My article about the American Library Association’s long history of unfairly singling out Israel for vicious condemnation, which appeared in the Dec. 27 issue of The Jewish Press, has resulted in my being the object of verbal attacks from some ALA leaders.
I have been called an ”ALA basher” by Library Juice, a leftist online publication edited by ALA-SRRT (Social Responsibilities Round Table) coordinator Rory Litwin. That label is one I wear proudly, considering the sordid campaign the American Library Association has been waging against the Jewish state — a campaign that has included support for Palestinian terrorists.
The ALA’s president, Maurice J. ”Mitch” Freedman, himself a member of the anti-Israel SRRT, replied to those writing protest letters that I had confused the separate June 2002 ALA-SRRT and ALA-Council anti-Israel resolutions. Nothing could be further from the truth — and I had even made the point that the latest Council condemnation was implicit (although more frequently the ALA-Council’s canards against the Jewish State have been explicit).
Even the aforementioned Rory Litwin, in an open letter to Freedman published in the Library Juice of Jan. 2, has this to say regarding my accuracy: ”You stated that the author of the article in The Jewish Press confused the SRRT resolution and the ALA resolution…I could find nothing in the article that I could identify as indicating an actual confusion…”
Litwin also, with surprising candor, admitted that people within the ALA-SRRT were simply motivated by ”…their opposition to Zionism.” In other words, the problem they have is not with what Israel purportedly does or does not do. The problem they have is with the very existence of the Jewish state.
In an apparent attempt to defend that which cannot be ethically defended, the ALA president also attempted to cast doubt on the truthfulness of what I wrote by simply dismissing my points as ”a rash of allegations.”
But they are not mere allegations. They remain the truth. Indeed, one ALA official, thoroughly sickened by the organization’s long anti-Israel obsession, relayed thanks to me and described my article as ”factual.” (For the sake of that individual’s safety and job security, his or her name will not be revealed.)
Need more proof of the ALA’s leftist proclivities? Consider the films Freedman has selected for free viewing as part of the Video Nightcap ”entertainment” at the Midwinter American Library Association Convention. Librarians in the audience will be treated to the ”The Trials of Henry Kissinger” and ”Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times.” Both films attack U.S. foreign policy, blaming it for much of the world’s ills, including terrorism, and the Chomsky travesty has the expected verbal barrage against Israel.
Naturally, no films in support of the American and Israeli struggles against terrorism are planned for this conclave, which is partially paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
Judging by Freedman’s announced choice of a major speaker, he appears to have even further stacked the forthcoming ALA conference against Israel. Addressing the librarians will be Amy Goodman, a writer with a markedly pro-Palestinian flair who hosts a leftist radio program on the Pacifica Network, which the media watchdog group CAMERA has described as “repeatedly provid[ing] a forum for racists, anti-Semites and virulent critics of Israel.”
Other revelations are coming to light. For example, did you know that Israel is the only nation on earth to have had the dubious distinction of being included in the name of a condemning ALA subgroup? It’s true. The Committee on Israeli Censorship was indirectly underwritten by unwitting U.S. taxpayers. For a time it was coordinated by former ALA-SRRT member David L. Williams, a rabidly anti-Israel Chicago-based public librarian who managed to get his purportedly objective bibliography, ”The Palestinian/Israeli Conflict,” published by and housed in the Chicago Public Library’s Social Sciences and History Division.