Foreign Dis-Service JournalJuly 8, 2002 12:00 by ManagingTeam
The “Foreign Service Journal” has probably one of the most exclusive readerships in the world. Published by the American Foreign Service Association, the de facto “union” of State Department employees, the Journal is written for and by American diplomats around the world.
The June edition provides the inspirational story of Harry Bingham, an American vice consul in Marseilles at the start of World War II, who defied U.S. immigration policy and issued 2,500 visas to Jews, including artist Marc Chagall. Scorned by the State Department, Bingham ended his career in 1946. Read the article at:
However, the June edition also contains a vicious attack on Israel by a long-time anti-Israel propagandist, Jerri Bird, the wife of a retired diplomat. The article, “Arab-Americans in Israel: What Special Relationship,” calls Israeli actions “terrorism” and claims that Israel systematically “tortured and incarcerated” Arab-Americans.
Bird heads “Partners for Peace,” a “sister organization” of the anti-Israel Council for the National Interest headed by Bird’s husband, Eugene, and former congressmen Paul Findley and Pete McClosky. (McClosky is praised heavily on neo-Nazi websites — see www.zundelsite.org)
Jerri Bird’s Journal article is a rehash of accusations she made last July in “The Link,” an anti-Israel smear-sheet published by the “Americans for Middle East Understanding.” Part of Bird’s charges are based on the 24-year-old cables of a junior foreign service officer, Alexandra U. Johnson, who interviewed Palestinian visa applicants and “detailed the treatment of Arab prisoners.”
Bird hides the fact that Johnson was later fired from the State Department; according to a 1979 Washington Post report, Johnson was “engaged to one of the Palestinians” cited in her cables. Only by claiming he was tortured could the Palestinian obtain a U.S. visa. According to one 1979 report, Israeli intelligence informed U.S. authorities that Alexandra Johnson may have aided terrorist cells.
Among the “human rights” organizations Bird cites in her article is Miftah, an Arab organization headed by Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi (who in April falsely accused Israel of committing “massacres”).
Bird’s article in the Foreign Service Journal follows the Ashrawi line: “Now we see a ferocious, brutal attack on Palestinian civilians by the massive Israeli military, supposedly to root out terrorists…. So I ask: Who are the terrorists in the Middle East? Don’t decades of torture practiced on a wide scale by an occupying power qualify as being terrorist? Are the Israeli government demolitions of homes not terrorist actions?”
Some of Bird’s imprisoned Palestinian-Americans were found guilty of bringing funds to Hamas operatives. Bird labels Hamas an “illegal organization” — in quotation marks, as if Hamas is only considered so by Israel. But Hamas is on the American and UK list of terror organizations, and American officials visited Israel to interrogate one of the arrested Palestinian-Americans to learn about terrorist networks in the United States.
Yet Bird discounts the battle against terrorism shared by the United States and Israel.
- Why did the Foreign Service Journal permit such a piece of rehashed propaganda — so at odds with American policy — to be published?
- Is the anti-Israel article a tool to direct attention and criticism away from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the breeding ground for al-Qaida terrorists? Would the Journal consider an article on a topic recently aired in Congress: American children abducted by their Saudi fathers and held in Saudi Arabia?
- The battle against Bin Laden and the international terrorist network, as conducted by the United States, requires intense interrogation of captured terrorists who may possess information about “ticking bombs” ready to explode. Would the Foreign Service Journal consider an article critical of American interrogation tactics?
Read Bird’s article at:
Once you read the article, if you object to the Bird article appearing in the prestigious Foreign Service Journal, contact:
Steve Honley, Editor
Tel: (202) 944-5511
Fax: (202) 338-8244
Foreign Service Journal
2101 E Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-2990
You can also write to the State Department to object to the Bird article, and to encourage them to disassociate from the Journal article:
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
Fax: (202) 261-8577
Bureau of Public Affairs
Bureau of Public Affairs, Rm. 5827
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520-6810
Tel: (202) 647-6575