I sent him a statement written by Meretz USA’s director, Ron Skolnik, and he found a way to use it against us on his blog:
Skolnik: Knee-jerk support for Israeli government policy and actions isn't right, and it isn't smart: This year's [Meretz USA] Israel Symposium participants neither overlooked nor absolved Israel's mistakes and flaws: They recognized them as part of a three-dimensional reality in which all parties – Palestinians, the greater Arab world, the US, et al. – have too frequently blundered and erred.My email response was to express astonishment that our statements against the occupation and for Palestinian rights have been received as if they were pro-Likud screeds (especially by his readers posting comments). "This illustrates how you and your readers are so extreme; we either go along with you 100 percent or we are the enemy. You turn our dovishness into an attack on us."
Weiss: I think this is pathetic lukewarm language.
He then challenged me to "Show me the condemnation of the pogroms against Palestinian farmers. ... I will be happy to eat my words."
I immediately responded with this: http://www.meretzusa.org/meretz-against-settler-violence! He took back his words – to a degree – but he still went fishing for something he could object to on our Web site. He noted that we don’t see it as part of our mission of educating on Israeli-Arab peace issues to take a position on the Iraq war:
It's pathetic. They can't even come out against the Iraq war! Oh my god. This obviously shows the extent to which U.S. militancy against the Arab world hasI had to explain that we're a 501c (3) non-profit that cannot take stands on US political issues, but he prefers to make this into but another reason to attack us as Zionists guilty of "dual loyalty."
gained support within the Jewish community.
Hopefully, he will post my reply, in which I relate in part that: "Jeremiah Gutman, a civil liberties attorney and president of Meretz USA when he passed away a few years ago, was a staunch opponent of the Iraq war. I recall that he constantly wore a big button proclaiming: ‘He lied, they died’."
In the meantime, Phil Weiss' attacks on the Zionist peace camp render no help to either the cause of peace or any humanitarian concern for the Palestinians. But the point for Phil, apparently, is to score points, showing his adoring readers how "progressive" he is.