Have You Lost Your Mind or Just Been Bought Out by AIPAC?

by KATHLEEN M. BARRY

Congressman Barney Frank
2252 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Barney Frank,

While you were espousing the freedom of speech and democratic principles of Israel to the House of Representatives on June 18, 2006, were you thinking of Hedy Epstein, the 84 year old Holocaust survivor and American who recently travelled to Israel and visited with Palestinians there? In your proclamation about the freedom in Israel which you mistakenly represented as the only democracy in the Middle East, were you thinking of how it felt for Hedy to be approached by Israel’s security force when she was leaving the country to return to the US and told she is a terrorist. Were you thinking of how the guards had turned their badges around so that she could not get their names while they forced Hedy to undress, while they penetrated her body, because she is a terrorist, because she met with Palestinians, because she listened to them. Is that the freedom you wish to applaud? To hear how it felt from Hedy herself, if you care, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC37pFQ8tyg .

I know you were not thinking of Professors like Nadera Shaloub Kevorkian, a noted scholar from Hebrew University, awarded for her outstanding research, a recipient of the Golda Meir award even though Golda Meir told us that “there are no Palestinians.” I know you were not thinking of her and how she is subjected to dehumanized searches, seen her children’s photos trampled on by the security, her undergarments twirled like flags in the air for all to see, had her computer and cell phone seized each time she travels outside her country of birth to the many lectures she is invited to give and for the numerous honors bestowed on her. Of course, to Israel and therefore to the American government she would be considered a terrorist. Why? because she is a Palestinian. That is why I know you were not thinking of her when you were standing before the US House of Representatives proclaiming Israel’s democracy as a model of freedom and diversity.

The blatant overt racism against Palestinians I saw in Israel harkened me back to the pre-civil rights US. The guilt-by-association with Palestinians that is alive and thriving in Israel today recalls US McCarthyism. Oh, it is true that women’s rights in Israel have improved and so have gay rights. But to treat that as diversity in the face of the extreme racism that drives the county against Palestinians is for an American Congressman not only dishonorable, but unjust and immoral.

Have you lost your mind or have you just been bought out by AIPAC? I stand with the multitude of Americans who look forward to the day when you and other Representatives and Senators bought by AIPAC discover that your loyalty is really to the United States and to global justice. With all that you have stood for over the years, I expected so much more from you.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Barry, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita

Kathleen Barry is Professor Emerita of Penn State  University. A feminist and sociologist, she is the author of Female Sexual Slavery, Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women, and Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist and is now completing Expendable Lives, a new book on masculinity and war. She can be reached at kathy.barry@comcast.net

 

 


Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 03, 2015
David Macaray
The Unbearable Lightness of Treaties
Chad Nelson
Lessig Uses a Scalpel Where a Machete is Needed
September 02, 2015
Paul Street
Strange Words From St. Bernard and the Sandernistas
Jose Martinez
Houston, We Have a Problem: False Equivalencies on Police Violence
Henry Giroux
Global Capitalism and the Culture of Mad Violence
Ajamu Baraka
Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia
William Edstrom
Wall Street and the Military are Draining Americans High and Dry
David Altheide
The Media Syndrome Between a Glock and a GoPro
Yves Engler
Canada vs. Africa
Ron Jacobs
The League of Empire
Andrew Smolski
Democracy and Privatization in Neoliberal Mexico
Stephen Lendman
Gaza: a Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Norman Pollack
Obama, Flim-Flam Artist: Alaska Offshore Drilling
Binoy Kampmark
Australian Border Force Gore
Ruth Fowler
Ask Not: Lost in the Crowd with Amanda Palmer
Kim Nicolini
Remembering Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone