The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has responded to the continuation of false statements by Chas W. Freeman, who withdrew from his appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), regarding the ZOA and his own record of extreme anti-Israel hostility and support for tyrannical regimes like China and Saudi Arabia. The ZOA had publicly urged on the basis of Freemans record that his appointment to the NIC be rescinded, issuing a press release quoting at length Freemans strongly anti-Israel statements and pointing to his Saudi and Chinese connections. The controversy engendered by Freemans record led to his withdrawal from this appointment.
In an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria (Mar. 16), Chas Freeman continued to misrepresent the ZOA and the facts regarding his own record. In the interview, Freeman said, This morning, indeed, there were various postings by the organizations that organized the campaign, the Zionist Organization of America, for example, detailing, setting out in considerable detail how they organized, researched to find [sic] material that they could use to agitate first Congressmen who were sympathetic to them and later others on various issues and of course they do not admit but it is fact they engaged in a truly libelous campaign of selective misquotation, distortion and fabrication of facts that are absolutely not real.
Zakaria provided and read out one of Freemans ugly quotes in reference to 9/11 We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israels approach to managing its relations with the Arabs. Five years ago [i.e., in 2001] we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home before asking Freeman, But you can see why people who support Israel or perhaps American Jews would be perturbed by that statement. Do you wish you hadnt written it in retrospect or said it? to which Freeman responded, No, no, I stand by what I said.
ZOA response: The facts are these: There is no such ZOA posting that Freeman describes. Our alleged selective misquotations were amply provided by Freemans own speeches posted on the website of Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) that he chairs. The only things that libel Freemans reputation are his own vitriolic views, including such selective misquotation as his remark about Israel allegedly producing 9/11, which he openly reaffirmed on CNN.
Freeman also falsely claimed that he was merely a critic of some Israeli policies. In fact, he has made the following vicious, false statements about Israel, which goes well beyond mere criticism of Israeli policies:
· Rationalized Palestinian terrorism as being caused by Jews living in the West Bank: As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected. Israeli occupation and settlement of Arab lands is inherently violent … And as long as such Israeli violence against Palestinians continues, it is utterly unrealistic to expect that Palestinians will stand down from violent resistance and retaliation against Israelis. (Remarks to the 14th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference The National Council on US-Arab Relations, Washington, D.C., September 12, 2005).
· Blamed Israel for causing 9/11: We have paid heavily and often in treasure in the past for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israels approach to managing its relations with the Arabs. Five years ago we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home. We are now paying with the lives of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines on battlefields in several regions of the realm of Islam. (Remarks to the 15th Annual US-Arab Policymakers Conference, Washington, D.C., 31 October 2006).
· Blamed Israel for anti-American terrorism and hatred in the Middle East: To end this terrorism we must address the issues in the region that give rise to it. Principal among these is the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation … American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs. For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel‘s American backers as against Israel itself. Under the circumstances, such retaliation whatever form it takes will have the support or at least the sympathy of most people in the region and many outside it. (Can American Leadership Be Restored? Remarks to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs Washington, D.C., 24 May 2007).
· Blamed Israel for the Iraq and Afghan wars:
we embraced Israels enemies as our own; they responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies. We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israels efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab land for its colonists
Now the United States has brought the Palestinian experience of humiliation, dislocation, and death to millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq.(Diplomacy in the Age of Terror, Remarks to the Pacific Council on International Policy The American Academy of Diplomacy, Los Angeles, October 4, 2007).
In his CNN interview, Freeman also reiterated his false claim that he had not approved of the 1989 repression of pro-democracy demonstrators but had merely been recording the official Chinese view that they had waited too long before acting.
ZOA Response: This is untrue: in his 1989 email on the subject, Freeman wrote that he found very plausible the official Chinese view that it was unforgivable not to have cracked down much sooner to nip the demonstrations in the bud and that he cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint of the Beijing government.
In short, Mr. Freeman did favor the suppression of democratic forces in China. He only wished it had happened sooner. This is an alarming position to have been taken by an appointee of an administration that has pledged to advance the cause of human rights.