enter into collaboration or joint projects with
> official Israeli institutions or institutions supported by the Israeli
> b. We will discuss and hold dialogs about BDS on the air.
> c. We will support Palestinian media institutions directly without
> requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or
> implicit condition for such support.
> We affirm our commitment to anti-racism by adding that Pacifica
> will not turn over program production, or enter into collaboration or
> joint projects with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist, Nazi
> Holocaust deniers, as well as Islamophobic, or any other type of
> racist groups.
> This proposal is not meant to set up a new review board or
> authority, but to establish a new commitment for our programmers,
> staff and management in addition to our Mission and Bylaws.
> It all seems perfectly reasonable and acceptable to me.
> At 10:19 AM 8/7/2011, Michael Balter wrote:
>>Community board of leftwing radio station in Houston is so freaked out
>>by boycott it calls for boycotting 21 countries, including US
>>Aug 06, 2011 10:11 am | Rob Block
>>Last December the Pacifica radio station in Houston, KPFT, offered a
>>programming segment to the Israeli consulate. The move angered
>>activists and led to a proposal to join the international boycott call
>>against Israel. Rob Block is one of the activists.
>>We had a really weird meeting at the Houston Pacifica station KPFT
>>Thursday night about the BDS resolution we're trying to pass there.
>>How did a proposal asking for KPFT to support the human rights of
>>Palestinian by supporting BDS turn into a resolution that makes no
>>mention of the responsibility of Pacifica Radio and instead requests
>>the United States government to impose weapons embargoes on 21
>>countries in The Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and North
>>America-- including itself--as well as call to limit aid to countries
>>that don't have a constitutional provision similar to the US First
>>amendment against having a state ordered religion?
>>Here's the story. This was the first meeting of the committee created
>>by the Local Station Board [LSB] , early in 2011 (I think March). It
>>was represented to some of the people working with the KPFT BDS ad hoc
>>committee as follows:
>> “After polling the LSB, it looks like everyone who's interested
>>can come to a meeting Thurs. of next week to work on the language of
>>the BDS resolution: ...
>> I hope we don't have to do much to the resolution language,
>>although it might help to add some intro language (whereas clauses or
>>whatever) that address some of the objections people have offered --
>>that BDS is somehow like censorship, that it would turn over decisions
>>to some outside BDS organization, etc.
>> Thanks again to all of you for your interest and patience.”
>>Myself and Nick Cooper from the committee went to the meeting
>>expecting to talk about the language of the original proposal which we
>>had submitted to the Local Station Board and expected a meeting where
>>we could try to make the language of the proposal as palatable as
>>possible to board members who had concerns about it. Present were
>>seven board members (on both sides of the BDS proposal) and seven
>>people who came to speak in opposition to the BDS resolution.
>>The opponents to the resolution were at the meeting to attempt to shut
>>down the process and stop a proposal that represented the concerns of
>>our group, many KPFT listeners, and human rights activists across the
>>world. Some of the people who objected to the proposal acknowledged
>>that they were not familiar with Pacifica but still felt that the
>>proposal violated our mission. When polled, none of them were members
>>of KPFT. Most of them refused to talk about the language of the
>>proposal and alleged that the language did not matter and that BDS was
>>a either a shadowy secret group or Hamas sponsored.
>> Board Member: "Do you have specific concerns with the language of
>> BDS opponent: "Yes very specific. When I think of BDS I think of
>>blood, [unintelligible] and suppression. I think of KPFT adopting BDS,
>>I think BDS becoming a governing body for this community, for you to
>>signing up to a third party telling us what to do in this country, and
>>supporting through the threats and hatred and bigotry of the community
>>that launched BDS. When you say no to to BDS what you are doing is
>>saying no to; threats, hypocrisy prejudice, suicide bombers.."
>>Steve Tobias in particular led the apparently faith-based charge that
>>there is a BDS central (he repeated this a dozen times, as though
>>saying it enough will make it true) and that this proposal will hand
>>over editorial control to this “BDS Central.” To support this claim he
>>cited an article for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural
>>Boycott. I was able to see this email "from BDS central" and pointed
>>1. the US in USCACBI stands for United States, not Palestine.
>>2. It is a campaign supporting BDS in academic venues, not a “BDS Central”
>>We also pointed out that the proposal concludes: “This proposal is not
>>meant to set up a new review board or authority, but to establish a
>>new commitment for our programmers, staff and management in addition
>>to our Mission and Bylaws.” Steve maintained that the language did not
>>matter, our resolution would be handing over authority to a foreign
>>The structure of the meeting was very confusing. I would like to
>>commend the chair for trying to get as much feedback as possible, but
>>ultimately the mass of people at the meeting demanded a vote on
>>substituting a previously-written proposal by LSB chair Robert Marks
>>which calls for “BDS” of 21 other countries. Eventually they pushed
>>for this vote to be taken, and the majority (most of whom are not
>>members or familiar with KPFT), replaced the proposal submitted by our
>>group with the one written by Marks. What is wrong with the resolution
>>1. It represents itself as a BDS proposal while not addressing the
>>demands of the BDS (which are A. an end to occupation and colonization
>>of Arab land, B. equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel and C.
>>recognition of the right of return as described in UN resolution 194).
>>It maintains a sad tradition of American arrogance that we can come up
>>with our own ideas about how to solve problems on the other side of
>>the world instead on engaging with and supporting the leadership of
>>the Palestinian movement and their call for non-violent movements for
>>2. It ignores the responsibility the KPFT has to address this issue,
>>making demands on the US government that will obviously not be met,
>>like and arms embargo on itself.
>>3. It jumps into whether or not we give relief aid to countries
>>depending on their constitutional provisions, a pretty serious
>>digression away for the demands for the human rights of Palestinians
>>4. It won't work. The objective of the group of people who have
>>manipulated the process to stop a BDS resolution will not address the
>>concerns of the KPFT community that wants a BDS proposal, and want our
>>community radio station to take a stand in support of human rights for
>>Palestinians by respecting their just call for non-violent action and
>>It is unclear what the fallout of this meeting will be if this outcome
>>will stand. But it is clear that the call for BDS at KPFT is just
>>starting, and will continue until it gets a fair hearing.
>>Here are the competing proposals:
>>Original boycott proposal for KPFT’s Local Station Board KPFT LSB members:
>> We ask that you pass this proposal locally and instruct our
>>representatives on the National Board to pass this resolution for the
>> ———— Proposal for Pacifica to sign on to the BDS campaign
>> Media collaboration boosts Israel’s image on the international
>>stage. By refusing to participate in media partnerships, media
>>institutions globally can send a clear message to Israel that their
>>occupation and discrimination against Palestinians is unacceptable.
>>While Israeli media enjoys relatively free global freedom of movement
>>and access to well equipped facilities, Israel has subjected
>>Palestinians to movement restrictions and a lack of adequate funding,
>>economic damage caused by the occupation, and restrictions for media
>> Whereas all forms of international intervention have until now
>>failed to force Israel to comply with international law or to end its
>>repression of the Palestinians, which has manifested itself in many
>>forms, including siege, indiscriminate killing, wanton destruction,
>>and the separation wall built on occupied land and ruled illegal by
>>the International Court of Justice,
>> In light of the escalation of human rights violations in the
>>Occupied Territories of Palestine,
>> And until Israel meets the minimum
>> obligations under international law by:
>> 1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and
>>dismantling the Wall,
>> 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian
>>citizens of Israel to full equality, and
>> 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian
>>refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN
>> KPFT’s LSB recommends Pacifica Radio agree to join AMARC (The
>>World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters) in supporting
>>Palestinian civil society’s call for Boycott, Divestment, and
>>Sanctions; and in particular:
>> a. There will be no form of restriction on the work of individual
>>Israeli media workers, or on conducting interviews and debates with
>>people from any institution, but we will not turn over program
>>production, or enter into collaboration or joint projects with
>>official Israeli institutions or institutions supported by the Israeli
>> b. We will discuss and hold dialogs about BDS on the air.
>> c. We will support Palestinian media institutions directly without
>>requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or
>>implicit condition for such support.
>> We affirm our commitment to anti-racism by adding that Pacifica
>>will not turn over program production, or enter into collaboration or
>>joint projects with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist, Nazi
>>Holocaust deniers, as well as Islamophobic, or any other type of
>> This proposal is not meant to set up a new review board or
>>authority, but to establish a new commitment for our programmers,
>>staff and management in addition to our Mission and Bylaws.
>>KPFT Pacifica Substitute Resolution on Boycott, Divestment and
>>Sanction (Minority Report)
>> Whereas, The violence in Israel and Palestine is intolerable and
>>must not continue, and
>> Whereas, the violence in the Middle East is a threat to the peace
>>and security in the entire world and to civilization generally.
>> Now Therefore it is resolved that Pacifica Radio should support a
>>network wide resolution condemning violence in all forms and on all
>>sides of the political conflicts In the middle east generally and to
>>Israel/Palestine in particular.
>> Further resolved, that Pacifica condemns the import or export of
>>weapons and articles of war to or from the following countries: The
>>United States of America, The Palestinian Occupied Territories,
>>Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain,
>>Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
>>India. Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Libya, Tunisia.
>> Further resolves, that the United States shall limit any form of
>>aid or assistance to any nation of the world that does not have a
>>constitution guaranteeing the civil rights of all persons living
>>within said nation and which does not have a constitution guaranteeing
>>the civil rights of all persons living within said nation and which
>>does not have a constitutional protection against State ordered or
>>sanctioned religion similar to the first amendment to the United
>>States Constitution as interpreted by the United States Supreme Court
>>as of the date of passage of this Resolution, exempting disaster
>>relief, food, medical supplies and children's educational materials.
>>Said relief shall be delivered only in the form of commodities and not
>>cash and be administered only by international relief agencies upon a
>>demonstration that such aid is being used in those countries for the
>>intended purpose of disaster relief, feeding the people, medical
>>assistance and education. In no way should any such government of said
>>country grant or receive assistance in the form of cash for these
>> Further resolved, that Pacifica calls for a general effort to
>>boycott, disinvest from and sanction nations that perpetuate violence
>>as a means of resolving political disputes or making profit from war
>>across the globe, but specifically by the above nations (including the
>>United States of America).
> Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
> There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
> ~ Leonard Cohen
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University
Email: [log in to unmask]
“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
--John Kenneth Galbraith