Rock 'n' roll suicide don't do it!: I am writing to let you know how much I object to the title of Jennifer Maerz's music column Let's Get Killed. I know it's not meant literally. But it's not funny. No, it really isn't. Not at all.
Unfortunately, a lot of people around here really do have self-destructive tendencies, and many "accidents" are also in a way suicides. And it's disrespectful to those who've lost loved ones to drugs, war, alcohol, "accidents," murder, or whatever. The words we use sometimes really do have an effect. Please stop it.
Kaplan responds: As a journalist myself it was disappointing to read Eliza Strickland's high school-level feature on me ["Disturbing the Peace," Aug. 9]. Ms. Strickland spent many hours with me where I gave her exclusive documented proof of intentional misrepresentations by the ISM that they are a "peace group."
None of this was mentioned in her article. She couldn't even establish we met at Jack in the Box and not at an In-N-Out Burger stand. I established www.dafka.org after watching for years Hamas collect funds in Sproul Plaza without action being taken by the university to stop it after my complaints. That only ended after 9/11.
Ms. Strickland was obviously too lazy to read the articles I've written as an investigative journalist about the ISM. I am known more for that, rather than my activism. But then again, that might have required some work on her part. It was easier to write my opponents' accusations of untruths without citing examples. That's an amateur's idea of "balance."
Of special note is the quote from John Burness criticizing me as an "unethical" journalist without explaining the circumstances behind it. Ms. Strickland chose to write in an ellipse, leaving out just enough information to convey a false impression of me, pulling the information from a smear Web site one of many.
If wearing a disguise, after I was barred as myself, to get inside an internal planning session constitutes "unethical journalism," then I am guilty; however, I doubt most professionals would think so. That Burness e-mail was sent to David Horowitz, who sent an eloquent reply, viewable at www.frontpagemagazine.com in my article "Inside Duke's Hatefest." In fact, I encourage your readers to read all my articles there on the ISM and see what goes on behind the façade of these phony "human rights" activists.
The leaders of the ISM have been so bold as to write the Washington Post that they work with Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and Hamas, something I showed Ms. Strickland that curiously never made the article. Now, the ISM is offering to go to Lebanon as "human shields." These are not nice people I investigate and reveal to the public. I don't see these "peace activists" being human shields against katyushas falling on Haifa or other Israeli cities, either.
Also, Ms. Strickland's giving so much space to a Web site set up by college students to smear me personally when they cannot refute my investigations of the ISM shows not an attempt at "balance," but an attempt to do a little personal smearing of me in your journal, too. ISM activists frequently claim I am not telling the truth, but have yet to reveal what specific untruths I have told. Nor do I contact the families of ISM activists as Ms. Strickland erroneously stated. Rather, their families contact me. Too many of these family members are ashamed and disgusted but unwilling to speak out. I've gotten many ISM activists deported from Israel because their own families exposed them for good reason. I don't need to contact them.
As for my being "uncompromising," I told Ms. Strickland I in fact am a true activist for Palestinian rights. I want to see Palestinians in nice homes, with careers and a decent life. The ISM works to aid groups that will only accept the destruction of Israel in order to achieve this. Even Fatah has never rescinded the part of their charter calling for the end of Israel. I support a two-state solution, but not with the likes of Hamas and other terror groups whose agenda is no more Israel. The ISM works only for these groups as a support network.
As to my lack of civility in the Israel/Palestinian issue, again Ms. Strickland is both inaccurate and seeks to sensationalize her story. I do nothing illegal, and I do not violate social decorum, but nor do I suffer fools and liars gladly. The cover implies that I "disturb the peace," a misdemeanor for which I could be subject to arrest. I in fact do no such thing; I gather information and ask questions when information is falsely presented attacking Israel and America on U.S. campuses.
Nadeem Muaddi, a national spokesman for the ISM, even merited a headline quote about me: "The more he repeats something, the more true it sounds." Of course, young Muaddi provided no example of a falsehood I repeat in my work. The reason why is he can't do so. Of course, he dislikes my "tactics" since most reporters would not have known the difference.
And Paul Larudee wasn't deported without good reason by Israel, as he is a key organizer and trainer for the ISM in Northern California. Larudee is now in Lebanon, being a human shield among the Hezbollah.
Finally, Ms. Strickland chose to fabricate an ending for her article. I did not "retreat down the hallway and head for the exit," as she wrote. The SFSU campus police were not interested in bothering me over accusations of a photo taken in a taxpayer-owned building on a university campus, and after asking what happened, allowed me to continue attending the conference until its conclusion that day, which I did.
A good journalist does not achieve "balance" by printing innuendos by her subject's opponents without at least verifying she has her facts straight. While I was portrayed by her and your journal as not contributing with my "tactics" to "civil discourse," I have to ask the SF Weekly if my "tactics" of reporting undercover what is really said at such conferences behind closed doors on America's campuses is beyond the pale or contributes to public service. Most sensible people would say the latter.
As of today, Stop the ISM has managed to get 213 ISM activists from around the world deported from Israel. Volunteers can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.